BBER Publications

Document Type

Technical Report

Publication Date



Financial support for this research was provided by the New Mexico Economic Development Department-New Mexico MainStreet Program, and the McCune Charitable Foundation


University of New Mexico, Bureau of Business and Economic Research


An analysis of the Chama, New Mexico community and market area. Socioeconomic data, including population growth and selected demographic, economic, and housing characteristics are described. The author discusses the significant economic challenges facing Chama, which are due to its isolated, rural location; lack of exporting industries; and need for investment in infrastructure. Chamas only major industry is tourism, primarily the Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Railroad. Using a location quotient analysis, the author discusses the area's pull factors and leakages in retail and services. He concludes with three recommendations for diversifying the local economy: establishing a base (export-oriented) industry in agriculture, resources, or manufacturing; re-fashioning the tourism sector to attract more destination visitors; using natural and cultural amenities to attract retirees. The report is illustrated with tables, charts, and maps.'