That’s the name of this funky little year-round resort town in Sierra County, New Mexico.
Famed for its hot springs, this town changed its original name, Hot Springs, to Truth or Consequences as part of a publicity campaign to advertise a game show. The story goes that a popular game show, Truth or Consequences, was looking for a way to advertise its 10th year anniversary in 1949. They decided that finding a town in America that would change its name to Truth or Consequences would be a flashy way to gain some publicity. The call went out to cities around the country and Hot Springs, New Mexico applied and won. In March of 1950 a special election was held to change the town’s name from Hot Springs to Truth or Consequences. The name change passed 1294 in favor, 295 against and the host of the popular game show flew to the newly named town to broadcast an episode of the game show – on April Fools Day. The publicity stunt worked and the name stuck.
In 2019, Truth or Consequences is known more for Elephant Butte Lake, hot springs resorts, art galleries, and the newly arrived Spaceport America. Approximately 6,000 people still live in Truth or Consequences (we call it T or C for short) and there are a surprising number of things to enjoy in this little city with the big name.
There are a number of hotels in the area, but if you find yourself in T or C, you’d be wise to check out one of the many hot springs resort hotels in the area. On this trip I stayed at the Blackstone Hot Springs lodge. This gem of a hotel from the 1930s has been remodeled with quirky themed rooms. I stayed with Spock in the Star Trek room while my colleague stayed in the Jetsons room (PS: I prefer the Spanish name Los Supersónicos) and my boss in the Superman suite.
The rooms, though themed, are modern, clean and incredibly comfortable. The property boasts a handful of hot springs tubs located in the common areas of the resort, but the best part of this hotel is that most rooms come with their own private hot springs tub. That means you can soak to your little heart’s content, in whatever bathing attire you like, in privacy.
Rates are incredibly reasonable and the Blackstone has a lodge cat: Boris.
Now I’m not sure what your thoughts are on him personally, but Ted Turner also has a resort hotel in T or C called the Sierra Grande. While we didn’t stay here, we did eat at the restaurant which features a nice selection of New Mexico beer and wine. The menu is varied and features everything from wild game to lighter fare. I enjoyed a spa bowl (red quinoa, kale, sweet potatoes, chicken and a spicy peanut sauce) and a delicious slice of chocolate cake (ok, and a couple of glasses of wine – everything in moderation, right?)
There are lots of shops to explore and a surprising array of restaurants. I’d recommend the Passion Pie Cafe for breakfast. It’s small and crowded but the food is great. And, if you’re up for something out of the ordinary, the Pacific Grill, which serves both Chinese and Mexican food alongside a salad bar, is surprisingly good.
T or C is also lake adjacent. I have fond memories of camping and boating at Elephant Butte Lake. Sadly the last several years of New Mexico’s drought have taken their toll. Here’s hoping more water starts flowing again soon!
I haven’t been yet, but Spaceport America is a stone’s throw from T or C. New Mexico is probably a really great place for a Spaceport:
Great weather year-round – √
Lots of open space for rocket launching – √
A state with a rich history in aeronautics – √
Terrain that looks like another planet – √
In all honesty, it’s helping the local economy and building STEM innovation in New Mexico education. Check it out here: https://spaceportamerica.com/