Gov. Lujan Grisham was recently crowing about the $3.5 billion investment in Rio Rancho’s Intel facility. This is a big deal for New Mexico which has no Fortune 500 companies headquartered in the state and has struggled for decades to attract private sector business outside of the oil and gas industry.
The Intel plant has been around since 1980 and after it was widely feared about 7 years ago that Intel was planning to leave Rio Rancho entirely, the latest investment in the plant is most welcome. But it is worth noting that Intel is currently investing $20 billion in Arizona. That’s almost 6 times their investment in NM.
Arizona (while similar in many ways, but lacking NM’s oil and gas) has long had a more business-friendly political culture than has New Mexico which has led to AZ growing much faster. We’re happy to have any private sector investment in New Mexico, but the gap between us and Arizona remains vast.