Car Camping in the Combat Zone
Who in his right mind would go camping solo in the Bootheel?

Net Positive
New sustainability director Nick Sussillo

The Great Wasp War
The call went out to the lads of Silver City: This means war!

Pay to Play
The fledgling Las Cruces Vaqueros' field of dreams

Kiss of the Prairie Dog
Black-tailed prairie dogs once numbered in the billions

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Editor's Note
Desert Diary

Business Beat
Noble Steeds
Holy Vortex, Batman!
Tumbleweeds Top 10

The Starry Dome
Ramblin' Outdoors
40 Days & 40 Nights
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Guides to Go
Henry Lightcap's Journal
Southwest Gardener
Continental Divide

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Arts Exposure

An Artistic Apprenticeship
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Body, Mind & Spirit
Here, Have a Placebo
Growing a Healing Tradition

Red or Green
Curious Kumquat
Dining Guide
Table Talk

About the cover

  D e s e r t   E x p o s u r e   July 2010


Business Beat

Music Express closing, Mimbres real-estate news, national chains coming to Cruces, and the Rocket Racing League finally takes flight — sort of.

After serving Silver City since 1994, Music Express will be closing its doors, with a going-out-of-business sale July 5-15. After the music store was among the victims of the Hudson Plaza fire last July, owner David Murphy reopened at 1302 N. Bennett St. Family considerations, however, are now leading him to pull back to operating only a single store, in Safford, Ariz. Music Express will nonetheless continue to offer piano tuning and instrument repair for Silver City; call toll-free, (800) 870-2442.

Mimbres real-estate agent Tim Donovan has left Smith Real Estate to strike out on his own with La Paloma Real Estate. The long-time expert on Mimbres Valley land and homes will be headquartered at 3516 Hwy. 35 and has a website at www.lapalomare.com, or call him at (575) 536-3865.

Despite the down economy, new national retail operations continue to pop up in Las Cruces. A new Mattress Firm has opened at 2603 N. Main St., a former Blockbuster Video location; it's the city's second Mattress Firm, with the other located at 3050 E. Lohman Ave. The national chain boasts more than 560 locations in 22 states, including both corporate-owned and franchise outlets. Mattress Firm CEO Gary Fazio says the company has ambitious expansion plans: "We have the systems, distribution and proven marketing mix to support our franchise partners and grow the Mattress Firm brand with the goal of becoming a true national retailer with locations border to border and coast to coast." After all, people gotta sleep, right?

Window World has also opened for business at 300 N. Telshor Blvd., Suite 100. With more than 180 locally owned and operated Window World locations in 45 states, the company is now one of the nation's largest home-improvement firms.

At the Mesilla Valley Mall, a new Children's Place store has opened near the food court. Serving kids up to age 14, the specialty clothing retailer has more than 900 locations nationwide. It already had two Albuquerque stores and one in Santa Fe.

The long-promised Rocket Racing League may not be flying at Spaceport America or in the skies over Las Cruces, but it is zooming onto iPhones and iPods everywhere. The $2.99 racing-game app is "based on the real-world Rocket Racing League (RRL) where Top Gun pilots maneuver rocket-powered aircraft through a virtual 3D Raceway-In-The-Sky. In the game, players take control of a fully customizable Rocket Racer aircraft and pilot their way through floating 3D obstacle courses set in visually stunning environments." In the "real-world" league, of course, no actual races have yet taken place, although its Mark III X-Racer did fly in a demonstration in Oklahoma in April.

"Rocket Racing League is poised to become the world's first truly interactive sporting franchise," said Peter Diamandis, RRL co-founder and chairman, best known to New Mexicans as the man behind the X Prize competition. "With the release of this app, the experience of flying rocket-powered aircraft in competition comes straight to one's fingertips. We plan to increase the level of interactivity with each new game and platform rendition, ultimately culminating into gameplay that offers full competitions between the gamer and real-world pilots during live RRL events."

Although the game comes with five track "locations" — Nevada Canyon, California Coast, City, Tropical Island, Space — none features New Mexico. An iPad version is promised for later this summer.

Send business news to editor@desertexposure.com

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