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The City of Alamosa is a Home Rule Municipality that is the county seat and the most populous city of Alamosa Countymarker, Coloradomarker, United Statesmarker. The United States Census Bureau estimates that the city population was 8,682 in 2005. The city is the commercial center of the San Luis Valley in south-central Coloradomarker.

Alamosa was established in May 1878 by the Denver and Rio Grande Railroad and quickly became an important rail center. The railroad had an extensive construction, repair and shipping facility in Alamosa for many years and headquartered its remaining narrow gauge service here with trackage reaching many points throughout southwest Colorado and northern New Mexico. Alamosa is now a notable tourist town with many nearby attractions including the Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preservemarker. The town hosts a Sunshine Summerfest on the Rio Festival which occurs the first weekend in June. The city takes its name from the Alamosa River. "Alamosa" is a Spanish adjective meaning "of cottonwood".


Alamosa is the shopping center for the San Luis Valley and boasts a WalMartmarker Supercenter and two supermarkets, Safeway and City Market. There are a number of fast food restaurants, two medical clinics, and a regional hospital, San Luis Valley Regional Medical Center.

Adams State College is located in Alamosa. ASC is a four year, state supported college founded in 1921 and offering degrees in several fields including business and education. ASC's cross country and track team is internationally recognized.


Alamosa is located at (37.468835, -105.873686) , at the junction of U.S. Routes 160 and 285. According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 4.0 square miles (10.3 km²).

Alamosa is located in the San Luis Valley, in the highest general agricultural land in the United States. The San Luis Valley is the largest intermountain valley in the world and features a dry climate with long cold winters and short cool summers. Local farmers specialize in growing cool weather crops. Elevation is about in Alamosa with peaks over within of town in the Sangre de Cristo range.


Alamosa is on the Rio Grandemarker, which is crossed by two auto bridges, one pedestrian bridge and one rail bridge in town. Auto traffic is served by U.S. Route 160 running east and west and U.S. Route 285 and State Highway 17 running north and south. Alamosa is served by the San Luis and Rio Grande Railroad. Great Lakes Airlines makes three daily flights between Denver and Alamosamarker.


As of the census of 2000, there were 7,960 people, 2,974 households, and 1,769 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,995.0 people per square mile (770.3/km²). There were 3,215 housing units at an average density of 805.8/sq mi (311.1/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 68.53% White, 1.41% Black or African American, 2.20% Native American, 0.95% Asian, 0.26% Pacific Islander, 22.36% from other races, and 4.28% from two or more races. 46.80% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There were 2,974 households out of which 32.0% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 40.5% were married couples living together, 14.6% had a female householder with no husband present, and 40.5% were non-families. 33.7% of all households were made up of individuals and 11.0% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.36 and the average family size was 3.04.

In the city the population was spread out with 24.4% under the age of 18, 21.8% from 18 to 24, 24.8% from 25 to 44, 18.1% from 45 to 64, and 10.9% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 28 years. For every 100 females there were 91.4 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 89.1 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $25,453, and the median income for a family was $33,017. Males had a median income of $27,100 versus $22,671 for females. The per capita income for the city was $15,405. About 18.1% of families and 25.0% of the population were below the poverty line, including 30.4% of those under age 18 and 17.0% of those age 65 or over.

Notable natives


The City of Alamosa is a Home Rule Municipality like many other Coloradomarker towns. The City Council has 6 members, 4 members elected from wards and two at large. City Council votes against or for laws. City Council has authority to make ordinaces, change ordinances, and repeal ordinances. The city elects a mayor-at-large on a non-partisan ballot. The current mayor of Alamosa is Farris J. Bervig.


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