Spanning two counties with a population of 91,000, Rio Rancho has been around in some form since it was founded by the Spanish in 1710. A lot of this original land was sold to development and land investment interests. One Corporation bought over 55,000 acres back in 1961 and turned it into the original Rio Rancho Estates. A lot of people from New York moved here due to heavy advertising and media there in the 60s and 70s. Once Intel Corporation opened a plant there, in 1981, that was a game changer. The city has tried to take steps to become more independent from Albuquerque with separate school library systems. A downtown city center project is an effort to attract more business to the area.