Saturday Spotlight: A Look at Ruidoso, NM

Saturday Spotlight: A Look at Ruidoso, NM

Welcome to Saturday Spotlight! This series showcases various towns and areas throughout New Mexico to provide a sense of New Mexico’s diversity. New Mexico businesses for sale not only fit your financial objectives but offer a way of life that meets your personal goals.

Heralded as the Wildest of the Wild West, Lincoln County was once the largest county in the United States and took up nearly a quarter of the state. The traditional territory of the Apache, an area settled by early Hispanic and Anglo pioneers, and where legendary gunslinger Billy the Kid played an outsized role in the Lincoln County War (1878), it is a place rich in history, outdoor recreation and sweeping vistas.

Today, Ruidoso is a resort community where many Texans come to escape the summer heat. Tucked in the Sacramento Mountains at an elevation of 6,920 feet, it is a place where the mix of urban and country creates a lifestyle that is unique, inviting and laidback.

US News and World Report named Ruidoso one of the Top Ten Buys for Resort Property. Consumer’s Digest ranks it among the Top 25 Places to Retire in America.

Says one of our clients who lives there: “Our town feels a lot like an extension of Texas.  The town swells with vacationers during the summer, the majority coming from Texas to escape the heat in the cool mountain air. They are friendly and laid back and that’s the overall feel of our town.”

This same small-town ambiance spills over into running a business. “Running a business builds relationships with people,” he says. “Most of our customers walk-in and we call them by name.  It feels like everyone is your neighbor because, in a way, they are!”

Another client claims it’s a great place for families and kids. “You can live in town or out,” she says. “You have the flexibility of providing your kids with an urban or country lifestyle, and this flexibility makes it a really great place to raise a family.”

Together with the surrounding communities of Ruidoso Downs, Hollywood, Mescalero and Alto, its has a population of 21,233 full-time residents. During the summer, this number swells by an additional 30,000 part-time residents and visitors.


The area enjoys an annual high of 65º and an average low of 35º. The hottest month tends to be June, when temperatures reach up to 81º. December holds the record for the coldest month when temperatures occasionally dip down to the mid-20s.


Tourism and real estate drive Ruidoso’s economy. Active boomers are attracted by the mountain community’s wealth of year-round recreational activities, relaxed pace, and natural beauty. The greater Ruidoso area serves as the economic hub of Lincoln County. Ruidoso is touted to be New Mexico’s third fastest-growing city.


Ruidoso is celebrated as Southwestern New Mexico’s outdoor playground. Numerous hiking paths wind through the millions of acres in the Sacramento Mountains and surrounding area. Big game hunting, lake fishing, skiing and snowboarding at nearby Ski Apache, horseback riding, hiking and mountain biking are just some of the outdoor activities you can enjoy.

During the summer, horse racing dominates the bill. The Billy the Kid Casino and Race Track at Ruidoso Downs is home to the All American Futurity and Derby, the richest quarter horse event in the country. “The earth pounding and energy that you feel while watching the All American is like nothing else!” says one client.

ruidoso-mountainsRuidoso also lays claims to being the #1 arts destination for southern New Mexico. The major event is the juried Ruidoso Annual Arts Festival held in late July of every year.

Key Statistics

  • Population Growth from 2010 to 2013: 4.8%
  • Median Income: $47,746
  • 2012 Average Cost of Living: 87.5 (U.S. Average 100)
  • English-Speaking: 84%
  • Spanish Speaking: 15%
  • Unemployment: 4.8%
  • Median Age: 46
  • Median Price for a 3-Bedroom Home: $270,000
  • Average Annual Precipitation: 25
  • Average Annual Snowfall: 44

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