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Ruidoso Downs

Trip Planner USA  /  New Mexico  /  Ruidoso Downs
(4.1/5 based on 150+ reviews for 3 attractions)
Things to do: museums, casinos
Ruidoso Downs is a city in Lincoln County, New Mexico, United States, located within the Lincoln National Forest. The population was 1,824 at the 2000 census, at which time it was a village; the change was made in May 2002. It is a suburb of Ruidoso and is a part of the Ruidoso Micropolitan Statistical Area. The Ruidoso Downs Race Track, Billy the Kid Casino and the Hubbard Museum of the American West are located in the city.HistoryAccording to a local historian Ruidoso Downs historian, early on Hispanos settlers called the area "San Juanito." The settlers began arriving in the early in the late 1840s, and introduced rodeo and horse racing to the area. Originally the area had scattered farms and ranches, with the Dowlin Mill constructed in 1868. A new wave of families arrived after the Lincoln County War.By around 1907 the road between Roswell and Alamogordo, which passed through the area, was still primitive, though it was improved in the 1920s through The Federal Aid Project. The road that would become US 70 was paved in the area around 1945, and then improved again in 1958. The road became four lanes in 1981.In 1946 the Ruidoso News was founded and the airport opened, and two years later radio arrived. Electric lights appeared in the area in 1947. The White Mountain Inn opened in the 1940s as a sanatorium and as a lodging establishment. The road that would become US 70 was paved in the area around 1945, and then improved again in 1958. The road became four lanes in 1981.
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