Officials in the Village of Ruidoso are in the process of compiling responses to a survey asking for input on the future of a popular golf course site.
The Links at Sierra Blanca Golf Course is located at 105 Sierra Blanca Drive on the south side of the village and has often been regarded for its redevelopment potential.
A comprehensive plan completed by Ruidoso last year noted that “because buildable land is scarce, one of the Village-owned land areas that may become available for other uses that help the local economy is The Links at Sierra Blanca Golf Course.”
Those suggested other uses, as discussed in a series of public input meetings, have included building new sports fields at the site and even a youth center.
But an alternative use that has been most contemplated is building new affordable housing at the site of the 9-hole course.
According to the village’s Workforce Housing Advisory Board, the need for affordable residential space in Ruidoso has steadily increased in recent years to the point where just over 1,100 units are now required to keep up with demand.
Designed by golf pro Jim Colbert, eight-time winner on the PGA Tour, the 160-acre course was opened in the spring of 1991. The Village has since had a long-running contract with the Ruidoso-based Allhub Investments, a private company that manages the course.
Because the village’s lease with Allhub is set to expire in October 2024, local officials would like to decide well before that time whether to give the property over to affordable housing construction, or use it for another purpose.
It is thought that the results of the survey, as conducted by Research & Polling. Inc. of Albuquerque, will serve as a barometer for the site’s eventual use.
The golf course is the former home of the Ruidoso Municipal Airport, which was moved and renamed the Sierra Blanco Regional Airport in 1987.
By Garry Boulard
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