If you loved heading out for the weekend to Ruidoso to enjoy the cool mountain air and maybe get in a little gambling at the Inn of the Mountain Gods, you haven't been able to do that since late July. Ruidoso is still open for business, but the Inn of the Mountain Gods and the entire Mescalero Apache reservation had to close to the public because of a surge in COVID-19 cases. The tribe declared a state of emergency, and the orders they issued to the residents of the reservation and the length of time that they have been closed down show that things were pretty bad.

The tribe announced on its Inn of the Mountain Gods announced on their Facebook page over the weekend that the casino is now open for business, but the hotel remains closed for the time being.

There are still enhanced safety measures in place at the casino. You will have to follow social distancing. There are mandatory face-covering protocols in place. You will not be able to smoke throughout the building, and you will have to have a temperature check before you go inside the casino.

You can gamble daily from 8 a.m. to 4 a.m. The casino will close each night from 4 a.m. to 8 a.m. for deep cleaning. The Sportsbook, Little Arbor snack bar, and The Stronghold will all be open. You can check out the Inn's Facebook page for those hours of operation. You can still boat, fish, golf, and zip line but only by advanced reservation with limits to the number of people in your group.

You won't be able to stay at the hotel, so you'll need to make other arrangements for your overnight stay. The hotel, Spa at the Inn, Topgolf Swing Suite, Wendell’s Steak and Seafood, Broken Arrow Tap House, Apache Tee and Gathering of Nations Buffet will remain closed until further notice.

If you've never been to the Inn of the Mountain Gods, check out this video. The scenery alone is worth the couple of hours it takes to get there from El Paso.

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