A ready water supply from the looming Sacramento Mountains prompted the town's founding as a railroad terminal in 1898. Alamogordo—Spanish for “fat cottonwood”—grew quickly as ranching, lumber production, farming and tourism were added to its assets. Nevertheless, modern development has been due primarily to the Holloman Air Force Base. Diversified industry, much of it related to space, also contributes to the economy.
Tularosa Basin Museum of History, 1004 N. White Sands Blvd., focuses on local and regional history; phone (575) 434-4438. Leading eastward to Cloudcroft, US 82 passes through the state's only highway tunnel.
The Southern New Mexico Festival of Quilts takes place in June.
Alamogordo Chamber of Commerce and Aubrey L. Dunn Sr. Visitor Center: 1301 N. White Sands Blvd. ALAMOGORDO, NM 88310. Phone:(575)437-6120 or (800)826-0294