WHAT'S NEW IN ALBUQUERQUE, NEW MEXICO

With its rich history and diverse outdoor activities, Albuquerque makes a unique vacation destination for visitors of all ages. Nestled between the peaks of the Sandia Mountains and ancient Native American pueblos, Albuquerque boasts sunny blue skies more than 310 days a year, plus one-of-a-kind sites and experiences year-round. One of the oldest cities in North America isn’t standing still, however—there are plenty of new ways to explore ABQ throughout the spring and summer.


New Hotels & Renovations

Hotel Andaluz Returns to its Roots with Hilton Rebrand 

Hotel Andaluz's history began with the Hilton brand, and the downtown hotel has announced it will be tapping into its past with a rebrand. Legendary hotelier Conrad Hilton built his fourth hotel where Hotel Andaluz stands now, and the hotel has announced it will rebrand as Hotel Andaluz Albuquerque Curio Collection by Hilton in May 2019. The Curio Collection by Hilton is an upscale collection with 70 hotels and resorts.

Downtown DoubleTree Unveils Multimillion-Dollar Renovation

The DoubleTree, a Hilton hotel, unveiled an $8 million renovation in a Southwestern contemporary style.

The project involved renovating all 295 guest rooms, including two presidential suites, and renovations to the front desk, fitness center and lobby. The hotel's restaurants, Lounge 201, Icon Bistro and Coffee 505, also received renovations, along with new menus.

The Restored El Vado Motel Opens on Route 66 in Albuquerque

This revitalized, historic property held its grand opening in July of 2018. When it initially opened in 1937, El Vado was one of the state’s first motels to greet Route 66 travelers. Today, the restored El Vado is a unique blend of historic character and charm, combined with modern comforts and amenities. The space not only features custom Mid-Century Modern furnishings and one of a kind local artwork, but a changing lineup of up-and-coming restaurants, the El Vado Taproom, featuring a rotating selection of New Mexican brews, and several local boutiques and shops—making it a must-visit destination within Albuquerque.

De Anza Motor Lodge Reopening Set for Summer 2019

Development of the historic De Anza Lodge broke ground in November 2017. The iconic Route 66 property has been closed since 2002 and will be rebuilt to house a hotel, apartments, restaurant and office space. As part of the $8.2 million renovation, the motel’s historic Zuni murals and artifacts will be preserved, along with its neon sign. The entire project should take about 18 months, slating the reopening of the De Anza for summer 2019.

Heritage Hotels & Resorts ABQ Properties Welcome Updates, Developments and Renovations

A few of Albuquerque’s Heritage Hotels & Resorts properties will welcome updates and renovations this year. Hotel Chaco will introduce a new wine & spirits bar, estimated to open early summer 2019.

Hotel Albuquerque at Old Town will undergo various guest room upgrades and a facade renovation. These renovations are planned for completion by summer 2019.

University Lodge to Become The Avenue Hotel

A historic Nob Hill motel originally built in the 1960s is planned to be relaunched. University Lodge will be renovated into The Avenue Hotel, breaking ground in 2019 with a planned one year completion. 

Boutique Hotel, Arrive is Coming to Downtown Albuquerque

A boutique hotel group has purchased the former Hotel Blue, which will be returned to its mid-century modern glory with a full remodel. Arrive has plans to convert the ground floor into a new restaurant, bar and pool which will also get the mid-century treatment. Completion on the remodel is expected for late 2019. 

New Marriott Breaks Ground 

Indian Pueblos Marketing, Inc. (IPMI) recently broke ground on its new 92-room TownePlace Suites by Marriott, kicking off the next phase of development of Avanyu Plaza on 12th Street, across from the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center, part of the 12th Street Business and Cultural Corridor. The new hotel plans to open in the fall of 2019. 

New Dual-Branded Hilton Homewood Suites Planned for East Downtown

The dual-branded hotel will be inhabited by a Hilton Garden Inn and a Homewood Suites with 90 rooms designated for Hilton and 80 for Homewood Suites. The hotel broke ground in March 2019 at the corner of Broadway and Central, and construction is expected to be complete in the spring of 2020.

Highlands Marriott SpringHill Suites Hotel Breaks Ground
A new Marriott hotel broke ground on Central Avenue across from Presbyterian Hospital in March 2019. The 118-room Highlands Marriott SpringHill Suites, which is being developed by Albuquerque’s Titan Development and Maestas Development Group, is nearly 93,000 square feet. The property will also be the second home of the Ronald McDonald House Charities of New Mexico, which will occupy the entire third floor and 20 rooms.

Tamaya Resort Unveils Multimillion-Dollar Renovation

In Spring of 2019, Hyatt Regency Tamaya Resort & Spa wrapped up and unveiled a $3.3 million renovation of its meeting space.

Ojo Caliente to Debut Newly-Renovated Vintage Trailers

Ojo Caliente Mineral Springs Resort & Spa is a unique resort destination that has been a gathering place to heal the mind, body, and spirit naturally for centuries. To give guests an especially unique and nostalgic way to stay at Ojo, the property will soon debut a handful of newly-renovated vintage trailers for guests to book.

 
Culinary News

New Restaurant Rising on Sandia Peak - Ten 3 Opens in August, 2019

Construction of the new $7.5 million Sandia Peak restaurant that will replace the old High Finance at the top of the Sandia Peak Aerial Tramway is officially complete. The restaurant will be called Ten 3 in recognition of the elevation at the top of the Sandias, as the restaurant sits at 10,300 feet and opens its doors August 17, 2019. The new plans to demolish the ’60s-era High Finance Restaurant and Tavern and build a bigger venue on U.S. Forest Service-owned land were first announced in August 2015. 

St. Clair Announces Rebrand, Adopting D.H. Lescombes Winery & Bistro Name

St. Clair Winery & Bistro is adopting the name D.H. Lescombes Winery & Bistro. The change is a way to go back to the Lescombes family roots with not only its bistros but its wines.

Hervé Lescombes immigrated to the United States from France in 1981 with his wife, Danielle, and their three children. He produced wine in Deming for several years and later purchased St. Clair in Deming in the early 1990s when the original investors were unsuccessful and closed. Hervé added St. Clair to the family’s existing Blue Teal wine and later expanded his product line with the family label D.H. Lescombes in 1991. 

Downtown ABQ Lands New Craft Distillery

Hollow Spirits, a new craft distillery serving up seasonal drinks in a laid-back brewery atmosphere, officially opened its doors to guests on Nov. 13. In addition to serving an array of tasty beverages, the distillery also offers a variety of health-conscious food options created by award-winning executive chef Tristin Rogers.

Tin Can Alley Breaks Ground in Northeast Heights

A new shipping container development from the founder of Green Jeans Farmery broke ground in the Northeast Heights on Nov. 13. Located at San Pedro and Alameda, the 11,000-square-foot Tin Can Alley will house a variety of food and beverage offerings, including Santa Fe Brewing, Amore Pizzeria, Rustic Star Burgers, Nitro Fog Creamery, Pho Cup, Guava Tree Cafe, Epiphany Espresso and a 505 Southwestern restaurant kiosk.

Nexus Brewery and Restaurant Opens Third Location

Nexus Blue Smokehouse opened in the old Elks Club building at 1511 Broadway SE in the South Broadway neighborhood in early March 2019. The 3,500-square-foot restaurant/brewhouse has a patio area and a dining area that seats 36. Menu items include ribs, hot links, pulled pork, smoked chicken and brisket as well as favorites from the original location. This is the third Nexus location in Albuquerque.

ABQ’s Brewery Scene Continues to Boom

As the first city in the nation to officially designate a Brewery District (located off 1-25 near Candelaria), the city now has an official Downtown Brewery District as well. With 40+ breweries and taprooms in the metro area (and more on the way), Albuquerque has blossomed into an acclaimed craft-brewing city, with one of the highest numbers of breweries and taprooms per capita in the country.

 
Attractions & Facilities

The Penguins Have Arrived at the ABQ BioPark

Penguin Chill, a new, immersive, indoor, year-round penguin exhibit at the ABQ BioPark Zoo is open. The new exhibit features a variety of interactive learning opportunities and is an amazing addition to Albuquerque's already spectacular BioPark. The 31 penguins that now call the exhibit home include gentoo, macaroni and king penguins which coexist in the wild. 

Internationally-Renowned Turquoise Museum Reopens in Downtown Albuquerque

New Mexico’s popular Turquoise Museum has relocated to the 8,500-square-foot iconic downtown Albuquerque castle. The Museum, opened in 1993 by the Lowry family, houses what is believed to be the world’s largest collection of turquoise. The new museum is open and features exhibits including: the science and geology of turquoise; turquoise mining; turquoise around the world; hundreds of examples of turquoise jewelry; and an overview of imitation turquoise.   

Urban Air Adventure Park to Open in Albuquerque

After breaking ground last October, Urban Air Albuquerque is expected to open in summer 2019. This new attraction is a more than $10 million project, and will offer indoor skydiving, an indoor trampoline park, indoor roller coaster, climbing walls, a ropes course and more.

Plans for Mountain Coaster atop Sandia Peak Moving Forward

Development plans for the anticipated Sandia Peak mountain coaster continue to move forward. The mountain coaster, which will be located at the top of Sandia Peak, will feature coaster rides lasting approximately three minutes, and give riders the opportunity to control how fast they move up and down the mountain. 

 
Development

The City of Albuquerque Breaks New Ground

The City of Albuquerque recently broke ground on several major downtown projects, including the groundbreaking for the new Zocalo Lofts Project, a three-story mixed-use building, which will have apartments and retail took place mid-May. The city provided a $250,000 grant to move the development forward and anticipate that the project will be completed by spring of 2019.

Downtown’s Civic Plaza will continue with its $4 million upgrade as part of a multi-faceted plan to reinvigorate downtown. Plans and developments so far have focused on replacing the fountain with an interactive, family-friendly, modern and sustainable water element, along with improvements to the surrounding area for shade, access and activities. Continued enhancement of Civic Plaza will continue in 2019. 

ABQ to Revitalize Historic Rail Yards

The City of Albuquerque will take over efforts to revitalize the historic Rail Yards. The first step will be to open the building adjacent to the already-updated blacksmith shop, which is home to the Rail Yards Market, and fill it with local vendors on Sundays.

Highly Anticipated One Central Opens Downtown

One Central, a mixed-use project located in downtown Albuquerque, is officially open for business. Located on the northeast corner of Central Avenue and First Street, One Central features 68 studio and two-bedroom apartments, a 423-space parking garage, and will house several local businesses that will occupy the ground-level space, including Deep Space Coffee.

Sawmill District Continues Development in Historic Old Town

This area, just north of Historic Old Town, was once dominated by warehouses and industrial buildings, but is expected to be the next hip neighborhood in Albuquerque and will be a hub for local art, entertainment, food and shopping. A warehouse, once home to the Paxton Lumber business, will be converted into the Sawmill Market, a 25,000-square-foot food and market hall. There are plans to renovate more of the buildings as well. The Sawmill District’s location, next to historic Old Town and the majority of Albuquerque’s museums, make it the perfect place for travelers to jump back and forth between historic and modern elements of the city. The district’s newest retailer, Spur Line Supply Co., opened in September 2017 and features clothing, a children’s shop, records, stationary and florals.

Avanyu Plaza Begins Second Phase of Expansion

Indian Pueblos Marketing, Inc. (IPMI) recently broke ground on their innovative and functional 30,000-square-foot Avanyu Plaza North, with an estimated completion date of December 2019. This is Avanyu Plaza’s second phase of expansion and will also include 20,000 square feet of restaurant and retail space in three new buildings, plus a 2,000-square-foot security annex to ensure public safety throughout the vast entertainment and office complex.

 
New Direct Flights

Southwest Airlines Announces Daily Service Between ABQ and Austin

Options to and from the Albuquerque International Sunport are continuing to increase with Southwest Airlines recently announcing expanded daily service to and from Austin, Texas beginning August 6, 2019.

 
Anniversaries

The National Museum of Nuclear Science & History Celebrates 50 Years

The National Museum of Nuclear Science & History is celebrating its 50th anniversary in 2019. Established in 1969, the National Museum of Nuclear Science & History is a Smithsonian Affiliate and the only congressionally chartered museum in the nuclear field. It tells the story of the Atomic Age, from early development to today's peaceful uses. The museum is excited to celebrate its 50th anniversary through numerous special events throughout the year. 

Hinkle Family Fun Center Celebrates 25 Year Anniversary by Donating to 25 Local Non-Profits

Hinkle Family Fun Center, Albuquerque’s landmark family fun center, is celebrating 25 years in 2019. In celebration, the company will be making 25 $250 donations to local nonprofits throughout 2019.

“What better way to celebrate 25 years of making memories that matter than to give back to our community," said Bryan Hinkle, Co-Owner, Hinkle Family Fun Center in a press release. “We’ve always believed the foundation of a successful business begins with being an involved, caring partner in our community.”

ABQ Trolley Co. Celebrates Ten Years in 2019

ABQ Trolley Co. is celebrating ten years of success in Albuquerque in 2019. Ten years ago, Mike Silva and Jesse Herron started their trolley company. Since then, they have created an umbrella organization called Albuquerque Tourism and Sightseeing Factory which has six different tour companies under it.

Cliff’s Amusement Park Celebrates 60th Anniversary in 2019

Cliff’s Amusement Park is celebrating 60 years in business, bringing smiles and screams to Albuquerque locals and visitors since 1959!

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