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 winter and spring months.

New Hotels & Renovations

Enormous Expansion Comes to Sandia Resort 

Sandia Resort & Casino has announced plans for a 75,000-square-foot expansion, introducing more gaming space on the first floor, as well as a brand-new, 25,000-square-foot sports bar and restaurant on the third floor. The third-floor expansion will also introduce indoor golfing facilities and the addition of widescreen televisions. 

Historic Central Avenue Hotel Set to be Renovated  

The originally dubbed “Downtowner Motor Inn” located on Central Avenue in Downtown Albuquerque and known today as Hotel Blue, will complete a $22 million-dollar renovation from ARRIVE Hotels & Restaurants, a Los Angeles-based, boutique hospitality collective. Built in the 1960s, the property will adopt a new name, ARRIVE Albuquerque, upon completion. ARRIVE has plans to convert the ground floor into a new restaurant, bar and pool and anticipates the property will break ground by the end of 2020 and be operational by 2021. 

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 rebranded as Hotel Andaluz Albuquerque Curio Collection by Hilton. 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 Reopens

Development of the historic De Anza Lodge broke ground in November 2017 and is now leasing apartments to residents. The iconic Route 66 property has been closed since 2002 and is being 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.

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

A few of Albuquerque’s Heritage Hotels & Resorts properties have welcomed exciting updates and renovations in the past year. Hotel Chaco has introduced and opened a new wine & spirits bar.

Hotel Albuquerque at Old Town has undergone various guest room upgrades and a facade renovation. These renovations are officially completed and ready for guests to enjoy.

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, which broke ground in 2019 with a planned one year completion. 

New Upscale Rental Property to Break Ground in Nob Hill

Slated to break ground in early fall 2020, the Broadstone Nob Hill will feature 102 upscale unites, located on the site of the old Royal Inn at Montclaire and Central avenues. 

New TownePlace Suites by Marriott Breaks Ground  

Indian Pueblos Marketing, Inc. (IPMI) broke ground on its new 92-room TownePlace Suites by Marriott in spring 2019, 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 2020.  

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

Ojo Caliente Debuts 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 has recently debuted a handful of newly-renovated vintage trailers for guests to book.

Culinary News

Ten 3, New Restaurant atop Sandia Peak, Officially Open for Business 

Ten 3, the new $7.5 million Sandia Peak restaurant that replaced the old High Finance at the top of the Sandia Peak Aerial Tramway is officially open for business. The new 13,000-square-foot restaurant seats 180 people and focuses on fine dining and features a sky bar. 

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

St. Clair Winery & Bistro has adopted 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. 

Development on Tin Can Alley Ramps Up

Construction on a new shipping container development in the Northeast Heights is underway. 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. The project is expected to be complete in early 2020.

Fatburger Opens First New Mexico Location in Albuquerque  

California-based Fatburger opened its first New Mexico location at Isleta Resort & Casino. Fatburger, a popular burger chain offering fresh burgers and hand-scooped milkshakes, is part of the casino's new food court development. 

New Concept Near UNM Mixes Coffee Shop and Pub 

The newly opened 50/50 Coffee House & Pub serves up a new take on the traditional coffee shop. The coffee shop offers both alcohol and coffee-based drinks, along with a blend of New Mexican “street” and “soul” food, in a 3,000-square-foot space at 2122 Central Ave. SE, in the University area

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 in 2019. 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.

ABQ’s Brewery Scene Continues to Boom

As the first city in the nation to officially designate a Brewery District (located off I-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

Electric Playhouse Introduces a New Kind of Art in Albuquerque

Blending art with technology is Electric Playhouse, which recently took over a former Staples store on Albuquerque’s West Side to create an immersive art space. Here, people can interact with digital projections like “wall ball,” where kids throw balls at interactive panels. It’s like living inside a 24,000-square-foot video game. The dining menu includes healthy options as well as adult beverages.

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. 

Urban Air Adventure Park Opens in Albuquerque

Urban Air Albuquerque is open for business. This new attraction is a more than $10 million project, and offers indoor skydiving, an indoor trampoline park, indoor roller coaster, climbing walls, a ropes course and more.

Entertainment Complex Being Built in Renaissance Center 

A former Sports Authority building is being transformed into a new entertainment venue, Revel. The 55,000 square-foot complex will accommodate 3,200 people and feature an Uptown Funk Dueling Pianos bar, a Draft Day Sports Bar and other local restaurants and entertainment. The complex is also set to host events ranging from live music to mixed martial arts tournaments.

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.   


Visit Albuquerque Opens New Visitor Information Center in Old Town

Visit Albuquerque has opened a Visitor Information Center in a new and remodeled location in Historic Old Town. Visitors and locals alike are encouraged to stop in to pick up the Official Albuquerque Visitors Guide and other materials and brochures on things to do, see, taste and enjoy in Albuquerque. The new Old Town location is 522 Romero Street NW. Winter hours are from 10:00 am - 5:00 pm daily. 

ABQ to Revitalize Historic Rail Yards

Once a bustling industrial complex dedicated to maintaining and servicing rail cars on the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway, the site’s old blacksmith shop now is home to the Rail Yards Market, held every Sunday morning from May through October, with holiday markets in December. The City of Albuquerque is taking over efforts to revitalize the historic Rail Yards. The City recently announced $1.2 million in grant funding to redevelop the property. Funding will help to improve the streetscape to connect the Rail Yards to Downtown and surrounding neighborhoods, among other developments. 

Sawmill District Continues Development in Historic Old Town

Just steps from Old Town is new neighborhood that is undergoing rapid revitalization. The Sawmill District, where timber once was brought in by rail spur for finishing at local lumber yards, is quickly becoming one of the most buzzed-about neighborhoods. The former Paxton Lumber warehouse is transforming into the Sawmill Market, a food and artisan market hall. Slated for a February 2020 opening, it will be the state’s first food hall, focusing on fresh local produce and meats as well as prepared foods. Other redevelopments are planned for the Sawmill District, which is already home to destination shopping at lifestyle store Spur Line Supply Co. and accommodations at Hotel Chaco. The latter opened Craf+ed, a New Mexico wine, beer and spirit tasting room, in fall 2019.

Shops, Offices Coming to Indian Pueblo Cultural Center 

Albuquerque’s Indian Pueblo Cultural Center will be expanding with the addition of a 130,000-square-foot office building, along with a new retail center and “innovation center” – a business incubator focused on agricultural food production and other skills. The $12 million-dollar retail complex is slated to break ground in January 2020. 

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 Urban Taqueria and other local businesses.

Explora science center announces $4 million expansion 

Albuquerque’s Explora museum will soon introduce X-Studio, an 8,000 square foot expansion to the museum that will entail training experiences targeting teens and young adults in the fields of science, technology, engineering and math. X-Studio will educate teens and young adults on robotics, drones, 3D printing and more, allowing them to move from scientific play into more serious work involving STEAM jobs. Expected to open in February 2021, the $4 million project is nearly funded, with the final $400,000 expected to come from fundraising. It’s scheduled to open February 2021. The new center will also offer 30 paid internships to teenagers. 

Sports News

Somos Unidos! Albuquerque is Now Home to New Mexico United

New Mexico United USL soccer team kicked off its inaugural season in 2019. With chants of ¡Somos Unidos! (We are United!) and an overwhelmingly supportive fan base, New Mexico United will go into their second season in March of 2020. 

Professional Hockey Comes to Albuquerque 

The North American Hockey League's (NAHL) New Mexico Ice Wolves are now headquartered in Albuquerque, playing at Outpost Ice Arena. The NAHL is the only USA Hockey-sanctioned Tier II Junior league, with 27 teams in 16 states around North America. The Ice Wolves' 2019-2020 season is currently underway. 

New Professional Basketball Team Comes to Albuquerque

The Albuquerque Bullsnakes is a men’s professional basketball team playing in the American Basketball Association (ABA) starting in the 2019 season. The team is comprised of local young basketball talent under the ownership of Nick Lourenço. The Bullsnakes' 2019-2020 season is currently underway.

2020 Anniversaries

The National Hispanic Cultural Center is Turning 20 in 2020

Over the past 20 years, the National Hispanic Cultural Center (NHCC) has shared thousands of stories showcasing art, history, literature, and performance that celebrate Hispanic culture in New Mexico, the United States, and around the world. Every event at the NHCC this year will showcase the type of programming that makes the Center unique.

New Mexico Bowl Celebrates 15th Year in Albuquerque in 2020

One of the first games in the college football bowl season, the New Mexico Bowl will celebrate its 15th year in 2020. 

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, which officially kicked off in 2019.

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