In October 2014 the City of Albuquerque unveiled a $23 million transformation at the Albuquerque Convention Center (ACC). The facelift updated everything from the exterior façade to the interior decor. From uniquely Albuquerque elements like an expanded selection of artwork from the city's public art collection to modern upgrades like the installation of laptop bars, the center looks and feels like a brand-new facility.
Upcoming and ongoing improvements are to be made to the center, which will include a $1 million renovation to its East Complex in late 2017/early 2018, which will modernize the existing exhibit hall with new air walls and sound panels.
Below is an interview with convention center general manager, José García, about the scope of the renovation.
José García: The improvements to the center happened in two different phases, both aiming to achieve a look that better represents the unique characteristics of our area. You can read about all of the improvements - from paint to demolition - here. A few of my favorite renovations include the work done on the upper-level ballrooms in the west building, the beautiful 5600 square-foot addition (and outdoor deck!), the gas fireplace in the atrium area and new LED lighting.
Right when you walk in the center, the new, large windows allow for sunlight to shine in 310+ days a year. In La Sala (the atrium on the main level), everything from the carpet and the furniture to the rock-encased fireplace were deliberately chosen to reflect the uniqueness of our city. The carpet is actually a topographical map of Albuquerque.
The meeting rooms have big, beautiful wooden doors and the ballrooms have wood features on the ceiling that really have an Albuquerque feel. The exhibit halls, ballrooms and Kiva Auditorium have new portals that are reflective of the territorial style. Coming soon is a custom table being designed by a local artist that will really be the showcase piece of the Kiva Board Room.
The Downtown ABQ MainStreet initiative just received a $100,000 grant from Southwest Airlines and the Project for Public Spaces to give Civic Plaza a facelift. Along with this effort, we are continuing to build out events for both visitors and locals to make downtown and Civic Plaza a real "place to be." On Tuesdays we have food trucks on the plaza serving lunch, Wednesdays during the summer we have a Sunset Market with local craft and food vendors, and on Fridays we have happy hour with local beer & wine, gourmet food and music as well as an open-air movie starting at sunset. Every weekend in June and July there will be Shakespeare performances on the stage for Shakespeare on the Plaza.