What's New in ABQ



Welcome to the new Albuquerque, where the more than $300 million in hospitality investments are reshaping the city’s skyline, including the opening of the luxury Hotel Chaco in the city’s Historic Old Town, and the development of One Central—Downtown’s entertainment district. With increased air service at the International Sunport and new direct flights, there’s never been a better time to connect with Albuquerque. 


Hotel Updates 

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.

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. 

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.

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. 

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.

Albuquerque International Sunport

Renovations and New Lift at the Albuquerque International Sunport 

The Albuquerque International Sunport kicked off a major renovation project in 2017, which was completed in late 2019.  Known as the Terminal Improvement Project, or TIP, the $30 million renovation will upgrade both the arrival and departure levels. Highlights of the 15-month project include new ceilings, lighting, ticket counters, a more roomy and open bag claim area and new signage throughout the terminal. The city since already seen a number of increased lift and expects to see additional new direct flight routes as a result of the airport renovation. 

New Direct Flights

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.

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.

Other Albuquerque Developments

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. 

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. 

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.

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.