Welcome to the new Albuquerque, where millions of dollars in hospitality investments are reshaping the city’s skyline, including the opening of multiple hotels on Historic Route 66, and exciting developments throughout Old Town. With increased air service at the International Sunport and new direct flights, there’s never been a better time to connect with Albuquerque.
New Hotels Open in Albuquerque
SpringHill Suites by Marriott Albuquerque University Area and TownePlace Suites by Marriott Albuquerque Old Town both opened in 2020. The dual-branded Homewood Suites by Hilton/Hilton Garden Inn Albuquerque Downtown will open mid-September 2021 and the dual-branded Fairfield Inn/TownePlace Suites by Marriott at Winrock Town Center is expected to be operational by 2022.
Refurbished Historic Properties Open on Route 66
The El Vado Motel was one of New Mexico's first Route 66 motor courts and reopened to the public in 2018 following a major restoration. Today, the reimagined space contains 22 retro guestrooms, an onsite taproom and a changing group of local food and retail pods. Its sister property, the Monterey Motel (and MOMO Lounge), underwent a similar restoration and recently reopened its doors this past August. On the east side of Albuquerque’s Central Avenue (Route 66), the De Anza Motor Lodge breathes new life as a refurbished luxury and corporate apartment complex.
Sandia Resort & Casino Reopens After Major Expansion and Renovation
Sandia Resort & Casino recently completed a 75,000-square-foot expansion, which introduces more space to the high-limit gambling room 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 also introduces indoor golfing facilities and the addition of widescreen televisions.
Albuquerque’s Imperial Inn Motel to Get a New Look
Located near the East Downtown neighborhood, the Imperial Inn Motel has moved forward with a major renovation that will transform the space into a major retail and residential space. The $7.6 million renovation is the result of a partnership with Palindrome Communities, based in Oregon. Completion is expected in summer 2022.
Max Q at Kirtland Soon Expected to Break Ground
Later this year, Kirtland Air Force Base will break ground on a new, open-to-the-public development called Max Q at Kirtland. The project will transform more than 70 acres of the base outside of the military fence into a multi-use development to include shops, a hotel, restaurants and office space accessible to the public. Developers anticipate initial buildings to be delivered to tenants in 2022.
Albuquerque International Sunport Regains and Adds Direct Flights
Southwest Airlines this summer announced the return of direct, non-stop service between Austin, Texas and Los Angeles, Calif. and the Albuquerque International Sunport (ABQ). Delta Air Lines has resumed direct, non-stop service between the Sunport and Minneapolis-Saint Paul International Airport (MSP) in Minnesota. JetBlue is increasing the frequency of its popular non-stop flight from ABQ to JFK to five times per week through the end of summer.
New Indoor Track Unveiled by Albuquerque Parks and Recreation Department
The City of Albuquerque Parks & Recreation Department has introduced a brand-new indoor track within the Albuquerque Convention CenterThe City of Albuquerque Parks & Recreation Department has introduced a brand-new indoor track within the. The indoor track will host regional and national track and field competitions, with the goal of bolstering the city’s notoriety for recreation and sports, as well as its tourism initiatives.
Sky Bridge Connecting ABQ Convention Center Project Underway
This partnership between Albuquerque’s Metropolitan Redevelopment Agency and Zydeco 66, LLC, includes a sky bridge connecting to the Albuquerque Convention Center and a plaza along the upcoming Rail Trail, along with 140 residential units or hotel rooms. The project serves to improve pedestrian connectivity while offering new housing opportunities for residents.
Los Poblanos Opens Hacienda Spa
Housed in the historic Hacienda at Los Poblanos, the Hacienda Spa provides a unique experience. The intimacy of the space combined with distinct architectural and design elements craft an environment that explores all senses. Hacienda Spa opened in July 2021 and offers treatments focused on massage therapies and facials, pairing botanically based, professional skin care lines with the Los Poblanos artisan lavender product line and other botanicals sourced from the farm. To further enrich the spa experience, yoga, meditation and fitness classes will be held in a new yurt in a quiet, forested area on the property.
Balloon Museum Announces New Exhibitions and Events for Balloon Fiesta Season
The Anderson Abruzzo Albuquerque International Balloon Museum and its partnering Foundation announce new exhibitions, events and opportunities for visitors to explore and enjoy during Albuquerque’s largest festival and tourism event of the year, Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta, October 2-10. The Balloon Museum is open year-round and it is directly south of the Balloon Fiesta Park, on an elevated overlook which boasts one of the best views of the daily launches of hundreds of hot air balloons and the evening balloon glows and fireworks during Balloon Fiesta.
Plaza Don Luis Welcomes New Vendors and Begins Hosting Events
Plaza Don Luis is a new take on Old Town Albuquerque. It is home to New Mexico wineries and a brewery in addition to locally owned retailers such as modern gift shop Luna + Luz, lifestyle recreation retailer Happy Hiker, Lapis Room art gallery, pH Bar spa and salon and others. The official grand reopening following recent renovations will take place on Oct. 30 and will celebrate new and existing vendors and feature live music performances, family-fun activities, chef-inspired cuisine, additional local concessionaires and local boutique shopping.
Work Continues on West Central Route 66 Visitor Center
A collaborative effort between the county, the city of Albuquerque and local stakeholders, a new 21,000-square-foot, $12 million West Central Route 66 Visitors Center will include a museum, a taproom, office space and outdoor amphitheater. Albuquerque is home to the longest urban stretch of Route 66, the iconic “Mother Road” that brought together existing local and state roads from Chicago through St. Louis to Los Angeles, spanning more than 2,400 miles and eight states. Community leaders broke ground on the visitor center project in March and anticipate opening to the public in 2022.