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Industry Insider

February 2024

Several successes in February underlined the power of partnerships. One incredible highlight for the city as a destination for sporting events and for the local hospitality industry was the 2024 USATF Indoor Championships, where world records were set in the women’s 60-meter hurdles, the men’s 60-meter hurdles and the men’s weight throw. The city received outstanding media coverage and welcomed elite track and field athletes to Albuquerque. Another big win for the city was National Geographic including Route 66 in New Mexico on its “Best of the World” list for travelers. A road trip along Route 66 to Albuquerque was ranked as the No. 7 travel experience on the publication’s list of the 20 coolest travel adventures for 2024

February is Black History Month. Throughout the month, we've recognized the contributions the Black community brings to our city year-round. We encourage you to explore the rich Black culture and history in our city, and support Black-owned businesses throughout the year.

Thank you for being a Visit Albuquerque Partner!



The Albuquerque Sports Commission, a division of Visit Albuquerque, played a major role in the success of the 2024 USATF Indoor Championships, Feb. 16-17. The event brought an estimated $700,000 in direct spending to our city. More than 350 elite athletes traveled to Albuquerque to compete. Three world records, seven meet records and eight world-leading marks were set during the event. It was broadcast live on NBC on Feb. 17 from 2-4 p.m. and featured coverage about Albuquerque, including footage from a hot air balloon ride athletes experienced. Visit Albuquerque aired a 30-second commercial several times during the broadcast that promotes travel to our city.

It was a busy indoor track season. Other events on the indoor track at the Albuquerque Convention Center this year included four hosted by UNM Track & Field: the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Indoor Track Invitational and the UNM Team Open in January, followed by the New Mexico Collegiate Classic and the Don Kirby Elite Invitational in February. The Great Southwest Track & Field Indoor Meet, the Western Athletic Conference Indoor Track & Field Championships and the Mountain West Conference Indoor Track & Field Championships also took place in February. Combined, the eight indoor track events in January and February brought more than 9,000 athletes, coaches and spectators to the city and accounted for an estimated $3.4 million in direct spending.

We’d like to thank the City of Albuquerque for their investment in the world-class Mondo track, the City’s Parks & Recreation division for their oversight and expertise in the track installation, operation and maintenance, the team at the ASM Global-managed Albuquerque Convention Center for their facility operations and service and the University of New Mexico for organizing numerous track events and contributing to the success of the season.

Runners run on a track at the Albuquerque Convention Center with a crash pad in the background that has the Visit Albuquerque logo on it at the 2024 USATF Indoor Championships

Male runners competing in an event cross the finish line at the 2024 USATF Indoor Championships

An athlete participates in the long jump at the 2024 USATF Indoor Championships

Photo Credit: Core-Visual

2024 Visitors Guides Available for Partners

Visit Albuquerque began distributing copies of the 2024 Official Albuquerque Visitors Guide last month. The guide is being mailed to travelers and handed out at trade shows and events, and is available at visitor information centers operated by Visit Albuquerque and the New Mexico Tourism Department. In addition, about 50 Partners have picked up more than 200 boxes of Visitors Guides to use at their business locations. If you still need copies, Partners can pick up Visitors Guides at the Visit Albuquerque office between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. Please email Alanna Allen at if you plan to pick up Visitors Guides so we can ensure they are ready for you.

Three people stand behind a Visit Albuquerque table during Partner Pickup for 2024 Visitors Guides

Director of Partnership & Events Chelsea Canon, Visitor Services Manager Liz Burnam and Visit Albuquerque volunteer Dave Fontaine help Partners pick up boxes of Visitors Guides.

Route 66 Featured in New Design for Denver Train Wraps

Since February 2023, five trains on the Denver light rail system have carried Visit Albuquerque advertisements that promote Albuquerque's unique beauty. The designs showcase Pueblo pottery, the Colonial Hispanic art of punched tin, hot air ballooning, adobe architecture in Old Town, and contemporary Indigenous art. In February 2024, the train wrap that features contemporary art was replaced with a design that celebrates Route 66 and promotes the Mother Road's upcoming centennial in 2026. With its vibrant colors and shapes, the new train wrap pays homage to the iconic neon signs found on Route 66 through Albuquerque, an 18-mile corridor that is the longest continuous urban stretch of the road in the country. The Route 66 design and the other four designs will appear on trains in Denver through January 2025.

A picture of the Route 66 train in Denver

A mock-up of the Denver Light Rail Route 66 train wrap

Albuquerque Shines at American Bus Association Marketplace

In January, Visit Albuquerque’s Group Tour Sales & Services Manager, Nikki Baca, attended the American Bus Association Marketplace (ABA) in Nashville, TN, one of the largest trade shows catering to the group tour market. This event serves as an important platform for industry professionals seeking to discover new destinations and create and foster valuable connections.

Nikki's agenda was packed with 25 one-on-one appointments, each a unique opportunity to showcase Albuquerque's rich culture and vibrant experiences. Her presence at the ABA Marketplace proved to be not just fruitful but exceptionally successful. Throughout her engagements, Nikki encountered tour operators who were either familiar with Albuquerque and seeking fresh experiences or those eager to add Albuquerque to their list of destinations and in need of expert recommendations. This diverse spectrum of interest underscores Albuquerque's wide appeal as a premier destination for group tours.

A view of the sign for the 2024 American Bus Association's Marketplace Tradeshow

Visit Albuquerque Partners Nominated for USA Today 10Best Contests

Four Visit Albuquerque Partners are in the running in USA Today 10Best contests:

  • The ABQ BioPark Botanic Garden is in the running for Best Botanical Garden. You can vote once a day until 10 a.m. MT on Monday, March 4. The winners will be announced Friday, March 15.

  • Orbit, the mascot for the Albuquerque Isotopes, is in the running for Best Minor League Baseball Mascot. You can vote once a day until 10 a.m. MT Monday, March 11. The winners will be announced Friday, March 22.

  • The Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta and the Gathering of Nations are in the running for Best Cultural Festival. You can vote once a day until 10 a.m. Monday, March 18. The winners will be announced Friday, March 29.

Sandia Peak Ski Area Opens for the Season

Sandia Peak Ski Area opened 100% of its slopes on Feb. 10. This is the first time the ski area has been open since 2022. The ski area will be open Wednesdays through Sundays. 


The 30-day session of the New Mexico Legislature ended Feb. 15 with lawmakers sending a FY25 budget package to Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham. Included in the package is $25.5 million in general funds for the New Mexico Tourism Department, an increase of approximately $1.3 million from FY24. The Legislature approved a $16 million special appropriation to the Tourism Department for national marketing and advertising, which includes up to $2.5 million to support preparations for the Route 66 centennial. In addition, the budget also includes a $1.9 million special appropriation to support tourism-related infrastructure projects by tribal and local governments. The Governor has until March 6 to sign the budget and other bills passed during the legislative session.

Upcoming Meetings and Sports Events

In March 2024, 20,000 people will participate in meetings and sports events booked and supported by Visit Albuquerque. These events will generate an estimated $7.4 million in direct spend, and some of the noteworthy events include:


Group Name

Est. Attendance

Meeting Location

March 1-2

Future Focused Education 2024 EdUprising


Albuquerque Convention Center

March 3-5

New Mexico Career Technical Leadership Project DECA State Career Development Conference


Albuquerque Convention Center

March 9-16

USA Boxing National Open


Albuquerque Convention Center

March 12-16

New Mexico Activities Association Boys & Girls Basketball Championships


The Pit

March 15-16

Fandom Events Anime New Mexico


Crowne Plaza Albuquerque

March 16-17

United States Specialty Sports Association St. Patrick’s Day Tournament


Jennifer Riordan Spark Kindness Sports Complex

March 17-20

Trib Group Meeting of the Minds


Albuquerque Convention Center

March 23-24

Sun Country Region Volleyball Association Sun Country ABQ Bid-Qualifier


Albuquerque Convention Center

Bolded events are citywide events, defined as events that require a minimum of 400 room nights on peak, and will take place across the city in February. Each of these events take place in one part of town, but people who attend them will visit businesses throughout the city for shopping, dining and entertainment.

Let's come together to make their stay memorable, showcasing the best of Albuquerque’s hospitality. Your welcoming spirit can contribute to a positive experience for these visitors and foster a lasting impression of our community.