Meeting Planners need to know! Four things you need to know about Albuquerque

Albuquerque is a great place to visit for leisure or business. Learn the ins and outs of the “Duke City” and you’ll be navigating like a local in no time!

We’ve put together four easy things to know before planning a meeting in Albuquerque.

(Marble Street Studio) Downtown Albuquerque with the Sandia Mountains

(Marble Street Studio) Downtown Albuquerque with the Sandia Mountains

Airport
The Albuquerque International Sunport is Albuquerque’s major airport, welcoming direct flights from numerous major cities including Baltimore, Dallas, Denver, Chicago, Houston, Indianapolis, Los Angeles, Nashville, New York City and Phoenix. Major carriers include American Airlines, Delta, JetBlue, Southwest Airlines and United Airlines. The airport itself has been recognized for the unique artwork on display.

Hotel Rooms & Meeting Spaces

The Franciscan Ballroom in Hotel Albuquerque at Old Town celebrates New Mexico's artistic traditions.

The Franciscan Ballroom in Hotel Albuquerque at Old Town celebrates New Mexico’s artistic traditions.

Albuquerque boasts more than 17,000 hotel rooms – with 900 within walking distance of the Albuquerque Convention Center. There’s plenty of meeting space, too. The conference center itself is 600,000 square feet. Not far from the Convention Center, Hotel Albuquerque at Old Town offers 188 guest rooms and nearly 52,000 square feet of indoor and outdoor event space. Nativo Lodge features 145 guest rooms – some turned into works of art by local Native American artists – and 6,700 square feet of indoor and outdoor event space. Both offer rooms with mountain or city views and donate a portion of room revenue to local non-profits.

Navigating
The city is laid out in a grid with major thoroughfares running north-south and east-west. Interstates I-25 and I-40 cross in the heart of the city at a flyover dubbed affectionately as “The Big I.” City addresses include directionals of NE, SE, NW and SW, with Central Ave. as the north/south divide and I-25 as the east/west divide.

In Albuquerque, mountains lie to the east and small, extinct volcanoes are found to the west. Albuquerque is bounded to the east by the Sandia mountains and Manzano foothills. Look to the west and you’ll see the small but distinct volcanoes that are part of Petroglyph National Monument. Once you understand the lay of the land, you’ll always know what direction you’re heading.

There are taxis and a bus service in Albuquerque that can get you where you want to go. Unlike in some major cities – like New York City – riders have to call cab companies in advance. The city’s bus service runs along some major roadways connecting the city’s neighborhoods but have limited schedules. Ride-share services like Uber and Lyft are also available.

The NM Rail Runner Express light rail system offers service between communities just south of Albuquerque and Santa Fe. This train offers a nice alternative to driving if your conference activities happen in Albuquerque and Santa Fe. It has four stations in Albuquerque and three in Santa Fe, among other stations in between.

Culture
Albuquerque is in many ways a global city. The University of New Mexico, several hospitals and medical centers and numerous large and tech companies draw talent from around the world. You’ll also find fantastic cuisine representing dozens of countries and regions in brick-and-mortar restaurants and in food trucks found at various locations throughout the city. You’ll find the Mexico Consulate, the Finland Honorary Consulate and the Germany Honorary Consulate here.

The city’s most popular areas for visitors include:

  • History around every corner in Old Town

    History around every corner in Old Town

    Downtown – the city’s government and business center

  • Old Town – the city’s original historic center
  • Nob Hill/University – home of the University of New Mexico, local shops, restaurants and bars
  • Uptown – Albuquerque’s upscale shopping district
  • Balloon Fiesta Park – site of the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta, which draws hundreds of thousands of balloon pilots, crews and spectators from around the world each October, and local pilots year-round
  • Sandia Mountains and foothills – location of the world-famous Sandia Peak Tramway and a ski area as well as many trails popular with hikers, mountain bikers and other outdoor enthusiasts

Now that you have your bearings, what are you waiting for? Start planning your convention in Albuquerque!

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