by Michael C. Lowe | June 01, 2015
Why here?
With 310 days per year of sunny blue skies, the most populated city in New Mexico is a hot spot not only for meetings, but also outdoor adventures. The Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta (pictured), held every fall (this year, Oct 3-11), typically draws more than 500 participating balloonists.

By the Numbers
 In recent years, the city has invested some $300 million in meetings infrastructure projects, including the newly renovated Albuquerque Convention Center and several hotel upgrades.

 The Albuquerque area offers a total of more than 17,000 hotel rooms, with about 900 within walking distance of the convention center. For a citywide event, peak downtown capacity is 950 guest rooms.

Open-Air Gallery
More than 800 pieces of art are on display on the streets of Albuquerque. A new smartphone app tells the story of each work and navigates visitors to sites via a digital map.
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Local Update

 Heritage Hotels and Resorts has announced a spring 2016 opening for its new 118-room Hotel Chaco. The contemporary boutique property will juxtapose modern décor and design with ancient and Native American architecture. Features include a rooftop restaurant and lounge, a 6,000-square-foot spa, a 1,200-square-foot fitness room and about 3,000 square feet of retail. Heritage Hotels also owns the adjacent 188-room Hotel Albuquerque, which was built in 1975. Guests of Hotel Chaco will have access to its neighbor's pool and its more than 62,000 square feet of indoor and outdoor meeting and event space.

 A $22 million renovation of the Albuquerque Convention Center wrapped up last October. The project upgraded the center's West Building facilities, including the ballrooms, light fixtures and lower-level kitchen. A new 5,600-square-foot space was added that serves as an entrance vestibule with retail space and an outdoor deck. The 600,000-square-foot SMG-managed facility has more than 167,000 square feet of exhibit space and 27 meeting rooms, including a 31,000-square-foot ballroom.

The Nativo Lodge features the work
of local Native American artists.

 • At the 151-room Nativo Lodge, local Native American artists have transformed eight guest rooms into individual large-scale art installations. Guests can sleep among the artwork, which is rooted in cultural traditions but expressed with modern flair. The lodge has a restaurant, a pool and more than 7,600 square feet of function space.