by Michael C. Lowe | February 01, 2015
Why here?
New Mexico offers a rich history of Native American and Spanish culture alongside more modern draws, like America's first spaceport. The Albuquerque Convention Center (pictured) is keeping current with a $22 million upgrade that includes a redesigned ballroom.

Other Cities
In Las Cruces, the 203-room Hotel Encanto has been chosen by Virgin Galactic as the official hotel for nearby Spaceport America (see Paging the Jetsons). The hotel is transforming several rooms and areas into executive and VIP suites and rooms.

• On Interstate 40, just 20 miles from the Arizona border, the 105-room Hilton Garden Inn Gallup opened last December with more than 3,000 square feet of function space.

Old World Charm
In the heart of Santa Fe, the 179-room La Fonda on the Plaza features eight banquet rooms, each adorned with original art, kiva fireplaces and hand-carved beams.
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Local Update

The Albuquerque Convention Center completed a $22 million renovation last fall, the results of which include a new exterior facade, a redesigned ballroom and a new atrium in the West Complex.

• Heritage Hotels and Resorts will open a 118-room property in spring 2016. The boutique hotel in the city's Old Town will include outdoor terraces with views of the Sandia Mountains, a pool, a fitness center, a 6,000-square-foot spa and conference facilities for up to 100 attendees.

Meeting Hotels: To find and compare area hotels, and to send RFPs, go to

Convention Center: Albuquerque Convention Center; exhibit space, 167,000 square feet; meeting rooms, 27; (505) 768-4575;

Airport Transit: Albuquerque International Sunport, about five miles from downtown. Transfer cost by taxi, $15; by shuttle, $11

Taxes: Room tax, 6%; sales tax, 7%; total tax on hotel rooms, 13%

Group Venue: The Banque Lofts in downtown offers an 8,000-square-foot roof deck overlooking the city's skyline that can host up to 150 guests. (505) 219-3107

Contact: Albuquerque Convention & Visitors Bureau, (800) 733-9918