Skip to site content
The Group Travel Leader Going on Faith Select Traveler

New Mexico Meeting Guide

Courtesy New Mexico Tourism

Rob Enriquez tells people who haven’t been to Albuquerque in the past two years that the city “is definitely a destination you wouldn’t recognize.”

With more than $300 million in recent hospitality investments and planned developments, there are “a tremendous number of hospitality attributes that have changed dramatically,” said Enriquez, vice president of convention sales, service and sports for the Albuquerque Convention and Visitors Bureau.

For example, in early February, a $20 million renovation of the Albuquerque Convention Center began. During the first phase, three upper-level ballrooms in the West Building will be renovated, and their lighting and sound systems will be upgraded. Work should be done in August; phase 2 will then begin, with a projected completion of mid-2014.

Nothing says Albuquerque quite like hundreds of hot-air balloons rising into the autumn sky. Every October, teams from around the world arrive for the annual Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta. Weather patterns and geographical landscape create a phenomenon called the “Albuquerque Box” that allows balloonists to control and even retrace their flights.

The Albuquerque International Balloon Museum is “a tremendous venue” for meetings and events, Enriquez said.

With a conference room, a meeting room, the 3,350-square-foot Pugash Hall and the 3,340-square-foot Sky Lounge, the museum can accommodate groups of about 1,000 indoors and, using the outdoor space, even larger groups.

Several companies offer hot-air-balloon team building, with hot-air balloons that hold more than a dozen people. The group helps set up and inflate the balloon before stepping into the basket for a ride above the city and the Sandia Mountains.

“Everybody is right there, sleeves rolled up and helping in the process,” Enriquez said. “It makes you truly feel you’re a part of the actual launch.”