City hopes refurbished El Vado Motel is a sign of things to come for Central corridor | KOB 4

City hopes refurbished El Vado Motel is a sign of things to come for Central corridor

Kassi Nelson
July 20, 2018 10:39 PM

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – The grand opening of the refurbished El Vado Motel Friday night provided many people with a trip down memory lane; a lane filled with hundreds of people enjoying music, local food and beer on a warm New Mexico evening.


City officials say the project is a big first step in what they hope becomes a revitalization of the Central Avenue corridor.

Friday's party was one James Venable wouldn't dream of missing.

"They constantly had business," he said. "It was a nice hotel."

Born and raised in Albuquerque in the '50s, Venable remembers the motel when it was in its prime. It was the same time when he took rides on his motorcycle down Historic Route 66.

"It was beautiful," he said. "A nice adobe structure, and I was so hoping they would never tear it down because we've torn too much of our history down."

Over the years, the motel has gone from thriving to a mini-ghost town to a seemingly never-ending construction site.

Mayor Tim Keller said he believes the rebirth of the El Vado represents a big step in moving Central forward while retaining and polishing up pieces of its past.

"This truly is hitting all the right notes, touching all of the right bases," Keller said. "That's why I'm so glad it's here."

Anyone can come to El Vado to enjoy the patio, taproom, local businesses and eateries without a room key.

Keller said the project is a role model for the city—a project that supports history and local business. In fact, the head brewer at the Ponderosa Taproom at the complex said he's already seen a big uptick in sales.

"I'm going to be put to the test making sure that we keep plenty of beer flowing at all the locations now," Antonio Fernandez said.

The finished product has been a long time coming, but Venable said he wouldn't have it any other way.

"It's beautiful. Beautiful," he said. "I've said so many times I'm so glad they repurposed this hotel instead of tearing it down."


Kassi Nelson

Copyright 2018 KOB-TV LLC, a Hubbard Broadcasting Company. All rights reserved

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