Days Inn takes over Albuquerque hotel hit with crime
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — The corner of Candelaria and I-25 in Albuquerque has a new look to it after new owners transformed the Ambassador Inn into a Days Inn.
Many knew the Ambassador Inn as a hotspot for crime.
In 2022, security camera footage showed Donovan Bookout walking into the hotel, pulling out a gun and killing the on-duty security guard one night.
According to police, they made multiple homicide arrests at the hotel last year.
Then, back in February, police found a man dead outside the hotel with a gunshot wound.
The new owners hope they can change the hotel’s reputation.
“It’s an absolutely different hotel than what it used to be. The moment you even step into the door, they are greeted differently. We are professional. We have rules and we stick to our rules,” said Alma Avila, the front desk manager.
On August 22, the new Days Inn officially opened.
Outside, the hotel got a fresh coat of paint. Inside, they remodeled all the rooms.
The changes are more than just aesthetic, though. Managers say they are running the hotel differently.
“Some drastic changes is the safetyness of the other customers that are here,” Avila said. “We have so many cameras around us. We can see absolutely every angle. So, safety is first, right? Then, we have the look, the presentation, you know it’s beautiful, it’s all new.”
On top of new cameras, they also have security on call all day and on-site all night. Managers hope their safety changes will go beyond their property.
“The moment we started the construction process, we started cleaning out the area. We’re strict with the rules and do not allow them here. The dangerous bit of it is all gone,” Avila said.
While Avila says she has noticed a difference in the neighborhood since the construction, we wanted to ask nearby businesses what they think of the new hotel.
“The last five years have been kinda bad,” said Raymond Randall, owner of Delta Uniform and Linens.
Randall has owned the laundry company for 30 years. He confirmed the Ambassador Inn caused problems for everyone on the block in the last few years.
“We had to put metal up over the glass. The windows were broken out. It’s been broken into and, of course, there has been a death over here. A security guard got shot. It has just been constant one thing after another,” Randall said.
Earlier this year, Randall tells us the sign on the hotel across the street wasn’t the only thing that changed.
“It has gotten better since the Ambassador closed. It’s gotten better,” Randall said.
Randall says he has noticed less homeless people wandering around his business or camping out on Candelaria.
Now, he hopes new management will continue improving the hotel across the street.
“It’s an upgrade no matter how you look at it. It’s an upgrade and it will be good for the property owners up and down Candelaria,” Randall said.