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Gemstone Hotels & Resorts and Goodman Realty Group Re-Open
Albuquerque's Hotel Andaluz Following $30 Million Restoration

Project Preserves Historic Nature of Building While Incorporating Sustainability Technology

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M., November 23, 2009—Officials of Gemstone Hotels & Resorts, a full-service hotel management and asset management company that specializes in luxury and upscale urban hotels and complex, multi-faceted resorts, today announced the re-opening of the 107-room Hotel Andaluz in Albuquerque, N.M.  Formerly the La Posada de Albuquerque, the upscale boutique property recently completed a three-year, $30 million restoration that incorporates modern technology and eco-friendly, LEED-certified standards, while preserving the building’s historic integrity.  The landmark hotel is owned by local businessman Gary Goodman and Goodman Realty Group and operated by Gemstone.

“Following this major renovation, the Andaluz now ranks among the finest hotels in the Southwest,” said Jeff McIntyre, principal of Gemstone.

“We took great care to combine the latest in sustainability technology with the hotel’s historic persona.  The hotel currently is being reviewed for LEED certification, which, upon its expected approval at the Gold level, should make Hotel Andaluz the only historic hotel to achieve that standard in the U.S.”

McIntyre noted that the property owner/developer and Gemstone have gone to great lengths to make the hotel environmentally friendly.  “We installed cutting-edge energy conservation systems and solar hot water heating systems that allow us to reduce energy and resource consumption by 50 percent, compared to conventional hotels.  We also added one of the most advanced, computer controlled climate sensors in the state. 
©2009 Ramona Willis d'Viola/ilumus photography

These systems contain motion detectors that track movement in the room, allowing us to turn off or reduce AC/heating in an unoccupied room. This electrical efficiency alone has the potential to reduce CO2 emissions by 290 tons annually.  We believe the Andaluz will become a model for all future hotels.”

Thomas Prins, also a Gemstone principal, noted that “Gemstone is incorporating many of these green initiatives into other renovation and ground up projects, such as The Hotel Elian, currently under construction in San Antonio, Texas.”

Opened in 1939, the hotel is on the National Register of Historic Places and was the fourth hotel built by New Mexico native Conrad Hilton, founder of Hilton Hotels Corporation.  The restoration completely made over all of the guest rooms, food and beverage facilities, lobby and meeting space, and includes installation of state-of-the-art energy management systems and a complete solar heating system that will dramatically reduce the hotel’s impact on the environment.

Among the latest in environmental sustainability technology and techniques introduced at the property are:
  • Solar Heated Hot Water System ‐ 60 percent of domestic hot water will be generated using solar energy derived from the 73 solar panels installed on the roof;
  • Waste Reduction – more than 500 tons of construction and demolition materials have been removed from the waste stream through recycling and reuse;
  • Integrated Building Energy Management System – A building management system will utilize sensors in each of the 107 guestrooms to conserve energy by automatically adjusting heating/cooling and lighting levels when the rooms are unoccupied;
  • High Efficiency Mechanical Equipment ‐ Boiler and chiller plants have been replaced with high efficiency, quick‐recovery units;
  • Lighting ‐ Fluorescent and LED lighting will be used throughout the hotel;
  • High Performance Windows ‐ Windows were designed to be historically accurate and to significantly reduce energy loss;
  • Interior Finishes – Finishes have been carefully selected to incorporate recycled materials, natural products and low VOC materials;
  • Guestroom Amenity Dispensers ‐ In order to reduce waste, mounted amenity dispensers are being installed in the guest bathrooms to replace the traditional small bottles of bath amenities;
  • Green Cleaning ‐ Green cleaning chemicals have been sourced.
Located at 125 Second Street NW, the 10-story, Southwestern-style boutique hotel in the heart of downtown Albuquerque, offers picturesque views of the Sandia Mountains.  The architecture and interior design incorporate Moroccan and Spanish colonial influences that recall the original interior design of the lobby and infuse a memorable, contemporary edge into all aspects of the property.  The hotel’s relaxed atmosphere features coffee nooks and the Martin J. Chavez Library, named in honor of Albuquerque’s current mayor and formally dedicated during a recent private ceremony.  The lobby lounge features open spaces and comfortable gathering spots.

Guest rooms offer the latest in technology, including free high-speed Internet access, state-of-the-art soundproofing and environmentally safe products and materials, two telephone lines, dedicated work space, experience-style showers and ergonomic desks and chairs.

The landmark hotel features 7,000 square feet of meeting space, including a unique boardroom, indoor and outdoor venues and an updated version of New Mexico’s most famous ballroom.  The space is designed to help create memorable meetings for groups of 10 to 100 and accommodate up to 200 people for social events, such as weddings and other family gatherings.

A mezzanine-level cultural center honors New Mexico’s museums, cultural institutions, performing arts groups, and other culturally significant organizations, and will feature exhibits from area museums and galleries, as well as live music performances and an interactive kiosk that will allow guests to plan cultural activities in the area.  Regular live activities at the property will include NM Symphony Orchestra events, UNM College of Fine Arts music series, a jazz series and workshop, Native American music, an artist-in-residence program with lobby plaza artist-at-work and workshops, and additional cultural displays and workshops.

The hotel’s signature restaurant, Lucia, showcases a rich-flavored Mediterranean cuisine.  Locally celebrated Chef Albert Bilotti combines the area’s freshest ingredients in a unique experiential approach to classic foods.  The full-service restaurant serves breakfast, lunch and dinner, which guests may enjoy indoors or on Lucia’s outdoor patio.
Lucia also offers an exclusive VIP room for parties of six to 14.

The property’s distinctive rooftop bar, Ibiza, will open in March with the return of spring.  What is certain to become Albuquerque’s newest hot spot, Ibiza will offer unique forms of entertainment, a large fire and water feature, indoor/outdoor bar and private party areas.

To commemorate the re-opening, the hotel is offering a special rate of 20 percent off rack rates between now and March 22, 2010.  The hotel also formed a new management team of hospitality experts in anticipation of the opening to facilitate the ramping up process, with Kimberly Berry being appointed director of sales and marketing and Doris Monsalve being named hotel controller.  For more information about Hotel Andaluz, please visit www.hotelandaluz.com.

About Goodman Realty Group
Albuquerque-based Goodman Realty Group is a full-service, national real estate firm, with more than 30 years of experience in construction, management and leasing of shopping centers, industrial property, office buildings, residential real estate, and now hotels.  Goodman Realty is well-known for its singular commitment to the marriage of sound business economics and true environmental sustainability.  In addition to the remodeling of Andaluz, Goodman Realty is leading the re-development of the Winrock area of Uptown Albuquerque.

About Gemstone Hotels & Resorts LLC.
Headquartered in Park City, Utah, Gemstone is a full-service operating and asset management company that specializes in luxury and upscale hotels and complex resorts.  Gemstone currently manages or asset manages
15 projects in California, Illinois, Missouri, New Mexico, Texas, Florida, West Virginia, Idaho, and New York.  For more information about Gemstone, go to www.gemstoneresorts.com.


 
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Contact:

Chris Daly
Senior Vice President
Daly Gray Public Relations
ph: 703-435-6293
chris@dalygray.com


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Also See:
Hotel Andaluz Opens in Albuquerque; Owner Gary Goodman Completes a $30 million 4-year Renovation of the Hotel Built in 1939 by Conrad Hilton / October 2009
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