|By Rivkela Brodsky, Albuquerque Journal,
N.M.McClatchy-Tribune Regional News
Oct\tober 2, 2009 - --The former La Posada de Albuquerque at 125 Second NW welcomed its first customers after undergoing a $30 million, four-year renovation.
A ribbon-cutting and dedication of the historic property is scheduled for this morning at Second and Copper NW with Mayor Martin Chavez, Gary Goodman -- real estate developer and owner of the hotel -- as well as officials from Gemstone Hotels and Resorts, the Park City, Utah-based company managing and running the hotel, and Andaluz staff.
An estimated 160 people were hired to work at Hotel Andaluz, a majority of them are local hires, said Kimberly Berry, director of sales for the property.
The hotel is on track to becoming silver LEED certified, which would make it one of the first historic hotels in the U.S. to receive such a designation.
The 107-room boutique hotel named after the Spanish region that inspired the interior look and feel of the property features a 73-panel solar thermal system on the roof of the 10th floor, dual-flush technology in guest rooms, heating and cooling systems that are controlled by a computerized energy management system as well as heat-reflective and energy efficient materials on the roof of the building, among other green features.
The hotel restaurant, the Mediterranean-influenced Lucia, will open Oct. 28. The rooftop lounge Ibiza, which will have an outside bar and a fire and water feature, will open when warmer weather returns, Berry said. "(It) opens in the spring since it's outdoors," she said. "But you can absolutely get cocktails anywhere in my hotel."
The hotel also has a mezzanine level cultural center.
Built in 1939 by Conrad Hilton, the 10-story building was the tallest in the state at the time. In the 1960s it changed hands and became the Plaza Hotel. In the 1980s it was named La Posada after a multimilliondollar restoration was undertaken with the support of the city and the National Register of Historic Places. It has been listed on register for more than 25 years.
The property was purchased by the Goodman Realty Group in 2005 for $4 million. In October 2005, renovation work began.
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