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El Vado opening pushed back to holidays

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — It’s beginning to look at lot like Christmas-time for the reopening of the El Vado.

While developers were initially hoping to have the place ready for occupancy this fall, construction still is underway at the old Route 66 motel at 2500 Central Avenue SE.

“We’re shooting for a December opening, although that date could change,” said General Manager Carrie Confair, who used to run the Sheraton Albuquerque Uptown and was an innkeeper in Moab, Utah before “coming back home” to take the helm of El Vado, which will include a boutique hotel.

She said it’s likely there will be a chill in the air and the prop

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Construction continues on the El Vado Motel on Central Avenue near the Rio Grande. (Greg Sorber/Albuquerque Journal)

erty will be gussied up for the holidays when the first customers are welcomed at the storied auto court, which has been undergoing a $18 million facelift for a project that includes construction of a new, mixed-use building next door.

In addition to a hotel, Confair is lining up different businesses to operate food trucks at the site, a spa operator and other retailers.  There will also be an events center.

The lobby will house a taproom for local beers from Ponderosa Brewing Co., a separate business operated by Chad Rennaker. His Portland-based company, Palindrome Communities, is the developer.

The nearby apartment building, El Vado Place, is now in the pre-leasing stage, with move-ins slated for Dec. 1.

Plans to redevelop El Vado, which opened in 1937, have been in the works for years.

For more than a decade, the building sat empty — an eyesore with peeling paint, its courtyard choked with weeds and the perimeter enclosed by a chain-link fence.

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