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Old Town’s newest hotel takes inspiration from Chaco


This architect\’s rendering shows what Albuquerque\’s newest hotel will look like. The five story property is being developed by hotelier Jim Long on property just northeast of his Hotel Albuquerque. (RENDERING COURTESY GENSLER)

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Hotel Chaco will be the name of the first new hotel built in Albuquerque’s tourism and shopping destination of Old Town in 40 years, Heritage Hotels and Resorts Inc. founder and CEO Jim Long announced Tuesday.
“It’s named in honor of one of the greatest architectural achievements ever in North America,” Long said at the project’s groundbreaking, in reference to the Anasazi ruins at Chaco Canyon in northwest New Mexico. “Hotel Chaco will be a link to the past as well as a bright future link as well.”
The five-story, 118-room boutique hotel will be built by general contractor Klinger Constructors of Albuquerque. The 120,000-square-foot building at Bellamah and 20th NW, next to the 11-story Hotel Albuquerque, will cost $25 million to construct, according to the recently issued city building permit.
Completion is scheduled for the spring of 2016. Hotel Chaco will be Heritage Hotels’ 11th property in the state, each of which is designed to evoke aspects of New Mexico’s culture. Heritage, which employs about 1,600 statewide, also owns Hotel Albuquerque built in 1975.
The new hotel is designed by Gensler, a global architecture firm headquartered in San Francisco, whose co-CEO Andy Cohen described an early meeting with Long to discuss the proposed hotel’s design.
“We had a watershed moment,” Cohen told the more than 100 people attending Tuesday’s groundbreaking. “Jim looked at us and said, ‘I want you to visit a very special place.’”
The visit to the Chaco ruins continued the way to a design that fuses the sleekly modern with rustic, more indigenous elements. The interior finishes follow an earth-tone theme.
In addition to the guest rooms, the new hotel will have a rooftop restaurant and lounge, a main restaurant with seating for 150, a 6,000-square-foot spa, 1,200-square-foot fitness room and about 3,000 square feet of street-level retail. Hotel Chaco will share the existing pool at Hotel Albuquerque.