The Andaluz Hotel in Downtown Albuquerque. (Adolphe Pierre-Louis/Journal)

 

A fixture of the Downtown Albuquerque skyline, Hotel Andaluz was bought earlier this month from former owner Gary Goodman.

The historic hotel was purchased by Legacy Hospitality, which now owns four Hilton properties in Albuquerque and one in Santa Fe.

“With the history of this hotel, it’s really important, I think, that we keep this product alive,” said Todd Walters, vice president of operations at Legacy Hospitality.

According to Walters, developer Goodman – founder and CEO of Goodman Realty Group – was looking to focus on other projects around the city. Walters did not disclose the purchase price.

“It was kind-of time to hand it off to a new generation of hospitality folks,” said Phil Snyder, senior vice president of finance at Goodman Realty Group.

Snyder said that the company is focusing on developments at Winrock Town Center, including a new park, food hall, bar and boutique hotel. The proceeds from the sale, Snyder said, will be invested in other hospitality projects around Albuquerque.

Hotel Andaluz was built in 1939 – the fourth hotel ever built by New Mexico-born businessman Conrad Hilton, founder of the Hilton Hotels chain, according to Walters. At the time it was built, it cost $700,000 and, at ten stories high, was the tallest building in New Mexico – as well as the first building in the state with air conditioning, according to the Hotel Andaluz website.

Throughout the latter half of the 20th century, the hotel was sold several times before being bought in 2005 by Albuquerque developer Goodman for $4 million. He renamed the property Hotel Andaluz in 2008, and in 2019, the hotel became a Hilton once more as part of the Curio Collection, which financially supports hotels but allows them to operate independantly.

“It was pretty neat to see, 80 years later, it come back into the family,” Snyder said.

Snyder said that as Hotel Andaluz made the switch back to Hilton and came out of the pandemic, the hotel saw record profits.

Snyder said he feels that the new owners will continue the legacy of the hotel.

“You don’t make an investment like that unless you truly want to keep it special,” Snyder said.

Walters said the Hotel Andaluz property can benefit the city around it.

“In Albuquerque, to have a luxury boutique hotel is fabulous. It’s great for the city,” Walters said. “We know the difficulties of Downtown with homelessness, crime. … We also know the value of a flag like this. It’s good for Albuquerque to have some luxury.”

Walters said that Legacy Hospitality is planning to pump several million dollars into renovations over the next 18 to 24 months. He said that over the past decades in business, there’s been some wear and tear on the hotel. Renovations are already underway after Legacy Hospitality took over the hotel on Nov. 2. Future changes will include updates to restaurant and bar equipment, a new branding strategy and the addition of an on-site fitness center. Hotel Andaluz currently partners with the nearby Downtown Sports & Wellness location.

But some things will remain the same.

“The name Andaluz will hold, of course,” Walters said.