Route 66 News

Albuquerque’s new shopping center sign is a throwback

Albuquerque has a new shopping center along its Route 66 corridor, but its main sign will spark memories of the previous business there.

The Trade Winds Shopping Center recently finished construction, and it has a sign that’s reminiscent of the original Trade Winds Motel sign at that location. It looks like neon, but it’s actually LEDs. You can see an image of the new sign here. Below is a postcard image of the motel when it was still thriving during Route 66’s heyday:


The Albuquerque Journal has the story:

We wanted to bring that kind of (retro) feel back to the center, because our center is designed a little bit modern,” said Santosh Mody, whose family is behind the new Trade Winds. “To get that Route 66 feel, the sign was a big part of it.”

Mody’s family bought the Trade Winds motel 35 years ago, later rebranding it as a Travelodge. It was demolished in 2009, and the land sat empty for years. But the family hired Klinger Constructors last summer to build the new center, marking the latest in a wave of redevelopment projects near the often-troubled San Mateo/Central intersection. The nearby Sundowner apartments and Hiland Theater have undergone major transformations in recent years

Apparently using a facsimile of the old sign still works. The leasing agent says he’s been “bombarded” with inquiries since it was erected.

(Image of the Trade Winds Motel courtesy of


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