Albuquerque wants ideas for El Vado Motel

The City of Albuquerque has floated ideas on what to do with the historic but long-shuttered El Vado Motel on Route 66. Now it’s wanting to hear ideas from the public — and developers — as well.

According to Albuquerque Business First, the city on Friday released a request for proposals for the 1937 motel. The newspaper talked to city planning department spokeswoman Debra Nason:

The city’s RFP is wide open and is encouraging developers to come up with creative uses for the properties.

“It would be nice to see, as always, that it could come back as the business that died,” Nason said. “It’s wide open, and it will depend on what people come up with.”

“We hope the little old El Vado will get a breath of fresh air. It’s right on Route 66, and there’s a lot of sentiment to see it redeveloped as a boutique hotel. We’ll just see,” she said.

The deadline for submitting proposals is July 3. The Albuquerque Development Commission will look at those proposals and may schedule a hearing about them the following month.

A link to the documents for the RFP for El Vado is here. Those with questions should contact Rebecca Velarde at 505-924-3844.

Irish immigrant Daniel Murphy opened El Vado Auto Court Motel on Route 66 in 1937. It’s cited as one of the best examples of pre-World War II motels in New Mexico. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1993.

El Vado closed in 2005 after new owner Richard Gonzales said he wanted to bulldoze it for luxury townhouses. The city seized the property a few years later after a long fight to save it.

UPDATE: A report this morning by KRQE-TV in Albuquerque said proposals must come with an important addition:

Due to some of the property being bought with federal funds, a housing unit with more than half being affordable living must go up.

(Image of El Vado Motel’s neon sign by Boortz47 via Flickr)

3 thoughts on “Albuquerque wants ideas for El Vado Motel

  1. The most logical development scheme would combine a Route 66 information center, a small museum focusing on the history of the motel/motor court in Albuquerque and a number of restored rooms for visitors who want a true Route 66 experience.

  2. I think the El Vado should be used as a museum to house all the old Albuquerque photographs that the Albuquerque Museum has. Each room could be devoted to different periods of Albuquerque history. Bonnie McMurray

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