14 neon signs along Albuquerque’s Route 66 receive improvement grants

The City of Albuquerque announced it would award 14 grants totaling $432,000 to improve neon signs along the Route 66 corridor of Central Avenue.

More than 25 grant applications were received. Listed below are the winners. A few will be familiar to veteran Route 66 travelers.

  • 5501 Plaza, 5431 Central Ave. NW
  • Americana Motel, 5908 Central Ave. SW
  • Arrive Hotel, 717 Central Ave. NW
  • Central Grill, 2056 Central Ave SW
  • The Dog House, 1216 Central Ave. SW
  • Imperial Inn, 701 Central Ave. NE
  • Loma Verde Apartments, 7503 Central Ave. SE
  • Pickleballer, 1720 Central Ave. SW
  • Route 66 Barber, 5303 Central Ave. NW
  • Sandia Peak Inn, 4614 Central Ave. SW
  • Tewa Lodge, 5715 Central Ave. SE
  • Trade Winds Shopping Center, 5400 Central Ave. SE
  • Former Utility Shack, 11035 Central Ave. NE
  • Westward Ho Motel, 7500 Central Ave. SW

Here’s a video about the program, focusing a lot on The Dog House restaurant:

According to a news release from the city:

Restoration would not only preserve the nostalgic elements of this historic era, but would also serve as a celebration of artistic significance found on the national route.

“The vintage visual culture along Albuquerque’s own iconic stretch of Route 66 is something we cherish as uniquely ours. Restoration not only celebrates this city’s history, it preserves it for our families and generations to come,” said Mayor Keller. “Investment in this type of revitalization is a great example of how we can honor our city’s cultural past while elevating our status as a modern tourist destination.”

“Central Avenue is Albuquerque’s most significant stretch of historic Route 66 and an important part of our city’s heritage,” explained City Councilor Klarissa Peña. “As we approach its centennial celebration in 2026, it is imperative that we continue to bolster energy, economic impact, activation, and tourism along this road of historical significance.”

The sign improvement program is part of a larger Route 66 Centennial Campaign, ramping up in 2025 to celebrate 100 years of the route for its official birthday on Nov. 11, 2026.

(Image of The Dog House restaurant in Albuquerque by Todd Lappin via Flickr)

One thought on “14 neon signs along Albuquerque’s Route 66 receive improvement grants

  1. This is just fantastic news. Neon has gone from being a visual vagrant in the 80’s to a treasured art form. I really dig the Dog House sign. It’s animated!

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