ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – Industry experts say there’s a lack of places to hold high-end weddings, parties and meetings in Albuquerque. Now there’s a push by developers to bring a high-end event center to the city, right next to the University of New Mexico south golf course.

On Thursday, June 15, the city signed off on the proposal. Event planners say Albuquerque needs more of those spaces. Courtney Garnham is the co-owner of La Luz Weddings and Events. She shared, “To be honest we don’t have many options. It’s mostly just hotel ballrooms and then a couple of other small venue spaces.”

But another option could be on the way, as a design and planning firm requested a zoning change to allow construction of an event center. It would be on University near the Sunport. Robert Messenger is a planner for the City of Albuquerque. “Since much of the surrounding area is made up of airport-related commercial office and light industrial uses, the permitted uses would not be considered harmful.” 

Right now, the four acre site is vacant. The space sits adjacent to the eighth hole of UNM’s championship golf course making for a green backdrop. Garnham continued, “I think it’s a really good idea because it’s very convenient for everyone flying in, obviously there’s a lot of hotels in that area. And there’s not a lot of venues in that part of the city.” 

The facility would focus on events like weddings and quinceañeras. Regina Okoye represented Modulus Architects during the EPC meeting. She explained, “My client wants to move forward with a high scale event center for this facility revolving around those two events heavily. It’s no concerts or anything like that, it’s more personal family events or life events.

There was no opposition in the area to the idea. In the end the Environmental Planning Commission (EPC) unanimously approved the plan. “If we have another venue we can just have more weddings in the city which we have a very high destination hot spot actually so a lot of people want to travel to New Mexico to see our culture so I think just like economically it would be wonderful for everyone involved,” Garnham said. 

It’s unclear what kind of rental costs this company is planning on charging for this so-called high-end experience. The developers did not give the city a timeline for construction.