IPCC & IPMI Chairman Ron Shutiva blesses the ground ahead of the groundbreaking for the Avanyu Plaza phase 2 retail space. (Courtesy IPMI)
The 19 Pueblo-owned sovereign, economic ecosystem in Albuquerque is continuously growing — most recently with the addition of a Marriott hotel, security command center, Avanyu Park Plaza, and the groundbreaking for greater retail/restaurant space and smart classrooms at Indian Pueblo Cultural Center.
The land once home to the Albuquerque Indian School (AIS), a boarding school that operated 1881-1981, is today the site of a thriving business and cultural complex owned by 19 Pueblos of New Mexico. The process started back in 1969, when the 19 Pueblos petitioned the federal government to convey land to Pueblo ownership. The Indian Pueblo Cultural Center opened in 1976, and gradually IPMI expanded and developed a vibrant corridor.
Today the 19 Pueblo-owned for-profit entity known as Indian Pueblos Marketing, Inc. (IPMI) is continuously driving economic growth for the 19 Pueblos, the City of Albuquerque and State of New Mexico.
On Wednesday, IPMI revealed the next phase of property development at its Avanyu Plaza — which is located across from the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center (IPCC) in the 12th Street business and cultural district.
Cultural center leaders gathered to broadcast a traditional blessing and ribbon cutting for the opening of several new facilities and spaces, including a 92-room Marriott-brand hotel, a 2,400-square-foot security command center, and Avanyu Plaza Park – an outdoor meeting space intended for entertainers, dancers and artisans/vendors.
Additionally, the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center held a virtual groundbreaking ceremony for its phase two expansion, creating 21,000 more square feet of retail space, plus a new restaurant, smart classrooms for students, and other features.
“We’ve taken a piece of land that was dormant, frankly, and turned it into a thriving economic and cultural corridor,” said said Michael Canfield (Pueblo of Laguna), President and CEO of the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center, Indian Pueblos Marketing, Inc., and the Indian Pueblo Federal Development Corporation (IPFDC).
As Canfield previously explained to Native Business for our March “Infrastructure” issue, the formation of IPMI was groundbreaking to begin with, and laid the foundations for a sustainable economic ecosystem. “I don’t think that anywhere else in the world 19 sovereign Nations have come together and, for the betterment of all 19, formed another government as a political subdivision,” he told Native Business.
The Marriott TownePlace Suites is IPMI’s second hotel. An extended-stay hotel, the new Marriott will attract a different clientele than IPMI’s Holiday Inn Express, catering to business travelers on longer stays.
IPMI’s new command center boasts video surveillance to monitor every inch of the campus for safety.
Avanyu Plaza Park features a shade canopy and dynamic, colorful lighting. The space will be used as a community gathering area and as a location for small events.
Meanwhile, the expanded IPCC area will attract more tourism. “We’re one of the top five most visited properties when it comes to tourism in the State of New Mexico,” Canfield previously told Native Business.
The museum draws about 90 percent of its visitors from further than 75 miles away, which often merits an overnight stay. “That’s an economic boost for the community,” Canfield previously said.
“We’ve created hundreds of jobs—construction, ongoing retail jobs, and hospitality jobs,” Canfield told us. “The city sees that as a benefit to the community. Economically, we are a positive impact.”