Santa Fe Pulls the Wraps Off Brand-New Downtown Building

After 22 months of construction, the Santa Fe Convention Center launched in late September with an active fall slate of multi-day events, according to the Santa Fe Convention & Visitors Bureau.

The new building provides 40,000 sf of total event space, which is led by an 18,000-sf ballroom divisible by five and flanked by three kitchens: two large facilities and a smaller one that serves groups of less than 300 attendees. To ease move-ins and outs, loading docks are adjacent to the room.

The Sweeney Ballroom is in the western-side "Convention Center" building, while the eastern-side "Community Building" features a 2,500-sf art gallery, four meeting rooms, and a terrace space. Of the four rooms, three can be combined into one large space; the other is a boardroom that seats 16. The Convention Center building has seven meeting rooms.

Located downtown, the convention center is supported by about 1,500 sleeping rooms, anchored by several major properties like the Eldorado Hotel & Spa (219 rooms), Santa Fe's grande dame La Fonda (167 rooms), La Posada (157 rooms), and a Holiday Inn (130 rooms).

Reflecting Santa Fe's arts scene and progressive eco-culture, the convention center will boast nearly a half-million dollars' worth of original art across its two buildings when installation is completed, and it carries LEED Silver certification. To achieve the designation, light fixtures from the old Sweeney Convention Center were recovered and installed in the new building, non-volatile carpet and paint were used, and 75 percent of construction waste will be recycled, among other efforts.

As such, the venue will be in play for green meetings and events. It has three on-site recycling centers, multiple water stations with compostable cups to discourage water bottle use, and motion-sensor lighting.

Originally published Oct. 20, 2008