Albuquerque is a high-altitude city. The conference site is close to a mile high (almost 1600 m). The hotel is a little lower, about 4900 feet (approx. 1500 m). It is unlikely that you will notice any effects of altitude at this elevation, but it does mean that the sun is less filtered than at lower elevation. Protection from the sun is advisable if you plan to exercise or sightsee outside.
Most conference attendees will be coming from locations that are more humid than Albuquerque. The relative humidity is often below 10%. Average high temperature for July is 92° F (34° C), and the average low is 65° F (18° C). The relatively large daily variation means that mornings and evenings are almost always pleasant. You will be in the air-conditioned conference facility during the hot afternoon period.
Rain is unlikely, but storms may occur in the late afternoon. These often involve more wind, thunder and lightning than actual rain, and if rain does fall, it rarely lasts more than a few minutes.
Restaurants in Albuquerque tend to open and close earlier than in other cities we are familiar with. It is not uncommon to see restaurants end their dinner service at 8:30 or 9 PM. However, the conference hotels are on the north edge of Old Town, which is the most heavily touristed area of the city, and where many of the restaurants will stay open till 10 PM in the summer, possibly even later. A restaurant list will be distributed at conference registration.
Taxes and Tipping
We remind attendees coming from other countries that in the US, the price you see does not include sales tax, which is now 7% in Albuquerque. This is added to restaurant meals and all purchases except basic food items bought in a store. An additional lodging tax is added to hotel room rates.
If someone serves you in a restaurant, they will expect you to leave a tip, normally 15-18%. Occasionally, if a large group eats together, a service charge is added to the bill automatically, in which case a tip is not expected. What this adds up to is that you will end up spending about 25% more than the quoted price of a restaurant meal.
The Hotel Albuquerque, Best Western Rio Grande Inn and the Conference Center are all entirely non-smoking. Smoking is also not allowed in any restaurant in Albuquerque.
In addition, the University of New Mexico is a smoke-free campus, which means that smoking outdoors is only permitted in designated smoking areas. For the Conference Center, this is at the north end of the building. Smoking is not allowed in the parking lots in front of or behind the building.
Where to find breakfast and coffee
We will provide a light continental breakfast before the conference begins at 8 AM on Thursday morning.
Cafe Plazuela, the coffee shop in the Hotel Albuquerque, opens at 6 AM. There is also a Starbucks Coffee on the west side of Rio Grande Boulevard, just north of the Hotel Albuquerque and south of the Best Western Rio Grande Inn. Their hours are 5 AM - 9 PM (shorter hours on Sunday).
We particularly recommend the Flying Star Cafe and Satellite Coffee, which are local eateries (run by the same company) known for quality coffee and good food. Satellite Coffee has a location just over one-half mile (1 km) south of the conference location, at 1131 University Boulevard NE, on the west side of the street. They are open 6 AM - 8 PM during the week, 8 AM - 6 PM on weekends.