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Balloon fest hotels

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Aug 16th, 2014, 06:00 AM
  #1
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Balloon fest hotels

Wanted to go to the balloon fest this year. Confused about picking a hotel. Would like to stay somewhere close to grounds or at least a park and ride shuttle area. Can you help point me to an inexpensive safe hotel or an area which I should search - too many maps and not side by side so I'm not sure which area is close - old town, midtown, airport?? I'm sure I'll have more questions in my process. Thanks in advance
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Aug 16th, 2014, 11:53 AM
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Midtown is close to the park 'n ride at Coronado Mall. There is a Marriott, a Sheraton, and a Hyatt Place near the mall.

What is your lodging budget? There aren't a lot of inexpensive choices that time of year.

Lee Ann
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Aug 16th, 2014, 01:39 PM
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Definitely like to keep it under $100. I was looking at the lower end hotels and hoping they were in a good location. How is the travellodge midtown? They do have rooms available for around 70-80 a night
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Aug 16th, 2014, 02:49 PM
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Not near park and ride. I would not stay there.

Going to be hard with that budget.
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Aug 16th, 2014, 02:55 PM
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Old town and airport will all require drives to Balloon Fiesta park via interstate, so it won't much matter.

The area Lee Ann is referring to is actually called uptown, not midtown. Those are close to coronado but are going to be pricey.

I would check out Rio Rancho hotels. There's a lot there at intel and is actually closest to Fiesta park.

http://www.balloonfiesta.com/guest-guide/park-ride
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Aug 16th, 2014, 05:48 PM
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Thanks. I went in the website and I don't see any hotels in the rio rancho area. I did a search on other sites and I checked a few and they were full. There was a motel 6. I just can't do a motel 6. How is the red roof inn? They have rooms fo $98. Is the travelogue too far and on the other side of the interstate near the airport or just not nice. Bad reputation?
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Aug 16th, 2014, 06:15 PM
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Almost all motels that are on or close to i25 and 1 40 and their frontage road are not the nicest or safest.

in Rio Rancho - Hilton Garden Inn would be my choice, others not so much.

Another thought would be in Bernalillio at the Holiday inn Express. It is about a 15 minute ride to park and ride at Intel.
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Aug 17th, 2014, 05:59 AM
  #8
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Just checked both those hotels hilton garden - no availability
Holiday inn - cheapest rate is $170 a night. Little too high for a cross country trip. But thanks
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Aug 17th, 2014, 06:07 AM
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How long do you plan on being IN Albuquerque? I ask, because if you really want to see Balloon Fiesta, it is so worth the cost of hotel room. Stay further our and drive to park and ride. I would skimp somewhere else to see this amazing site.

Also, you do need to know that weather is a HUGE factor in flight of balloons. They do not go up if there is more than a bit of wind. So if you are only going to plan on being in town 1night, you risk not seeing them go up. It does happen.

Have you looked at using Hotwire? Not sure there are deals during Fiesta, but maybe.

Are you looking at weekend night or weekday? That matters too. What dates - I'd be happy to look online at a few places.
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Aug 18th, 2014, 05:36 PM
  #10
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This is our plan. We are driving from pa to sanfrancisco to take a friend home. This person does not fly. It will be a straight thru drive with minimual stops. Basically just get there. On our way back to pa we want to see the country, we are free to do whatever. Our only real booked activity is the balloon fest. We have other stops along the way. We'd like to book 10/3-10/5. That would enable us to get to the field early Saturday morning. Spend the day seeing both am and pm activities. I did know weather was an issue, so Sunday would be the back-up date. There are no flights on Monday or Tuesday. We haven't firmed up yet what else we are doing, in the area - possible Santa Fe, Taos, white sands, Carlsbad, Roswell? Other must sees in the area - but we still need to get back to pa. If we were sort of close we could go back, but I doubt it. We have atmost a month on the road (I'd like 3 weeks better myself) So as you see hotel rooms and cost is an issue. We would be open for possible camping - don't want to camp the whole trip (my body needs a bed). Thanks for your help
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Aug 18th, 2014, 05:38 PM
  #11
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Oh hotwire scares me because you get what you get and that hotel you don't want to stay at is the hotel you probably get
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Aug 18th, 2014, 06:02 PM
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This campgrounds near where I live. I get propane for BBQ there and it seems really nice.
http://koa.com/campgrounds/albuquerque-north/

There are flight on weekday morning, just not the big mass ascensions that are on weekends.
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Aug 18th, 2014, 08:54 PM
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The Travelodge is at University and Menaul. I wouldn't have a problem staying there.

The Red Roof Inn would be OK; it's on the other side of the freeway from some not-so-great motels. I would pick the Travelodge over it.

Hotels jack up their rates for Balloon Fiesta, so you're not going to find anything wonderful for the price you want to pay.

Lee Ann
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Aug 21st, 2014, 11:06 AM
  #14
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I checked out the koa and I think we like the idea. They have cabins available. Could even add another night and explore the area more if we chose. Was told 1 exit, 10 miles, from the balloon fest about 15-20 minute drive.
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Aug 21st, 2014, 11:14 AM
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It is a nice campground. As I said, I go there several times a year for propane.

I would seriously consider using the park and ride at Intel in Rio Rancho. It is a 15 minute ride from campgrounds. It is SO much less hassle to use the shuttle bus! You simply get on the bus and they drop you right off at entrance gate.

Their directions are accurate as far as it being 1 exit away. they are VERY wrong about the time to get to Fiesta Park at that time of year. All southbound and northbound traffic will be exiting there and taking frontage road into parking. It will be huge long lines of traffic. An hour is more like it and that may be underestimate by the time you get to parking lot, buy ticket and get inside.
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Aug 21st, 2014, 04:01 PM
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I'll second DebitNM's recommendation to use the park and ride at Intel. It will save you quite a bit of time, as the buses have their own entrance to the park. When you're ready to leave, you just get on the bus and go.

Lee Ann
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Aug 21st, 2014, 07:14 PM
  #17
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You both agree koa is a good choice but be prepared for atleast an hr drive both ways, (even at 5am.) but do park at Intel and take bus in. Does parking at Intel save any traffic time or are you then in it twice? Another question purchasing tickets - if I remember correctly if I buy in advance you get both bus and entrance fee for one price. Park entrance is $8 what is bus fee? Although I know it will make for a long day, but Is there enough activity during midday to stay at park all day? Craft booths, chainsaw contest, etc?

What else would you recommend we see in area if we would have another day or two and would the koa be a good base?
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Aug 21st, 2014, 08:03 PM
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As Lee Ann said, the bus has a special route and traffic lane, so no, it won't take an hour from Intel. Even if it did, it would be way less stressful to have the bus driver deal with logistics.

So, it's 15- 20 minutes from KOA to Intel. (SR 550 to 528) then another 15 on the bus, once it leaves lot. There should be LOTS of busses to take folks from Intel to Fiest Park.

There is not enough to stay at the park all day. Also, you need separate tickets for morning and evening events/sessions. (glows etc).

Ticket prices- http://www.balloonfiesta.com/guest-g...ng-information

As far as a base, the KOA is perfectly located for day trip to Santa Fe as it is near I25.

Lots to see and do, what are your interests? Check out - http://www.balloonfiesta.com/guest-g...o-after-fiesta
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Sep 25th, 2014, 01:35 PM
  #19
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Thanks for the info. One more question for you. I know that both of you elendulpickle and debit nm suggest using the intel park n ride area. I was going to book tickets today and was talking with someone at the balloon fiesta and they suggested cliffs amusement park. Using google, cliffs is shorter than Intel, but I am assuming you are suggesting intel because the traffic would be less congested by staying off the interstate, therefore be the better alternative - correct
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Sep 25th, 2014, 02:43 PM
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Where are you staying? That is the deciding factor for Cliff's vs. Intel park and ride is whether you are staying on eastside or westside of ABQ. Cliffs is on eastside; Intel is on westside. Technically, the river is the divide; but for this purpose, I25 would be the real factor.
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