ASCEND ABQ Creates New Retail Opportunities for Local Artisans and Microbusinesses

Jan 30, 2024

Kiosk program will expand product offerings and provide springboard for creators

ALBUQUERQUE — As part of the Albuquerque International Sunport’s Dream of Flight terminal renovation project, new and expanded retail space will be made for local retailers, including microbusinesses such as artisans and other sole proprietors. This year, the Sunport is launching its new retail kiosk program, ASCEND ABQ, to create a vibrant and diverse shopping experience for the millions of travelers who pass through the Sunport each year.

An informational session on the ASCEND ABQ program will be held on Saturday, February 3, 2024, at 11:00 a.m. at the Old Terminal Building, 2920 Yale Blvd SE 87106. Small businesses and artisans are encouraged to attend and RSVP here.

ASCEND ABQ is a retail concessions internship providing evolving and established small, local, regional and minority-owned businesses an opportunity to operate a kiosk, or retail merchandising unit (RMU), at the Sunport for up to one year. Participants in the ASCEND ABQ program will receive business training and resources, an adaptable kiosk at no cost, and exposure to over five million travelers that visit the Sunport annually.

“This is a tremendous opportunity for us to partner with local businesses to market products and services that are unique to New Mexico,” said Aviation Department Director Richard McCurley. “We look forward to mentoring small businesses through this specialty retail program and, ultimately, helping them expand and succeed.”

Kiosks will be placed in high-visibility areas at the Sunport. Some possible retail concepts include handcrafted arts, gifts and crafts, jewelry, apparel, travel essentials, pre-packaged food and beverages, or personal care products like soaps and lotions. Each kiosk can be assembled in a variety of configurations to adapt to any retail concept, and some kiosks include the option for refrigeration and/or water supply. 

“We’re using new ways to get more folks involved in doing business with the Sunport,” said Mayor Tim Keller. “This program provides a platform for small businesses or folks who are just getting started to get in front of a global audience, and unlock opportunities that have historically only been available to established businesses. We can’t wait to have more folks help us share the colors, scents, and flavors of the Land of Enchantment with the rest of the world.”

The ASCEND ABQ program will also provide space to those seeking to offer seasonal merchandise and feature a unique “Co-Op” kiosk that showcases four distinct business concepts, each with its own branding and merchandise. The “Co-Op” is an opportunity for smaller retail business owners – for example, those selling at the ABQ Rail Yards, farmers’ markets, or similar venues – to market their products at the Sunport.

Businesses interested in joining the ASCEND ABQ program may apply online in early spring 2024. It is important to note that this application is primarily for gathering information and does not guarantee tenancy of an ASCEND ABQ kiosk at the Sunport. Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis. Visit abqsunportbiz.com/ascend/ for more information.

 

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About the Albuquerque International Sunport

Owned and operated by the City of Albuquerque’s Aviation Department, The Albuquerque International Sunport is New Mexico’s largest commercial airport, welcoming over 5 million passengers each year. Served by eight major carriers, 3 cargo carriers and 2 commuter airlines, the Sunport offers nonstop service between ABQ and 29 destinations, with worldwide connectivity. The Albuquerque International Sunport is the Gateway of New Mexico.

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