Road Scholar : Home
The “Other” Las Vegas, New Mexico’s Hidden Gem

Program Number: 19546RJ
Start and End Dates:
5/19/2013 - 5/24/2013;
Duration: 5 nights
Location: Las Vegas, New Mexico
Price starting at: $899.00 - Price may vary based on date, departure city
Program Type: History & Culture Activity Level: t (see description)
Meals: 13; 5 Breakfasts, 4 Lunches, 4 Dinners    
Meal Options: Vegetarian    

Once known as the wildest town in the West, the “other” Las Vegas is one of New Mexico’s hidden gems. Trace the history of this off-the-beaten-path destination from native peoples living here 10,000 years ago to the Spanish explorers of the 1600s to the multicultural mosaic of today. Learn how the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railroad brought great prosperity and experience the beautiful Victorian homes that were built as a result.




Highlights

• Be welcomed at a private reception given by Las Vegas residents.
• See and hear Mariachis, cowboy poets, and try dancing to traditional Mexican music.
• Experience the Montezuma Castle on the campus of United World College.



Activity Particulars

Walking up to six blocks over unpaved, uneven terrain. Elevation 6,400 feet.



Coordinated by Road Scholar.




Las Vegas (New Mexico)

With the arrival of the railroad in 1880, this thriving stop on the Santa Fe Trail quickly became one of the American Southwest’s largest cities. It also became a haven for Jesse James, Billy the Kid and other notorious outlaws. Today such disreputable figures live on only in legend, and Las Vegas boasts an array of cultural and historic resources.



Accommodations
Las Vegas’ Plaza Hotel, built in 1882, renovated in 1982 to add private baths, dressing rooms. Home to ghost of former owner Byron T. Mills.
Meals and Lodgings
   The Plaza Hotel
  Las Vegas, NM 5 nights
 The Plaza Hotel
Type: Full Service Hotel
  Description: The Plaza Hotel, in Las Vegas, NM, was built in 1882, and presided regally over the Old Town Plaza. Teddy Roosevelt's Rough Riders held their first reunion at the hotel in 1899. In 1882, it had 54 rooms, but in 1982, when it was renovated, the number of rooms was reduced to 37 to add private baths and generous dressing rooms. After the railroad first reached Las Vegas in 1879, merchants rich from the Santa Fe Trail trade pooled $1,000 each to build this hotel. Because of its hospitality and beauty, the hotel today is just as ready to serve you a good meal or let you sleep in a comfortable bed as it was in 1882. The best thing about the hotel is its resident ghost, that of Byron T. Mills!

The hotel now incorporates today's desired amenities and services for its guests, but it retains all of its Victorian charm and elegance.

  Contact info: 230 Plaza
Las Vegas, NM 87701 USA
phone: 505-425-3591 xor18003281882
web: www.plazahotel-nm.com
  Room amenities: in-room coffee and tea, cable TV including HBO, ESPN and MTV, free local calls
  Facility amenities: Restaurant on premises, Western-style saloon, wireless Internet, meeting facility, free off-street parking
  Smoking allowed: No
  Elevators available: Yes
  Additional nights prior: best seasonal rates Additional nights should be arranged with the hotel well ahead of the program's start date. Please call the hotel at 505-425-3591 or 1-800-328-1882 to make arrangements, and let them know you're coming for this program.
  Check in time: 3:00 PM
  Additional nights after: best seasonal rates Additional nights should be arranged with the hotel well ahead of the program's start date. Please call the hotel at 505-425-3591 or 1-800-328-1882 to make arrangements, and let them know you're coming for this program.
  Check out time: 12:00 PM


Travel Details
  Start of Program:
Check in at hotel between 3:00 - 5:30 pm; register with program's group leader between 4:00 - 5:30 PM You will be staying at The Plaza Hotel that night.
  End of Program:
Program ends after breakfast on final day of the program; participants may depart at any time, but must check out by 11:00 am You will be staying at The Plaza Hotel the night before.
  Required documents:
The Road Scholar Health & Safety Form is required.
  Parking availability:
Parking is free at the hotel
Transportation
To Start of Program
  Location:  Las Vegas, NM
  Nearest city or town:  Santa Fe, NM
  Nearest highway: Interstate 25
  Nearest airport:  Santa Fe, NM
  From End of Program
  Location: Las Vegas, NM
    (Additional transportation information same as above)
Travel Details
 

Albuquerque

 

To Train Station

 
 

Service:

 

Commercial Van/Shuttle
Sunport Shuttle
phone: 505-883-4966

 

Per Person/One Way:

 

$5
Prices are subject to change.

 

Travel Time:

 

15 minutes from airport to train station 

 

Distance:

 

5 miles

   

If you fly into Albuquerque, you'll need to take a shuttle to the Amtrak Station (the only way to get to Las Vegas, NM unless you rent a car). There is one train departing Albuquerque to Las Vegas each day. Departure from Albuquerque is at approximately 12:45 pm and arrival in Las Vegas is at 3:35 pm. Shuttle will take you from Albuquerque Sunport to the Amtrak Station. (Amtrak Fare for this train service is approximately $36 per person one way).

 

Albuquerque

 

To Airport

 
 

Service:

 

Commercial Van/Shuttle
Sunport Shuttle
phone: 505-883-4966

 

Per Person/One Way:

 

$5
Prices are subject to change.

 

Travel Time:

 

15 minutes 

 

Distance:

 

5 miles

   

If you travel to Albuquerque at the end of the program via Amtrak, the Sunport Shuttle can transfer you from the Amtrak Station to the Albuquerque Sunport if you need to catch a flight. You may need to call the shuttle company from the train station, but they're usually there to transfer train passengers as needed.

 

Las Vegas, NM

 

To Train Station

 
 

Service:

 

Hotel Shuttle
Plaza Hotel Shuttle
phone: 505-425-3591
Advanced Reservations Required

 

Per Person/One Way:

 

hotel shuttle is free to Amtrak station
Prices are subject to change.

 

Travel Time:

 

10 minutes 

 

Distance:

 

2 miles

   

The night before your departure, let the hotel's front desk know the time you'll need to be taken to the Amtrak station in Las Vegas. There is one departure daily from Las Vegas, NM to Albuquerque, NM. The Amtrak Train departs Las Vegas at approximately 12:38 pm and arrives in Albuquerque at 3:55 pm. Fare is approximately $29

 

Las Vegas to Albuquerque

 

To Airport

 
 

Service:

 

Commercial Van/Shuttle
Private Pre-Arranged Van Service
phone: 505-983-0613
Advanced Reservations Required

 

Per Person/One Way:

 

included
Prices are subject to change.

 

Travel Time:

 

two 

 

Distance:

 

88 miles

   

Road Scholar in Santa Fe will arrange for ONE pick-up at the Plaza Hotel in Las Vegas, NM on final morning of program. You MUST make reservations for this shuttle/bus AT LEAST three weeks in advance of the program's start date. Pick-up time at the hotel will be at 8:00 AM, arriving at Albuquerque Sunport no later than 10:30 AM (book departing flights at least two hours later).

 

Las Vegas, NM

 

From Train Station

 
 

Service:

 

Hotel Shuttle
Plaza Hotel Shuttle
phone: 505-425-3591

 

Per Person/One Way:

 

hotel shuttle is free from Amtrak Station
Prices are subject to change.

 

Travel Time:

 

10 minutes 

 

Distance:

 

2 miles

   

Call hotel upon arrival and request their shuttle services

 

Albuquerque to Las Vegas

 

From Airport

 
 

Service:

 

Commercial Van/Shuttle
Private Pre-Arranged Van Service
phone: 505-983-0613
Advanced Reservations Required

 

Per Person/One Way:

 

included
Prices are subject to change.

 

Travel Time:

 

two 

 

Distance:

 

88 miles

   

Road Scholar in Santa Fe will arrange for ONE pick-up at Albuquerque Sunport on beginning day of program. You must make reservations for this shuttle/bus AT LEAST three weeks in advance of the program's start date. Pick-up time at the airport will be at 2:30 PM, so please arrange for your flight to arrive no later than 1:30 PM.

 
Driving Directions
  Albuquerque, NM If you are departing from Albuquerque Sunport or other locations in Albuquerque, find an exit to I-25 North and drive north toward Santa Fe; we recommend that you stay in the middle lane. Continue past Santa Fe, remaining on I-25 North. Take exit 343 toward NM-283/I-25 Business/NM-329/Las Vegas. Turn left at New Mexico Avenue/US-85 Alt N, then turn right at West National Street. Take the second left onto Hot Springs Blvd/State Route 65. Take the 1st right onto Plaza Park. The hotel will be on your left. Travel time is approximately 1 hour, 51 minutes.
  Las Vegas, NM To return to Albuquerque, take the first left onto Hot Springs Blvd/State Route 65. Take the second right onto West National Street. Turn left onto New Mexico Avenue/US-85 Alt N. Turn right to merge into I-25 South. Continue past Santa Fe on I-25, and stay on I-25 until you see a sign on your right (almost all the way through the city) saying Sunport Boulevard. Exit right, and follow the signs into the Sunport. Travel time is approximately 1 hour 51 minutes.
Elevation Note: Las Vegas, NM is at an elevation of 6,424 feet above sea level

The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.


Daily Schedule

Day 1: Arrival & Check-in, Registration, Welcome Reception, Orientation, Introductions
(Sunday, May 19)
   
 Arrive To: HOTEL CHECK-IN: You may check into the hotel between 3:00-5:00pm. (Early check-in may be possible if you arrive in Las Vegas via Amtrak). After you have your room assignment, come over to the Road Scholar desk in the lobby between 3:00-5:00 PM to register with your Group Leader.

Please be aware that program activities and scheduled times could change due to local circumstances. In the event of any changes, we will alert you as quickly as possible. Thank you for your understanding.

 Afternoon: RECEPTION: Local residents will welcome you to Las Vegas NM during a short reception at the hotel from 5:30-6:00 PM.
 Dinner: Opening night dinner in the hotel's dining room from 6:00-7:00 PM. The Landmark Grill is a place where all of Las Vegas loves to eat. Bright, friendly and with a welcoming atmosphere, the chefs will prepare a great dinner for you.
 Evening: ORIENTATION: From approximately 7:00-8:30 PM, we will gather in our meeting room for an informative overview of the program to come plus an opportunity to meet the program staff and your fellow participants during an introductory get-acquainted session. W will review the updated schedule, answer any questions you may have, and cover responsibilities, safety guidelines, and emergency procedures. (If you arrive late, please pick up your packet at the hotel front desk.)

To round out the evening, we will view a short film starring Tom Mix, depicting the Wild West and made by the star himself in northern New Mexico.

   
Accommodations: The Plaza Hotel
Meals Included: Dinner

Day 2: History From 8,000 B.C., Nine Historic Districts, Santa Fe Trail, Barbecue & Cowboy Poet plus Sing-along
(Monday, May 20)

Note: Walking up to one mile over course of the day over paved terrain, standing for short periods of time during afternoon field trip



   
 Breakfast: Breakfast is in our meeting room from 7:00-8:00 AM. The daily breakfast menu offers several entree choices from a menu or a buffet set-up. Coffee, tea and juice are also provided.
 Morning: In the early morning, we'll take a short walk to the offices of the Citizens' Committee for Historic Preservation.

You'll learn about the 900 structures in Las Vegas that are listed on the National Register of Historic Places and the Citizens' Committee's role in the maintenance and preservation of these structures.

Following the walk, there will be presentations by local experts that will take you from prehistory and the time of the first Native Americans as early as 8,000 B.C through 16th-Century Spanish explorers, the Santa Fe Trail, and subsequent economic growth. By the end of the morning, you'll have a pretty good idea of the area's amazing history.

 Lunch: We’ll have lunch out at a favorite local restaurant. The bus departs at 11:30am to take you to Charlie's Spic and Span for a taste of authentic Southwestern flavor.
 Afternoon: FIELD TRIP: An expert guide will lead a bus exploration of the city’s nine different historic districts and you will visit an historic home.

From there, we’ll travel to Fort Union National Monument for a presentation by Park Service personnel and to learn more about the Santa Fe Trail (you'll be able to see some remnants of the original trail). We’ll return to the hotel by approximately 5:30pm.

 Dinner: Dinner is a celebratory event in your honor. Depending on the weather, you'll have a Buffalo Barbecue in the hotel dining area, complete with cowboys!
 Evening: ENTERTAINMENT: After dinner, a cowboy will read poetry and show you cowboy art. Then participate in a cowboy sing-along. You may already know some of these great songs and you’ll learn others for a joyful Wild West evening.
   
Accommodations: The Plaza Hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 3: Spanish Colonial Arts, Land Grant Farmers, Arts Demonstration & Hands-On Workshop, Victorian 'Salon' Musical Evening
(Tuesday, May 21)

Note: Walking up to three blocks over course of the day over paved terrain. Negotiation of a few stairs to enter Victorian home may be possible, depending on home that is chosen for the visit. Boarding and getting off bus.



   
 Breakfast: Breeakfast in the hotel dining room.
 Morning: PRESENTATION: Learn about arts of the colonial period, introduced when the Spaniards came to the Southwest in the 1500s and 1600s.

You'll also learn about Spanish Land Grant farmers (c. 1836) in Las Vegas and the surrounding countryside, and how local farmers took up the new art forms that became traditional in this area.

 Lunch: Lunch at the hotel.
 Afternoon: DEMONSTRATIONS & WORKSHOPS: The fun continues as three artists demonstrate Spanish Colonial art forms such as tin smithing, Colcha embroidery, and jewelry making.

After the demonstrations, you’ll be able to move to each demo/teaching area and learn some of the techniques involved. Instructors will bring examples of their own work. If you’d like to try your hand at all of the crafts, you’ll have about an hour at each station, or you can spend all of your time with just one of the crafts. Your choice. We provide all materials for basic instruction.

 Dinner: Dinner at a local restaurant.
 Evening: EVENING PROGRAM & ENTERTAINMENT: We’ll hop on our bus for a special event created just for us. In a charming Victorian home, you’ll experience an old-fashioned Victorian "salon." In the 19th century, "salons" such as these provided entertainment for townspeople. Special highlights include a performance of musical selections by a harpist as well as a reading of some fascinating journal entries and short stories written by area residents in the 1800s. You'll have a chance to try your hand at journaling some of your own experiences.
   
Accommodations: The Plaza Hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 4: Armand Hammer United World College; Montezuma Castle; Optional Hot Springs; Wine Tasting; Dinner On Your Own and Free Evening
(Wednesday, May 22)

Note: Walking over uneven packed dirt and paved terrain up to one mile over course of the day; negotiating a few stairs at Montezuma Castle; standing during site-visit lectures



   
 Breakfast: Breakfast at the hotel.
 Morning: PRESENTATION: Learn how the coming of the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railroad, on July 4, 1879, launched a new era of prosperity as waves of immigrants from every walk of life followed. You’ll also hear about the development of "New Town" and its wonderful architecture — considered the most interesting and colorful in the state thanks to the variety of immigrants and the new availability of building materials shipped by the railroad — that gives Las Vegas its special charm. Many of the immigrants were Jewish merchants who eventually built the first Synagogue in New Mexico Territory.
 Lunch: Bus departs for Armand Hammer United World College, where you'll have a boxed lunch.
 Afternoon: FIELD TRIP: We board our bus for a field trip to Armand Hammer United World College of the American West (UWC). Founded in 1982 by the late Dr. Armand Hammer at the urging of HRH Charles, Prince of Wales, the school's mission is to teach international understanding by bringing together young men and women of diverse ethnic and social backgrounds, in an environment in which they must work together for success.

The campus near Las Vegas includes historic Montezuma Castle, a former mountain resort spa that was a major attraction in the 1890s. We’ll explore the castle, and see the local hot springs. You can return to the hotel after the field trip or stay and have a dip in the hot springs if you wish; we'll pick you up a little later.

At 5:00 PM, there will be a complimentary wine tasting at the Plaza Wine and Gift Shop, located in the hotel.

 Dinner: Dinner will be on your own tonight; your group leader will suggest restaurants you can try that are near the hotel..
 Evening: Free evening to spend as you wish.
   
Accommodations: The Plaza Hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 5: The Future of Las Vegas, NM; Intricacies of Educating a Diverse Population; Rough Riders Museum; Montefiore Temple; Farewell Evening with Mariachis, Mexican Buffet, Latino Dance Demonstration and Lessons
(Thursday, May 23)

Note: Walking up to one mile over paved and packed dirt terrain over course of the day. Standing in museums, the temple, and cemetery as presentations are made; some opportunities to sit.



   
 Breakfast: Breakfast at the hotel from 7:00 - 8:00 AM
 Morning: LOOKING TOWARDS THE FUTURE: We begin the morning with a discussion of how Las Vegas is progressing into the future including development, business trends, significant issues, and other topics looking ahead 10-25 years.

Then a panel of three local educators will address the intricacies of education in this area with a diverse population, individual student needs, and the financial challenge. Our participants come from many different backgrounds with experience in different educational systems, and a lot of you may have been involved in the teaching profession. You’re invited to contribute your knowledge and suggestions based on what has worked in your own communities.

 Lunch: Lunch at the hotel.
 Afternoon: FIELD TRIP: We begin this afternoon’s discoveries at the Las Vegas Rough Riders Museum with its collection of artifacts, archives, and photographs that illuminate the history of Las Vegas, its connection to the Rough Riders, the Santa Fe Trail, and the development of New Mexico. Teddy Roosevelt served as Lieutenant-Colonel of the Rough Riders, leading them to victory in Cuba during the Spanish-American War.

Next, you'll visit one of the beautiful Victorian homes in Las Vegas. Many of these homes are on the National Historic Register, and they have been very well maintained.

Our next stop is Montefiore Temple, built in 1884 and used by people who thought they might have been Jews at one time in the past (Conversos) or perhaps Crypto-Jews (hidden Jews from the time of the Spanish Conquistadors), along with recently arrived Jewish merchants and their families. A marker was placed there in recognition of the site of the first permanent Jewish House of Worship in the Territory of New Mexico.

 Dinner: Tonight's farewell dinner will be at the hotel, part of a special event created just for you.
 Evening: FAREWELL EVENING: Your New Mexican style evening begins with a special concert of music by a Mariachi group, a musical genre that originated in the State of Jalisco, Mexico. Mariachi ensembles generally consists of violins, trumpets, an acoustic guitar, a vihuela (a high-pitched, five-string guitar), a guitarrón (a large acoustic bass) and, on occasion, a harp. The Mariachis dress in silver studded charro outfits with wide-brimmed hats.

After the music, you'll be treated to a great Mexican dinner buffet at the hotel with lots of traditional foods and delicious desserts created by the hotel's chef.

We conclude with a Latino dance demonstration and dance lessons. Everyone can have a good time, no matter what your physical condition, and this is ONLY for our participants!

   
Accommodations: The Plaza Hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 6: Program Conclusion & Independent Departures
(Friday, May 24)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast is in the hotel dining room from 7:00-8:30am.
 Morning: The program concludes with breakfast. Hotel check-out time is no later than 11:00 am.

If you are traveling to the Amtrak Station in Las Vegas, the hotel shuttle can take you there.

If you have chosen to take the special bus transportation back to Albuquerque, departure will be at 8:00 AM. (See "Getting There" information above).

We hope you have enjoyed this exciting new program revealing one of New Mexico's hidden gems, and that you will join us for other rewarding Road Scholar learning adventures in the future. Best wishes for all your journeys!

   
Meals Included: Breakfast
Important information about your itinerary: Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy and completeness of the information featured on this website. Itineraries are based on our best information at this time. Circumstances beyond our control may require us to adjust itineraries or other details. We regret any inconvenience this may cause and appreciate your understanding. Information will be sent to you from your Program Provider approximately three weeks prior to the program start date. The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.

Suggested Reading List


A Cowboy Writer in New Mexico


Author: Sinclaire, John


A Dictionary of New Mexico and Southern Colorado Spanish


Author: Cobos, Ruben


Contemporary Southwestern Jewelry


Author: Pardue, Diana


Cowboys & the Trappings of the Old West


Author: William Manns, elizabeth Clair Flood & Charlotte Berney


Curanderismo: Mexican American Folk Healing


Author: Trotter, Robert T.; Chavira, Juan Antonio


Description: The practice of curanderismo or Mexican American folk medicine is part of a historically and culturally important health care system deeply rooted in native Mexican healing techniques. The book is the first to describe the practice from an insider's point of view, based on the authors' three-year apprenticeships with curanderos (healers).



Dogs of God: Columbus, the Inquisition, and the Defeat of the Moors


Author: Reston, James Jr.


Hidden Heritzge: The Legacy of the Crypto-Jews


Author: Jacobs, Janet Liebman


Hispanic American Literature: A Brief Introduction and Anthology


Author: Kanellos, Nicolas


New Mexico's Railroads: A Historical Survey


Author: Myrick, David F.


So You Wanna See Cowboy Stuff?


Author: Magers, Boyd


Description: Here's the only complete tour guide ever assembled leading you directly to all the western movie and TV memorabilia as well as filming locations in the entire USA!



The House at Otowi Bridge


Author: Church, Peggy Pond


The Journey of Coronado


Author: Casteneda, Pedro


The Santa Fe School of Cooking Cookbook


Author: Susan D. Curtis


Description: Contains some of the very best recipes from Santa Fe School of Cooking and features glorious photography.



When the Bluebird Sings to the Lemonade Springs


Author: Stegner, Wallace




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As a not-for-profit organization, we are dedicated to providing all-inclusive educational programs at great value. From lectures to gratuities to field trips to accommodations - the tuition you pay up front is all that you pay.



Specifically, this program includes:

Plus these special experiences...

View the Daily Schedule to see more

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