In 1975, Bill Gates and Paul Allen started a little company called Microsoft in one of the rooms at the The Sundowner Motel, located off the famous Route 66 in Albuquerque, New Mexico, and was near MITS, the business that created the Altair 8800 computer. Gates and Allen wrote a version of BASIC that the Altair 8800 could use.
The company decided to move to the Seattle, Washington, area in 1979. Meanwhile, the Sundowner Motel became one of the many motels and hotels along Route 66 to lose tourists to interstate hotels and finally closed in 2009. This week, ground was broken at the Sundowner Motel location on a new redevelopment project that the people behind it hope will bring life once again to the Route 66 corridor. The Albuquerque Business First website reports that the project will cost $9.2 million to complete.
The plan is to turn the Sundowner into 71 apartments that will also have park-like areas, along with spaces for a cafe, small businesses and, ironically, a computer training center. You can check out some concept images of the new Sundowner at the website of its architect Garrett Smith. There's no word on when the redevelopment project will be completed.
Source: Albuquerque Business First | Image via Garrett Smith