Oh, where do I begin to tell the story of my adventure? Of course the beginning. Last night my husband and I and a close friend attended the concert of Blondie and Pat Benatar at the Isleta Casino's Lake outdoor venue. We arrived at the Casino's main parking lot at 6:15 and proceeded to have our own little pre-concert tailgate party. We stood around talking, laughing, eating, drinking, and enjoying each other’s company as we watched the people filing toward the entrance of the casino, queuing to load up on the buses provided by the casino to shuttle the people down to the concert area. No problem we thought, the concert started at 7:30. We had plenty of time. We would have a little dinner and then join the masses of people awaiting the buses. Therefore, we proceeded to walk to the end of the very long line of people.

After standing for about 15 min. or so and the line was barely moving, and after talking to several people and becoming concerned if we would make the concert on time, we and others decided to walk the distance to the venue. Here is where the adventure begins. We crossed the parking lot and over Rt 47 to the golf course. Oh, let me clue you in on my dress. I must say I was cutely dressed and the sandals I had just bought were to die for, but were NOT made for the Volksmarch we were about to partake. Ok so, we are now walking across the Isleta golf course, which was pleasant enough, and we are watching others ahead and making note of where they were going. Behind us were also groups of daring individuals making the trek. Yes, you can think Lemmings and that would be appropriate
We came upon a barbwire fence and we helped each other over. Now we have an embankment to climb up to the railroad tracks and then scale down the embankment to the other side. Wow, ok this is getting abit much. Oh, I forgot to inform you that my husband, friend, and I are in our 50's something’s and my husband and I are in Ok shape but our friend is huffing, puffing, and carrying extra weight. So now we have crossed the golf course, a barbwire fence, climbed an embankment over the railroad tracks and down.

Now we are watching the people ahead of us disappearing into a brush, thinking should we keep following them or go north on the tracks and cross over at the bridge. Keyword Bridge, meaning to cross over undesirable conditions. Nooo, lets follow the people right? We approach the "brush" and looked to see, we need to walk through sticks, thick weeds and black water muck. Well, the groups of "ladies" in front of us and one woman wearing a short dress mind you were able to jump somewhat across the muck. Ok” I can do this,” I said to myself. Well, let me say I did it but one shoe paid the price. Poor new cute sandals. Then making it out of the brush upon the other side, Walla the Concert! Now my beautiful fresh long hair is plastered to my head and face. I am sweating profusely and one sandal is ruined but hey, we made it. It took us 15 maybe 20 mins. to make it.

So why am I telling you this story? Because the point I am trying to make is the transportation and planning was poorly thought out for the masses of people going to the Isleta Casino's Lake outdoor concert. After we arrived and were enjoying the music the buses continued to arrive throughout the evening unloading people who missed most of the concert. And yes, we did walk back to the casino via the bridge and roadway, which took us about 25 to 30 mins. So if you plan to attend the concert there this is what to expect. For warning is noted. However, once you do get there enjoy! Thank you for listening.

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Comment by jenprosser on July 31, 2009 at 7:36am
I had a similar adventure at the Blondie/Benatar show. I live just a few miles from the Lakes in the South Valley. No problem getting to the show, right? Wrong. It took over an hour just to move 100 yards towards the off-ramp. I haven't seen traffic this bad since it took me an hour to drive ten blocks from my NYC apartment in Hell's Kitchen to the Lincoln Tunnel for my first Thanksgiving at the in-laws.

Once we finally made the turn into the Lakes, I could hear the audience scream for Blondie's "Atomic." Sigh. We missed half the show even after detouring out of the long line through the VIP parking and exit. The ride out was not much better. We sat in our car for an hour before we even turned it on. Concert ended at, what, 10? We got home around 12:30. That said, we still had a blast. But I will be hard pressed to ever go back to the Lakes to see a show. They need to do some serious traffic planning to better handle their crowds (like maybe add more than one lane going in and out of the venue). If I ever do go back, I'll walk.
Comment by Barelas Babe on July 31, 2009 at 8:59am
What an excellent cautionary tale! Thanks for sharing this with us.

Question: not having ever attended a concert at the Isleta Casino Lake's venue, I'm wondering, would the Railrunner be a better option than parking in the main lot and hoofing it? (Of course, there is the challenge of the train schedule at night, which leaves something to be desired...)
Comment by jenprosser on July 31, 2009 at 9:20am
We thought the same thing after watching several trains go by while we were stuck in traffic, but the last train going north through Isleta Pueblo is at 8pm-ish, so that's an early show. But what a good solution if the schedule gets expanded.
Comment by Tiff on July 31, 2009 at 10:17am
Thanks for sharing. I also went to the concert and after an hour in traffic we changed our plans from using the casino shuttles to parking at the event parking which was just as bad. From the turn off of 47 to the actual parking space was over half an hour. We got to hear the Donnas as we drove past the stage area to park. Granted we ended up in one of the farthest parking rows, but by the time we walked back up to the stage it was past 8pm. Luckily I wore tennis shoes, some of my friends wore cute flats that took a beating through the dirt/mud parking area. I had a great time at the show, but unless the rail runner is an option to and from I have no desire to return to that venue.
Comment by Michael Cadigan on July 31, 2009 at 10:32am
We gave up after an hour in traffic and went to Kelly's.
Comment by BlahBlahblah on July 31, 2009 at 5:19pm
I thought the whole set up was tragic. Terrible venue with a rock bottom price tag. If they ever do build an outdoor venue, I would hope they have the sense to increase the flow of safe travel in and out. I walked out and was just missed as one of the Herrera Coach drivers proceeded to hog the curb and ignore the 20 or so pedestrians. Sad.
Comment by Sherry Elliott on August 2, 2009 at 1:27pm
Secondly, that post will be my first time and last time to attempt to blog. As commented by Black is the new Black (thank you for having my back) I believed I could just innocently write something I believed in without repercussion. And for Kelly's comment, You will have to blame Microsoft Word for my misspellings and grammar, because I first wrote it and proofed using that. I was taught as a child to support the weaker person and if I didn’t have something to say that was positive about that person then it’s better not to say anything at all. Good Lord Kelly, I’m sorry for you! If you live in a world that is that perfect, I would hate being you. Enough said.
Comment by Sherry Elliott on August 2, 2009 at 3:16pm
Thank you sophie! Now THAT'S encouraging!
Comment by Sherry Elliott on August 2, 2009 at 5:51pm
Oh, I didn’t realize I was representing the “face of the city”. I’m glad I live in Valencia County. Again the point I was trying make is the traffic and transportation for the Isleta’s Lakes Concert venue sucks. I just wanted to warn fellow concertgoers. I just wish someone had told me before hand. This blog has become too dramatic for the subject. Please people give it a rest. Really, it is not that important. As the saying goes if you can’t take the heat, get out of the kitchen! I’m out!
Comment by Meredith S. on August 3, 2009 at 4:10pm
Too bad it wasn't at Sandia Casino amphitheater. The show I attended there was ideal!


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