Hello Kitty Cafe Truck Makes a Stop in ABQ

The Hello Kitty Cafe Truck made its way to Albuquerque on March 3rd, at the ABQ Uptown Shops.

The Hello Kitty Cafe Truck was stationed in between Frost Gelato and the California Pizza Kitchen. People were lined up since before the 10am opening, ready to purchase merchandise and food from the truck. Attendees were dressed up in their cutest Hello Kitty themed outfits.

Attendees were filled with excitement to see what the truck had to offer.

Hello Kitty Cafe Truck Employee, Jenny Avila, shown selling merchandise. Photo taken by Courtney Salinger.

Hello Kitty Truck Cafe Attendee, Shirley Hill, standing in line to purchase merchandise. Photo taken by Courtney Salinger.

“I want to buy whatever they have left, I’ve heard that they sold out of a lot of stuff… This is how I regularly dress, so I just like went into my closet and got my favorite dress… I was super excited for this event… I’ve been like stalking it on the internet for like ever now and I’ve just been planning on traveling to go see it, but it came here,” said Shirley Hill, Hello Kitty Cafe Truck attendee.

The truck offered Hello Kitty themed food and merchandise.

Items from the truck ranged between $3.00 to $36.00. The food menu consisted of a Hello Kitty bow shaped water bottle, petit fours, macaroons, a cookie set, and a pocket pie. Merchandise items included; a t-shirt, a bow handle mug, a keychain, a bunny bow, a 32 ounce stainless steel thermal bottle, and an 18 ounce stainless steel thermal bottle.

“I think it’s pretty cool, I’ve never seen anything like this before, so the opportunity presented itself to just help them out and I thought it was cool… I love Hello Kitty,” said Jenny Avila, a Hello Kitty Cafe Truck employee.

The Hello Kitty Cafe Truck is an extension of the Hello Kitty Cafes located in southern California.

So far, there are two locations, a third cafe is on the way. According to the Hello Kitty Cafe Truck website, the first truck launched at the Hello Kitty Con 2014. Now, there are two trucks that roam the country.  

UNM student and Hello Kitty Cafe Truck attendee, Alli Thompson, showing off her Hello Kitty themed outfit for the occasion. Photo taken by Courtney Salinger.

“I’m really, really excited… I’m a huge fan of Hello Kitty… I’m also here for the J-Fashion meet, which is a meet-up of people who are interested in Japanese fashion,” said Alli Thompson, a UNM student and Hello Kitty Cafe Truck attendee.

Rabbit + Hare set up a Facebook event page, concerning a J-fashion meet up at the Hello Kitty Cafe Truck.

A J-fashion meet up is when people convene and dress up as their favorite japanese characters. Rabbit+Hare is an Albuquerque based wig company, that specializes in cosplay and fashion. Cosplay is dressing up as one’s favorite character from a video game or movie.

The Hello Kitty Cafe Truck is trademarked by Sanrio.

Sanrio is a Japanese based company that specializes in the production of Hello Kitty and similar Japanese characters. Hello Kitty was created in 1974. In 2014, Hello Kitty celebrated its 40th anniversary with the production of the Hello Kitty Cafe trucks. Since then, the Hello Kitty Cafe Trucks have been wandering around the United States, spreading joy to all the boys and girls, and adults everywhere.

The truck stayed in Albuquerque until 8pm, selling out of everything.

For upcoming locations and more information about the truck, follow The Hello Kitty Cafe Truck on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter

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Top Golf and Urban Air to Hit ABQ

Also in New Mexico News Port

By: Courtney Salinger and Taylor Rains

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Over the next two years,  popular entertainment chains TopGolf and Urban Air will swing into town.

With this Albuquerque residents can start to see new, fun, and interactive entertainment venues hit the scene. This could bring more business and traffic through the city.

 


Screenshot of Topgolf’s tweet announcing an Albuquerque location/Topgolf

Top Golf features different games surrounding golf, dining, and drinks. The company is set to open in spring of 2019, located at Montano and I-25. Top Golf will replace the location of Albuquerque’s The Beach waterpark, which closed down in 2004, due to poor health inspections.

Urban Air Adventure Park is a trampoline park which features basketball, rock climbing, indoor skydiving, virtual reality, a warrior course and battle beam, a kid’s area, a roller coaster, a cafe, and much more. The company is set to open sometime this year, off the Pan American freeway.

Albuquerque currently has two main entertainment venues, Dave and Busters and Main Event.

Dave and Buster’s offers a sports bar, dining, and video games. The company opened its doors to Albuquerque in 2014. Dave and Buster’s tends to receive new game options every couple months, with Wednesday’s being half price on all games.

Main Event offers bowling, video games, laser tag, billiards, gravity ropes, and dining. The company has been in Albuquerque for two years. Main Event plans to continue expanding throughout the country.  

Dave and Buster’s has a curfew for citizens younger than 18, which is open until midnight. For 21 and older, they are open till 2 a.m., depending on the day of the week. Otherwise, Dave and Buster’s, Main Event, Urban Air Adventure, and Top Golf close around 1a.m.  

Audri Sanchez provided us with a pamphlet with Main Event’s core values on the back/Taylor Rains

General Manager of Main Event Ronnie Prieto is not intimidated by the competition as he knows that they have more to offer, he said.   

People enjoy it (Main Event) so much more because they come with more than just one attraction such as golf or trampolines, Prieto said.

“We have an arcade, it’s a family establishment, and on top of that it is a full restaurant and a full bar. And we also have a bowling alley,” he said.

Prieto thinks with the new attractions, Main Event might see a dip in business and activity but since TopGolf will be right across the street, he’s guessing everyone will end up at Main Event anyway, he said.

“I honestly think it will help us. Think about it, there will be long waits and everyone will come over here. And on top of it, we’ve been the number one center in the company for all of last year. It’s what Albuquerque wants,” Prieto said.

Terra Gelinas, a student at UNM, thinks that having more options available to residents will not only give people more to do, but it could also better the economy for New Mexico, she said.

I think having it come here will expand in what people can do for fun and have economical benefits for another place people can spend money at,” Gelinas said.

While Gelinas thinks expansion of entertainment opportunities is a good thing, she said she likes Main Event because it provides something new and exciting to do.

“I like that they have options for adult friendly events because they are open much later and it’s another thing to go do on a weekend night… I like the two story laser tag because it’s different than anywhere else in town… It’s nice being able to order food and drinks at the bowling area as well because it’s a little nicer than other bowling alleys,” Gelinas said.

Gelinas did voice concern in regards to the incoming business Urban Air as opposed to Top Golf as she said there are already a few trampoline parks that seem to compete amongst themselves.

“Adding a third may be difficult to make a profit, whereas Top Golf is going to be the first one in Albuquerque,” Gelinas said.

 

Screenshot of tweets showing community excitement/Taylor Rains, Courtney Salinger

In addition to each attractions that these companies bring, they also hold fundraising capabilities and offer parties and special deals for big groups. Most of the companies offer rentable rooms and dining areas for any special occasions.

 

UNM to Enforce New Freshman Residency Requirements

Also in The Daily Lobo

By: Courtney Salinger and Maria Gomez

The University of New Mexico-Main Campus’ freshman retention rate is 80 percent, making it higher compared to the nationwide average of 71 percent, according to College Factual.

However, UNM’s graduation rate of first-time/full-time students is lower, with a four-year graduation rate of 15 percent. First-time/full-time students in the UNM class of 2012, were less likely to graduate on time. After six years, the graduation rate was 47.8 percent and by 2016, 54.7 percent of this class had completed their degree, according to College Factual.   

(Graph of UNM-Main Campus first-time/full-time graduation rate compared to nationwide rate. Source: Collegefactual.com)

With hopes to increase success for first-year students, UNM is requiring all incoming freshman to live on campus for one year, beginning the Fall 2018 semester. There are five exceptions to the live-in requirement, including students who live within 30 miles of main campus and students who will be at least 20 years old at the start of the academic year.    

“We believe very strongly that freshman students in particular really do have a much higher success rate when they have their first year living on campus,” said Teresa Ortiz, the Residence Life/Housing operations manager.

Students living on campus have easier access to campus resources and events, she said.

“They’re close to class, tutoring, professors’ office hours, the dining hall is right here for them and there’s a lot of activities and programming for the students that live on campus,” Ortiz said.

“This helps give them a connection to campus, so they feel that they are apart of things — they’re not just coming to school, leaving and going back home,” she said.

Roughly 1,900 students are expected to live on campus this upcoming fall semester, according to Ortiz.

“When we last looked at some statistics about students living within the 30 mile zone that were freshman that weren’t living with us, there was only about 300 that weren’t, so we can definitely accommodate those,” said Ortiz.

In order to accommodate incoming freshmen, previous deluxe singles created to give one student more room are being converted back to double spaces to make sure that no student who’s chosen to live on campus gets left out, according to Ortiz.

UNM Police Detective Alfredo Bouquet said the UNM Police Department are not looking to make changes to their security based on the Freshman Residency Requirement.

“At this time I have no information that there’s going to be more officers or security hired,” Bouquet said.

UNM is an open campus, allowing students and the public to come and go off of the property as much as they want at any time.

UNM police are always patrolling on foot, bikes and cars, Bouquet said. There aren’t a lot of incidents on campus in regards to personal safety, most issues are related to property crime.

“For the most part, I am going to say the campus is relatively safe,” he said.

Adam Biederwolf, the Assistant Director of Associated Students of UNM Lobo Spirit, thinks the Freshman Residency Requirement is beneficial for students but shouldn’t be mandatory.

“I think it can be beneficial for freshmen to have to live on campus just because they’re surrounded by so many resources on campus and I feel like their grades will reflect that in a positive manner,” Biederwolf said. “However, I just think it’s wrong to force incoming freshmen to live on campus because some freshmen might be uncomfortable with the environment.”