by Sarah J.F. Braley | January 01, 2018

Local Update

 Construction continues on a new 350-room Westin hotel, headquarters property for the Irving Convention Center at Las Colinas. The hotel will have 16,000 square feet of meeting space and is currently on track to open in December.

The new 250,000-square-foot Toyota Music Factory, near the convention center, opened last fall. The venue's amphitheater seats up to 4,000 people inside and opens up to a lawn that can accommodate another 4,000 under the stars. Already, acts such as Ringo Starr and His All-Starr Band, Trevor Noah and Tori Amos have performed on the stage. A number of new venues surrounding the concert hall are opening this year. See more on page 44.

Opening this fall is the Texican Court, a boutique Valencia Hotel, across from the convention center. Styled like a motor court and sister to Austin's Lone Star Court, the property will have 144 guest rooms, 3,500 square feet of meeting space, a restaurant and two bars.

Meeting Hotels: Irving offers more than 12,000 guest rooms. Among top hotels are the 431-room Four Seasons Resort and Club Dallas at Las Colinas and 410-room Omni Mandalay.

To find and compare hotels, and send RFPs, visit

Convention Center:
 Irving Convention Center; exhibit space, approximately 48,576 square feet; number of meeting rooms, 15; (866) 313-6490.

Airport Transit: Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport, about 10 miles from Irving. Transfer cost by taxi, $33; by airport shuttle, $18

Taxes: Room tax, 9%; sales tax, 6%; total tax on hotel rooms, 15%

Group Venue: Groups headed to the new Toyota Music Factory can stop in for dinner at the new Thirsty Lion Gastropub just across the street. Try a flight of six craft beers on tap, or choose from a menu of specialty ciders or signature cocktails. The restaurant's ample and diverse menu emphasizes "scratch recipes," local ingredients and bold flavors. Groups of six to 50 are welcome. Each of three private patios accommodates up to 40 people when the weather cooperates. (214) 496-0400.

For planners seeking a nostalgic vibe for an event, Big State Fountain Grill fits the bill. The spot started out as a haberdashery in the early 1900s, became the Big State Drug store in the 1940s, and was remodeled and reopened in 2014 as a restaurant. The joint now serves typical diner fare and classic fountain favorites. Groups of up to 100 are accommodated. (214) 307-5000.

Contact: Irving Convention & Visitors Bureau, (866) 433-2980