by Sarah J.F. Braley | August 01, 2017
AUSTIN


Local Update
 
The 1,048-room Fairmont Austin Hotel, the largest Fairmont yet, is on schedule to open Sept. 21. The property will connect to the Austin Convention Center via the $6 million Red River Canopy Walk. Plans call for almost 140,000 square feet of in-house meeting space, a Willow Stream spa, and five restaurants and bars.

 Beginning on March 28, 2018, Norwegian Airlines will offer daily service between Austin Bergstrom International Airport and London Gatwick Airport.

 Lyft and Uber have returned to the city after a new state law was enacted in May, overriding regulations in some cities that had imposed strict background checks on ride-share drivers, including fingerprinting.

 The combined Aloft and Element Austin Downtown debuted on July 27 with a total of 422 rooms (the Aloft has 278; the Element, 144). The properties share the Caroline restaurant, an outdoor lounge with open-air gaming space called Upstairs at Caroline and approximately 3,000 square feet of meeting space.

Hyatt has taken over the 220-acre, 70-room Travaasa Austin Resort and is redeveloping it into a Miraval spa resort, set for completion in January 2019. The project will add 50 guest rooms, and its spa will be expanded to 21,000 square feet and 30 treatment rooms. Plans also call for a total of 15,864 square feet of event space.