by Sarah J.F. Braley | July 01, 2017

Local Update

 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.

 Following a trend in destination marketing organizations, the Austin Convention and Visitors Bureau has changed its name to Visit Austin.

 The 1,048-room Fairmont Austin Hotel will open in September. Connected to the Austin Convention Center by a covered walkway, the property will have nearly 140,000 square feet of in-house meeting space, a Willow Stream spa, and five food-and-beverage outlets.

Meeting Hotels: Surrounding the Texas State Capitol building are more than 8,500 guest rooms. Properties include the 1,012-room JW Marriott Austin and 800-room Hilton Austin.

To find and compare hotels, and send RFPs, visit

Convention Center: Austin Convention Center; exhibit space, approximately 247,052 square feet; number of meeting rooms, 54; (512) 404-4000

Airport Transit:
 Austin--Bergstrom International Airport, eight miles from the city's downtown district. Transfer cost by taxi, $28; by shuttle, $12.

Taxes: Room tax, 9%; sales tax, 8.25%; total tax on rooms, 15%

Group Venue: For a small group of VIPs with global palates, reserve a meal at Otoko. This 12-seat Japanese gem at the 83-room South Congress Hotel presents sushi options and more in the kaiseki multicourse style, as presented by head chef Yoshi Okai. (512) 920-6405

Contact: Visit Austin, (800) 926-2282