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by Sarah J.F. Braley | July 01, 2016
Why here?
Show-goers are driving development across Texas, as many major meeting cities are upgrading their convention facilities. San Antonio's Gonzales Center (pictured), opened new space in January, Houston will unveil its renovations in October and Fort Worth is finalizing details of an expansion project.


GRAPEVINE
 The 1,511-room Gaylord Texan Resort and Convention Center in Grapevine is spending $120 million on an expansion. When finished, the property will have 1,811 rooms and 490,000 square feet of meeting space.

 The 811-room Hyatt Regency DFW International Airport has unveiled a new 10,000-square-foot event space called Aviators, part of the hotel's 92,000 square feet for meetings and events.
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AUSTIN

Local Update
 When Austin Convention & Visitors Bureau president and CEO Bob Lander retires this summer, Tom Noonan, current president and CEO of Visit Baltimore, will take his place. Lander came to the Austin bureau in 2001; Noonan joined Visit Baltimore in 2007 but knows Texas well, having spent 18 years at the Greater Dallas CVB.

 Coming next year is Fairmont Hotels' largest property, the 1,060-room Fairmont Austin Hotel, which will be connected to the Austin Convention Center. Features will include 106,000 square feet of meeting space and a Willow Stream spa. More than 130 guest rooms will be designated Fairmont Gold, offering private check-in and concierge services.

 The new 319-room Hotel Van Zandt, a Kimpton hotel, features 12,000 square feet of function space. The signature restaurant, Geraldine's, serves Texas-inspired food and specialty drinks, and the property's fourth-floor terrace has cabanas, a pool and a bar.

 The AT&T Executive Education and Conference Center, which has renovated its 297 guest rooms, will open new meeting space in July 2017, including a 15,000-square-foot ballroom, 5,000 square feet of prefunction space and a 5,500-square-foot banquet kitchen. Currently, the center has 40,000 square feet of meeting space.

Meeting Hotels: The capital's range of properties includes the 1,012-room JW Marriott Austin, 800-room Hilton Austin, 492-room Renaissance Austin Hotel, 448-room Hyatt Regency Austin Downtown, 319-room Hotel Van Zandt, 262-room Hilton Austin Airport, 194-room Hotel Granduca Austin and 190-room InterContinental Stephen F. Austin. Several resorts are nearby, such as the 491-room Hyatt Regency Lost Pines, 385-room Horseshoe Bay Resort and 309-room Omni Barton Creek.

To find and compare hotels, and send RFPs, visit mcvenues.com.

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 downtown. Transfer cost by taxi, $20; by shuttle, $18; by bus, $1; by Super Shuttle, $21

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

Group Venue: The sky's the limit at the Summit Rooftop Lounge, open to the stars in the city's warehouse district. State-of-the-art lighting and sound help make the night special for groups of up to 500 people. (512) 394-7347

Contact: Austin Convention and Visitors Bureau, (800) 926-2282