Over the next seven years, travelers at DFW International Airport will have to skirt around plenty of construction. An upgrade project, which will cost up to $2 billion, began last fall when a contract was awarded for design work. Basic systems at the airport will be replaced, such as those for plumbing, heating and cooling. True construction is slated to begin in early 2011, just after Super Bowl XLV, which will be played at the new Cowboys Stadium in Arlington. Extensive renovations will take place in terminals A, B, C and E, all of which opened with the airport in 1974. Terminal A will be completed in 2014, and all construction should wrap up by 2017. One-third of each terminal will be shut down at a time. Concession areas will be turned into little villages, much like the design of the airport's five-year-old Terminal D. For updates, go to dfwairport.com.
Local Update: Ground was broken last fall on the city-owned Omni Dallas Convention Center Hotel, after the city received buyer commitments for all $479.8 million in revenue bonds offered to investors, to cover the cost of construction. The 1,000-room property will open in 2012 with 100,000 square feet of meeting space.
The AT&T Performing Arts Center debuted last October. Facilities within the complex include the 2,200-seat Margot and Bill Winspear Opera House, the 600-seat Dee and Charles Wyly Theatre and the Annette Strauss Artist Square.
Coming to the downtown district in 2012 is a new green space with a pavilion, a restaurant, walking trails, a dog park, water features and more. Woodall Rodgers Park will connect the Dallas Center for Performing Arts, the Dallas Museum of Art, the Morton Meyerson Symphony Hall, the Nasher Sculpture Center, the Trammell & Margaret Crow Collection of Asian Art, and the future Museum of Nature and Science.
Meeting Hotels: About 30,000 hotel rooms are within Dallas proper, and 73,000 rooms are in the metro area. For more information, visit mcmag.com/meeting-facilities.
Convention Center: Dallas Convention Center; exhibit space, 1,018,942 square feet; number of meeting rooms, 88; (214) 939-2700; dallasconventioncenter.com
Airport Transit: Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport, 20 miles from downtown. Transfer cost by taxi, $40; by shuttle, $19
Love Field, nine miles from downtown. Transfer by taxi, $18; by shuttle, $19
Taxes: Room tax, 15%; sales tax, 8.25%; total tax on hotel rooms, 15%
Large Group Venues: Go for elegance among the flowers at the Dallas Arboretum, which overlooks White Rock Lake. Events of all sizes can be held in the park's numerous venues, including the DeGolyer Estate, which was built in 1940, and Rosine Hall, which holds 600 theater-style. (214) 515-6500; dallasarboretum.org
Fine food and fine surroundings define events at the Nasher Sculpture Center. While the building and grounds offer plenty of space for groups, the best site probably is the art-filled garden, with its reflecting pools and lily ponds. Up to 500 people can enjoy a dinner under the stars or 1,200 for a reception; the delicacies are provided by Wolfgang Puck Catering. (214) 242-5100; nashersculpturecenter.org
CVB Services: Dallas Convention & Visitors Bureau, (214) 571-1000; visitdallas.com