by Sarah J.F. Braley | August 01, 2010

Fort Worth
Local Update: Ground was broken last
December on a $48 million facility to house the Botanical Research Institute of Texas, a cultural and scientific center for conservation. Three areas are planned where groups will be able to gather: a classroom that will hold 20, an open-air terrace accommodating 100 for a reception and 50 for a dinner, and a common area that will host dinners for 120. Completion is set for early 2011.

Meeting Hotels: The city's main properties include the 614-room Omni Fort Worth Hotel, 504-room Renaissance Worthington Hotel, 430-room Sheraton Fort Worth Hotel and Spa, 294-room Hilton Fort Worth, 203-room Courtyard by Marriott-Blackstone and 156-suite Embassy Suites Fort Worth-Downtown.

The Dallas/Fort Worth Marriott Hotel & Golf Club at Champions Circle is 20 minutes north of downtown. Near the airport are the 299-room American Airlines Training and Conference Center and 295-room Dallas/Fort Worth Airport Marriott South.

Convention Center: Fort Worth Convention Center; exhibit space, 253,226 square feet; number of meeting rooms, 41; (817) 392-6338;

Airport Transit: Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport, approximately 17 miles from downtown. Transfer cost by taxi, $52; by shuttle, $15-$25; by Trinity Railway Ex­press, $2.50

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

Lonesome Dove BistroGroup Venue: A signature drink with some bite, the Jalapeño Cucumber Margarita is one of the specialties at Lonesome Dove Bistro, chef Tim Love's Fort Worth outpost. Also on the drink menu is the Organic Margarita, made of organic tequila, organic agave nectar and fresh fruit juices. For a fabulous night out, couple the cocktails with singular seasonal dishes (one menu in July offered ostrich nachos and flounder en papillote with spring radishes, chilis and summer squash). The restaurant hosts groups of up to 400 people. (817) 740-8810;

CVB Services: Fort Worth Convention & Visitors Bureau, (817) 336-8791 or (800) 433-5747;