Texas July 2017

Austin skyline

Why here?
The hospitality scene in Austin will soon get a big boost with the planned September opening of the world's largest Fairmont hotel, which will be attached to the convention center. Up north in Dallas, the city will welcome a new Virgin Hotel in 2018.

 Just north of Dallas in Allen, Texas, the 300-room Delta by Marriott Hotel and Watters Creek  Convention Center will open in late 2018. The facility will feature approximately 90,000 square feet of meeting space.

 Construction has begun on the 350-room Westin Irving Convention Center at Las Colinas. Expected to open in late 2018 with 16,000 square feet of meeting space, it will be the headquarters hotel for the Irving Convention Center.

Austin's car-racing track, the Circuit of the Americas, offers more than just competitions. The facility has a number of spots for gatherings, including the Event Center, which holds up to 1,900 people, and the Paddock Lofts for up to 350. Even the track can be rented for driving experiences, product launches and more.


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 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 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

While celebrated Dallas chef Stephan Pyles has closed his eponymous eatery, his new venture, Flora Street Café, is winning fresh raves from critics and diners. "Elevated Texas cuisine" is the aim. (214) 580-7000; florastreet.com

DFW International's Terminal A has undergone a makeover, part of a $2.7 billion airport-wide renovation that has resulted in enhanced security, more dining and retail, and an improved ticketing area.


Local Update

 The 1,001-room Omni Dallas Hotel offers groups an opportunity to brand the property's facade using its LED lighting system. The Omni, which is connected via sky bridge to the Dallas Convention Center, has more than 142,000 square feet of its own event space and is certified LEED Gold.

 Coming online next year is the 200-room Virgin Hotel Dallas. The property will feature several dining and drinking outlets, including a pool deck and bar, and a rooftop lounge.

Meeting Hotels: About 30,000 hotel rooms can be found within Dallas proper. The headquarters hotel for the Dallas Convention Center is the 1,001-room Omni Dallas. Other meeting properties include the 1,606-room Hilton Anatole Hotel and 1,120-room Hyatt Regency Dallas.

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

Convention Center: Dallas Convention Center; exhibit space, approximately 1,018,942 square feet; number of meeting rooms, 88; (877) 684-7322

Airport Transit:
 Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport, about 20 miles from the heart of downtown Dallas. Transfer cost by taxi, $45; by airport shuttle, $18; by DART, $2.50

Love Field, about six miles from downtown. Transfer by taxi, $18; by shuttle, $19

Taxes: Room tax, 7%; sales tax, 6%; Dallas Tourism Public Improvement District, 2%; total tax on rooms, 15%

Group Venue: More than seven acres of native plants, a butterfly house and an exhibit of snakes await groups of up to 300 at the Texas Discovery Gardens in Fair Park. Group discounts are available. (214) 428-7476

Contact: Visit Dallas, (214) 571-1000