'svideo of Austin officials discussing downtown hotel developments and the general manager at the Renaissance Austin detailing renovation plans: mcmag.com/videos.
The Fort Worth Convention Center now offers free Wi-Fi service in all public spaces, which includes the concourse, hallways and prefunction areas. Two-tiered Internet connectivity still is available for a fee for those who need more bandwidth.
Construction has begun on three towers in Sundance Square. While these buildings will feature residences, offices and retail space, plans also call for a new public plaza that will welcome events.
Two restaurants opened last fall at the Will Rogers Memorial Center, in partnership with downtown's Reata Restaurant: Reata at the Backstage and La Espuela Mexican Cantina. The center's Amon G. Carter Jr. Exhibits Building offers approximately 100,000 square feet of exhibit space.
The largest meetings properties in town include the 614-room Omni Fort Worth Hotel, 504-room Renaissance Worthington Hotel, 431-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. For more details, visit mcvenues.com.
Fort Worth Convention Center; exhibit space, approximately 253,226 square feet; number of meeting rooms, 41; (817) 392-6338
Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport, about 17 miles from downtown. Transfer cost by taxi, $52; by shuttle, $15-$25; by Trinity Railway Express, $2.50
Room tax, 15%; sales tax, 8.25%; total tax on hotel rooms, 15%
Bringing 1,900 people to town? The city's well-known honky-tonk, Billy Bob's Texas, can handle them all for a hoedown, a private concert or a dinner. Two private rooms also are available: the Texas Club, for up to 125, and the Guitar Bar, holding 130. (817) 624-7117
Fort Worth Convention & Visitors Bureau, (817) 336-8791 or (800) 433-5747
The Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center will undergo a $325 million expansion. Contiguous exhibit space will grow to more than 500,000 square feet, and a 50,000-square-foot ballroom will be added. The facility will remain open during the work, which will finish in 2016. Currently, the center offers more than 440,000 square feet of exhibit space, 192,000 square feet of meeting space and three ballrooms. A new 29,000-square-foot outdoor space opened last November.
The 485 rooms at the Hilton Palacio Del Rio have been renovated as part of a $34 million project. Work now is under way on a $7 million upgrade of the hotel's 27,000 square feet of meeting space, which will finish up in September.
The 165-room Éilan Hotel Resort & Spa has opened in the Hill Country. Amenities include a fitness center, a spa with 10 treatment rooms, 26,617 square feet of meeting space and a restaurant.
Major meeting properties include the 1,003-room Grand Hyatt San Antonio, 1,002-room JW Marriott San Antonio Hill Country Resort, 1,001-room Marriott Rivercenter, 629-room Hyatt Regency Riverwalk, 512-room Marriott Riverwalk, 508-room Westin La Cantera Resort, 500-room Hyatt Regency Hill Country Resort, 485-room Hyatt Palacio del Rio, 473-room Westin Riverwalk and 410-room Crowne Plaza Riverwalk.
Find more hotels and meeting facilities at mcvenues.com.
Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center; exhibit space, 440,000 square feet; number of meeting rooms, 67; (877) 504-8895
Alamodome; exhibit space, approximately 160,000 square feet; number of meeting rooms, 16; (210) 207-3663
San Antonio International Airport, about eight miles north of downtown. Transfer cost to downtown by taxi, $25-$29; by shuttle, $18
Room tax, 16.75%; sales tax, 8.125%; total tax on hotel rooms, 16.75%
A top restaurant in the city serves steak in traditional Brazilian style. Fogo de Chão's "gaucho chefs" cut churrasco tableside, making for a festive and filling evening for up to 130 diners. (210) 227-1700
San Antonio Convention & Visitors Bureau, (210) 207-6700 or (800) 447-3372