Much of the action is centered in the
booming Metroplex, where “super hub”
Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport
alone contributes $37 billion in total economic output to the region.
Nearly half ( 22) of the 50 Fortune 500
companies headquartered in Texas are
concentrated in Dallas, Fort Worth and
Irving, including Exxon Mobil, AT&T,
American Airlines and Kimberly-Clark. The
region is a magnet for corporate relocations, expansions and investments. Hiring
is healthy in this talent-rich market, driving
in turn robust demand for office space.
This high-performance economic engine
is also revving up the group market. More
business means more meetings, conventions and tradeshows, which continues
to spur large-scale investment in hotels,
convention centers, entertainment districts
and related infrastructure.
Last October, leading local publication D Magazine ran a story titled, “Can
Dallas-Fort Worth Become a Meetings
Mecca?” Ranked fourth in the nation for
meetings and conventions by Cvent last
year (November 2016 to October 2017), the
Metroplex, with four bureaus—Arlington,
Dallas, Fort Worth and Irving—
participating in the pro-inclusivity Texas Welcomes
All coalition, appears well on its way.
Fiscal 2017 was a banner year for VisitDallas. Through its targeted “Dallas Delivers” campaign, the bureau booked 1,446
meetings and events, including a record
42 future citywide events, and more than
1.3 million room nights, 20 percent above
2016. In this expanding group market—
Dallas alone is Cvent’s eighth top destination—hotel growth is key.
With roughly 42 percent of the Metroplex lodging market, including some
13,000 downtown rooms, the city is
presently second behind New York in
pipeline development, with some 6,685
rooms in construction.
“Dallas is fortunate to have an abundance of existing hotels,” said Phillip
Jones, president & CEO of VisitDallas.
“The announcement and completion of
additional properties serves as a good
forecast for continued growth in our con-
vention business. With the increase in ca-
pacity, meeting planners and companies
will be able to bring larger and grander
events to Dallas.”
Investing in hotels has provided Dallas
with valuable return on meetings. One
prime example is the 1,001-room Omni
Dallas, which has significantly boosted
the city’s hosting profile since opening in
Offering 142,000-plus square feet of
indoor and outdoor space, the LEED
Gold-certified headquarter hotel is
connected by skybridge to the Kay Bailey
Hutchison Convention Center, providing
ready access to more than 2.1 million
square feet of convention space.
Notable arrivals in the current wave
include the 237-room Lorenzo Hotel.
Two blocks from the convention center,
this art-filled boutique offers innovative
spaces such as two poolside Idea Labs. The
legendary 1956 Statler Hilton was reborn
last October as the Statler Dallas, Curio
Collection by Hilton following a $230 million makeover. The Hilton Curio property
offers 159 hotel rooms and 17,000-plus
square feet of versatile space. Slated for
2019, Virgin Hotels’ $80 million property in
the resurgent Design District will offer 200
rooms and a variety of meeting spaces.
Jones noted that “while these proper-
ties significantly broaden Dallas’ luxury
profile, several mid-range openings will
provide convention guests with more
The drive for expanded lodging is also
on in Fort Worth. Today, with meetings
momentum building against limited
supply, the city is increasing its downtown
inventory of 2,500-plus rooms by around
42 percent, or 1,053 rooms in seven an-
Located steps from the Fort Worth Convention Center, both the 120-room Fairfield
Inn & Suites Fort Worth Downtown, and
the 245-room Hampton Inn & Suites
Fort Worth Downtown, with conference
space, opened last October. Other projects
include a 180-room Aloft (early 2018);
162-room Hilton Garden Inn (2019); and
new 170-room SpringHill Suites by Marriott in the Stockyards District, featuring a
rooftop cafe and bar from star Fort Worth
chef-restaurateur Tim Love.
Expectations are also high for the
$540 million Dickies Arena. On target for
November 2019, the 14,000-seat, multi-functional venue will feature nearly 87,000
square feet of meeting space. Slated for late
2018, the new TEXRail commuter rail line
will extend from downtown Fort Worth into
DFW International Airport’s Terminal B.
While tapping into convention overflow remains a durable strategy, cultivating distinct
identities and drawing power is the top priority for the Metroplex’s other destinations.
Home of colossal AT& T Stadium, Arlington is aiming for more major-league convention and tourism appeal with the new $1.25
billion Arlington Entertainment District.
ENTERTAINMENT DISTRICT, ARLINGTON
MARGARET HUNT HILL BRIDGE, DALLAS