JUL 2013

ConventionSouth magazine is the leading resource for meeting planners who book all types of events, conventions, conferences and group travel in the south.

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The AT&T Performing Arts Center in Dallas INSIDER'S G U I D E By Marcia Bradford & Kathy Farnell Dallas & Fort Worth, Texas MEET THE NEW DALLAS Dallas has been re-energized with $15 billion invested in new developments over the recent years, said Dallas CVB President/CEO Phillip Jones. The additions of Klyde Warren Park, the Perot Museum of Nature and Science, the George W. Bush Presidential Center and more than $650 million in renovations to downtown hotels have made the city a more attractive destination for meetings and convention business, he said. "This is not the same Dallas people remember from five or 10 years ago. It's exciting to walk down the streets and see all the big things happening here." In 2011, the city opened the Omni Convention Center Hotel, which has been instrumental in terms of booking future convention business, Jones said. "Meeting planners will find the w w w. c o n v e n t i o n s o u t h . c o m South Lamar development project important with new retail and restaurant space and an additional parking facility directly across from the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center and the Omni Convention Center Hotel," he said, adding that ongoing renovations are being made to many of Dallas' hotels. Additional developments include the expansion of Dallas's public transportation (rail and bus) to DFW International Airport. In October 2014, the Wright Amendment restrictions to Dallas Love Field Airport will be lifted, allowing airport officials to further improve the facility. WHY GROUPS HEAD WEST TO FORT WORTH Groups are also looking to the neighboring city of Fort Worth, which hosts nearly 5.5 million visitors each year. According to Jessica Dowdy, Senior Manager of Marketing and Public Relations at the Fort Worth CVB, the city's popularity springs from a number of factors. "The warm weather, proximity to a major international airport, quality of world-class museums and attractions, cosmopolitan luxury through our wonderful hotels, Western heritage, booming culinary scene and walkable, safe downtown make Fort Worth a desirable and unique location." The city's Western heritage is on view at the Stockyards National Historic District, a fifteen-block area which looks much the same today as it did 100 years ago. It's home to the Texas Cowboy Hall of Fame as well as Stockyards Station, a destination for shopping, entertainment and dining. ■ JUNE 2013 ⎜ ConventionSouth ⎜ 55

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