. Texas | Northstar Meetings Group

Guide to Meeting & Event Planning in

Texas

Learn why you should host your next meeting, event or conference in Texas.

Looking to Plan a Texas Meeting?
Learn everything you need to know about this sunny locale at Destination Texas, Northstar’s premier event for meetings and incentive pros looking to book biz in the area.

Why Texas for Your Next Meeting or Event?

The Lone Star State has lots of news for groups:

  • The Live! by Loews hotel will debut in August in Arlington
  • The transformation of the Arlington Convention Center into the Esports Stadium Arlington + Expo Center has been completed 
  • Plans are in the works to expand the Austin Convention Center 
  • The big expansion of the Omni Barton Creek Resort has been finished
  • Dallas will welcome a Thompson Hotel in June

Statewide


Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport and American Airlines are developing a new terminal. In total, the airport is preparing to invest more than $3 billion to construct Terminal F, which will have space for up to 24 gates, and to upgrade Terminal C. 

At Austin-Bergstrom International Airport, a nine-gate expansion opened in February. The facility also has welcomed new restaurants and entertainment areas.

AUSTIN

Event Venues, Additions & Renovations

In May, the Austin City Council approved a plan to expand the Austin Convention Center. The project will redesign the facility and its surroundings, possibly to the tune of more than $1 billion. A proposed hike in the hotel tax, currently at 15 percent, could fund the work. The city manager is set to present preliminary designs at the end of July.

Escape
Need to get your group working together? Check out the fun at Austin Panic Room the where teams have to get out of scenarios such as an abandoned school or the Oval Office.

The Omni Barton Creek Resort & Spa reopened in May after a $150 million renovation and expansion that added 181 guest rooms, for a total of 493. The pool area was redone; new are a golf clubhouse, a larger spa, an event pavilion, a conference center and more. 

The 75-room East Austin Hotel opened in April with three food-and-beverage concepts: a pool bar; the Upside, a casual bar serving cocktails and light bites; and Sixth and Waller, an all-day counter-service restaurant.

The 159-room Hotel ZaZa Austin will debut in late summer with the brand’s lavish Magnificent Seven Suites, four concept suites and a ZaSpa. Food and drink will be available at the Perfect Strangers restaurant and the 7th Floor Lounge. The property will have 10,000 square feet of meeting space.

A 613-room, full-service Marriott Hotel by the Austin Convention Center will open in August 2020. The property will have 65,000 square feet of meeting space; an outdoor pool, bar and entertainment zone on the rooftop; two bars, and a full-service restaurant.

Austin Convention Center 
  • Exhibit space, 247,052 square feet
  • Number of meeting rooms, 54
  • Contact: (512) 404-4000 
Transportation

Austin-Bergstrom International Airport, about eight miles from downtown. Transfer cost:

  • By taxi, $28 
  • By shuttle, $12
Taxes 
  • Room tax, 9% 
  • Sales tax, 8.25% 
  • Total tax on rooms, 15%
Contact: Austin Convention and Visitors Bureau, (800) 926-2282  
2018 Stella Award Winners

DALLAS

Event Venues, Additions & Renovations

Spectra, a venue management company, is now operating the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center Dallas, the first time the 62-year-old facility will be run by a private operator.

Chef Driven
Texas really is the best place to find great steak, and chefs in town love to put their own twists on the dish. At Knife in Dallas, John Tesar, a James Beard-nominated chef and Top Chef contestant, specializes in all-natural Texas beef, pork and lamb via dry-aged prime cuts and specialty cuts such as chuck flap, as well as Akaushi beef (a special Japanese breed). The Dallas outpost hosts up to 600.

The 484-room Renaissance Dallas Hotel has completed the final phase of its renovation, updating the guest rooms with new furnishings and a new look. The first phase, completed in 2014, upgraded the public areas and 51,753 square feet of meeting space. 

The 183-room Hall Arts Hotel, opening this fall, will offer more than 6,000 square feet of event space, including two multipurpose salons and a 1,737-square-foot ballroom. 

Dallas Convention Center 
  • Exhibit space, 1,018,942 square feet 
  • Number of meeting rooms, 88 
  • Contact: (877) 684-7322 
Transportation

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 cost:

  • By taxi, $18
  • By shuttle, $19
Taxes 
  • Room tax, 7%
  • Sales tax, 6%
  • Dallas Tourism Public Improvement District, 2%
  • Total tax on rooms, 15%

Contact: Visit Dallas, (214) 571-1000

Top 10 Restaurants in Dallas

Enjoy some southern hospitality, Texas-style, at these popular restaurants.

  1. Pappas Bros. Steakhouse - American
  2. Kenny's Wood Fired Grill - American
  3. Uchi Dallas - Japanese
  4. rise- French
  5. Rodeo Goat - American
  6. Mia's Tex Mex - Mexican
  7. Meso Maya - Mexican
  8. Pappadeaux Seafood Kitchen - Seafood
  9. Al Biernat's - Steakhouse
  10. Hillstone - American

 

FORT WORTH

Event Venues, Additions & Renovations

Work continues on a $175 million revamp of the historic Stockyards district. An Autograph Collection hotel from Marriott is planned, to debut in spring 2020 with 200 rooms, 15,000 square feet of meeting space and an event barn. In addition, the Hotel Drover will be built at the end of Mule Alley’s planned street of shops, eateries, offices and live-entertainment venues. 

The TexRail commuter train now runs from downtown Fort Worth to Grapevine and Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport. 

 

When it's time to do good in the community, the Fort Worth CVB is ready to help groups create the perfect outing. Find options for corporate social responsibility events online.

Fort Worth Convention Center 
  • Exhibit space, approximately 253,226 square feet

  • Number of meeting rooms, 41
  • Contact: 817-392-2588
Transportation

Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport, about 17 miles from the heart of downtown Fort Worth. Transfer cost:

  • By taxi, $48
  • By Trinity Railway Express, $2.50
    Taxes 
    • Room tax, 9%
    • Sales tax, 6%
    • Total tax on rooms, 15%

    Contact: Fort Worth Convention & Visitors Bureau, (800) 433-5747

     

    SAN ANTONIO

    Event Venues, Additions & Renovations

    Work is ongoing on the multi­million-dollar project to restore the city's most famous mission, the Alamo Church and Long Barrack; in May, preservation began on the mission's roof, and in June, HKS Architects and lead designer Machado Silvetti were chosen to create the new visitor center and museum planned for the site. 

    Jazz Night
    Hire a band and take over Howl at the Moon for an evening event. The live-music bar is right on the River Walk and welcomes up to 475 guests indoors, with room for 60 outside. 

    Built for the 1968 World's Fair, HemisFair Park is undergoing a three-phase redevelopment that includes creating open space that will be available for outdoor events. A 200-room hotel also could be built in the new district.

    In 2020, the San Antonio Botanical Garden will open an education and event center with 9,000 square of space featuring a wraparound patio. The first phase of the expansion added the Goldsbury Foundation Pavilion & Chef Teaching Kitchen for cooking classes using ingredients grown on-site. 

    Renovations of the lobby and meeting space are complete at the 99-room Mokara Hotel & Spa, an Omni Hotel. With the addition of the 222-square-foot Tejas Boardroom, the property now has 4,500 square feet for meetings. Also on-site are a 17,000-square-foot spa, a heated rooftop pool with a café, and a seafood restaurant called Ostra.

    The 162-room Thompson San Antonio Hotel on the River Walk is scheduled to open by the end of this year with more than 5,000 square feet of riverfront meeting space. 

     

    The Hyatt Regency Hill Country Resort & Spa runs a speed-golf activity over nine or 18 holes, where each player gets seven clubs; after teeing off, they run off to the next shot.

    Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center 
    • Exhibit space, 514,000 square feet

    • Number of meeting rooms, 70
    • Contact: 210.207.8500

       

    Transportation

    San Antonio International Airport, about 8 miles from the heart of downtown San Antonio. Transfer cost:

    • By taxi, $26
    • By shuttle, $18