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ON COURSE

4 STAY AND PLAY GOLF RESORTS

VIRTUAL + LIVE

EXPERT TIPS FOR HYBRID MEETINGS

TEXAS PROUD

ADD SOME LOCAL FLAVOR TO YOUR EVENTS

M E E T I N G S M A G S . C O M // S U M M E R 2 0 2 1

MEET IN HTX

YOUR GUIDE TO WHAT'S NEW IN HOUSTON {22}


TEXAS STYLE

Contact us today to learn about our stimulus program, meeting spaces, and amenities.

VISIT.CSTX.GOV/MEETINGS


We’re ready to meet again.

WE HEAR THAT A LOT. Whether you’re planning a small business lunch or a multi-day conference, The Woodlands combines stunning event space with natural surroundings and plenty of space to spread out. Our team can help make your event safe and memorable. We’re open and ready to meet whenever you are.

Book your best event at visitthewoodlands.com/readytomeet


WELCOME BACK! IT’S TIME TO GET BACK TO DOING WHAT WE DO BEST

MAKING YOUR VISION OUR MISSION Located in the heart of downtown Austin, Texas Five contiguous exhibit halls with 247,052 square feet of column-free space Surrounded by 12,000+ hotel rooms within walking distance

Our facility is proud to be recognized for cleaning and disinfecting to a higher standard to keep our space clean and safe for occupancy.

BACK TO 100% CAPACITY The Austin Convention Center is officially back to 100 percent capacity with no social distancing requirements, giving you complete freedom in how you set up your event.


Contents

S U MMER 2 02 1

Lajitas Golf Resort

22 Meet in Houston

Explore what’s new and what’s happening in H-town.

In Every Issue //

6 Editor’s Note 14 Venue Report

Keep events on course at one of our state’s golf courses.

4 TXM+E » SUMMER 2021

Meeting Notes //

20 Trend Report

Five tips for making the most of your live and virtual events.

32 People Profile

Stephanie Polk is in a league of her own.

8 Signature Drink

From barrel to tastebuds, make your own barrel-aged oldfashioned, courtesy of the Sheraton Dallas’ Open Palette.

10 Expert Advice

Be sure to incorporate some local flavor into your next meeting or event.

12 Venue Profile

Meeting away in Margaritaville Lake Resort in Conroe.

ON COURSE

4 STAY AND PLAY GOLF RESORTS

VIRTUAL + LIVE

EXPERT TIPS FOR HYBRID MEETINGS

TEXAS PROUD

ADD SOME LOCAL FLAVOR TO YOUR EVENTS

M E E T I N G S M A G S . C O M // S U M M E R 2 0 2 1

MEET IN HTX

YOUR GUIDE TO WHAT'S NEW IN HOUSTON {22}

Industry Update //

28 Regional News

The latest news for the industry in Texas.

On the Cover

Houston’s cityscape sparkles at night. PHOTO BY SEAN PAVONE

P H O T O : L A J I TA S G O L F R E S O R T

Feature //


SUMMER 2021

tx.meetingsmags.com

Do you love it?

EDITOR TERESA KENNEY

DED HOLIDAYS EXTEN

COPYEDITOR SHERRI HILDEBRANDT meets

CONTRIBUTING WRITERS MARIO BASS, ADAM CHRISTING

EDITORIAL ADVISORY BOARD Chris Arredondo, Eclipse Entertainment | Yvette Audrain, Simply Mox | Andy Austin, Andy Austin Entertainment | Kelly Bagnall, Dykema Gossett PLLC | Deborah Elias, Elias Events | Lisa Dalton, Hotel Palomar Dallas | Kevin Foster, Conference & Catering Consultant Services | Christy Hill-Howard, Christy Hill Events Rob Keating, M&M Event Rentals | Steve Kemble, Steve Kemble Event Design | Cindy Lo, Red Velvet Events Inc. | Terri McBride, Austin Convention Center | Jim Monroe, J. Monroe Designs Diana Pfaff, Irving CVB | John Shore, Shore Public Relations Laurie Sprouse, Ultimate Ventures | Leigh Stem, AFR Event Furnishings Dayne Sullivan, Adventures LLC Marla Watson-Werst, PeaPod Productions

A Ocean AMERICA’S RIVIERSanta Barbara

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DINING ON HIGH dinner hosted at

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RAISING THE BAR

THE NEXT LEVEL OF THE EXPERIENC

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VENUES ALONG LAKES AND

RIVERS ARE SCENIC SPOTS

FOR GROUPS

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WINTER

Plan seasonal office parties into 2018

OUTSIDE THE

FRESH POW

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make Area ski slopes bear winter easier to

suburbs means Traveling to the planners more options for

mountains in stylish

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M SMAGS.CO MEETING

2018

MEETINGS M SMAGS.CO MEETING

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FALL

2017

Jackpot!

MAGS.COM

2018 // W I N T E R

Trend

ION CHANGE DIRECT beauty and Grand County’s

FORECAST

course activities chart the

See what’s new for 2018 in food, décor, technology and venues

options Entertainment and venue (32) are limitless in Las Vegas

STATUS UPDATE

on trends and how CVBs weigh in planners (26) they best support

the Flip to page 30 to meet Impossible Burger, a plant-based patty that replicates meat.

BREAK FOR MINDFULNESS

Pushing pause s during meeting es recharges attende

ART DIRECTOR TRACI ZELLMANN ES NO MORE

NEWBI COMING FORMER UP-ANDCATCH UP WITH HONOREES (38) HALL OF FAME

BY THE WATER

ICEBREAKER

AT FOUR DINE LAKESIDE (26) LOCAL VENUES

L ACTIVITIES BRING NONTRADITIONA TOGETHER (45) PEOPLE CLOSER

PRINT PRODUCTION DIRECTOR BRITTNI DYE

M SMAGS.CO MEETING

DIGITAL PRODUCTION DIRECTOR DEIDRA ANDERSON PRODUCTION COORDINATOR LISA STONE

MEETINGS

MAGS.COM

CIRCULATION DIRECTOR KATIE RINGHAND

CONTROLLER BILL NELSON

CREATIVE EXPRESSION ds Minnesota aboun (47) with artsy venues

HIP HOTELS

FEELS LIKE HOME

at the little things Find comfort in and inns (28) these small hotels

L BASE DS OUT ITS HOTE DETROIT ROUN IQUE HOTELS WITH NEW BOUT

(32)

SAME BUT DIFFERENTwith

ASSOCIATE PUBLISHER – NATIONAL SALES RYAN MILLER 469.264.7657 | RYAN.MILLER@TIGEROAK.COM

Travel to local cities familiar names

OM SMAGS.C MEETING

California Meetings + Events » 303.617.0548 Colorado Meetings + Events » 303.617.0548 Illinois Meetings + Events » 312.755.1133 Michigan Meetings + Events » 586.416.4195 Minnesota Meetings + Events » 612.548.3148 Mountain Meetings » 303.617.0548 Northeast Meetings + Events » 586.416.4195 Northwest Meetings + Events » 253.732.7133

2017

SMALL BUSINESS E THEIR OWNERS SHAR IES SUCCESS STOR (38)

DIGITAL COORDINATOR ANGELA BEISSEL

CREDIT MANAGER APRIL MCCAULEY

FALL

Off the Beaten Path

USA 2 0 1 8 $6.00 // S P R I N G

PRODUCTION DESIGNER HANNAH BRAUSEN

ACCOUNTS PAYABLE / ACCOUNTS RECEIVABLE SPECIALIST ALYZABETH OUTCELT

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SPRING

2018

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Veggies,

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and Pro tips on building vendors relationships with

M SMAGS.CO MEETING

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ADVENTU wilderness Explore the vast of Ketchikan, Alaska

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SUMMER

2017

MOTELS MOTOR MODERNIZED G A COMEBACK COURTS ARE MAKIN

DINING STON PRIVATE GATHER IN GALVE ISLAND CITY ABOUNDS IN THIS

$6.00 USA

// MAGS.COM MEETINGS

HIT THE ROAD

ELEVATE EVENT EXPERIENCES S AT THESE 5 MOUNTAIN RESORT

TARIAN VEGAN AND VEGE PACK A RESTAURANTS H FLAVORFU L PUNC

Then keep it coming. BLANK CANVAS

for Art galleries make spaces inspiring event

REPRINTS For high-quality reprints of 500 or more, call 1.800.637.0334 or email reprints@tigeroak.com.

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PLAN PLANNERS GONNA shoes of

Wear the 4 different industry professionals

OFF RESTAURANTS INTERSTATE 35 EATS OFFER GREAT & CONVENIENT ACCESS (48)

In Case of Emergency

Pro tips to prepare you for (41) the worst-case scenario

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E DITOR’ S N OTE

Life Was Beginning Over Again with the Summer*

txmeetingsmags @txmeetingsmags @meetingseventsmags

TERESA KENNEY

Editor teresa.kenney@tigeroak.com

*F. Scott Fitzgerald

6 TXM+E » SUMMER 2021

P H OTO : A L A N A L A B A S T R O

tx.meetingsmags.com

» AS I WRITE THIS EDITOR’S LETTER, one of the world’s biggest sports events has begun: the Summer Olympics. They may be one year late (hence the branding of Tokyo 2020 rather than 2021), and they may look quite a bit different (no stadiums filled with fans), but the world, and the event industry specifically, are getting back to business. I don’t know about you, but I am here for it! So, let’s do the same. Get back to business, that is. Looking for a destination that’s ready, able and prepared to welcome you? Check out our feature on Houston. The city has seen a dramatic increase in demand from meeting planners. Some of that is no doubt due to its quick and strategic response to the pandemic last year through the incorporation of smart health and safety measures at its venues. In this issue, we also take a look at some resort golf clubs that can host your group outings, tournaments or team-building activities. Texas has been the birthplace of many of golf history’s greats, including Babe Didrikson Zaharias, who once noted, “The formula for success is simple: practice and concentration, then more practice and more concentration.” So bring your group out for some practice and concentration on the fairways of these four favorites. About a month ago, I spoke with a comedian who had performed at a virtual event for a Houston company. We talked about the challenges and opportunities of hybrid events— and how difficult it must be for someone who is accustomed to hearing immediate feedback from a welcoming crowd to be instead greeted with the silence of a virtual audience whose mics have been muted to avoid interruptions. He agreed to share what he’s learned in pivoting to adapt to our new normal. You can find his tips in our Trends article. As always, thank you for taking the time to share your summer with us. Hopefully, you are reading this lake- or poolside with a cool drink in your hand. If you have any suggestions for stories, please do not hesitate to reach out to me at Teresa.kenney@tigeroak.com.


IT’S NOT OUR FIRST RODEO Get out to the Texas frontier and find friendly faces and wide-open spaces!

• Taylor County Expo Center  $55 million expansion and renovations complete in 2021 • New downtown entertainment district  Out-of-the-ordinary meeting venues • Upgraded Abilene Convention Center • Affordable hotels with 3,600 rooms • Catering with Texas flavors • Fun off-site activities and attractions • Full-service meeting planning • No hassle navigation

Abilene Convention Center

DoDge Jones Youth sports Center

soDA DistriCt CourtYArD

Request a Proposal kim@abilenevisitors.com (800) 727 7704 Scan & Learn More

abilenevisitors.com/planners


M E E TI N G N OTES Products, Places & Inspiration

Signature Drink//

Rust Cocktail

For the DIYers among our readers, Sheraton Dallas Hotel’s Open Palette is letting you in on the secret to making a delicious barrelaged Old-Fashioned Rust cocktail—straight from the barrel to your tastebuds. BARREL-AGED BOURBON RECIPE You’ll need: – A 1 Liter American Oak Barrel – Whisk or large spoon – Container – ·Funnel – 1 liter of your favorite bourbon – 1.75 oz bottle of Angostura Bitters – .75 oz bottle of Regan’s Orange Bitters 1. Make sure to cure the barrel for a few days (directions will come with the barrel). 2. Pour all of the ingredients into the container. 3. Stir gently for two minutes. 4. Make sure the spouts on the barrel are closed. 5. Pour the contents of the container into the barrel. 6. Let sit for at least two weeks (over a month is preferable). RUST RECIPE You’ll need: – Barreled Old-Fashioned bourbon – Luxardo cherry – Orange peel 1. Add ice to an Old-Fashioned glass. 2. Pour 2.5 oz of barreled-age bourbon into a glass. 3. Stir for at least 30 seconds to dilute contents with water. 4. Add Luxardo cherry. 5. Using a fresh orange peel, zest the cocktail and rub the rim of the glass with the orange peel, drop the orange peel into the glass. 6. Enjoy your barrel-aged Old-Fashioned!

A PARTY’S PLATFORM Event planning has just gotten a little easier with the introduction of the all-in-one platform ORO. ORO is the first event-planning tool to help planners do everything from managing contracts and budgets to creating down-to-the minute timelines in one, easy-to-use dashboard that can be accessed via browser or mobile app. Spreadsheets, binders and contracts can

8 TXM+E » SUMMER 2021

be consolidated into the platform and referenced and updated in real-time. The ORO dashboard offers the ability to: » Manage vendor contracts and invoices  » Create custom timelines and checklists  » Monitor event costs and inventory  » Create custom floor plans at scale » Manage attendees, meal preferences, special requests and more

ORO also offers a client-facing app, available for iOS and Android, to allow clients and vendors to view pertinent event details on the go. Event planners are able to control exactly what the client can see and send notifications when important deadlines are approaching. oroplanner.com |

oroplanner

P H O T O : S H E R AT O N D A L L A S H O T E L

Technology//


M E E TI N G N OTES Products, Places & Inspiration

Expert Advice//

Local Flavor

Mario Bass is chief sales officer of Visit San Antonio. For more information on meeting in San Antonio, visit visitsanantonio. com, email vsaconv@ visitsanantonio. com or phone 210.244.2000. (This article first appeared in the 2021 issue of Meet Texas.)

10 TXM+E » SUMMER 2021

» THE SAYING “Everything is bigger in Texas!” is especially true when it comes to ways for planners to tailor Lone Star meetings that are as unique and memorable as they are productive. In Texas, you should expect everything from world-class venues and cuisine to down-home barbecues and neighborly hospitality. Texas meetings are ideal to brand using local flavors and culture. Working with destination management organizations and convention and visitor bureaus is always the best place to start, as on-the-ground partners are experts on the local scene and can tap into resources creating a turnkey experience. At Visit San Antonio, for example, unique and authentic experiences are a specialty, and we pride ourselves in helping groups create truly unique and authentic meetings that attendees will not soon forget. But all over Texas there are so many ways to integrate Texas culture and authenticity into a meeting. Culinary, entertainment, tours and event venues are just a few tools. The culinary experience in Texas can span from award-winning barbecue and authentic Tex-Mex, to freshly caught Gulf Coast seafood and the latest chef-driven, contemporary cuisine. Texas continues to gain national attention with its cuttingedge culinary scene. Local chefs are often inspired by local ingredients, as well as the rich and diverse cultures prevalent in the state. Another way to bring events alive is with entertainment, and there is no limit to options in Texas. The diversity in San Antonio offers strains of Tejano or Conjunto music, traditional mariachis, a

country western band, swirling Ballet Folklorico dancers, modern rock/blues/indie, German polka and more, all of which can make events fun and memorable. Just north of San Antonio is Austin, where the official motto is the “Live Music Capital of the World” and entertainment options are limitless. Houston and Dallas/Ft. Worth also have excellent choices from great blues or jazz bands to Texas Western swing bands, along with many other genres. Tours and excursions are also great ways to incorporate local culture into your meeting. Whether experiencing a city’s rich history, exploring the arts district, or discovering eclectic neighborhoods, tours and excursions are excellent tools to create a truly experiential event. In addition, Texas’ burgeoning wine industry creates many opportunities for tasting, day trips, and special events. Venues are key as well. Going for the more traditional Texas theme, options include those that take visitors back to the Old West, with ranch-like off-site venues—think open spits and fire-grilled goodness—to rodeos and even honky-tonks. Natural, outdoorsy backdrops abound: from the Piney Woods of East Texas, the sands of Texas beaches, the splendor of West Texas and Big Bend area, the wonder of places like Palo Duro Canyon in the Panhandle, parasailing off the coast and more. The rolling topography of the Texas Hill Country is tranquil and pristine. As Texas has always been a blend of cultures, there are opportunities for events like “NIOSA” (Night in Old San Antonio) where attendees can enjoy German, Spanish, Mexican, and traditional favorites tapping into some of the many cultures that settled Texas. Urban-chic is also an option. You will find world-class performing arts venues, cosmopolitan hubs and beautiful museums that are the perfect places for group events reaching for that over-the-top “wow” appeal. No matter where you meet in Texas, melding local culture into your meeting brings authenticity, color, texture, depth and lasting memories for attendees.

P H OTO S : (O P P O S I T E ) A N N I E LU I ; CO U R T E SY O F A D D I S O N WO O D S

Crossroads of Culture Creates Memorable Meetings. BY MARIO BASS


Tourism//

Art Walk

Restoration project refreshes historic photos in Houston’s Sesquicentennial Park.

P

New Venue//

SPRING, TEXAS, WELCOMES NEW EVENT VENUE

» FAMILY-OWNED AND OPERATED, Addison Woods in Spring opened this past fall.

Once a working farm, today the property is a scenic spot for weddings, private parties and corporate events. Spaces include the modern farmhouse Reception Barn with three-story vaulted ceilings. The barn can accommodate up to 270 guests and includes a caterer’s prep kitchen. Additional spaces for corporate groups include the Oaks Ceremony Lawn, Veranda, and Cocktail Lawn. The property also includes a putting green and fishing pier. addisonwoodsevents.com | addisonwoodsevents |

addisonwoodsevents

ublic art can elevate the experience of visitors and residents alike and add inspiration and local flavor to city-wide events. Visitors in Houston will be greeted by renewed artistic imagery during their postmeeting or between-breakout strolls through Sesquicentennial Park thanks to a collaboration between Houston First Corporation and local artist Dean Ruck. The project features 15 porcelain panels of historic photographs known as “Site Seeing” that adorn the park’s balustrade columns leading from the Smith Street Bridge to Buffalo Bayou. The “Site Seeing” panels represent 15 decades of Houstonians past and present celebrating their diversity, eclecticism, ambition, and pioneering spirit. New materials and printing technology allowed Ruck to replace the original printed steel and wood with a durable polymer board and adhesive. The panels’ backgrounds, which display brief didactic texts written by the artist, were also updated for legibility and to accurately depict the city’s diverse communities. Established in 1989, Sesquicentennial Park was created to commemorate the city of Houston’s 150-year anniversary. Its Houston Theater District location makes it a great option to enjoy nature or host a special event that provides stunning views of the downtown skyline. Some of the park’s highlights include cascading waterfalls, distinctive lighting, a gazebo and promenade, hike-andbike trails, boat launches, a President George H.W. Bush monument and seven 70-foot pillars that pay tribute to Houston’s past and present. buffalobayou.org

TX.MEETINGSMAGS.COM 11


M E E TI N G N OTES Products, Places & Inspiration

Venue Profile//

Meeting Away in Margaritaville The lakeside resort offers perfect spot to unwind and connect for groups.

The resort offers:

» 335 guest suites, including 32 lakefront cottages » 72,000 square feet of indoor/outdoor meeting space » 20 meeting rooms, most with natural light » Function spaces ranging up to 11,520 square feet » Amphitheater with tiered seating for 100 » Two executive boardrooms » A dedicated on-site conference planner » A/V equipment » Over 20,000 square feet of scenic outdoor function space » Dedicated conference dining room, purposely built for conference dining In addition, the resort provides access to unique and engaging team-building activities, including a “Lost Shaker of Salt” scavenger hunt, coconut bowling, a “Cheeseburger in Paradise” cookoff, and more.  “At Margaritaville Lake Resort, we take a uniquely fun and ‘chill’ approach to our teambuilding activities and options,” says Fasbender. “Designed to improve communication and productivity, all of our activities help co-workers to get to know each other better while helping you achieve your group’s goals.”

12 TXM+E » SUMMER 2021

margaritavilleresorts.com margaritavillelakeconroe margaritavillelc

SalesBoost, a hospitality training company, held a meeting at Margaritaville Lake Resort and benefited from the wide variety of team-building activities.   “Something incredibly powerful happens when you bring people together to find a common goal and purpose,” said Gretta Brooks, CEO of SalesBoost. “We held our first inperson meeting at  Margaritaville  Lake Resort and were so impressed with the team-building experience. Best of all, the activities they offer are conveniently located on the resort property.”    Margaritaville  Lake Resort is home to five restaurants, an 18-hole golf course, the 18,000-square-foot wellness retreat St. Somewhere Spa, and the workout facility Fins Up Fitness Center. Post-meeting, attendees can take a boat or other watercraft rental out on Lake Conroe to explore. 

P H OTO : T H O M A S H A R T S H E L BY

» AS COVID-19 RESTRICTIONS EASE, in-person meetings are making a comeback. “After a year of working in virtual environments, businesses of all sizes are finding the need to reconnect face-to-face in meaningful ways,” says Lisa Fasbender, general manager of the 186-acre Margaritaville Lake Resort on Lake Conroe in Conroe. “Our ability to host a meeting that combines serious learning with serious fun makes Margaritaville Lake Resort the ideal setting to collaborate and focus on team building.”


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Groups return to Lajitas Golf Resort’s stunning locale year after year.

Keep Events on Course

Four reasons to spend time on one of Texas’ resort golf courses. BY TERESA KENNEY » AT A LITTLE MORE THAN 900, Texas has the third most golf courses in the U.S. So, it only makes sense that at some point in time, sooner rather than later, your group is going to want to meet on one. Here are four favorite resort courses where you can stay, play and celebrate.

14 TXM+E » SUMMER 2021

LAJITAS GOLF RESORT

Lajitas

432.424.5000 lajitasgolfresort.com | lajitasgolfresort   lajitas.golf.resort | vivalajitas 

Assistant general manager and interim golf pro:  Matt Fawkes

Course designer:  Lanny Wadkins   Number of holes: 18 Types of events held: Corporate client

entertainment, corporate retreats, board meeting outings, team building, golf tournaments. Accommodations:  120 rooms with 17

P H OTO S : D E N N I S M U R P H Y - D S Q UA R E D P R O D U C T I O N S

VE N UE REPORT Golf Courses


different room types, including standard hotel rooms, junior suites, two-bedroom condos and cottages, and three-bedroom villas. Event space: 6,000-plus square feet of indoor meeting space, 15,000 square feet of outdoor event space. Amenities include an on-site meeting coordinator, catering, 24-hour business center, A/V equipment. “Whether you are planning client entertainment or a corporate retreat for team building, our staff at Lajitas will coordinate every detail for your visit. Our team will assist with setting up private charter reservations on our direct air service from Texas major markets to Lajitas International, customizing dining experiences like our Cowboy Dinner with a spectacular setting atop a mesa to running a  golf  tournament built specifically for your group. Our number one goal is to make it as easy as possible for the event planner and to exceed expectations from start to finish. Our greatest compliment that underscores client satisfaction is our repeat group business that grows year over year, and while Lajitas is one of the most remote resorts anywhere in the world, the destination is worth the journey. And once you’ve experienced the magic of the Big Bend region of Texas and Lajitas  Golf  Resort, we are certain that you will feel the same.” Terry Olson Director of Sales & Marketing Lajitas Golf Resort   PINE DUNES RESORT &  GOLF CLUB

Frankston

903.876.4336 | pinedunes.com pinedunesgolf | pinedunesgolf

Golf pro: Jay Mitchell Course designer: Jay Morrish Type of course: Public and Resort Number of holes: 18 Types of events held:  Corporate outings

and golf tournaments.

Accommodations: 11 condominiums can sleep up to 43, six double rooms can sleep 12, six single rooms can sleep six. The

16 TXM+E » SUMMER 2021

Top: Pine Dunes Resort & Golf Club has been called a “hidden gem.” Lower: Omni Barton Creek Resort & Spa has more than 72,000 square feet of event and meeting space.

resort also offers a members-only Double Eagle Private Club & Lodge. Event space: The resort’s Clubhouse Grill can accommodate 75 individuals, with additional space available on the outside deck. Pine Dunes is currently building a new 10,000-square-foot club house. “Pine Dunes in Frankston, Texas: The best hidden gem in America. I’m telling you, it is a must play. Hard to find, off the beaten path, but when you find this golf course, it is one of the most spectacular 18-hole courses you’ll ever play.”  Shane Bacon Co-host of “Golf Today” Golf Channel

OMNI BARTON CREEK RESORT & SPA

Austin

512.329.4000 Omnihotels.com omnibartoncreek |

omnibartoncreek

Golf Pro: Rufus Brijalba Course designers:

Tom Fazio – Fazio Foothills, Fazio Canyons Bill Coore and Ben Crenshaw – Coore Crenshaw Cliffside Arnold Palmer – Palmer Lakeside (27 mile drive from resort) Number of holes: 72

P H OTO S : P I N E D U N E S R E S O R T & G O L F C LU B ; O M N I B A R TO N C R E E K R E S O R T & S PA

VE N UE REPORT Golf Courses


world

Lubbock’s newest attraction, The Buddy Holly Hall of Performing Arts and Sciences, serves as the focal point of hospitality and tourism in West Texas. This world-renowned facility is fully equipped with full-service catering provided by local partner The United Family, and

a state-of-the-art multi-purpose meeting space to ensure your event is one to remember. From banquets and weddings to corporate meetings or lecture series, plan your next event at The Hall today!

VISITLUBBOCK.ORG

#LIVELOVELUBBOCK


VE N UE REPORT Golf Courses

Types of events held: Group golf outings, PGA events and fundraisers. Golf professionals can also arrange lessons, night golf, glow golf and more for group outings. Accommodations: 493 rooms and suites. Event space: 76,192 square feet of total event space available, including: Hill Country Pavilion (accommodates up to 617 guests) Brazos Ballroom (accommodates up to 1,500) Darrell K Royal Ballroom and Atrium (accommodates up to 300 guests) Rock House, Fazio Canyon’s rustic ranch house, original to the property, has a large lawn with sweeping oak trees. “Omni Barton Creek Resort & Spa is the ideal destination for golf groups of all sizes. With four championship caliber and unique golf experiences, there is something for every golf event looking for a home. From PGA of America Championships to small team-building events, Barton Creek is truly a one-stop shop and should be on everyone’s must-play list.” Spencer Cody Director of Golf Operations

18 TXM+E » SUMMER 2021

FOUR SEASONS RESORT AND CLUB DALLAS AT LAS COLINAS / TPC FOUR SEASONS LAS COLINAS

Irving

972.717.0700 FSDallas | fourseasons.com/dallas

Golf pro: Mike Kiesling Course designer: Originally designed

in 1982 by Jay Morrish, with player consultants Byron Nelson and Ben Crenshaw. The course was redesigned in 2008 by former PGA tour player D.A. Weibring and his partner, architect, Steve Wolfard Number of holes: Two championship 18-hole golf courses. Types of events held: Golf tournaments. Accommodations: The 400-acre property features a  431-room hotel with villas. Recreational facilities include indoor and outdoor tennis, jogging tracks, racquetball, fitness center, restaurants, three swimming pools and childcare center. The resort is a  Certified Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary and “Environmental Leader in  Golf”  award winner. There are  35 blue-

bird nest boxes around the course and 42 acres of native grasses and wildflowers that provide critical habitat for butterflies, bees and other wildlife. The course is also a Certified Ground Water Guardian Green Site, using reclaimed water to irrigate both golf courses. Event space: 84,000 square feet of indoor and outdoor space, including a twolevel 34,000-square-foot conference center with 31 multipurpose function rooms. There are two private dining rooms at the on-site restaurants, as well as the option for a full buyout. “Our talented and experienced team have become experts in the art of events. We obsess over the details—from the immaculate course conditions to food and beverage to event setups.  We strive to provide the most upscale and unique experiences that you can’t get anywhere else.” Brent Duncan Director of Event Sales & Planning

P H OTO : T P C F O U R S E A S O N S L A S CO L I N A S

Four Seasons Resort and Club Dallas at Las Colinas offers two championship 18-hole golf courses.


ROOM TO

INSPIRE Welcome to Colorado Springs, where our wide-open spaces, 300 days of endless blue skies and stunning natural scenery serve as the backdrop to your meetings and events. Discover unique venues, first-tier amenities and an array of properties. From countless trails and open spaces to delicious local dining, Colorado Springs has everything you need to create a memorable experience for your attendees. Here, you’ll find room to inspire, innovate, connect and re-energize. Learn more at VisitCOS.com/meet

KATHY REAK, CFMP Vice President of Sales Kathy@VisitCOS.com | 719.685.7632


T RE N D REP ORT Hybrid Events

Five strategies to make your hybrid event a huge hit from one of America’s top event emcees. BY ADAM CHRISTING » AS A BUSY MASTER OF CEREMONIES, my mission is to entertain, engage, and empower audiences. I have hosted more than 1,500 live, virtual and hybrid events.

20 TXM+E » SUMMER 2021

These include galas, annual gatherings, after-dinner programs and nearly every type of event you can imagine. One of my favorite clients is Insperity, a

Fortune 1,000 company headquartered in Kingwood. I was invited to host the 2021 Insperity Awards show and to serve as a consultant during the pre-production phase.

P H OTO : C L E A N CO M E D I A N S

Embrace the Chaos


Here are five tips gleaned from the awards program that can help you make your next hybrid meeting a success: Tip #1: Get clear about the mission of your meeting. Party with a purpose! Insperity’s event team was crystal clear about the experience they wanted to create: “It’s been a tough year, but we are going strong. We want to celebrate our super-achievers.” They had a solid theme for their sales and marketing meeting: “Rising Above.” This awards show was about putting the spotlight on the top salespeople at Insperity and keeping the company’s sales momentum up. What is the main purpose for your live + virtual event? Tip #2: Make sure both your online and in-person attendees feel included. We needed to connect two separate audience segments and make them feel like one. With the awards program, most of our attendees—and award winners—were joining us virtually from all over the country. And some of Insperity’s sales leaders and staff were attending live in Houston. We wanted to create a powerful event that connected both our online and in-person attendees. As the host, I welcomed everybody into a shared experience focused on our award winners. We knew there would be some bumps along the way. I told them: “Let’s embrace the chaos and celebrate together.” And that’s what we did. Tip: #3 Identify who is doing what backstage, onstage and oncamera. As you move into your event planning, consider two groups and choose carefully: your production partners and your program presenters. Here were just some of the key roles at the Insperity event: » Meeting manager/producer » Script writer » On-site show caller » A/V director (along with an audio engineer and camera operators) » Teleprompter operator » V.I.P. award presenters The biggest mistake I see meeting producers make is forgetting to create a solid one-page working schedule or run of show that can be shared by all the players involved. This document should pinpoint the who/what/where/when of your program. Create an easy-to-read printable one sheet. (I recommend you not use Excel.) This should be distributed via email to all your key players prior to the program and handed to the on-stage speakers before the meeting. Tip #4: Conduct a brief “talk-through” meeting 30 minutes before your program begins. Get all your presenters togeth-

Adam Christing was recently named No. 1 Event Emcee by Best of Los Angeles. He is the president of CleanComedians. com (“It doesn’t have to be filthy to be funny”). Christing has hosted more than 1,500 live and virtual events. You can email him at: Adam@ CleanComedians. com.

er and on the same page about who’s doing what and when. Mark Twain said, “It takes me three weeks to prepare a good impromptu speech.” One of the most important things we did during Insperity’s awards show was what we did before the show. We had many focused meetings prior to our big meeting. We covered virtual connectivity issues, scripting, blocking, transitions, video segments, and more. Several of our presenters were dynamos when it came to speaking to live audiences, but they did not have experience speaking via a virtual platform. We spent time helping them feel comfortable presenting to our online audience. Look right into the camera. Talk like you are having a conversation with a friend. Tip #5: Look for dynamic ways to generate shared experiences with your attendees. The Insperity event team created suspense and surprise. These are two powerful ingredients to bake into your meeting mix. How did they do that? The company sent a videographer to the top award winners’ homes to capture their reactions when they were recognized. This was an energy-boosting piece of our program. It also helped us fulfill the main purpose of our event: to celebrate Insperity’s sales superstars. It also enhanced the “wow” factor of the show. What will you do to engage the interest and involvement of your people during your hybrid meeting? Hybrid events are here to stay. By following these five tips, you can maximize your live + virtual events. Here’s to creating meetings that matter for everyone in your organization no matter the location from which they join your program.

TX.MEETINGSMAGS.COM 21


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P H O T O : S E A N PAV O N E


HOUSTON. It was the first word spoken from the surface of the moon. It is the most diverse city in the country. It has a legendary food scene. And it also happens to be a particularly smart choice for a destination meeting or event. “In Houston, we’re seeing a clear trend of meeting and conventions being scheduled for the second half of 2021. In fact, Houston is preparing for a record-breaking six-month stretch of conventions compared to the same timeframe in 2019,” says Leah Shah, public relations director for Visit Houston. Houston First—the management corporation for 10 city-owned venues, including the George R. Brown Convention Center (GRB Houston), Houston First Outdoors and Jones Hall for the Performing Arts—has successfully rebooked 92% of 2020’s citywide conventions that had cancelled due to the pandemic. It has 32 events scheduled from July 1, 2021, to December 31, 2021. Thirty-one of those events have an attendance of 1,000-plus and are considered “impact events,” acting as demand drivers for area hospitality businesses. Seventeen of those events are considered citywide events which have contracted 1,500-plus hotel room nights on peak days, as well as the use of either GRB Houston or NRG Park. Those groups will find plenty of new places to explore when they gather in Space City.

What’s New in 2021

POST HTX (Opening Fall 2021) This one-time address of the downtown post office is being transformed into a community hub of restaurants, shops, office space, entertainment and event space. Live Nation has announced it will have a 5,000-capacity music venue called the Terminal, and dining options that have been announced to date include Taco Fuego, the Butcher’s Burger, Salt & Time Butcher Shop, Soupreme, Gelu Italian Ice and Lea Jane’s Hot Chicken. And the cherry on top of this multitiered urban destination? Its 5-acre rooftop Skylawn Park. The park will feature panoramic views of the city and will include an organic farm and space for events. Posthtx.com | posthouston |

posthtx

The Nancy and Rich Kinder Building (Opened November 2020)  The Nancy and Rich Kinder Building opened late last year, making it the third gallery building of the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston (MFAH). The 237,000-square-foot Kinder Building is dedicated to the display of the museum’s growing international collections of modern and contemporary art. The Kinder Building is named in honor of Richard D. Kinder, chairman of the MFAH Board of Trustees, and his wife, Nancy. Although the building is not available for private celebrations (yet, that is; plans are to open it to events in 2022), its Café Leonelli is available for events after hours and its restaurant Le Jardinier, which opened in May 2021, will be

available for private events. Café Leonelli is also developing a catering menu for off-site parties. mfah.org | mfah.org |

mfahouston

Houston Botanic Garden (Opened September 2020) The 132-acre Houston Botanic Garden is a living, blooming, horticulture museum with curated collections of tropical, sub-tropical and arid plants from around the world. Showcasing the biodiversity of the Texas Gulf Coast, the venue features 2.5 miles of trails, 3 acres of regionally themed zones, a display of edible and medicinal plants, a sensory-engaging area with a boardwalk maze around a lagoon and nature play structures, and an intimate space that visitors can rent for weddings and other celebrations. Hbg.org | houstonbotanicgarden |

houstonbotanic

The Ion (Opened Spring 2021) Once the address of a Sears store, The Ion is a 288,000-square-foot office and collaboration center for startups, corporations, venture capitalists, business accelerator programs, academics and others. The new center anchors a 16-acre innovation district and features shared workspace, prototyping and maker resources, event space, classrooms, and food and beverage offerings, including Late August, STUFF’d Wings and Common Bond. Ionhouston.com | theionhouston |

theionhouston

TX.MEETINGSMAGS.COM 23


CONVENTIONALLY SPEAKING

Holding a city-wide event? Need a space to accommodate 3,000-plus delegates? Looking to meet near stadiums, parks and attractions? George R. Brown Convention Center is a smart choice. The 34-year-old George R. Brown Convention Center  was named for entrepreneur, civic leader and philanthropist George Rufus Brown. The first convention held at the center was the American Society of Travel Agents in October 1987.

The Ion

The center features 1.9 million square feet of convention space, with 88 meeting rooms, six balconies, a ballroom, theater, show offices and conference rooms. Add to that a 90,000-square-foot mezzanine, 95,000-square-foot grand concourse, the 97,000-square-foot Avenida Plaza, and The Wharf, an intimate outdoor special event space. The center features free WiFi in all public spaces, and on-site dining options include Grotto Downtown, Kulture, Pappadeaux, Saltgrass Steakhouse and Starbucks. grbhouston.com | grbhouston

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George R. Brown Convention Center

P H O T O S : M I C H A E L T I M S P H O T O G R A P H Y ; G . LYO N P H O T O G R A P H Y, I N C . ; J U L I E S O E F E R P H O T O G R A P H Y

Houston Botanic Garden


Just What the Doctors Ordered

Texas Medical Center Research Campus to open in 2022 The Texas Medical Center Corp., which operates the largest medical center in the world, has unveiled a potential $1.5 billion expansion for its newest campus called TMC3. TMC3 will be a biomedical research hub that clusters researchers and industry experts on a collaborative 36-acre campus. tmc.edu | texasmedcenter |

Seismique (Opened December 2021) The 40,000-square-foot experiential museum Seismique features works by over two dozen established and emerging artists along with advanced technological elements like projection mapping, holograms, augmented reality, light mapping, motion tracking, gamification and more. Seismique is available for a full facility rent-out, or one of its three private event spaces can be rented for smaller gatherings. Each individual private event space is able to accommodate 10 people, but the three spaces can be combined and opened up to accommodate a single private event for as many as 150 people. seismique.com | seismique |

seismique

New Hotel Openings & Renovations

Holiday Inn Express Houston Galleria and Staybridge Suites Houston Galleria (Opened February 2021) The combined Holiday Inn Express Houston Galleria and Staybridge Suites Houston Galleria offer a total of 319 rooms and 2,600 square feet of shared, flexible meeting & event space. Ihg.com | ihghotels |

ihghotels

Blossom Hotel Houston Medical Center (Opened June 2021) The 16-story, 267-room  Blossom Hotel Houston Medical Center is the only luxury hotel near NRG Stadium. The hotel features 9,000 square feet of event space, including Luna Ballroom, which can accommodate up to 400 people. Nine additional

thetexasmedicalcenter

Houston took the lead on addressing the pandemic

event spaces with flexible floor plans are available. Other amenities include a sushi restaurant, karaoke bar, and translation services. blossomhouston.com | blossomhou |

blossomhou

Hyatt Place Houston Downtown (Opened January 2021) Featuring 150 rooms, including 16 suites, the 16-story Hyatt Place Houston Downtown features meeting space for up to 60 people and is within walking distance of Minute Maid Park and the Revention Music Center. Hyatt Regency Houston (Completed February 2021) Hyatt Regency Houston’s multi-million-dollar new look includes a complete transformation of its 71,000 square feet of meeting and event space, 955 guest rooms, corridors, lobby, restaurants and public spaces. As part of the renovation, the hotel’s meeting venues were outfitted with state-of-theart technology, including increased broadband and enhanced streaming and video capabilities. hyatt.com | hyatt |

SAFETY FIRST

hyatt

The Houstonian Hotel, Club & Spa (Completed 2021-2022) The 40-year-old Houstonian Hotel, Club & Spa (happy anniversary!) is getting a $45-million makeover, including refurbished guest rooms, great room lobby and Trellis Spa. The renovation includes the addition of a new rooftop event space, a new indoor-outdoor restaurant and a new deck overlooking Buffalo Bayou. houstonian.com | thehoustonian thehoustonianhotel

In the last half of 2020, Houston First’s sales division saw a 64% average increase in meeting-lead room nights in September through November. No doubt this was due in part to planners’ confidence in the city’s ability to quickly address health and safety concerns and enact new health measures and technological enhancements in response to the pandemic. These measures included: » Introducing Houston Clean, a citywide commitment to enhanced health precautions designed to mitigate virus spread. » Opening the Avenida Houston Virtual Studio in the George R. Brown Convention Center. The studio provides more flexibility and connectivity for hybrid functions. » Implementing Medistar Corp’s new biodefense air filtration system at the George R. Brown Convention Center, making it the first convention center to do so. » Having the George R. Brown Convention Center, Jones Hall, Miller Outdoor Theater, Partnership Tower and Wortham Theater Center all GBAC Star accredited. GBAC Star is the cleaning industry’s only outbreak prevention, response and recovery accreditation for facilities. houstonfirst.com houstonfirstcorporation

TX.MEETINGSMAGS.COM 25


QUIRKY

Houston

MEETING IN HOUSTON COMES WITH A LOT OF CHARACTER—AND CHARACTERS.

EVERY WORTHWHILE DESTINATION

has its fair share of quirks and eccentricities and the Bayou City is no different—thank goodness. Here are a few of our favorite quirky things to check out between meeting sessions. » Drink in the Beer Can House: One person’s trash is another’s art exhibit. As the story goes, in the late 1960s, the homeowner couldn’t bear to part with his empty beer can collection, so one night he got the brilliant idea to take those cans and line his home’s siding with them—and an iconic attraction was born. Featuring some 50,000 cans and pull tabs, the home is also landscaped with folk art. Today it is a workshop and gallery of the Orange Show Center for Visionary Art. » Drive over to the Art Car Museum. Not too far from the Beer Can House, you can find another iconic attraction: the Art Car Museum, which is dedicated to contemporary art and an exhibition forum for local, national and international artists with an emphasis on art cars. Art car workshops were founded in Houston. Each May, the city hosts the Art Car Parade.

» Explore Houston’s underground. Beneath the city streets is a system of pedestrian tunnels, running for seven miles and linking 95 city blocks. The tunnel connects major city buildings, restaurants and retail stores. » Park it and explore art. Smither Park is known as a work of art in progress. Located at the corner of Houston’s Third Ward and East End neighborhoods, the park is a half-acre outdoor gallery of elaborate mosaics created out of recycled and found materials and designed by more than 300 local professional and amateur artists. » Take a historic dip in the reservoir. The 87,500-square-foot Buffalo Bayou Park Cistern is a former underground drinking water reservoir built in 1926 for the City of Houston. Today it houses changing art installations. Fun fact: it has a 17-second echo. It’s open for both public and private history and art tours. » Orange you glad you met in Houston? Jeff McKissack, a Houston mailman, spent about 25 years transforming his home into a series of mazes, balconies, and mosaics, using reclaimed materials like old bricks and farm equipment and a whole lot of the color orange. McKissack has since passed, but his creation, known as the Orange Show, lives on. It is now the site of educational programs and folk art activities.

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P H O T O S : V I S I T H O U S T O N ; G . LYO N P H O T O G R A P H Y ; ( O P P O S I T E ) N AT E H O V E E

» Burp the bayou. In the middle of a brick column on the south side of Preston Street Bridge at Buffalo Bayou is a mysterious red button. With one push, the bayou bubbles up with a smileinducing “burp.”


Coming Soon to Houston

JUST THE FACTS

1.

“Houston” was the first word heard from the moon. “Houston, Tranquility Base here” were the first words broadcast from the moon to Mission Control followed by, “The Eagle has landed.”

2.

NRG Stadium was the world’s first domed stadium. The NRG Astrodome, also known as the Houston Astrodome, was constructed between 1962 and 1965 and is the world’s first multipurpose, domed sports stadium.

3.

Houstonites eat out more than any urbanites in the U.S. Of course, Houston is also one of the most foodie cities in the country, so why wouldn’t its residents want to sample the buffet of goodness? The city has more than 10,000 restaurants, representing more than 70 countries and American regions.

4. 5. 6.

Houston is the fourth most populous city in the nation. Approximately 2.3 million people call Houston home. Houston is the most diverse city in the country. In fact, more than 145 different languages are spoken here.

The Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo is one of the biggest rodeos in the world. The month-long rodeo attracts over 2.5 million attendees each year.

7.

Houston is BIG. At 655 square miles, the City of Houston could contain the cities of New York, Washington, Boston, San Francisco, Seattle, Minneapolis and Miami.

8.

The City of Houston offers a 300-mile interconnected bikeway network. Spread over 500 square miles, the network includes bike lanes, bike routes, signed-shared lanes and shared-use paths.

9.

Houston is situated on two of the four major North American bird and butterfly flyways. In fact, the Houston Audubon Society has counted more than 400 species of birds in the Houston region.

Hyatt House/Hyatt Place Houston Texas Medical Center (Opening 2022) The 14-story, 350,000-square-foot Hyatt House/Hyatt Place Houston Texas Medical Center will feature 159 hotel rooms under the Hyatt Place flag and 139 extended stay rooms under the Hyatt House brand. It will also include a full-service restaurant and lobby café, two on-site bars, and a seventhfloor amenity deck with 3,500 square feet of meeting space, an outdoor pool and a fitness center. hyatt.com | hyatt |

hyatt

Hilton University of Houston (Completion 2022)  The Hilton University of Houston is a teaching hotel for students at University of Houston’s Conrad N. Hilton College of Hotel and Restaurant Management. The hotel’s $30.4-million renovation will add a fivestory tower with 71 guest rooms (increasing the hotel’s total number of rooms to 151). The hotel’s existing 80 guest rooms will be renovated, as well, along with the lobby and public spaces. An executive meeting space on the second floor will be added, too. hilton.com | hiltonuniversityhouston Hilton

Thompson Hotel Houston (Opening 2023) Construction is underway on the luxury Thompson Hotel Houston. The hotel is part of a larger mixed-use project, The Allen, which includes the recently opened Lifestyle Pavilion overlooking Buffalo Bayou Park. Above the Thompson Hotel will be the Residences at The Allen, a community of urban condominiums. thompsonhotels.com | thompsonhotels

TX.MEETINGSMAGS.COM 27


IN DUSTRY U PDAT E Regional News

Venues//

HELPING TRAVELERS RECONNECT Travel technology leader ITS and Visit Fort Worth have partnered to help travelers reconnect with events and conventions as the industry rebounds from COVID-19. Visit Fort Worth  will be the first destination marketing organization to feature the ITS TripEvents product in promotions for events, including the Charles Schwab Challenge,  USA  Gymnastics and Bassmaster Classic. The ITS event-booking engine connects travelers searching for flights and hotels, and offers exclusive rates and fares with a simple user experience. its.com

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Entertainment on a Grand Scale

Houston-based Jurassic Quest is back—and better than ever—kicking off its first indoor shows since March 2020 at Ford Park in Beaumont and NRG Center in Houston. Jurassic Quest includes more than 100 life-like dinosaurs, dinosaurthemed rides, live dinosaur shows, interactive science and art activities. Additional features include the “Triceratots” kiddie area, face painting, bounce houses and inflatable attractions and photo opportunities. The Jurassic Quest herd of animatronic dinos—from the largest predators to playful baby dinos—are displayed in realistic scenes with some that move and roar, allowing guests to experience them as they were when they roamed the earth billions of years ago. Jurassic Quest works in collaboration with leading paleontologists to ensure each dinosaur is painstakingly replicated in every detail, from coloration to teeth size, to textured skin, fur or feathers, drawing on the latest research about how we understand dinosaurs and ancient giants of the sea looked and moved.  jurassicquest.com

People News//

NEW HIRES Remington Hotels has appointed Willis Cheng senior vice president of business development. A graduate of Cornell University’s School of Hotel Administration, Cheng comes to Remington Hotels from Evolution Hospitality where he served as vice president of business development for three years. There, Cheng expanded the hotel and resort operator’s portfolio through growing capital, conducting underwriting and executing hotel management agreements. He also brings experience with established brands, including the Hotels & Hospitality Group at Jones Lang LaSalle and the Commercial Real Estate: Hospitality Finance Group at Wells Fargo Bank.

P H OTO S : J U R A S S I C Q U E S T; CO U R T E SY O F R E M I N G TO N H OT E L S

NOW OPEN Quorum Hotels & Resorts has opened Lot 12, a rooftop bar located at the Hyatt Place Fort Worth/TCU. The bar, named after the parking lot where the new hotel stands, features views of downtown Fort Worth  and the Texas Christian University campus. Equipped with two Topgolf Swing Suite bays, guests can enjoy a virtual round of golf, baseball, football, or other sport of their choice while sipping on their favorite beverages and enjoying sharable bites, such as peanut butter and jelly wings, sandwiches, and loaded nachos or fries. Hyatt Place Fort Worth/TCU is a six-story, 150-room hotel that opened this past February. It is the only hotel on the Texas Christian University campus. lot12tcu.com


TX.MEETINGSMAGS.COM 29


IN DUSTRY U PDAT E Regional News

mier loyalty reward membership status that provides exclusive benefits to enhance the dining experience. Top-tier perks include complimentary valet parking, elevated access to preferred seating, priority seating, after-dinner drinks on the house at Morton’s  The Steakhouse and more. Landry’s operates fine dining restaurants, such as Mastro’s Restaurants, Morton’s The

New RV Resort Opening on Gulf Coast

Bolivar Beach Club & RV Resort is set to open in Crystal Beach on the Texas Gulf Coast as a premier RV resort and entertainment venue. The 150-acre beachfront resort will feature

30 TXM+E » SUMMER 2021

Steakhouse, Del Frisco’s  Double Eagle Steakhouse, Palm, Chart House, Strip House and The Oceanaire Seafood Room. In addition, Wheels Up members will have unique access to benefits at The Post Oak Hotel at Uptown Houston, which features 250 guest rooms and suites and 20 executive residences. wheelsup.com

more than 500 RV sites and an amenity package that includes a 5-acre entertainment park with beachside concerts yearround. Throughout the resort, visitors will also have access to luxury concert suites, a turf football field, a food truck park, large resort pool and a fleet of golf cart rentals. In addition, a clubhouse featuring the Starfish Bar & Grill and the Sugar Shack Candy Shop will overlook two lakes filled with water activities for the family, from zip lines and water trikes, to kayaking and paddle-boarding. The resort is also introducing app-based customer service to simplify the guest experience with mobile ordering for food, drinks, amenity reservations and more. The Bolivar Beach Club & RV Resort soft opening is scheduled for fall 2021 with the grand opening planned for spring 2022. bolivarbeachclub.com

P H O T O S : W H E E L S U P ; B O L I VA R B E A C H C L U B ; ( O P P O S I T E ) A U S T I N J A M E S

WHEELS UP AND LANDRY’S TEAM UP Wheels Up, a leading brand in private aviation, has partnered with Houstonheadquartered Landry’s Inc., to expand membership benefits across the hospitality company. Wheels Up Core and Business Members will receive access to Landry’s President’s Club status, the company’s pre-


Awards//

BEST OF THE BEST Houston’s The Lancaster Hotel was named to Trip Advisor’s annual “Traveler’s Choice Best of the Best” list for hotels, coming in at number nine. One customer raved, “Run, don’t walk, to this perfect, luxurious hotel in Houston.” Built in 1926, the historic hotel has 93 guest rooms. Amenities include private dining for 12, the on-site restaurant Cultivated F+B, a fitness room (and access to a full-service fitness center) and concierge service. thelancaster.com HALL ARTS HOTEL RECOGNIZED WITH 2020 HILTON LEGACY AWARD HALL Arts Hotel, part of Hilton’s Curio Collection managed by Crescent Hotels & Resorts, has been recognized with a 2020 Hilton Legacy Award for New Build of the Year. The annual awards program celebrates owners and development partners in the Americas for contributions toward brand excellence and development efforts. Situated in the heart of the Dallas Arts District, HALL Arts Hotel is an upscale, art-inspired property that celebrates the creative nature of the surrounding neighborhood. The boutique hotel offers modern accommodations, Ellie’s Restaurant & Lounge and luxury amenities. HALL Arts Hotel also features a gallery of thought-provoking art from artists around the globe, hand-selected by former chief curator of the U.S. Department of State’s “Arts in Embassies” program, Virginia Shore.    The Legacy Awards recognize the passion, creativity and innovative spirit of Hilton’s partners who are committed to quality projects that meet or exceed brand standards and have a positive impact on communities around the world. The leadership of Hilton’s development and brand teams select the winners based on strict criteria, including, but not limited to, hotel quality and commitment to guest experience. hallartshotel.com. 

STOCKYARDS HONORED Stockyards Heritage Development Co. was recognized by the North Central Texas Council of Governments’ biennial CLIDE awards in the redevelopment category for rehabilitating the horse and mule barns and Mule Alley at the Historic Fort Worth Stockyards. The company was recognized along with the City of Fort Worth, Bennett Benner Partners and Commerce Construction Co. Mule Alley broke ground in the fall of 2018. The historic, 108-year-old horse and mule barns were transformed into a destination shopping and dining district. Renovated brick by original brick, Mule Alley is now a street of restaurants, retail, office spaces and a four-

star Autograph Collection hotel and rustic resort, Hotel Drover, which opened in March 2021. Mule Alley’s chef-driven restaurants and one-of-a-kind shops include Provender Hall, MB Mercantile, Shake Shack, Biscuit Bar, Cowtown Winery and Sidesaddle Saloon. The shopping, dining and entertainment district is soon to welcome AVOCA Coffee, and Second Rodeo Brewing Co, two concepts from Chef Tim Love. Recognizing public and private entities, the CLIDE Awards program encourages innovative development projects and practices that help accommodate expected growth and ensure a sustainable North Texas for generations to come. mulealleyfortworth.com

TX.MEETINGSMAGS.COM 31


PE OPLE PROF I L E Stephanie Polk

In a League of Her Own League City CVB manager Stephanie Polk shares her career journey. » ORIGINALLY FROM Kentwood,

What drew you to your career? I’ve always been a creative person and drawn to advertising and marketing. Destination marketing is something I was blessed to stumble upon after graduation from Lamar University. In college I had several internships and jobs with advertising agencies and really enjoyed the creative parts. As a 20-plus year destination marketing veteran, the journey is always changing, and I enjoy the constant adventure.    What do you love about your job? I am passionate about destination marketing and development. The thing I love the most is my work creates a positive impact on where I live—programs highlight and show off the community’s best assets. I love finding new ways to showcase the destination and tell its story. The efforts result in positive media coverage, visitor experiences and an economic impact that directly benefits my community.   Any favorite memories from your career? There are many, but my favorite memories are tied to developing the Cattail Marsh Wetlands Boardwalk and Education Center. The project and its creation spanned many years and it’s a thrill to see something you played a large role in making happen still growing and thriving today.  Overall, the joy of my career is having the privilege of introducing travelers to new places and things while getting a front-row-seat to share in the delight of

32 TXM+E » SUMMER 2021

discovery. Destination marketing and tourism lays the groundwork for generations of lifetime memories. Any advice for someone who wants to enter the industry? My advice is to stay inspired and travel

visitleaguecity.com | @visitleaguecity |

often. The best research and ideas can come from being out and seeing things from the traveler’s perspective. Another piece of advice is to listen more than you speak. The art of listening and observing can be often overlooked if you’re only focused on messaging. 

visitleaguecity

P H OTO : G A B R I E L L A M O L I N A

Louisiana, Stephanie Polk, TDM, CTE, first made her mark on the travel and tourism industry as director of marketing for the Beaumont Convention & Visitors Bureau. There, she helped to elevate the city as a destination for recreation travelers and business groups. Wowed by her accomplishments, in 2020, League City brought her on board to lead its marketing efforts. She shares with us highlights and advice from her experience in the industry.


s g n i t Mee

IN THE HEART OF TEXAS

W A C O

C O N V E N T I O N

C E N T E R

OPEN FOR BUSINESS WITH SAFETY IN MIND

Carla Pendergraft, Director of Marketing 100 Washington Avenue | Waco, TX 76701 254.750.5806 | carlap@wacotx.gov wacocc.com


A convention that doesn’t feel

so conventional? ZERO ATTRITION THROUGH 2021

Imagine a world where “can’t” doesn’t exist. Imagine all you can do in Arlington, Texas. Located just 15 minutes from DFW airport, Arlington offers everything you need to make your next event memorable, from our diverse collection of flexible venues to our growing hotel inventory — and a CVB team that excels at turning Arlington’s unique assets into experiences that make attendees say, “Wow!” To instill even more confidence in booking with us, we have instituted a special No Attrition Through 2021 offer for meeting and event planners. Our team is dedicated to taking precautions for a clean and healthy experience, with distancing options that make sense for your event. Give us a call, and let’s talk about what we can do for you.

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Texas Meetings + Events Summer 2021  

In this issue, we also take a look at some resort golf clubs that can host your group outings, tournaments or team-building activities. Texa...

Texas Meetings + Events Summer 2021  

In this issue, we also take a look at some resort golf clubs that can host your group outings, tournaments or team-building activities. Texa...

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