The Hotel Association of Tarrant County on Aug. 10 hosted its annual Trade Show and Economic Development Luncheon, bringing out 19 vendors for the trade show and representatives from the Arlington, Fort Worth and Grapevine Convention and Visitors Bureaus.
The event was held at the Fort Worth Omni Hotel from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. and invited members and nonmembers of the association to hear about new companies coming to the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex from CVB representatives and learn about market trends from an Expedia representative.
Each CVB representative spoke on their respective area’s growth and development. The largest announcement coming from Grapevine CVB’s Kimberly Foster, as she had an update on Stand Rock Hospitality, a new development adjacent to Grapevine Mills Mall.
The 1,020-room hotel resort and waterpark property is currently in phase one, which involves a $170 million investment. The total investment for the project is $330 million.
“Phase one will feature 420 guest suites, over 190,000 square feet, indoor/outdoor waterpark space, an arcade, laser tag area, mini-golf, rock climbing, spa, dining options and meeting space,” Foster said. “Definitely a fun space to bring the family!”
Another big update from Grapevine included its $120 million expansion to the Gaylord Texan Resort, which will add 191,000 square-feet – including 86,000 square-feet of meeting space- and 300 additional rooms.
Fort Worth CVB’s John Cychol detailed the new Dickies, 14,000 seat multi-use arena which has already been pre-booked to host a multitude of events including: The Fort Worth Stock Show in January 2020, the American Athletic Conference for Men’s Basketball from 2020-2022, the NCAA Men’s Basketball round one and two in March 2020 and the NCAA Women’s Gymnastics Championship from 2020-2022.
He also added that between in-progress and coming projects about 4,000 new rooms will be added to the city through 26 hotels. Twelve hotels are coming to downtown, one to the cultural district, two to the Stockyards and 11 to North Fort Worth/the Near Southside/the South West.
Finally, he added that the new $17 million Firestone & Robertson Distillery with its event facility is looking to open late fall of this year.
“This development is going to help revitalize the South-East corridor of this city,” Cychol said.
Arlington CVB’s John Hickson was excited to speak on the development his city is facing, with hotels, multi- and single-family housing and the new Texas Rangers baseball stadium, the city expects more people, more tourism and more revenue.
But, in the end, it was Expedia’s Jessica jones that shared the news that has the potential to shake the hospitality industry.
Jones told the room that at Expedia they believe that by 2020 mobile devices will overtake desktops for hotel bookings. This knowledge is important, she said, because Expedia has also noticed that 43 percent of their mobile booking are made the same day. Hotels and travel platforms are noticing that more and more people are electing to take spontaneous vacations and book tickets, rooms and more on the way to their destination. Hotels and other travel industry need to heed this information and develop as the age of the year-long planned summer family road trip are seeming to shrink in the rearview mirror.
Vendors taking part in the trade show included Lewis Marketing Partners, Main Event, Versacor managed pest solutions, Mooring USA restoration and construction, Advance Catastrophe Technology Inc. (ACT), Empire Roofing, Spectrum, Interstate Restoration, Christmas by Zenith holiday and event decorators, AT&T Stadium, Massey pest prevention services, Facility Solutions Group (FCG), State Tax Group, United Carpet Cleaning Systems, JS Audio and Visual, Elite casino events, Auto Clor System dishwashing and laundry service, ASVD Productions and Corporate Building Services (CBS).
Hotel Association of Tarrant County
Mark your calendar for HATC’s largest event of the year, Casino Night, at 7 p.m. on Oct. 28 at the Gaylord Texan. This year the event is Great Gatsby themed and has been dubbed The Great HATC Casino Night. A portion of the proceeds from the event go toward funding scholarships for hospitality programs at the University of North Texas and Tarrant County Community College.