Competition Growing for North Texas Convention Centers

The Gaylord Texan Resort Hotel and Convention Center in Grapevine will soon call itself the second largest hotel in the nation without a casino on-site.

The $120 million expansion will add more rooms bring the total room number close to 2,000.

The expansion will also add an additional 86,000 square feet of carpeted meeting space, bringing the total meeting space to approximately 490,000 square feet.

The property already draws in thousands of people for a variety of events all over the Metroplex. The proximity of D/FW International Airport to the city’s meeting spaces also plays well with conventioneers.

News of the expansion is good news for the city of Grapevine.

"Our success truly lies in our stakeholder hotels. We have the top-tier hotels within the DFW Metroplex," said Brady Closson with the Grapevine Convention and Business Bureau.

Just minutes from D/FW International Airport, the city of Grapevine says the addition will boost local numbers.

"What that will do on a national and international level is keep us at the forefront of meeting planners minds," said Closson.

The convention competition is in intense.

Just last year Dallas saw 25 million visitors. The Dallas Convention and Visitors bureau says the Gaylord is nice, but Dallas remains the big draw for North Texas.

"For them obviously it helps for the small groups that want to stay close to the airport,” said Mathew Jones, CFO Dallas Convention and Visitors Bureau. “You have to remember that's a very small number compared to the destination. We have 10 times that number of rooms [being added to the Dallas downtown area next year]."

Jones is referring to the 300 new rooms that the Gaylord Texan announced that they are adding.

The Omni Dallas Hotel, considered the convention hotel, sits in the heart of downtown, just walking distance from dozens of other hotels, museums and restaurants.

"When you are planning a convention, you have to take into account the logistics. Do you have a lift? Do you have flights that come in to your destination? Is it easy for their travelers to get here from all over America?," said Jones.

Fort Worth also fights for the tourist dollars with close to 7 million visitors last year.

"We have a developing sports market in the area,” said Bob Jameson, President Fort Worth Convention visitors Bureau. “DFW area is rich in those kinds of opportunities, but we also have a strong leisure interest."

Fort Worth convention leaders say they're selling themselves as the true Texan destination.

"People just feel immediately comfortable here and all the dining options. But then we have the cultural district in the stockyard," said Jameson.

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