Looking for sun, fun, affordability and convenience-all with a vibrant, international flair? It can all be found aquí, along the stretch of West Texas running from El Paso to Del Rio. There's truly something for everyone here, from high-rise hotels to James Dean's oldhotel haunt to some of the most spectacular high desert and river valley vistas in Texas.
"El Paso is experiencing a revitalization; a renaissance if you will," says Communication Manager Pifas Silva of the city's convention and visitors bureau. Silva notes that the place known as "Sun City" has retained a "small-town feeling," despite a population exceeding600,000 and a collection of top-tier venues.
Doubletree El Paso Downtown/City Center >> Debuting in early spring, this beautiful new luxury high-rise hotel will offer 200 guest rooms, seven meeting rooms and a full-service restaurant, all in the heart of the financial and entertainment districts.
El Paso Convention & Performing Arts Centers >> This modern, multifunctional event space boasts 80,000 square feet of exhibit space and meeting rooms. It also anchors a meeting space "campus"-a diverse collection of stellar event spaces, including:
The Plaza Theatre and Philanthropy Annex >> In 2007, a $38 million renovation of the Plaza Theatre's 1930s building brought excitement back to downtown in the form of a state-of-the-art performance space. Adjoining the theater is the Philanthropy Annex, which turns this venue into a multifunctional meeting and event facility. There's a street-level cocktail area, a small theater that seats 191 and the Alcantar Sky Garden, a rooftop garden with stunning views of downtown that can accommodate 223 guests reception-style or 132 for a seated event.
Judson F. Williams Convention Center >> This is where the big groups can go thanks to 80,000 square feet of column-free exhibit space, which is divided between three halls. The space can seat 8,000 people. Three lobbies total more than 38,000 square feet of meeting space and the center has installed computerized lighting and high-quality acoustic technology.
The Abraham Chavez Theater >> Adjacent to the Williams Convention Center is this distinctive sombrero-shaped building with a glass entry that's three stories high. The theater boasts seating for 2,500 with more than 5,000 square feet of lobby space plus an 800-squarefoot meeting room tucked behind the Grand Tier seating area that's perfect for VIP receptions. This spring, it will be closed for a total renovation expected to top $10 million that should have this El Paso icon refreshed and ready for new business in about a year.
Camino Real >> The American outlet of this Mexico-based luxury hotel chain is located in a landmark 1912 building adjacent to the convention center. This 359-room property boasts the "most photographed" grand staircase in the Southwest, plus Italian marble accents and crystal chandeliers. Hold a meeting during the day in any number of the 19 rooms with space for up to 1,300 attendees, then break for an unforgettable evening at the Dome Bar underneath a stunning Tiffany cut glass dome that's suspended by wires from above.
The Ramada >> One of the larger hotels in the breathtakingly beautiful Big Bend town of Alpine, the hotel has 61 rooms including eight suites and a small, 12-seat meeting room. But there's also a hidden gem here that breaks the chain-hotel cliche: The Lizard Mountain Porch and Overlook. This covered pavilion is built for fun-there's a Texas-style barbecue pit, a prep kitchen and miles and miles of amazing vistas.
Villa Del Rio Bed and Breakfast >> Located just miles from the Mexican border in the historic Mason- Foster house, this gracious Mediterranean villa has three guest suites. Hold a breakout meeting or retreat in the 20-seat meeting room or adjourn outside to a seating area around a cantera-tiled fountain, in the midst of two acres of subtropical vegetation.
Amistad Lake Resort >> Located seven miles from town on the edge of Del Rio's Lake Amistad, one of the largest, clearest lakes in Texas, this property offers year-round outdoor fun like superb bass fishing and bird-watching. There's also good people watching: It's co-owned by former reality TV star (and professional bass fisherman) Byron Velvick. There are 40 guest rooms here, including units with kitchenettes, and its lakeside restaurants, with indoor and patio seating, can accommodate groups up to 150 people.
Del Rio Civic Center >> This centrally located, newly renovated meeting facility can be business central thanks to its rentable area of more than 23,000 square feet, including two main convention halls with a capacity for 10,000 in one and 8,600 in the other. Both rooms have stages, and there are two commercial kitchens onsite. There are also four smaller meeting rooms surrounding the main hall to accommodate break-out sessions and the like.
Hotel Paisano >> Opened in 1930, this red-tileroofed gem served as a cattleman's hotel for its first 40 years, and ranchers from across Texas held business meetings here, buying and selling herds of cattle from the lobby. In 1955, the cast and crew of the epic movie Giant stayed here, including its stars James Dean, Elizabeth Taylor and Rock Hudson. Today the property boasts 33 rooms and suites and offers a banquet room that seats 100 along with a private meeting and conference area and an indoor swimming pool.
EL PASO CVB // 915.534.0609 / 800.351.6024
DOUBLETREE EL PASO // 915.532.8733
CAMINO REAL // 915.534.3000
THE RAMADA // 800.272.6232
VILLA DEL RIO BED AND BREAKFAST // 800.995.1887
AMISTAD LAKE RESORT // 800.775.8591
DEL RIO CIVIC CENTER // 830.774.8641
HOTEL PAISANO // 866.729.3669