If you think you're familiar with what Frisco has to off er, you probably need a refresher. The staff at the Frisco Convention & Visitors Bureau say the city is undergoing “constant growth.”
“We feel like every month there’s a new project,” says Marla Roe, executive director of the Frisco Convention & Visitors Bureau. “We encourage people to check back in often, because there’s always something new coming up.”
Frisco is one of the fastest-growing cities in the country. The city’s population has doubled in the past decade, from 73,900 in 2005 to about 160,000 in 2017. Frisco is centrally located; it’s a 25-minute drive from downtown Dallas and a 20-minute drive from DFW International Airport.
Despite the explosion in growth, Roe says Frisco maintains its small-town charm.
“We’ve been growing so rapidly, and through all of it, the [Frisco] City Council has worked hard to maintain that small-town teamwork mentality,” she says. “The elected officials, CVB, Chamber of Commerce and Economic Development Corporation all work really closely together, and they understand the group meeting business.”
Alongside the population growth, several national and regional attractions have opened in the city in the past few years. One of the most recent, The Star, brings 91 acres of office, retail and restaurant space anchored by the Dallas Cowboys Word Headquarters and Training Facility. The National Videogame Museum opened in Frisco last year, and the National Soccer Hall of Fame will open in 2018 at the south end of the 20,000-seat Toyota Stadium (home to the FC Dallas Major League Soccer team). Frisco is also home to the Dr Pepper Arena (the official practice facility for the NHL Dallas Stars) and Dr Pepper Ballpark (home to the Frisco RoughRiders, a Class AA affiliate of the Texas Rangers).
A perk of Frisco is that its major attractions are located in a compact area, says Ryan Callison, director of marketing and communications at the Frisco CVB.
“You get a really cool, big-town atmosphere in a smaller city,” Callison says. “You’re coming to a destination that has a lot of great products that you might find in a bigger destination, but in a 2- to 3-mile radius of each other.”
A Surge of New Hotels
Frisco’s hotel inventory is currently more than 2,000 rooms, though several new hotels in the works will add to that number.
Three new hotels will open this year. They include the 300-room Omni Hotel Frisco, which will be connected to the Cowboys’ training facility and will open in July; the 184- room Drury Inn & Suites, which will open next to the Frisco Conference Center; and the 110-room Hotel Indigo.
Beyond 2017, a 175-room Hotel Zaza and 250-room Langham Hotel are also in development. These hotels will add 10,000 square feet and 25,000 square feet of meeting space, respectively.
Building will continue around The Star with Frisco Station, a 200,000-square-foot mixed-use retail, office and entertainment development. Four hotels are planned for the complex, including a Marriott AC Hotel, Residence Inn, A Canopy Hotel by Hilton and a Hyatt Place Hotel. Construction on the new hotel campus started earlier this year. Combined, the four hotels will add 600 rooms.
Finally, a proposal for a minimum 295-room Hyatt Regency hotel connected to the Stonebriar Centre mall includes a city-owned conference center and would be completed by 2019.
Roe says when she started working with the Frisco CVB, there were four hotels in town. With a more limited inventory, the CVB began a tradition of forming strong relationships with each property. The tradition continues as more hotels have come on line. “There’s a seamlessness of the CVB team and our hotel partners,” Roe says. “That makes for a really good customer service experience.”
The Star Shines Brightly
A massive addition to Frisco’s offerings is The Star, a 91-acre development anchored by the Dallas Cowboys World Headquarters and Training Facility. The Dallas Cowboys moved into the space in August, and the rest of The Star is in the final stages of construction.
In addition to corporate offices, The Star includes The Ford Center—a multipurpose event center to be used by the Cowboys, the City of Frisco and the Frisco Independent School District (FISD). The center seats 12,000 people and can also be rented out for private events for 10 to 15,000 people.
The Star has more than 20 meeting spaces, including the Auditorium, where players and coaches study game film; The War Room, the team’s NFL draft headquarters; the Optum Practice Suite, overlooking the team’s practice fields; and the Training Table, where the players eat each day. The Grand Atrium displays all five Super Bowl trophies and rings and provides 3,500 square feet of space with a five-story glass wall, marble floors and icicle chandeliers.
About 51,000 square feet of restaurants and retail will open at The Star this summer, including a Mediterranean restaurant by Michelin-rated chef José Andrés.
The 16-story Omni Frisco Hotel, also set to open this year, connects to The Ford Center. The hotel will offer 300 rooms, a fine dining restaurant, a lobby coffee and wine bar and a rooftop pool bar and grill. The Omni will have 24,000 square feet of meeting space, including a 13,000-square-foot ballroom. The rooftop deck and pool, featuring three fire pits and views of the plaza and The Ford Center, can accommodate up to 400 guests.
Meeting & Event Space Galore
The Embassy Suites by Hilton Frisco Hotel Convention Center & Spa is attached to the Frisco Conference Center and adjacent to Dr Pepper Ballpark. The 330-room hotel features an indoor pool, Spa Botanica and fitness center. There’s more than 90,000 square feet of meeting space across more than 30 rooms, including the third-largest ballroom in Texas that can accommodate up to 4,000 guests. The Cyprus Grille offers on-site dining, and catering is available for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
The Westin Stonebriar Hotel, a AAAFour Diamond award rated hotel, offers 300 rooms and 24,000 square feet of meeting space. Twelve conference rooms and two ballrooms can accommodate groups of 20-660 people. The hotel has a 200-foot lagoon-style pool with waterfalls and a whirlpool. The Westin Stonebriar Golf Club is one of four golf clubs in Frisco, and is only open to guests of the Westin Stonebriar Hotel. The 18-hole course was designed by Tom Fazio, one of the country’s top golf course designers.
Fun Off-Site Venues
>> Dr Pepper Ballpark, home to the Frisco RoughRiders, seats 10,000 people and features 23 luxury business entertainment suites, five party decks and the Triple Play Tavern. The ballpark recently added a 174-foot lazy river, complete with a 6,400-square-foot party deck around the pool and a 945-squarefoot cabana with covered seating and a built-in bar.
>> The National Videogame Museum is the first museum in the country dedicated to video games. It features one of the most comprehensive collections of video game memorabilia in the world, including arcade games and the world’s largest Pong console. Guests are welcome to play and challenge co-workers to a game.
>> Frisco Rail Yard, a food truck park, opened last year and offers rotating food trucks, live music and a bar. The park is located near the railroad tracks, a nod to the trains that put Frisco on the map in the 1800s.