Located smack dab in the middle of Dallas and Fort Worth, less than a three-hour flight from either the West or East Coasts, is the city of Irving. Thanks to its proximity to two international airports—Dallas Fort Worth International with service to 229 destinations and Dallas Love Field with nonstop service to 57—the city is especially accessible for groups looking to meet in the Lone Star State. Add to that a pedestrian-friendly environment that easily connects delegates to the Irving Convention Center and the Westin Irving Convention Center at Las Colinas, and you have a destination with unparalleled convenience and urban amenities. 

Described as a “convention city with character,” Irving packs a lot into a small footprint: history, culture, art, and entertainment can all be had within minutes. Meeting delegates can easily transition from crossing off an agenda to taking in a live show at the Toyota Music Factory’s Live Nation Pavilion. There’s also the outdoor adventure on Lake Carolyn (such as paddle boarding, boat tours, water trikes or gondola rides) and the epicurean options at the Water Street retail development to explore. The city offers 85 hotels and nearly 13,000 rooms with accommodations that range from resort-style to budget-friendly. 

Irving’s meeting “crown jewel” is its convention center, which offers almost 100,000 square feet of meeting and exhibit space. Set on 40 acres within Irving’s Las Colinas Urban Center, the venue can accommodate groups of up to 4,000 and includes a column-free exhibition hall, 20,000 square-foot grand ballroom, a junior ballroom, 20 breakout rooms and pre-function space. The on-site café can also be incorporated into events as can the center’s multiple outdoor terraces. The venue was awarded LEED Silver certification for using reclaimed water for landscaping, cooling systems, and other non-potable applications. 

To ensure the health and safety of its visitors and guests, Visit Irving, the Irving Convention Center and area hotels and venues have all implemented extensive safety protocols. Irving’s hospitality partners have reimagined food and beverage set-ups, and room layouts were redesigned for physical distancing. Groups can also choose from multiple open-air venues to host their post-meeting gatherings, from patios and courtyards to waterfront terraces and festival plazas.

For assistance in coordinating meetings and events, planners should reach out to the team at Visit Irving, who will help with selecting a facility to fit your needs and an itinerary to create lifelong memories. 

Sheraton Dallas has welcomed Pierre Daval as the hotel’s new executive chef. Daval has more than 25 years of culinary experience, including 20 years with Marriott International. Originally from France, Daval started his culinary career in the United States at the Marriott Tan-Tar-A Resort in Missouri in 2000. His most recent role was at the Lincolnshire Marriott Resort in Illinois as the executive chef and food and beverage director where he personally managed an apiary and a two-acre farm. He also previously worked at the Chicago Marriott O’Hare and the Chicago Marriott Downtown.

 

Wyndham Hotels & Resorts has broken ground on its new extended-stay brand in Plano. The all new-construction brand, operating under the working title "Project ECHO," has 72 hotels in the development pipeline as of the end of the second quarter. The purpose-built, 124-room Project ECHO prototype is just over 50,000 square feet, with individual rooms averaging 300 square feet. 

 

The historic Austin hotel, The Driskill, has appointed Nori Meisner to its staff as historic tour guide and special events concierge. In her new role, Meisner will bring to life the stories of the hotel, which was built by cattle baron Colonel Jesse Driskill in 1886. Among the many memories she’ll share with guests on the history tour is the first date between former President Lyndon B. Johnson and his wife, Lady Bird. The two met over breakfast on that fateful day.