The city of Frisco, just 20 minutes north of downtown Dallas, is a modern-day boomtown. Its population has tripled since 2004, a feat outshined only by the number of new developments underway, including The $5 Billion Mile with Dallas Cowboys’ world corporate headquarters and three large developments with two boutique hotels. There’s also the growth at Dr Pepper Arena, Dr Pepper Ballpark, Toyota Stadium and Embassy Suites Dallas- Frisco/Hotel, Convention Center & Spa.
At the helm is Frisco Convention & Visitors Bureau Executive Director Marla Roe, CDME, CTA. A Texas native, Roe earned a degree in business with a minor in marketing, and had a career in hotels and at the Arlington CVB before she joined the Frisco Convention and Visitors Bureau in 2004. At the time, she was the CVB’s first and only employee.
“The biggest challenge was that I wanted to do everything in Frisco now, but it was a new and small operation, so I had to temper that drive for a bit—we had to trot when we wanted to run.”
Now, with 10 employees and a budget of $2.1 million, “the growth has been nonstop.” Roe credits partnerships between the CVB, city leaders and the Economic Development Corporation. “They really understand and support the tourism industry,” she says. “Even our business meetings are fun and exciting because we are on the same page and get along so well.”
Married with two daughters, ages 18 and 21, Roe runs marathons, cook, reads (“I’m not happy unless I’ve got four books on my Kindle,” she admits) and attends sporting events for the Rangers, Dallas Stars and the Cowboys.
A work challenge for Roe’s team now: “We sometimes step on each other’s feet when booking space; there are so many new hotels and they don’t always have their sales teams set up,” she says. Sounds like a good problem to have.