Hospitality is somewhat of a family business for Tulsa, Oklahoma– native Robert Watson. After all, his career started as a teenager working alongside his father at downtown Tulsa’s renowned Mayo Hotel. “I started out at the coat check station and then moved into a role as a steward [dishwasher]. My father’s roles included banquet manager, catering manager, and food and beverage director,” recalls Watson, who came on board last summer as general manager of Hilton Anatole in Dallas.

Watson recently celebrated his 30th anniversary with the Hilton brand. He came to Hilton Anatole from Hilton Austin, where he led his team to win “Hotel of the Year” for 2018. “I’m thrilled to work toward the same goal for the legendary Hilton Anatole. We will be celebrating our 40th anniversary in 2019, and my goals will revolve around making this milestone year the best in terms of instituting a culture of care, value and respect for our team members while continuing to drive record performance and ensure our guests are having a great experience during their time with us,” says Watson.

Watson says the Dallas property continues to be a high-demand destination for meetings in the U.S., with Cvent ranking the city among the country’s top 10. “The Hilton Anatole was also ranked a top 10 hotel destination and is the only hotel in Dallas that made that list,” he notes.

Dallas’ central location from points around the country, says Watson, is one of the reasons for its popularity as a meeting locale. “Our climate is another big factor, especially for meetings in the first and fourth quarters when weather and natural disasters can cause a lot of risk for meetings being canceled in other parts of the country. And finally, our people: Dallas has become a melting pot destination with over 100,000 people a year migrating here, and they all seem to adopt the Southern hospitality and genuine sense of kindness,” says Watson.

South by Southwest (SXSW) returned live this year! The 35-year-old festival infuses on average $16-plus million of consumer spending into the Austin music scene over the course of nine days. The festival returned in March after its cancellation in 2020 and virtual show in 2021. Both the cancellation and virtual show were prompted by health and safety concerns due to the pandemic. 

 

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.

 

In 1927, Hilton Hotels’ founder Conrad Hilton said, "Abilene, Texas, will be well prepared to handle large conventions and please the most fastidious visitor." Nearly 95 years later, Abilene has fulfilled this vision and is excited to welcome back the Hilton family of hotels in the heart of downtown Abilene with a recently announced DoubleTree by Hilton.