Celebrating the completion of its structural framework, Austin Marriott Downtown hosted a unique “topping off” event in collaboration with local spirit masters Garrison Brothers Distillery. In place of the traditional raising of the final beam ceremony, the hotel raised three Garrison Brothers bourbon barrels via crane onto the hotel’s rooftop. The barrels will remain on the roof throughout the construction period until the hotel’s opening in mid-2020, at which time the hotel’s first guests will be treated to an exclusive Austin Marriott–inspired whiskey tasting.

Austin Marriott Downtown will feature 613 guest rooms (including 25 suites), a rooftop pool and bar, three bars, and two restaurants on the ground level. The hotel will also offer more than 60,000 square feet of meeting space, including an exhibit hall with floor-to-ceiling windows along a 170-foot glass wall. The hotel is located across the street from the Austin Convention Center.

Over the years, any corporate event planner can admit to spending countless hours researching the perfect venue or vendors for their gatherings. After attending or hosting hundreds of events, New York-based Daphne Hoppenot was no stranger to this research and was frustrated by its repetitive nature. However, it was planning her wedding in 2018 that pushed her to realize the lack of resources in the corporate events market compared to the wedding industry, and set out to see if other meetings and events professionals were struggling with the same problem.  

 

Freelancing has become a new ball game since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, as many companies cannot afford to keep full-time positions, but still need those tasks completed. Although many more professionals have had to join the freelancing community since March, Tracy Judge had the passion for the freelancing community two years ago–long before the pandemic hit–and founded her company Soundings Connect in order to directly connect meetings and events industry freelancers with customers. 

 

The 18-story, 303-room Hyatt Regency Frisco-Dallas is now open for business. Located within Frisco’s Stonebriar Centre, the hotel includes a 27,500-square-foot conference center with Regency and Junior ballrooms and additional breakout spaces, most with floor-to-ceiling windows for natural light.