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The Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex Is a Hotel Development Hotbed

JW Marriott Dallas Arts District exterior rendering

According to commercial real estate analytics leader CoStar, Texas is forecast to add more than 16,000 new hotel rooms state-wide over the next three years. Of these, three-quarters, or 12,000 rooms across 123 properties, are slated for completion in 2024.  

Advancing a year-over-year trend, the action is concentrated in the ever-expanding Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex, where Dallas continues to set the pace nationally.

As reported in Q4 2022 by Lodging Econometrics, the city started 2023 as the U.S. hotel pipeline market leader with a record 176 projects and 20,790 rooms. Additionally, Dallas had the most scheduled starts last year, with 68 properties adding 7,711 rooms, and the most hotels in the early planning stage, with 85 projects and 9,644 rooms.  

Heading into 2024, Big D continues to lead the nation with an all-time high of 189 projects delivering 21,840 new rooms, while also holding the top spots for scheduled starts and projects in the early planning stage.

Corporate relocations, escalating leisure and business demand, and the return of group travel to pre-pandemic levels, including larger meetings and events, are major drivers of the surge.

“There’s more group business coming to Dallas than there has been in the past,” Brian Nordahl, executive vice president and Texas region leader for the CBRE Hotels Institutional Group, told Hotel Dive in November 2023, linking “the significant increases in demand” in part to the nearly 20 companies that have moved their headquarters to Dallas since early 2021.

Cited in the same article, Visit Dallas President and CEO Craig Davis said that hotel revenue growth in the city, which hit $1.12 billion in 2022, was in “large part driven by the recovery of meetings and events.”  

Across the Metroplex, groups have more overnight and in-hotel meeting space options across more price points than ever. Here is a round-up of the exciting new and upgraded flags in this hotel development hotbed, along with familiar mainstays.

Dallas Dominates Hotel Development

Sight-unseen bookings are already coming in left and right for the new and expanded Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center Dallas. Slated for Q2 2028, the $2 billion, 2.5-million-square-foot venue anchors a dynamic new master-planned Convention Center District connected to multi-use entertainment neighborhoods. With commensurate hotel demand certain to be high, Big D is staying way ahead of the curve with the nation’s most aggressive and ambitious hotel development plan.

New flags in a landscape already shining with group-capable beacons include the 267-room JW Marriott Dallas Arts District. Centered in the nation’s largest contiguous arts district, the striking glass building comes with 10 event rooms totaling more than 22,000 square feet of versatile indoor and outdoor space. Concentrated on the 11th and 12th floors, venues include the 1,100-capacity Harwood Ballroom. For outdoor receptions, the 150-capacity Vincent’s Skybar features soaring 40-foot ceilings and unobstructed city views.

Last summer also saw the debut of the elegant 134-room Hôtel Swexan in Uptown’s 19-block park-like Harwood District, offering 12,000 square feet of elegant space including two grand ballrooms. Also located in Uptown with convenient proximity to Dallas’ central business district, the 218-room Ritz-Carlton Dallas completed a $20 million property-wide renovation in October 2023. Nearly 24,000 square feet of luxurious space includes the 1,140-capacity Ritz-Carlton Ballroom.

Projects on the horizon include the 220-room InterContinental Dallas (2025); 140-room The Knox, Auberge Resorts Collection (2026); and $750 million, 240-room Four Seasons Turtle Creek (2027).

Arlington Steps Up Its Hotel Game

Loews Arlington Hotel rendering
Loews Arlington Hotel rendering. Courtesy of Loews Hotels

Major bookings including this year’s Major League Baseball All-Star Game and FIFA Men’s World Cup matches in 2026 underscore Arlington’s ever-evolving magnetism as a compelling event destination.

Investments boosting that market confidence include the new $550 million Loews Arlington Hotel & Convention Center.

Aiming for a February 2024 opening, the luxurious 888-room property is poised to deliver Texas-sized impact for meetings and events with 200,000 square feet of indoor meeting space and 66,000 square feet of outdoor function space, including an event lawn.  

The hotel is about making connections, literally.  

Situated between AT&T Stadium, home of the Dallas Cowboys, and Globe Life Field, home to the 2023 Baseball World Series Champions Texas Rangers, the Loews Arlington forms part of a $4 billion entertainment-driven destination known as The District. Further enhancing the property’s group appeal is a skybridge attachment to the new Arlington Convention Center, also slated for February and offering 266,000 square feet of indoor/outdoor space, and the existing 300-room LIVE! By Loews hotel that opened in 2019, with an additional 35,000 square feet of space.

As Arlington CVB President & CEO Brent DeRaad told Meetings Today last summer, the new hotel “opens Arlington up to an entirely new customer base and the opportunity to bring in new business while retaining the many groups that built our destination. It’s exciting to now sell Arlington to citywide groups with 2,000 delegates based on our current and future hotels and meeting space.”

Arlington loves Loews. Announced in December 2023, the Arlington City Council approved a third Loews hotel for The District.  

Replacing the 311-room Sheraton Arlington, which is scheduled for demolition by September 2026, the $410 million, 500-room project will reportedly include 25,000 square feet of event space. Located north of 48,000-seat Choctaw Stadium, the former home of the Texas Rangers, the hotel will also feature a large garage connected to ESports Stadium Arlington that will serve as parking for the group-capable Arlington Museum of Art and future National Medal of Honor Museum.

[Related: These 5 Texas Resorts Are Tried-and-True Options for Meetings and Events]

Fort Worth Invests in Luxury and Lifestyle Properties

In 2022, business and leisure visitation delivered more than $3 billion in economic impact to Fort Worth for the first time. The hotel scene is growing richer, too, with upscale additions including the city’s first Le Méridien property.  

Reviving the historic 13-story Hotel Texas Annex, the new 188-room Le Méridien Fort Worth Downtown, aiming for a spring 2024 debut, will reportedly offer six meeting rooms and 5,200-plus square feet of space. Unique rentals include the rooftop Annex bar and rooftop pool, both offering skyline views.

Fitting right in with the City of Cowboys and Culture, the new Bowie House is a stylish urban retreat in the Cultural District featuring 400 pieces of art focused on the West, cowboys and horses. Within walking distance of the Kimbell Art Museum and the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, the 106-room Auberge Collection property offers 10,000 square feet of space in seven distinct venues. Dining options include the signature Bricks and Horses steakhouse.

Opened last November across from the Kimbell as part of a $275 million mixed-use development, the luxurious 200-room Crescent Hotel offers 14,000-plus square feet of flexible indoor and outdoor event space.

In planning since the early 2000s, the phased expansion of the Fort Worth Convention Center commenced in December 2023. Budgeted at $95 million, the initial phase, slated for 2026, includes site work to prepare for a future 1,000-room convention hotel.  

Frisco Expands Its Hotel Field

HALL Park Hotel aerial
HALL Park Hotel aerial. Credit: Visit Frisco

Headquartered in Dallas, Omni Hotels and Resorts has invested significantly in the Metroplex market including ever-expanding Frisco, which was named the nation’s fastest-rising city by FinanceBuzz last November.

In 2017, the 300-room Omni Frisco Hotel opened at The Star, the event-capable world headquarters of the Dallas Cowboys, with 24,000 square feet of space including the 13,000-square-foot Star Ballroom.  

May 2023 saw another game-changer for Frisco with the opening of the highly anticipated 500-room Omni PGA Frisco Resort. Set on 600 acres by the new headquarters of PGA America, the $520 million property got straight into the swing of offering “one resort, endless possibilities” for meetings and events.

Attracting corporate groups from a broad cross-section of industries, including financial services, technology, healthcare and automotive, the modern Texas ranch-inspired resort offers 127,000 square feet of highly versatile space. Indoor highlights include the 23,000-square-foot, 2,225-capacity Ryder Cup Ballroom, which opens onto an exclusive event lawn overlooking the golf courses. One of the largest natural grass putting greens in the nation, the two-acre Dance Floor can be lit for night play and features a giant screen and 6,000-square-foot event lawn.  

Unique accommodations include 10 luxurious four-bedroom ranch houses; other amenities include 13 dining outlets and a 15,000-square-foot destination space.  

In development for over two decades across from The Star, office-focused HALL Park is undergoing a $7 billion master-planned transformation into a dynamic mixed-use community. Signature projects include the $500 million HALL Park Hotel. Now taking event bookings starting Q3 2024, the 224-room boutique property, under the banner of Marriott’s exclusive Autograph Collection, will reportedly offer 8,500 square feet of event space including a 4,000-square-foot ballroom.  

[Related: The Massive New Omni PGA Frisco Is a Golf Resort Game-Changer]

Make Plans to Meet in Plano

Founded as a small farming community north of Dallas in 1844, Plano’s transformation into a major commercial hub began in 1872 with the arrival of the Houston and Central Texas Railway. This catalyzed an economic redevelopment evolution later accelerated by other infrastructure investments such as the opening of the Dallas North Tollway in 1968. Between 1985 and 2000, corporations including J.C. Penney, Frito-Lay and PepsiCo made Legacy Business Park their home, setting the stage for a wave of corporate relocations and Plano’s continuing national eminence as a place of business.

Opened in 2014, 299-room Hilton Dallas/Plano Granite Park remains an anchor of success for Plano’s continually expanding corporate-centric group market.  

Located within Granite Park, a 90-acre mixed-use waterfront development with 2.3 million square feet of office space, the property offers more than 33,000-plus square feet of versatile space in 19 meeting rooms. For large groups, the 14,469-square-foot Prairie Ballroom can accommodate 1,300-capacity events. Amenities include an outdoor resort-style pool and Italian-inspired Carso restaurant, with a bridge connection to the expanding waterfront dining options at The Boardwalk at Granite Park. In June 2023, commercial real estate firm Driftwood Capital acquired the hotel, with plans to renovate the guest rooms and meeting space.

Spanning 255 acres, Plano’s newest entertainment district, Legacy West, is the largest mixed-use destination in North Texas. Opened in 2017, the 304-room Renaissance Dallas at Plano Legacy West anchors the dynamic “urban village” with its distinctive “West of Zen” ambiance, “cowboy meets Samurai” decor, and rooftop pool and cabanas. Groups have nearly 35,000 square feet of flexible space in 17 event rooms.

[Related: The Creative Culture Behind Meeting at Renaissance Dallas at Plano Legacy West Hotel]

Irving Holds the Keys to Success

 Las Colinas Ritz-Carlton lobby bar rendering
The Ritz-Carlton Dallas, Las Colinas lobby bar rendering, Irving. Courtesy Marriott International

Irving is another original farming community that became a corporate metropolis. According to the Irving Chamber of Commerce, the “Headquarters of Headquarters,” with a growing population of around 240,000 people, leads the nation with 4.5 corporate headquarters per 100,000 people. Integrating the master-planned Las Colinas community, which turned 50 last year, this Fortune 500 and Fortune 1000 magnet offers 90-plus hotels with more than 13,000 rooms.  

From luxury resorts to extended stay and limited-service properties, hotel growth goes hand in hand with the destination’s business and group appeal.  

Completing the visionary multi-phase Las Colinas Entertainment District plan that started with the Irving Convention Center at Las Colinas in 2011, the opening of the Westin Irving Convention Center Las Colinas in 2017 has helped to drive continuing hotel reinvestment and development.

As longtime Irving CVB Executive Director Maura Gast told Meetings Today in a December 2023 podcast, the Westin’s arrival represented competition that drove subsequent reinvestment in other group properties including the Marriott Las Colinas and Omni Las Colinas, and the new Embassy Suites by Hilton Dallas Las Colinas, accepting reservations from late February 2024 onward.

Gast also highlighted the anticipated January 2024 re-introduction of the former Four Seasons Resort Dallas at Las Colinas as The Ritz-Carlton Dallas, Las Colinas.  

Still operating under the interim name of The Las Colinas Resort, Dallas as of press time, this 431-room, 400-acre local landmark, a planner’s favorite since 1986, is undergoing a sweeping $55 million transformation as part of the flag change. Capital improvements include all guest rooms and villas, and the renovation of 84,000 square feet of group space. Other updates include new food and beverage concepts, a Ritz-Carlton Club Lounge, activation of the outdoor pool area and refresh of the 14,000-square-foot spa.

“It’s going to be new and beautiful in a place that was always new and beautiful,” Gast said.

[Listen: How Irving, Texas, has Transformed Into a Bleisure Magnet]

Tried-and-Trusted Group Hotels in DFW Metroplex

The Westin Dallas Stonebriar exterior
The Westin Dallas Stonebriar Golf Resort exterior, Frisco. Credit: Visit Frisco

Amid the new hotel development sweeping the Metroplex, tried-and-trusted group landmarks still stand tall.  

Debuting in 1956 with four days of fanfare, Statler Hilton Dallas once reigned as the largest convention venue in the South and was among the first with lower-floor ballrooms and conference rooms. Reborn in 2017 as the Hilton-flagged 159-room Statler Dallas, this retro-styled heirloom, notably the 300th member of Historic Hotels of America, offers 23,000-plus square feet of evocative space including the storied, scenic Grand Ballroom.

Hilton Anatole is another Dallas landmark. Debuting in 1979 as a Loews before switching to Hilton in 2005, this 1,606-room titan offers more than 600,000 square feet of space, including 11 ballrooms, 79 meeting rooms and three executive floors. The 1,000-piece museum-grade art collection, including two Berlin Wall sections, is second to none in the hotel world.

Sidelined during the pandemic, the expansion of the 618-key Omni Fort Worth Hotel is moving forward. Targeting completion by the end of 2026, the $217 million investment will transform Tarrant County Community College’s administrative building into a new 400-room tower with 50,000 square feet of meeting space and 15,000 square feet of restaurant space. When complete, the two-block hotel will offer 1,008 rooms across from the Fort Worth Convention Center.

Located airside adjacent to Terminal C, 811-room Hyatt Regency DFW International Airport is its own major business and meetings hub. More than 92,000 square feet of innovative space includes four ballrooms, 21 meeting rooms and 13 preset boardrooms.  

Delegates on the go have day-use rooms for layovers, with access to the pool, fitness center, restaurant and in-room dining. Groups have another 34,000 square feet of hotel event space at the 298-room Grand Hyatt DFW by Terminal D.

Just under eight miles north of the airport on the shores of Lake Grapevine, Gaylord Texan Resort & Convention Center is a meetings titan with 1,814 stylish guest rooms, including 127 suites, and 490,000-plus square feet of versatile space in 87 event rooms. For groups looking to go big, The Longhorn Exhibition Hall can accommodate 10,000 attendees for receptions and banquets.

Opened in 2000 before Frisco’s rise as a meetings and events powerhouse, the 302-room Westin Dallas Stonebriar Golf Resort & Spa remains a perennial planner’s favorite. Set on 400 acres, the laid-back property offers more than 30,000 square feet of bright, versatile space, including the grand 640-capacity Legacy Ballroom. Access to the prestigious adjacent Stonebriar Country Club includes the 18-hole Fazio Course.  

Read this next: 8 New Hotels Transforming Meetings and Events in 2024

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About the author
Jeff Heilman | Senior Contributor

Brooklyn, N.Y.-based independent journalist Jeff Heilman has been a Meetings Today contributor since 2004, including writing our annual Texas and Las Vegas supplements since inception. Jeff is also an accomplished ghostwriter specializing in legal, business and Diversity & Inclusion content.