I always look forward to the press trips where I’m not sure what to expect, and that was certainly the case with my visit to Frisco, Texas, for the Frisco Group Media Tour Sept. 13-15, 2017. When I told people I was heading to Frisco, I usually felt the need to follow it up with, “It’s a suburb of Dallas.”
However, after experiencing what Frisco can offer groups first-hand, I can safely say it’s much more than that. I should also give praise to the whole crew that I met at Visit Frisco, as it’s an extremely attentive and well-organized CVB.
This particular press event was largely tied to the recent opening of the 16-story, 300-room Omni Frisco Hotel, “the official hotel of the Dallas Cowboys,” which is attached to The Star in Frisco, the Dallas Cowboys World Headquarters and practice facility. Dallas Cowboys Owner Jerry Jones (and his family) jointly own the hotel with Omni Hotels & Resorts. The hotel offers 24,000 square feet of meeting space, including a 13,000-square-foot ballroom with all the fixin’s.
On my first night in Frisco, my group enjoyed a dinner at the lobby-adjacent, Neighborhood Services, led by renowned chef Nick Badovinus. The down-home, yet upscale, eatery features “honest food & drink.” I ordered Willy’s Fish & Chips.
I can’t vouch for Willy, but the Fish & Chips were excellent.
Omni Frisco Meeting Space Highlights
The next day we took a closer look at the Omni Frisco’s meeting space, which featured subtle football elements—but it’s not in-your-face Cowboys and neither is the majority of the Omni Frisco’s design. We also took in balcony views of the Ford Center’s football field “main square” where locals and visitors host events.
Later in the afternoon, my group was treated to a behind-the-scenes tour of The Star in Frisco, which seems relevant to mention here as it’s directly connected to the Omni Frisco. If you have a group full of Dallas Cowboys fans, they’ll be in heaven. If not (*cough, cough* Skol, Vikings!), it’s still a sight to behold.
While touring The Star in Frisco I saw shiny Cowboys Super Bowl trophies and rings on display, learned more about the Cowboys history, walked on not one, but two outdoor practice fields (one’s artificial turf and one is natural), and checked out a decked-out media room.
We ended our tour inside the Ford Center, a state-of-the-art, 510,000-square-foot indoor athletic facility shared by the Dallas Cowboys, the City of Frisco and Frisco ISDs high schools.
The Dallas Cowboys World Headquarters can accommodate groups of up to 12,000 and most of its spaces are available to rent out. Who wouldn’t want to host a board meeting in the Dallas Cowboys War Room or a teambuilding activity on the Ford Center’s Indoor Practice Field?
And if sports isn’t your group’s thing, don’t worry, Frisco still has you covered.
Frisco Is More Than Just Football
Looking beyond the Omni Frisco and The Star in Frisco, my group made stops at some of the top area hotels for meetings as well as a lot of fun, and unexpected, off-site options. We dropped by the Embassy Suites by Hilton Dallas Frisco Hotel, Convention Center & Spa—probably the nicest Embassy Suites I’ve seen—that includes more than 90,000 square feet of meeting space and the third-largest ballroom in Texas.
We also checked out the Westin Stonebriar Hotel & Golf Club, which differentiates itself from the local competition with its retreat-like atmosphere and 18-hole championship golf course.
Perhaps the biggest surprise in Frisco was the National Videogame Museum. Its claim to fame is that it’s “the only museum in America dedicated to the history of the videogame industry.” The museum chronicles the greatness of Pong, the rise of Nintendo, the modern day console wars and a whole lot more. The museum also features the World’s Largest Pong Console, tons of playable games and a full-service ’80s-style arcade—it’s really cool. The National Videogame Museum can host up to 225 people in its special events room.
Additional stops on the Frisco Group Media tour included the Dr. Pepper Ballpark (home of the Frisco RoughRiders minor league baseball team) complete with an outfield lazy river, a Texas barbecue lunch at 3 Stacks Smoke & Tap House and a dinner at The Heritage Table, which specializes in scratch dining and makes a mean chicken pot pie.
Our final stop of the trip was at @nerdvana Food+Spirits, an upscale, yet casual, restaurant and bar that occupies the bottom floor below Gearbox Software’s headquarters with an emphasis on, you guessed it, videogame culture. @nerdvana offers up an impressive array of menu items and cocktails.
After my recent visit to Frisco, I can safely say that it’s more than just another Dallas burb. And it’s more than just a home for the Dallas Cowboys World Headquarters—though that definitely plays a “star-ring” role.
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