Why The ‘New Dallas’ Is A Big Deal
City gets $17 billion in new developments, sees 25% growth in tourism
Last year, the Dallas CVB introduced the new tagline “Big Things Happen Here”, and began a campaign to introduce the travel trade to the city’s re-vamped image.
Phillip Jones, president & CEO, Dallas Convention & Visitors’ Bureau said the city has undergone $17 billion in new development projects over the last ten years, and that 2012 saw a visitor increase of 25 per cent over 2011.
“The city has recast its image. No American city is investing what we’re investing in terms of improvements in visitor infrastructure- hotels, restaurants, parks, new museums, cultural venues and attractions,” Jones said.
Big Business and a New Demographic
Dallas has a centralization of wealth, with a booming economy, several gentrified neighborhoods and over one million new residents over the past decade, many of them young professionals.
“A big reason driving a lot of this growth is the economy is very, very vibrant in Dallas,” Jones said. ‘We have 20 Fortune 500 companies headquartered in Dallas, and we add about a million residents every six years”.
There are currently 35,000 hotel rooms in the city, with an average price of just under $200 USD per night. The Dallas CVB is also looking into introducing packaged vacations to the market by working with local hoteliers and tour operators.
Despite all the growth and development, Dallas has preserved several green spaces downtown; the most notable is Klyde Warren Park: a $100 million dollar investment built to connect the downtown financial district with the trendy uptown neighborhoods.
“It’s modelled after the Bryant Park in New York, so there’s yoga every morning, a dog park with water features, a restaurant venue and an ampi-theatre with seating for 2,500 people- all on this green grass lawn in the middle of the city,” said Jones.
He added that there are four parks in downtown Dallas alone.
“That’s something people don’t expect- it used to be all glass and concrete.”
Culture, Cuisine & Cowboys
Highlights of the city’s Arts and cultural venues are found in the new Arts district, which was built in 2010 and features the Ross Perot museum, which was a $120 million investment in itself, a new Opera house and Symphony Center, the Dallas Museum of Art, and the Nasher Sculpture Center, which reportedly houses the largest private sculpture collection in the world.
Jones said all these cultural venues are within walking distance from each other in the heart of downtown Dallas.
A new gastronomy trend in Dallas is called ‘Texas-Asian Fusion’, inspired by culinary tastes
of residents of Asian heritage.
This cuisine is like Tex-Mex with an Asian twist, and Jones said one of the most popular dishes is the Lobster Taco.
Tourists keen for taste of an authentic Texas Dude Ranch can be assured that the unique history and culture of Texas is still alive.
Authentic cowboy experiences complete with horseback riding, barbeques and chuck back wagon rides can still be had at the Wildcatter Ranch, about an hour from the city.
Dallas is also courting families, and a big new attraction is the Rory Myers Children’s Adventure Garden slated to open in October.
"Megafest" is a headliner event and DAllas is th ehost city for 2013. The world’s largest multi-day family festival attracting 100,000 attendees over the three-day event. MegaFest features events "Together including ManPower, MegaKidz and MegaYouth.
Also appealing for children and families are Dinosaur Park at Glenrose, just south of the City, the Dallas World Aquarium, or taking in a Dallas Cowboys football game, still cheered on by the famed Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders.
From Vancouver, there are currently two daily flights to Dallas Fort Worth from YVR, and WestJet added a new daily seasonal flight from Calgary this year.
For more information, go to visitdallas.com.