VisitDallas Celebrates Record Year, Looks Forward to New VisitDallas Experience Center in Klyde Warren Park Expansion
DALLAS – (Oct. 25, 2018) – VisitDallas celebrated a year of accomplishments today at its Annual Meeting at The Bomb Factory in Deep Ellum, announcing record visitation, booking and economic impact figures. The organization also celebrated a new partnership with Klyde Warren Park to build a state-of-the-art visitor experience center, and they debuted a VisitDallas-commissioned song and music video by Dallas' Castro band.
"It's been another big year for VisitDallas. From record booking numbers to exciting new partnerships, we continue to prove that travel and tourism is a vital part of the Dallas economy, and we'll keep striving for new and creative ways to bring travelers to our city," said Phillip J. Jones, VisitDallas President and CEO.
Last year 27.2 million people visited Dallas, spending $4.7 billion and generating a total economic impact of $8 billion. The travel and tourism industry continues to be an important and necessary driver of the Dallas economy. VisitDallas booked 1,685 meetings and events last year, including 24 citywide events. In all, the team booked 2.49 million hotel room nights, generating $2.14 billion in future economic impact.
"These events and travelers support our hotels, this year bringing in $1.02 billion in room revenue, an all-time high and the first time revenue exceeded the billion dollar mark," Jones said. "Visitors support our restaurants, parks, attractions and museums, making Dallas a better place to live, work, visit and do business."
Tourism supports jobs – 61,000 jobs to be exact – and offsets Dallas residents' taxes, generating $575.4 million in local and state tax revenue last year alone.
Last week, VisitDallas joined the Woodall Rodgers Park Foundation to announce plans for a new visitor experience center to be located on the Klyde Warren Park completion deck between Saint Paul and Akard streets. The VisitDallas Experience Center – an upgraded take on the traditional visitor center – will feature state-of-the-art technology to provide an unforgettable experience.
"Klyde Warren Park has certainly transformed the landscape of our city. It's become our playground and our front lawn," Jones said. "We couldn't have imagined a better location for clients, visitors and locals to learn about all the great things happening in Dallas."
The approximate $76 million Klyde Warren Park expansion project will add more than one acre of land over Woodall Rodgers Freeway, west of St. Paul Street, where a 20,000 square-foot pavilion will be the new home of the VisitDallas Experience Center. The state-of-the-art center will welcome visitors and locals to experience Dallas through interactive technology. Additional green space and gathering areas will also be a part of the park's expansion, which is anticipated to be completed as early as 2022.
The capstone of today's Annual Meeting was the premiere of "Forever Texas," the new Dallas-inspired song by the Castro band, headlined by locals Jason and Michael Castro of "American Idol" fame. Guests attending the annual meeting were serenaded by the band live and got a first look at the music video, which features Dallas' popular attractions and neighborhoods.
"Dallasites are proud to live in this city and be a part of the community. We wanted a song to represent our city, and the Castro band was the perfect voice to capture Dallas' essence in a catchy tune," said Frank Librio, Chief Marketing Officer of VisitDallas. "They have an incredible story that represents Dallas' can-do attitude. We're excited for the premiere of the music video and think it will be a song everyone will soon be singing along to."
Please go to www.visitdallas.com/ForeverTexas to see the music video.
During Thursday's meeting it was announced that Mark Woelffer, General Manager of the Sheraton Dallas, will serve a second term as the VisitDallas Board of Directors Chairman.
"Our Board of Directors, representing diverse members of the industry and community, plays a vital role in the success of VisitDallas," Jones said. "They provide valuable insight to the organization while helping drive more economic impact to Dallas through tourism, meetings and conventions."
For more information on this year's meeting and to see the full annual report, please visit www.visitdallas.com.
VisitDallas markets Dallas as the ideal visitor and convention destination in Texas. Dallas – The Most Texan City in Texas – celebrates its heritage in hospitality, and it's the one city where Southern meets modern and legacy meets luxury. Dallas is the leading business and financial center in the Southwest offering travelers an unparalleled array of amenities and a central location with two major airports with more domestic nonstop flights than any other U.S. city. As the ninth-largest U.S. city, and part of the fourth-largest metropolitan area in the nation, Dallas is the top visitor destination in Texas. You really can do it all in Dallas. For more information, visit http://visitdallas.com/.