Archive for the ‘Travel’ Category

The Hotel You Own is Freakin’ Awesome

Friday, July 29th, 2011

The opening day is 11-11-11, some 106 days away, and the place is a dusty construction site crawling with hardhats and tool belts. But it is already AMAZING. Jack “I Spilled Stuff on My New Shirt” Bradshaw and Jeff “I Wore a Sports Jacket and I’m Sweating My Butt Off” Hinson joined me for a tour of the new Omni Convention Center Hotel today, and all we can say is … Wow. Everything about the 1,001-room hotel — owned by the good citizens of Dallas, by the way — is impressive. The interior design is unexpectedly elaborate, woodsy, and detailed. It is Silver LEED Certified for eco-friendliness and so high tech it hurts. The rooms are sumptuous and artsy. And it will definitely boast the coolest sports bar downtown Dallas has ever seen, The Owner’s Box.

Our tour guides were Ed Netzhammer, Regional Senior VP for Omni who is the Gen. Patton of this project (and Managing Director of the new hotel), and Nils Stolzlechner, a handsome Austrian who will be the Omni’s general manager. Both men ooze competence and enthusiasm, noting every minute improvement, and shaking their heads over the tiniest flaw they find. The $500 million hotel is being developed by Matthews Southwest and is right on schedule for its November debut. Get ready to be dazzled.

Southwest Flexes Its Muscles

Monday, September 27th, 2010

What used to be our quaint local airline is now the biggest carrier in the world. And with a $519 million renovation of Love Field in full swing, and the Wright Amendment restrictions set to expire in 2014, Southwest Airlines has made a move to become even bigger. Today the airline announced the purchase rival low-fare carrier AirTran for $3.4 billion in cash and debt. The AirTran deal improves Southwest’s presence in Atlanta, New York, and Washington, D.C., plus — the one I really like — opens up flights to Mexico and the Caribbean.