A look inside the Dallas Omni Convention Center Hotel

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by MONIKA DIAZ

WFAA

Posted on February 25, 2011 at 11:10 PM

Updated Saturday, Feb 26 at 10:59 PM

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DALLAS - It started as a dream in downtown Dallas.

An old parking garage was brought down to make way for a new Convention Center hotel. Month after month of construction, the building began to take shape. Recently, it served as the city's biggest Super Bowl billboard with large football decals placed on the outside.

Since the four months since WFAA was last at the site of the 23-story, 1,000-room Dallas Omni Convention Center Hotel, crews had finished pouring in all the concrete. Now, they are working on details that will make the hotel standout. 

On the first floor, rows of empty shells are rapidly transforming into rooms. 

"We watched every concrete pour," said Ed Netzhammer, Omni's regional vice president. "We watched all the studs go up, then the sheet rock and now the rooms are waiting for furniture."

With stunning city skyline views, suites have carpet and the plastic has been taken off the windows.

The fourth-floor attraction is an 1,800 square foot pool with construction in the beginning stages. 

"This is going to be our outdoor swimming pool, [which] actually has another wall that comes up and has an infinity edge pool," Netzhammer said.

Netzhammer said there will also be cabanas and "a lot of lawn chairs."

On the third floor, concrete has blossomed into ballrooms. It's the largest one in the hotel at 32,000 square feet.
   
"There is so much pride watching each piece come in," Netzhammer said. "This week, crews started working on the most important part of this project. They started installing the beams that make up the sky bridge; that bridge connects the Convention Center and the hotel."

There is no need for cabs or buses to get to the Convention Center, which has already brought business.

"New conventions are looking at us because we do have this sky bridge to the Convention Center," Netzhammer said. "We already have 170,000 rooms booked in the hotel."

Construction is on budget and schedule with 11 months to go before the hotel's grand opening.

E-mail mdiaz@wfaa.com

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