Dallas convention center hotel opening two months early




Posted on May 22, 2011 at 10:01 PM

Updated Tuesday, May 24 at 6:23 PM

Convention center hotel

View larger map

DALLAS — We've watched the new Dallas convention center hotel grow from the ground up; it's our News 8 neighbor in downtown Dallas.

The grand opening is months ahead of schedule, now set for Friday, November 11.

"It looks like we are going we are going to be two months early, and we are officially going to the cut the ribbon on 11-11-11," said Ed Netzhammer, regional vice president of the Omni Hotels chain.

News 8 got an exclusive look inside the $500 million hotel on Sunday. From the ceilings, to the light fixtures, to the wallpaper, most of the ballrooms and the meeting rooms are nearly finished.

"This is the Trinity Ballroom," Netzhammer said. "It's just under 15,000-square-feet. The ceiling's in; the finishes are in."

One of the hotel's attractions is also on track — a sky bridge linking the hotel with its other neighbor.

"The concrete deck has already been poured in our bridge to the convention center, just 50 yards, 150 feet, to get from the hotel to the convention center," Netzhammer boasted.

A staff of more than 600 people will be needed to run the hotel. Omni aims to start hiring next month.

"In June and July, we start to hire our leadership positions, so we have about 60 positions, management or supervisor," Netzhammer said.

In September, the mass hiring begins.

City leaders and tourism officials hope the city-owned hotel brings in business. Omni says convention groups are heading to Dallas starting in November.

"We have just over 120 conventions already booked at the hotel, and that goes all the way out through 2017," Netzhammer said.

Freeman, a Dallas-based face-to-face marketing company, will hold its national sales convention at the hotel on November 13. Individual guests will be able to book a room starting November 16.

E-mail mdiaz@wfaa.com