View from refurbished Reunion Tower 'spectacular'

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by CARLA WADE

Bio | Email | Follow: @CarlaNWade

WFAA

Posted on October 5, 2013 at 10:48 PM

Updated Sunday, Oct 6 at 6:00 PM

DALLAS — It's one of the most recognizable pieces of the Dallas skyline — that big ball high in the sky, on the edge of downtown.

In recent years, the outside view of Reunion Tower is all people could enjoy.

But that changed on Saturday morning.

“Oh I've been waiting for this day to come. It's really exciting!” said Dusti Groskreutz, who managed the project to remake the tower's observation deck.

Seven years after it closed, a new and improved Reunion Tower opened to the public. Once inside, visitors said they were excited that visiting the Dallas landmark is not just all about the view anymore.

“You can look at facts about the Reunion Tower, Dallas landmarks like the flying red horse, and the aquarium,” said Griffin Demetsky, who was visiting for the first time with his father.

The newly-designed Reunion Tower observation deck — the GeO-Deck as it’s now called — has interactive high-definition zooming cameras and digital touchscreen displays.

“It makes us very different from other towers," Groskreutz explained. "They usually focus on just the view... and we have more than just a view.”

At 561 feet above the ground, the view is still a large part of the draw, and has been since Reunion Tower first opened back in 1978.

"It’s spectacular.” said Maggie Vaught. “It’s spectacular even in overcast skies.”

A fireworks show Friday night marked the opening of the renovated deck, and got the attention of people like Nate Demetsky. He visits Dallas frequently for business trips, but had never been inside Reunion Tower. He wanted to see what all the celebration was about.

“It’s unique.” he said. “There’s a couple of things in the Dallas area that are unique. You know, a lot of cities have their own iconic towers or architecture. We were glad to be able to come see it.”

The city's signature building has always been an attention-getter.

"I saw from the hotel, the ball, and I saw it on the tourist map, but I didn’t know anything about the tower,” said Vaniele Labarile.

Labarile was visiting Dallas for the first time from Italy and said he just wanted to see what was inside the building. He said he liked the experience, and didn’t realize how many skyscrapers Dallas has.

The attraction at 300 Reunion Boulevard opens at 9:30 a.m. on weekends and at 10 a.m. on weekdays. It remains open until 11:30 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays and until 10 p.m. other nights.

Parking is $6 at the south parking lot at Reunion Boulevard and Sports Street. Tickets cost $16 for adults, $14 for seniors and $8 for kids ages 4-12.

E-mail cwade@wfaa.com

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