|By Karen Robinson-Jacobs, The Dallas
Morning NewsMcClatchy-Tribune Regional News
May 21, 2011--Matthews Southwest, developer of the Omni Dallas Hotel, said work on the city-owned convention center hotel is running so far ahead of schedule that it will open more than a month early, on Nov. 11.
The $500 million hotel, which is attached by skywalk to the Dallas Convention Center, will host a large event in honor of Veterans Day immediately after a ribbon-cutting ceremony.
"This has been a team effort, and thanks to the efforts of the city of Dallas, Balfour/Russell/Pegasus [the design and construction team] and Omni Hotels, we will be able to open ahead of schedule and on budget," Jack Matthews, president of Matthews Southwest, said in a statement Friday.
As recently as last month, Omni officials said the 1,001-room hotel would open Jan. 1. But this week, Omni launched a website for the new Omni, noting that the hotel restaurants would be open in November. Guests can begin staying at the hotel Nov. 16.
In the first group event, Dallas-based Freeman, an event planning company, will hold its national sales convention at the Omni Nov. 13-15.
City and visitors' bureau officials are counting on the hotel to boost group sales -- appealing to large conventions that only book in hotels that are connected to a convention center.
"Dallas has been waiting for a convention center headquarters hotel. We are pleased about the early opening and particularly proud to have a hometown company as our first large meeting," A.C. Gonzalez, Dallas' assistant city manager, said in a statement. "The city is excited and ready for an influx of meetings, conventions and individual travelers."
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Copyright (c) 2011, The Dallas Morning News
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