Read the article written by Paris Wolfe for Lodging Hospitality here
Sheraton Dallas Hotel BlogGo Back
Technology Sets Sheraton Dallas Apart
Read the article written by Ann Bagel Storck for Hotels Magazine here
Sheraton Dallas Hotel Ranks #12 Among the Top 100 Meeting Hotels in the United States by Cvent
The Sheraton Dallas Hotel, one of the largest convention hotels in Texas, today announced that it ranked #12 on Cvent’s annual list of the “Top 100 Meeting Hotels in the United States.” The Sheraton Dallas was selected from a pool of 80,000 hotels in the U.S. on the Cvent Supplier Network, a free online marketplace that connects meeting planners with over 200,000 venues and service providers worldwide.
“We are honored to be named among Cvent’s Top 100 Meeting Hotels in the United States and are delighted to share the honor with 17 other properties in the Starwood Hotels & Resorts family,” said Ray Hammer, general manager of the Sheraton Dallas Hotel. “ Being named #12 on this prestigious list reaffirms what we already knew – that we are one of the leading convention hotels in the United States.”
The Sheraton Dallas offers its guests cutting-edge technology, great facilities, abundant amounts of meeting space, and immediate access to the Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART) public light rail system. It is also in close proximity to the Dallas Arts and Financial Districts, sports arenas and a vibrant nightlife. Additionally, the Sheraton Dallas implements sustainable practices to reduce the hotel’s overall environmental footprint and has an unprecedented commitment to the community. All of these factors make the Sheraton Dallas an ideal choice for businesses, individuals and groups.
The Sheraton Dallas was selected based on a set of qualifying criteria, some of which included:
- The number of electronic request-for-proposals (RFPs) the Sheraton Dallas received from the Cvent Supplier Network in 2011;
- The Sheraton Dallas’s average response rate to the RFPs sent through the marketplace;
- The number of meeting rooms available;
- The total square footage of meeting space offered; and
- The amount of business the Sheraton Dallas was awarded in 2011 by meeting planners through the Cvent Supplier Network.
“Cvent is excited to recognize the top meeting hotels in the U.S., and congratulates every property on the list. This is a significant accomplishment, especially given the extensive number of meeting hotels across the United States,” said Eric Eden, Vice President of Marketing at Cvent. “This list represents quality hotels with a commitment to meetings and events business.”
For the complete list of Cvent’s Top 100 Meeting Hotels in the U.S. visit http://www.cvent.com/top100hotelsus.
New Complex HR Director Joins Sheraton Dallas Hotel
The Sheraton Dallas Hotel recently announced that Nancy Kiska has joined the hotel as complex director of human resources. In this role, Kiska serves as a strategic partner with the hotel’s executive leadership team and is responsible for all of the functions related to the needs and activities of the hotel’s staff, such as employee relations and communication, team building, training, performance management, benefits administration, as well as hiring and recruiting, organization development and policy recommendation.
Kiska joined the Sheraton Dallas Hotel with more than 20 years of human resource executive leadership experience in the U.S. and International hospitality arenas, which includes 18 years of Labor Union experience in New York City and throughout the Caribbean. Prior to joining the Sheraton Dallas team, she served in multiple roles as acting hotel manager and director of Human Resources for the Westin New York at Times Square in New York City, a location where Kiska also served as the area director of Human Resources in New Jersey and Connecticut.
Preceding her time in New York, Kiska was the corporate director of Human Resources and training at the Westin Rio Mar Beach Resort in Puerto Rico. Before working under the Westin brand of hotels, she served with the Ameristar Resort & Riverboat Casino in Council Bluffs, Iowa, the Aruba Marriott Resort & Casino and worked on multiple projects within the Radisson Hotels family.
Imagine a Front Desk with No People
One of these years, you may well walk into a hotel lobby and find it devoid of a human at the front desk. Technology in the pipeline promises that and a slew of other changes for travelers.
Consider this: You go to the front desk to check in, your image is captured on computer, you’re given your room number but no key card. You get to your room and a facial-recognition reader opens the door for you. Or maybe you just check in at a lobby kiosk and bypass the front desk altogether. Or you use your credit card to enter your room.
In your room, a motion detector senses your presence and turns on the air conditioning or heat. You leave your room, and sensors automatically turn it off to save energy.
These are just two of the innovations coming to hotels in the years ahead. For guests, it adds convenience. For hotels, it cuts costs.
The hotel industry sees it as a win-win. Traditional travelers, however, might find it a tad impersonal.
But technology and convenience are what guests want, said Joe McInerney, a 40-year hotel veteran and president and CEO of Washington-based American Hotel & Lodging Association. All the hotel chains, he added, are trying to accommodate them.
Among the other techy advances beyond flat-screen TVs and iPod docking stations:
Applications that give smart-phone users direct access to hotel reservations systems. The Sheraton Dallas, a Starwood property, has taken an app a step further, allowing the smart-phone users to order its most popular room service items via an e-dining Web site.
IPTV, or Internet protocol television, allows guests to connect with an almost unlimited number of stations through the Internet. If you were in Chicago and wanted to watch the news on your hometown station, you could do that. IPTV is appearing at some Wyndham hotels.
Wyndham also will deploy an innovative and interactive guest Web experience that allows them to find nearby restaurants, local maps and directions, airline information and discount coupons.
RFID (radio-frequency identification) technology on food trays or room service carts left in hallways will notify housekeeping that the tray or cart is ready to be picked up.
A tabletop digital assistant will control all the electrical devices and lighting in a guest room, including temperature, blinds, drapes, alarm clock, radio, television and telephones.
Of all the groups, the high-end Peninsula Hotels, based in Hong Kong, leads the pack in technology, employing a full-time team of more than 20 inventors. For proprietary reasons, Peninsula won’t divulge what’s in its pipeline, but its latest innovations wow guests in the recently opened Peninsula Shanghai.
Among the bells and whistles: international Internet radio (with more than 3,000 stations) tuned to the guest’s home country; complimentary long-distance telephone service through VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol); automatic muting of the radio or TV when the phone rings; programmed digital filter for the bathroom phone to screen out any telltale echoes; and a weather panel that provides real-time weather updates. This in addition to a bedside panel that guests use to control their room’s environment, including lighting.
Also engaged in applying technology to hotel rooms are schools such as the University of Houston’s Conrad N. Hilton College of Hotel and Restaurant Management and the University of Delaware’s Department of Hotel, Restaurant and Institutional Management. Each has a hotel attached to the school and one room for experimentation.
John Bowen, dean of the Hilton college, said he is working with an architectural group to incorporate a prototype of a fabriclike video screen being developed by Sony for hotel rooms. Citing face recognition and energy-savings advancements, Bowen said, technology can help keep hotel costs down and provide a convenience for guests.
William Sullivan, general manager of a Courtyard by Marriott affiliated with the University of Delaware, maintains an X-Room, where guests can experience and comment on the latest room technology. “What we’re seeing (besides the new technology) is real growth in self-service options — more kiosks in lobbies where people can check in, check out, get menus and print directions. Guests can bypass traditional lines,” he said. “It keeps guests happy and reduces labor.”
My wife experienced self-service to the nth degree when she checked into CitizenM, a supermodern hotel at Amsterdam Airport Schiphol.
She checked herself in at a bank of computers, then chose her dinner of salmon with pesto pasta from an array of options, heated it in a microwave, carried it to a long communal table and bused the used plate and utensils. It seemed futuristic at first, she said, but the style and convenience of the place won her over.
Through The Doors Of The Fab Four
The Sheraton is Texas big at its best, boasting 1,840 rooms, 22 presidential suites, 224 junior suites and more than 50 elevators and escalators. (It’s the biggest hotel in Texas.) After undergoing a $90 million dollar facelift, the Sheraton Dallas is primed to serve as the media center/ hotel for Super Bowl XLV in 2011. The lobby’s sleek contemporary decor features sophisticated autumn colors, and there is an inviting outdoor sitting area with several fire pits for relaxing at the end of the day. Those who do not need relaxation can head for the Draft Media Sports Lounge. This sports bar on steroids reeks of testosterone—4,000 square feet of flat-screen HDTVs, Wii stations, private karaoke chambers and macho food offerings. The hotel’s food and beverage team takes their food quite seriously at the Sheraton, which has three executive chefs on staff. In addition to the sports bar, there is Dinner at the Kitchen Table, a feast with unusual offerings, and Chill, the hotel’s minidesert bar. The day ends at the Sheraton in spacious smoke-free rooms with a large flat-panel HDTV, high-speed Internet, electronic connectivity, hypoallergenic pillows and great views.
The Sheraton Dallas is in the downtown commercial center within easy walking distance to the bustling Arts District, the Sixth Floor Museum, Dallas Holocaust Museum, Kennedy Memorial, Dallas Museum of Art, Dallas Center for Performing Arts and Dallas World Aquarium.
2010 Platinum Choice Award Winners Chosen
Smart Meetings magazine, the industry’s premier resource for meeting professionals, today announced the winners of its seventh annual Platinum Choice award. This prestigious award recognizes excellence in service and amenities among meeting facilities in the Western U.S., Canada and Mexico. Out of thousands of qualified properties, only 100 are chosen.
Winners earn this recognition by providing the best in ambience, amenities, facility quality, guest services, meeting space, restaurant and dining facilities, staff attitude, technical support and recreational activities. They’re chosen by our readers, who vote for their favorites over a two-month period, with additional input from our editors and industry experts.
“This year’s winners demonstrated superior effort in a challenging economic environment, which clearly set them apart from their competition in the marketplace,” said Marin Bright, founder and publisher.
The elite group of honorees will be celebrated in the December issue of Smart Meetings magazine and on the magazine’s website, smartmeetings.com.
Smart Meetings is published monthly, in print, digitally and online, by Bright Business Media, LLC, a multimedia company based in Sausalito, Calif. BBM also hosts smartmeetings.com, an award-winning, interactive website, and produces The Smart Meeting and The Smart Mart, live events connecting meeting planners and hoteliers.
Train Like A Champion On The Road At The Sheraton Dallas Hotel
Fitness and travel go hand-in-hand, whether you’re the German World Cup soccer team traveling to South Africa, one of the last five #1 NFL draft picks going to an away game or a frequent business traveler jetting coast-to-coast. The Sheraton Dallas Hotel can help you use strategies developed by the leading experts in pro-athlete training to become the ultimate road warrior. As part of the Sheraton brand’s $6 billion global revitalization, 60 hotels, including the Sheraton Dallas, feature the new fitness offering with an additional 40 coming on board before the end of 2010. By the end of 2011, all Sheraton Hotels around the world will feature Sheraton Fitness, and Sheraton Dallas is one of only nine properties piloting the new “Fit Meeting” concept.
Core Performance, developed by Athletes’ Performance, the global leader in performance training, nutrition, and physical therapy– and Sheraton are proud to announce the global roll-out of “Sheraton Fitness Programmed by Core Performance.” This alliance marks the first time that Core Performance is partnering with a hotel company to create customized training and nutrition programs for travelers.
The statistics are conclusive. Travelers require programs specifically designed for their health and fitness needs on the road:
- 25 percent of business travelers experience physical stress while flying
- 40 percent of business travelers skip breakfast
- Lack of sleep has led 23 percent of travelers to fall asleep in a meeting and 14% to miss a meeting or a flight
- Travelers who exercise are more alert and perform at a higher level
With these stats in mind, Mark Verstegen, Founder of Core Performance and Athletes’ Performance, designed a holistic program exclusively for Sheraton guests, which is derived from the same training methodology used by professional athletes. The program helps travelers train and eat healthy on the road, as well as refresh, recharge and refocus their minds and bodies. So whether you work out every day or just want to take advantage of the nutrition programs and health tips, “Sheraton Fitness Programmed by Core Performance” will help Sheraton Dallas guests feel and perform better.
“Mark Verstegen’s Athletes’ Performance methodology has been used to train many of the world’s top athletes and the Sheraton Dallas Hotel is proud to partner with an organization that can bring this level of world-class fitness and nutrition expertise to our guests,” said Ray Hammer, general manager. “Fitness and travel go hand in hand and we have heard from our guests that working out is a priority when they are on the road.”
At the Sheraton Dallas’ new, state-of-the-art fitness center, guests will find high-powered LifeFitness® by Bally cardio equipment—including several treadmills, elliptical machines and stationary bicycles—alongside professional-grade free weights, a dedicated stretching area, and the most current fitness accessories. Located on the fourth floor, the 5,884-square-foot fitness center is accessible by room key 24 hours a day and is complimentary to in-house guests.
New Fitness Program Goes Beyond the Gym
Sheraton Dallas Hotel guests will experience the holistic Sheraton Fitness program through multiple touch-points during their stay that incorporates four fundamentals of optimal performance: mindset, nutrition, movement and recovery:
- First Class Gyms Designed for the Top Performers in Life: Core Performance has developed a state-of-the-art gym experience tailored specifically to the needs of frequent travelers. Since travelers have different needs when they are on the road, the new fitness centers feature time-efficient training programs – 20 to 30 minute “themed” workouts – designed by Core Performance to work with busy travel schedules.
- Healthy Dining: Core Performance nutritionists worked with the Sheraton Dallas to create healthier dining options for both in-room dining menus and hotel restaurants.
- Guest Room Workouts: Guests can also train like a pro in the privacy of their room. Guests can access four 30-minute Video On Demand workouts at no charge and get nutritional or wellness tips through Starwood’s internal channel, Starwood Preferred Guest TV. Guests can also order a complimentary “workout in a bag” — including workout cards, workout mat, foam rolls, resistance band and massage stick — to be delivered to their room.
- Online Training, After Check-Out: Guests can access Sheraton Fitness online at Sheratonfitness.com, which features online training programs created by Core Performance and health/nutrition tips. This allows guests to download workouts and follow the Core Performance programs both at home and on the road – eliminating any disruption to their fitness regimen. Core Performance is also offering guests a free three-week trial to the online training at CorePerformance.com, which provides customized training regimes based on guests’ goals.
Make Your Meeting a “Fit Meeting” at the Sheraton Dallas Hotel
As part of “Sheraton Fitness Programmed by Core Performance,” the global powerhouse is also unveiling a unique Fit Meetings component that allows corporate businesses to enhance performance at meetings. This Fit Meetings concept includes healthy breaks, techniques to keep the mind and body sharp, and customizable group workout options. Fit Meetings is being piloted at nine hotels including Sheraton Dallas, Sheraton Seattle, Sheraton Waikiki, Sheraton Phoenix Convention Center, Sheraton New York Hotel & Towers, and Sheraton Denver, and is expected to roll-out brand wide in early 2011.
“We’re excited to partner with Sheraton Hotels to unveil this unique, co-branded program that touches multiple elements of a guest’s lifestyle, both in and out of the hotel, and helps them compete in the game of life,” said Mark Verstegen, Founder and Chairman of Core Performance and Athletes’ Performance. “Travel takes its toll on all of us and we are dedicated to working with Sheraton to offer innovative solutions that will enhance the overall health of guests.”
To celebrate the roll-out of this global brand standard, Verstegen will lead the “World’s Largest Resistance Band Strength Training Class” as certified by the Guinness Book of World Records in the heart of midtown Manhattan in front of Sheraton New York Hotel & Towers on September 30.
About Mark Verstegen and Core Performance
Mark Verstegen is the Founder of Core Performance and Athletes’ Performance, the global leader in performance training, nutrition, and physical therapy for elite athletes and teams. In addition to his roles at Athletes’ Performance and Core Performance, Mark is the Director of Performance for the NFL Players’ Association and the author of five Core Performance books, including Core Performance Essentials and Core Performance Golf. Mark is featured regularly in Men’s Health and Outside Magazine, and speaks regularly internationally about helping executives, athletes, and consumers alike achieve their performance goals.
Under Mark’s leadership, Athletes’ Performance has trained some to today’s top athletes including major champions in basketball, hockey, tennis, and golf. Core Performance has become the industry leader in proactive wellness, delivering comprehensive, measurable solutions to consumers, corporations, and executives alike.
For more information please visit www.sheratonfitness.com.
Sheraton Dallas Hotel Named In Top Five In “Best Places To Work” Survey
Sheraton Dallas Hotel, announced today that it was recently named number four in the large size businesses category in the Dallas Business Journal’s ranking of the “Best Places to Work” in Dallas-Fort Worth. This is the second consecutive year the Sheraton Dallas has been named in the top five by the Dallas Business Journal’s prestigious survey, in 2009 they were listed as number one.
“It’s truly a compliment to have Sheraton Dallas recognized for the second year as one of the best places to work in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex,” said Ray Hammer, general manager of the Sheraton Dallas Hotel. “Sheraton Dallas strives to create a great work environment because we know it is the right thing to do for our employees. Emphasizing our employees’ happiness makes a difference in the overall atmosphere of the hotel and the level of service our guests receive. This wonderful recognition reinforces our belief that we must be doing something right on behalf of our employees and our guests.”
The Dallas Business Journal’s “Best Places to Work” survey, handled by Kansas-based Quantum Market Research (QMR), an independent human resources company, questioned employees of participating companies about specific work place issues. The top-scoring companies in three categories made up the 2009 list of “Best Places to Work” in Dallas-Fort Worth. The categories included: small businesses (1-100 employees), mid-sized businesses (101-500 employees), large businesses (more than 500 employees). Only companies whose number of responses met QMR’s specifications to guarantee a 95 percent confidence level, with a margin of error of plus/minus five percent, were included in the final rankings.
The Sheraton Dallas is all about going GREEN
The Sheraton Dallas Hotel is all about GREEN and we are leading the way our industry thinks about conservation.
We are continually celebrating our year-round efforts to nurture Mother Earth by implementing creative, energy-efficient initiatives that have already produced significant results and continue to be well-received by our guests. The green initiatives include:
- Aggressive programs to reduce waste and increase recycling.
- Lighting unit upgrades in the hotel guestrooms, public area and back of the house.
- Energy management system upgrades to effectively measure daily usage.
- Installation of the latest energy-efficient technologies.
- The “Make a Green Choice” program for guests.
The Sheraton Dallas is also about helping our customers go green as well. This downtown Dallas hotel now offers plug in parking for hybrid and electric cars. These green spaces are available inside the parking garage of the Sheraton Dallas and will allow guests to recharge their cars while staying at the hotel.
Sheraton Dallas goes high-tech with an online room service system
It is widely accepted that as travelers get more sophisticated in their personal lives, they expect the hotels they patronize to do the same. Things like Internet access and Wi-Fi are increasingly becoming something savvy travelers insist on. But as smart phones and connectivity flourish, those same travelers are beginning to expect properties not just to offer access, but to find innovative ways to take advantage of it, as well.
The Sheraton Dallas Hotel is one of two Starwood properties to roll out a new option for guests to order room service, among other technology-related amenities. “Our focus is to provide ‘best in class’ technology solutions in all areas of the hotel,” said Ray Hammer, general manager for the hotel.
The new offering is an e-dining website that allows guests to place orders via the Internet access in their room or anywhere on the property including meeting rooms, the Link@Sheraton service offered throughout the property, or via a mobile device such as an iPhone. The other location offering the service, the Sheraton Denver, currently only offers access via the Link@Sheraton service.
At the moment, Hammer noted that about 75 percent of the food menu is available to order via the online system. “These are the most popular items, and enable us to offer our guests a quick and easy ordering experience without overwhelming them with choices,” he noted.
For now, the service is limited to those items from the room service menu. However, Hammer said, there are plans to extend it in the future. “Phase One, is only food requests. For Phase Two, we will be implementing the ability to order amenities to be delivered to a guest. For example, a friend, family member, business associate or co-worker will be able to use the website to order an amenity for a guest and purchase it with their credit card.” He also noted that future versions could include allowing guests to schedule wake-up calls, or request other hotel amenities, such as extra pillows, via the site.
Part of the appeal of the online system, Hammer noted, is that guests have more convenient options. They can, he said, order from a taxi on their way back from a meeting. Another way it can be used is to pre-order items to be delivered at a later time, such as after a conference is over. Guests can also choose to have the items delivered not only to their room, but to any location in the hotel, making it a very flexible offering.
Guest feedback, Hammer said, has been very positive so far. The hotel is offering a 10 percent discount on items ordered via the new system to encourage its use.Taking tech further
However, the online eMenu system isn’t the only piece of technology the Sheraton Dallas has implemented. “Our robust technology features address the needs of our guests who are accustomed to these options in their home office environment,” Hammer said. “Our focus is to establish a community within our hotel that speaks to our brand values, providing a warm, connected, community.”
Some of the projects the hotel is working on include a Cisco Telepresence, life-size video conferencing center, which will be one of only 30 worldwide. Guestrooms have HD televisions with a Connectivity Pack, which allows a guest to easily connect their computer, iPod, DVD Player or game system. “We’ve [also] installed an extensive electronic reader board system to assist guests with finding their way about the property and to their meeting rooms,” noted Hammer. “In Draft, our sports and media lounge, we feature two private karaoke rooms and four Wii stations, complimentary to customers.”
And the Sheraton Dallas is using technology to help the environment, as well as make guests’ stays more enjoyable. “Technology has been the cornerstone of our hotel’s green initiatives,” said Hammer. “For example, our laundry plant, through its technology support, has reduced our water consumption in this area by close to 70 percent. Also, our guestroom energy management system has infrared detection, is interfaced with our property management system and finally the system self-updates close to 100 times per day to accommodate for climate changes, reducing our power consumption significantly. VFD technology, along with infrared technology, now controls everything from our escalator systems, fresh air returns and kitchen ventilation operations.”
Link to Article from HotelBusiness.com
David Swift Of Sheraton Dallas Hotel Appointed To TITAS Board Of Directors
The Sheraton Dallas Hotel today announced that David Swift, director of sales and marketing, has been appointed to the board of directors for TITAS, which provides the North Texas an opportunity to experience the best of American and international music, dance, and performance art through a variety of presentations and educational outreach activities. Swift was officially named at the recent TITAS board meeting and will serve in his role during the upcoming year.
“We are thrilled to add David Swift to our board and to have the Sheraton Dallas Hotel as our official hotel partner,” said Executive Director Charles Santos. “For more than 28 years, TITAS has consistently brought an eclectic mix of the world’s greatest musicians and dancers to North Texas audiences. At our new home in the Margot and Bill Winspear Opera House at the Dallas Center for the Performing Arts, a neighbor to the Sheraton Dallas, we are confident this season promises to be one of the most exciting in TITAS’ history.”
David Swift joined the Sheraton Dallas Hotel in February 2008 with more than 16 years of senior leadership experience in the hospitality industry, 15 of those years have been with Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide properties. As director of sales and marketing, Swift is responsible for overseeing all direct sales, revenue management and marketing functions. Prior to joining the Sheraton Dallas team, he served as director of sales and marketing with several of Starwood’s San Antonio properties, including the Westin La Cantera Resort and the Westin Riverwalk. Before working with Starwood, Swift served with Marriott Hotels and Resorts at the Marco Island Resort & Golf Club in Marco Island, Fla., and the Austin Marriott at the Capitol. He holds a bachelor’s degree in political science from the College of Wooster in Wooster, Ohio.
TITAS was founded in 1982 to provide North Texas communities with the opportunity to experience the best of American and international music, dance, and performance art through a variety of presentations and educational outreach activities. TITAS is celebrating its 28th season and has been under the leadership of Charles Santos since 2001. Throughout its 28-year history, TITAS has continued to achieve its mission statement, expand its audience base and build new coalitions to develop artistic collaborations that foster a greater sense of community, as well as work to enhance the North Texas cultural landscape. TITAS continues to provide these opportunities to experience great art through performances, cultural exchange and arts educational outreach programs. The organization is nationally and internationally recognized as an innovator and is celebrated for providing artistic excellence, breaking boundaries, and serving as a catalyst for cultural collaborations within the arts. For more information, visit www.titas.org.
Couple affected by closure of Arts District Banquet Facility gets wedding package from Sheraton Dallas
BACKGROUND: The Arts District Banquet Facility in the Trammell Crow Center downtown shut down abruptly last week, leaving nearly two dozen couples without a place to get married after taking their money.
WHAT’S NEW: May Vong and Aaron Goetsch, one of the couples featured this week in a front-page story in The Dallas Morning News , are getting a wedding package from the Sheraton Dallas Hotel. According to the hotel, the package will include limousine service, a honeymoon suite and a reception for 100 people on the 38th floor of the downtown hotel.
RELIEVED BRIDE: Vong said she toured the Sheraton’s Chaparral Room on Wednesday and pronounced it beautiful. “You can see the whole Dallas skyline,” she said. “I’m so excited.”
ONE CERTAIN THING: Vong and her fiancé still don’t know whether they will ever get their money back from the bankrupt Arts District Banquet Facility, “but at least we’ll have our wedding now and it will be the same as we paid for – if not better,” she said. The wedding will be on the date they would have married at the Arts District Banquet Facility – Oct. 10.
The Sheraton Dallas Hotel is excited to waive all wedding deposits for couples affected by the closure of the Arts District Banquet Facility.* The Sheraton Dallas is located in downtown Dallas at 400 North Olive St. The Sheraton Dallas Hotel creates an elegant & timeless atmosphere for your wedding reception, rehearsal dinner, bridal luncheon or celebratory brunch, custom tailored to enhance your unique style and vision. The Sheraton Dallas Hotel certified wedding consultant offers impeccable service and extensive wedding expertise ensuring the perfect experience. For more information about this limited time offer and our wedding facilities, please contact Brenda Castillo at 214-922-8000, or e-mail Brenda at Brenda.Castillo@Sheraton.com. *Stipulations May Apply.
Sheraton Dallas Hotel Unveils New On-Line Room Service Offering For Guests
The Sheraton Dallas Hotel recently unveiled a new hi-tech guest offering – a website dedicated to on-line room service orders – a service that is setting the stage for state-of-the-art technology among hotels in downtown Dallas. Using the hotel’s free Wi-Fi, guests staying at the hotel can browse the in-room dining menu from a laptop, iPhone or at the hotel’s “Link@SheratonSM experienced with Microsoft®” lobby lounge, place an order and have the food delivered to any location within the hotel.
“At the Sheraton Dallas Hotel, we pride ourselves in having the most state-of-the-art technology offerings to give our guests services that will simplify their travels even more during their stay with us,” said Ray Hammer, general manager of Sheraton Dallas Hotel. “This new room service website does just that, and it adds an element of fun and convenience to the standard way of purchasing room service. With the click of a mouse or the tap of finger on an iPhone, guests can have food delivered when they want it and where they want it, without having to pick up the phone.”
To take advantage of the new service, guests can be anywhere in the hotel or conference center where internet access is available. The meal can either be charged to the room, a credit card or paid in cash upon delivery. Guests will simply enter a first and last name and room number, and will gain immediate access to the new website. As an incentive for guests to try the new service, a 10 percent discount is being offered. Food and beverages are available through in-room dining from 6:00 a.m. until 1:00 a.m., anywhere in hotel. For the full menu, visit www.SheratonDallasRoomService.com
The Sheraton Dallas Partners with 2020 Live Oak to Increase Connectivity
The 2020 Live Oak Street Mission Critical Facility (2020 MCF) in Dallas has expanded its business continuity and disaster recovery options, the company said this week. 2020 Live Oak Street MCF is a 12-floor building with 131,000 rentable square feet of space for data center and telecom customers.
The 2020 MCF facility contains only operations space, but is located across the street from the Sheraton Dallas Hotel and its adjacent convention center. The two properties made it possible for a customer’s private network at 2020 MCF to be routed to any of the hotel’s meeting rooms via a fiber network, allowing companies to use those meeting rooms as command centers to continue operations. The hotel also overs 1,800 rooms for housing employees and their families.
“The disaster recovery offerings came out of our relationships with the local convention center and hotel across the street,” said David Herr of 2020 MCF, who previously founded the Westlin Bunker, a data center near Houston housed in a former corporate nuclear fallout shelter. In the event of a loss of a primary work site, the Westlin location offered clients the ability to relocate their key personnel and families to the campus or the nearby Del Lago resort.
“One of the most attractive options in my center in Houston was the lodging offerings we could give companies and provide them a full service solution for business continuity,” said Herr. “I thought that running that same program here in Dallas, which is far outside hurricane strike zones farther south, would be fairly successful. So far, the response on the few tours we’ve given has been very positive.”
2020 Live Oak offers options ranging from single server space to over 10,000 square feet of contiguous space. The building is about 50 percent occupied, and currently has four shell floors that are available to build to suit, and two floors housing colocation space for customer racks and cabinets.
2010 Dallas Cowboy's Schedule
The 2010 season for the Dallas Cowboy’s schedule is fast approaching. The Dallas Cowboys begin their run to the Super Bowl September 12, against the Redskins, with their first home game September 19th, against the Bears. Book your hotel reservations now at the Sheraton Dallas for the best rates for home Cowboy’s games.
Sun, Sept. 12 @Washington
Sun, Sept. 19 Chicago
Sun, Sept. 26 @Houston
Sun, Sept. 12 @Washington
Sun, Oct. 3 BYE
Sun, Oct. 10 Tennessee
Sun, Oct. 17 @Minnesota
Sun, Oct. 25 NY Giants
Sun, Oct. 31 Jacksonville
Sun, Nov. 7 @Green Bay
Sun, Nov. 14 @NY Giants
Sun, Nov. 21 Detroit
Sun, Nov. 25 New Orleans
Sun, Dec. 5 @Indianapolis
Sun, Dec. 12 Philadelphia
Sun, Dec. 19 Washington
Sun, Dec. 25 @Arizona
Sun, Dec. 19 @Philadelphia
Sheraton Dallas Hotel Partners With 2020 Live Oak Street Mission Facility For Relief Efforts During Upcoming Hurricane Season
The Sheraton Dallas Hotel is pleased to announce a new partnership with the 2020 Live Oak Street Mission Critical Facility (2020 MCF) to provide a family-friendly atmosphere for business continuity operations and disaster recovery options for clients in the face of adversity, specifically the 2010 Hurricane Season.
The data center is conveniently located across the street from the Sheraton Dallas Hotel and provides businesses and families with support to deal with the loss of their daily luxuries during a natural disaster. A company’s private networks can be routed to any of the Sheraton Dallas’ meeting rooms via their robust fiber network, which allows the company to continue operations in the comfort of the hotel.
“The Sheraton Dallas Hotel is thrilled to partner with an organization like the 2020 Live Oak Street Mission Critical Facility,” said Ray Hammer, general manager of the Sheraton Dallas Hotel. “Downtown Dallas is an ideal location for such a dedicated facility. We are delighted to offer our high-tech services and accommodations for the employees and families that may be impacted by an unforeseen natural disaster. ”
Dallas presents itself as a logical solution to ensure that a company’s data and personnel are safe during a tropical event or disaster on the gulf coast. Located over 200 miles from the coast, Dallas also ensures that a company’s operations are far enough removed to avoid impact while also being close enough to be easily accessible. During Hurricanes Katrina, Rita, and Ike, the downtown Dallas area never lost power or required the use of emergency generators.
About 2020 Live Oak Street MCF
2020 Live Oak Street MCF is a 12 floor privately held Texas facility containing approximately 130,942 rentable square feet strictly focused on Mission Critical Data Center and Telecommunication service delivery. The presence of dedicated diverse-fed Oncor power vaults and over a dozen international, national, and regional carriers allows 2020 MCF to provide an exceptional level of service. The facility is dedicated solely to operations space thereby minimizing hazards associated with mixed use facilities. 2020 Live Oak Street MCF occupies an entire City block which provides an additional level of security for center operations. For more information visit www.2020liveoakstreet.com.
Update on Slicker Shy Sculpture
Old Town Lewisville soon will add a new resident – an 18-foot-high bronze sculpture that will be placed on the grounds of Lewisville City Hall, 151 W. Church Street. Installation of the statue, formerly housed in the lobby of the Sheraton Dallas Hotel, will be scheduled for later this summer.
Mayor Dean Ueckert said having a public art display brings an added dimension to Lewisville’s downtown revitalization project.
“Most of the great downtowns in the United States, and all over the world really, have some sort of public art,” Ueckert said. “We’re very excited to be able to bring this sculpture to Lewisville and encourage people to come down to check it out and see what’s new in Old Town.”
The statue, by noted American sculptor Herb Mignery, depicts a cowboy being thrown from a rearing horse. It is called “Slicker Shy” and illustrates experiences from the artists’ childhood on a ranch when horses would spook at the sound of a rider’s wind-whipped rain slicker. The sculpture is nearly 10 feet across at the base and weighs 5,500 pounds.
Mignery is known for elegant and classically rendered pieces that chronicle the lives of men and women as they wrestled the land and the elements in the early American West. Mignery grew up on a cattle ranch in Nebraska but, rather than follow his family’s 110-year tradition of ranching, he turned his childhood interest in drawing into a successful career in commercial art before devoting himself full time to fine art. He is an award-winning member of the Cowboy Artists of America and the National Sculpture Society of America.
“One of my goals in life, as a chronicler, is to tell the story of people like those I grew up with,” Mignery said of his Western-themed art. “I see myself as a vehicle to let their stories be known. I also want to show the world that the cowboy is not dead. There are cowboys today, just like there were cowboys yesterday.”
“Slicker Shy,” the piece coming to Lewisville, was commissioners by the Adam’s Mark Hotel in 1998 and previously was housed in the main lobby of the downtown Dallas hotel. The hotel was reflagged in 2008 as a Sheraton and underwent a $90 million renovation. As part of the renovation, the statue was removed and the hotel’s owners are placing it in Lewisville on consignment until a buyer is found. The statue is valued at $450,000.
“For many of our returning guests, we know a part of them will miss the massive ‘Slicker Shy’ figure that has greeted them for the past decade,” said Ray Hammer, general manager of the Sheraton Dallas Hotel. “However, we are confident that they will be very pleased with what they see when they come through the doors of our newly renovated lobby. And, we are happy that our hotel’s transformation has provided an opportunity for the City of Lewisville to offer its residents a new reason to visit Old Town.”
This is the first major piece of public art to be put on display in Lewisville. The new Lewisville Center for the Creative Arts currently is under construction about half a block from the statue site and is expected to open at the end of this year. Plans also are being developed for a new park plaza across the street from the statue site.
Installation of Slicker Shy at City Hall was unanimously approved by City Council at its July 19 meeting after a request from the Old Town Business Association (OTBA) that offered to secure donations to build a base for the statue.
JC Commercial of Lewisville, contractor for the arts center, has agreed to donate materials for the base. SculptureWorks, the company overseeing the consignment agreement, will provide installation and cleaning services.
OTBA president Amanda Ferguson said businesses in the historic district are excited to see public art being brought to the area.
“The Old Town Business Association is pleased to have played a part in arranging for Slicker Shy to be displayed in historic Old Town Lewisville,” Ferguson said. “The mission of OTBA is to promote the Old Town area, and this display will certainly add a quality aspect to it.”
Message from the GM
The Sheraton Dallas has been recognized as a finalist for the 2010 “Best Place to Work in Dallas” award
What a great way to begin the second half of 2010 but with a repeat performance of our most coveted recognition. This year we will be hosting the award luncheon for 1000 guests and we hope that we will again be the reigning “Best Place to work In Dallas!!!!
Flexibility and perseverance have been the key words this year. The good news is that 2010 have brought the hotel a more sustained level of business. Camaraderie, Community and helpful hands have made the last six months a resounding success.
Despite the business demands, you have still found time as a community to support great events like Jonathans House, Ronald McDonald house, and The Arthritis Foundation. Our guest satisfaction scores are up 9% from last year, new and innovative services have been introduced and we continue to search out best practices and pioneer new and promising technology.
I take my hat off to everyone, and share my pride and heartfelt thanks.
I am proud to be a Dallas Sheraton Team member!
Best wishes to you and your family for a safe and enjoyable summer,
Ray Hammer – General Manager
Dallas Hotels Score Well On Eco-Friendly Practices
Texas hotels have a good reputation for being green.
Patricia Griffin, director of the Houston-based "Green" Hotels Association, says Dallas, specifically, "is a good place to find a green hotel."
That's good news if you're thinking of vacationing closer to home, or need a place for company. Here's a look at what some local hotels are doing to keep it green.
The Fairmont Dallas
A Dallas landmark since 1969, the Fairmont Dallas won the 2009 Green Hotel of the Year award from the Hotel Association of North Texas
Green initiatives start in guest rooms, in which linen and towels are changed only at the guest's request. When hotel laundry operations closed several years ago, the hotel partnered with a local laundry company that had already invested in environmentally friendly technology, contributing to an energy reduction of 4.8 million kilowatt hours annually.
The hotel operates a 3,000-square-foot garden, a greenhouse and beehives on the Terrace Level. Hotel menus include only seafood products that are considered sustainable.
Public relations manager Erica Martinez says the hotel's recycling process, which captures almost all products other than food waste, has been able to annually save the equivalent of 674 trees, 392,980 gallons of water, 3,566 pounds of air pollution and 184 cubic yards of landfill.
The Fairmont Dallas, 1717 N. Akard St., Dallas; 214-720-2020. www.fairmont.com/dallas
The Las Colinas Nylo, with its urban style and imaginative regional design, is all about green.
The hotel uses green cleaning products, has a facility-wide recycling program, participates in towel and linen reuse programs, relies on energy-efficient lighting and favors products made from recycled materials. In guest lofts, sensors shut off lights and heating or air conditioning when a guest leaves the room. Desk pads and folio binders use recycled paper. Even the key cards and some of the hotel uniforms are made from recycled plastic.
"Nylo's Everything Green construction policy calls for the use of the most energy-efficient building materials and techniques," says Patrick O'Neil, executive vice president of operations for the Nylo brand and general manager of the Las Colinas property.
Nylo's signature urban loft design is also part of the energy conservation strategy, O'Neil says. Its concrete-and-brick construction does more than provide an edgy urban look; it is also energy-efficient, which stabilizes indoor temperatures to cut electricity usage for heating and cooling.
Nylo Dallas/Las Colinas, 1001 Royal Lane, Irving; 972-373-8900. www.nylohotels.com
The Sheraton Dallas
The Sheraton Dallas' recent $91 million transformation is all about green initiatives, says spokeswoman Michelle Frith. This included the installation of a new, energy-efficient laundry system designed to reduce water and sewer demands. The system consists of a tunnel washer that allows the hotel to clean 110 pounds of laundry every two-and-a- half minutes. It has reduced the hotel's energy and water consumption by 70 percent.
The hotel provides guests with hybrid vehicles a place to recharge their cars.
The Sheraton has also implemented a hotel-wide recycling program for all public spaces and guest rooms. Guest rooms have smart thermostats that include motion and infrared sensors; these have resulted in the heating and cooling system's run time being reduced by 45.3 percent.
The Sheraton Dallas, 400 N. Olive St., Dallas; 214-922-8000. www.sheratondallashotel.com
The New Look Sheraton Dallas
The 1,840-room Sheraton Dallas is the largest hotel in the Texan metropolis, yet there’s a sense of community, purpose and design sensibility that belies its enormity.
Following a stunning $90 million renovation that wrapped this year, the hotel stands as a testament to the brand’s global revitalization. Furthermore, it was rated “2009 Best Place to Work” by Dallas Business, and it’s quite evident the employees’ happiness gives Sheraton D a competitive advantage that enhances the atmosphere, hospitality and quality of service.
“There’s no better satisfaction than walking around the hotel and being able to look everybody in the eye knowing you are doing the best you can to make this a great work environment,” says general manager Ray Hammer. “Beyond bricks and mortar, we want to be the warmest hotel in Texas.”
A home away from home and a dream for professional planners, Sheraton Dallas features 222 executive suites and 24 presidential suites, 10 of which are specially designed as hospitality suites. Off the lobby, The Link@Sheraton biz lounge is a throng of productivity, collaboration and fun with 32-seat docking stations, PC workstations, TV on PC workstations, free WiFi and remote printing. Mini-Links throughout the hotel extend the social energy and opportunities to be productive everywhere.
With a 4.55 out of 5.0 satisfaction score from planners, Sheraton Dallas knows how to serve its group business. The 230,000 sf of meeting space includes two ballrooms over 24,000 sf, each with equal size pre-convene function space. All meetings rooms are capable of 1 Gbps secured data rates with additional flex bandwidth on demand that can support up to 5,000 simultaneous wired internet users and 1,500 wireless users.
For upscale dining in a social setting, the Kitchen Table serves enchanting American fare comfort foods such as coffee rubbed short ribs and cedar plank roasted salmon. Another highlight, the Draft Sports Bar is a 4,500-sf, hi-tech multimedia entertainment activity bar where guests mix, mingle, play Wii, play pool and sing like a soul sister, ahem, in one of two private karaoke suites with liquid bravado provided by boutiquey beers.
A most delightful special touch is the Magic Cup for meeting planners. The stainless steel travel mug can be filled with all forms of non-alcohol beverages day or night from any of Sheraton’s outlets, as well as frozen yogurt. Big kisses all around. Outside the Sheraton’s gracious doors, the 19-block Dallas
Arts District boasts some of the slickest architecture and cultural facilities between the two coasts. Our group spent a lot of time wandering among the Dallas Museum of Art’s more than 23,000 pieces of art spanning 5,000 years. Look into this, the 370,000-sf museum is very receptive to group events. A jewel within the District, The Margot & Bill Winspear Opera House is a 2,200-seat theater with excellent sightlines and phenomenal acoustics, as well as award-winning architecture with an impressive grand lobby, 60-ft glass walls and exceptional ease of movement. Later this year, the Annette Strauss Artist Square will open with a permanent open-air stage for events of all types. Then in 2011, the City Performance Hall opens with a 750-seat space for smaller productions. And all of these can be catered with the culinary genius of Wolfgang Puck Catering, located by the Renzo Piano-designed Nasher Sculpture Garden.
Lastly, it was Edna Woolman Chase, a past editor of Vogue who said, “I dreamed all my life of the perfect store for women. Then I saw Neiman Marcus.” You really want to visit the flagship NM store’s bright and beautiful shops, and the 6th floor Zodiac restaurant that caters to the who’s-who of downtown. It’s truly a gorgeous spot for celebrating special occasions, whether it’s lunch after a “Trends & Friends” fashion show in the store, or a chic private business event for up to 150 pax.
Wi-Fi Available Here
In this hyper-connected world, where everyone seems to be surgically attached to their laptops, smartphones or other wireless devices, it only makes sense that more people expect Wi-Fi connectivity wherever they go, including at meetings and conventions. To meet this growing need, more hotels and meeting and convention venues are wired and ready to offer various levels of bandwidth to customers. But in this day and age when anyone can walk into a coffee shop and access the Internet for free, many facilities realize it’s no longer enough to offer state-of-the-art wireless technology — attendees want it to be free as well.
For some meeting planners, wireless connectivity, including complimentary access, is an important consideration when choosing a hotel and meeting venue. As attendees become more technologically sophisticated, Wi-Fi availability has become increasingly important. And for a budget-conscious group, complimentary access is a big bonus.
In the last few years, several major brands have begun offering free basic Wi-Fi at many of their mid-range properties as a standard feature in their lobbies, guest rooms and meeting spaces. For almost two years, Hyatt Hotels and Resorts has offered free wireless at its 153 Hyatt Place properties nationwide, and Hilton Worldwide’s mid-level brands, Hilton Garden Inn, Hampton Hotels and Homewood Suites, offer free Wi-Fi access at all 2,500 properties across the country.
Besides offering free Wi-Fi in the lobbies of its two D.C.-based hotels, the Beacon and St. Gregory Hotels, Capital Hotel and Suites has recognized the growing importance of complimentary Wi-Fi by including it in its Value Enhanced Meetings Program. Wireless is just one option planners can select from the program’s menu of services, and according to Hector Torres, Capital vice president, free Wi-Fi can add up to a big cost-savings for those groups heavily dependent on wireless.
“Our hotels are featuring Wi-Fi as one of the many options meeting planners have to enhance their meetings savings,” Torres says. “This option can normally cost as much as $300-$500 per conference room on top of room rental fees, which can easily bite into a meetings budget.”
Although every group has different needs when it comes to wireless technology, for those attendees who simply want the freedom to check their e-mail, connect with their families and home offices, or surf the Internet, finding meeting and convention venues that offer free Wi-Fi is getting easier for planners. These days, many convention centers have established Internet “Hot Spots” in their lobby or food concession areas, while some have made Wi-Fi accessible throughout their facilities.
The Alliant Energy Center in Madison, Wis., is such a convention center. Although it charges fees for more advanced wireless services, free basic Wi-Fi is available throughout the entire building, so visitors have the freedom to stay connected wherever they go. Implemented two years ago in response to growing customer demand, the free system has proved to be an added incentive to help attract business, says Ted Ballweg, Alliant’s assistant center manager.
“The free Wi-Fi in our convention building is a must,” Ballweg says. “People coming to meetings need to be connected, need it quick and need it everywhere. For some people [no Wi-Fi access] is an annoyance and for some it’s a deal breaker. We’re just trying to keep up and be where people are.”
Although the system is free to convention guests, it’s not free to run, so the facility leverages sponsorships to help offset some of the cost, Ballweg says. Although the response to the system has been overwhelmingly positive across the board, Ballweg says the free wireless has been especially valuable for groups attending longer events and international guests. So if free, facility-wide Wi-Fi is working for the Alliant, why aren’t more convention venues following suit?
“Free is the challenge, because everything’s got a cost to it,” Ballweg says. “With revenues being tight right now and opportunities for new revenues not being readily available, it’s going to be hard to take something that’s generating revenue and reduce that. If you offer it for free, the revenue previously generated from it goes away and there’s nothing to replace it — except more bookings.”
Yet, for many hotel and convention properties, finding a balance between what it offers for free versus what it charges for basically comes down to simple dollars and cents. Building the necessary infrastructure to house the technology, providing wireless services in-house or accessing it through outside Internet providers, as well as covering operating costs isn’t cheap, especially for those venues offering state-of-the-art technology. While some hotels may be paying for simple DSL lines able to handle only a few connections at one time, properties offering more advanced technology must be more selective about what they give away in order to be cost-effective.
The Sheraton Dallas Hotel has had to play such a balancing act. As one of Dallas’s largest convention hotels, it boasts cutting-edge wireless amenities that have the capability to serve up to 50,000 wireless users simultaneously. Understanding that more guests are expecting free Wi-Fi accessibility, Sheraton recently came up with a companywide solution. Enter Link@Sheraton, a special lobby lounge and business area featuring complimentary wireless, PC workstations, webcams and printers. Guests can log on, surf the Internet, Skype and check e-mail, free of charge, according to Ray Hammer, general manager of the Dallas Sheraton, whose hotel boasts a 6,000-sq.-ft. Internet lounge.
“We chose to have Link@Sheraton available throughout our hotels because we do acknowledge there is a need for [free Wi-Fi],” Hammer says. “We try to provide that service while at the same time be able to provide for our more sophisticated client as well.”
Those technologically sophisticated clients will find a host of technological upgrades at the hotel, which were part of the property’s $90 million renovation project, completed last year. Besides 100,000 square feet of wireless coverage that includes the property’s 1,840 guest rooms and 230,000 square feet of meeting space, 75 pay phone booths were converted into high-speed Internet stations that guests can plug into, Hammer says. Although the hotel is willing to negotiate prices and services with groups, Hammer says when it comes to basic versus high-quality wireless, you get what you pay for.
“There’s a whole difference between the infrastructure we have and what some of these hotels are offering as free Internet access,” Hammer said. “They may not have the bandwidth, the infrastructure or the technology. By saying I have free high-speed Internet, it’s a pretty broad statement.”
No one knows this better than Smart City Networks. As the provider of wireless and telecommunications services to 40 convention centers across the country, the company is very well versed when it comes to the cost of high-speed Internet connectivity. According to David Langford, vice president of technology, whether it’s the event or the venue providing the service to attendees, free Wi-Fi isn’t really free — someone is ultimately paying for it.
“Free is to me a matter of perspective,” Langford said. “Who is it free to? At Starbucks, McDonalds and even at your hotel, it’s being funded by someone else. Whether you provide [Wi-Fi] or outsource it to a company, there are costs. The struggle right now is how to get that cost covered and deliver a service to the ultimate user you want to supply it to at the price they want to pay.”
Written by Lisa Plummer for Rejuvenate Meetings
Great Events Coming to the American Airlines Center in Dallas
The American Airlines Center is located in Victory Park in downtown Dallas. Along with being the home of the Dallas Mavericks and Dallas Stars, the American Airlines Center brings in world class entertainment and concerts from around the globe. This summer the AAC will be host to The Eagles, A.R. Rahman, Michael Buble, Lady Gaga, and more. To view a complete list of events at the America Airlines Center please visit their official site.
The Sheraton Dallas is a short walk or train ride away from the American Airlines Center. The Sheraton offers a DART station directly outside the hotel with easy access to Victory Park. Coming in for an event in Dallas and looking for an American Airlines Center hotel? Stay at the Sheraton Dallas Hotel!
A-Kon 21: Revenge of the Penguins at the Sheraton Dallas
A-Kon, formerly known as Project: A-Kon, is a three day anime convention held annually in Dallas, Texas. This years event will take place from June 4 – 6 at the Sheraton Dallas Hotel.
Stay up to date with everything A-Kon by visiting their official site.
Earn Unlimited Free Weekends
Register by June 30 and earn a Free Weekend Night Award with every three stays through July 31, 2010. Your Free Weekend Night Award can be earned and redeemed at over 920 Starwood hotels and resorts worldwide, including Sheraton®, W Hotels®, Westin® and more. No limits. No blackouts.
Awards can be redeemed on any Friday, Saturday or Sunday night now through December 19, 2010 and combined for use on the same weekend.
Not an SPG member? To join and automatically be registered for Free Weekends, click Register Now and get closer to your first Free Weekend Night Award.
Book your free weekends at the Sheraton Dallas Hotel!
Dallas and art
Sheraton Dallas upgrades to fine design, technology
For Houstonians who know well the treasures that lay north in Dallas, the main considerations for a long leisurely weekend in Big D is where to stay and what to do. There are old favorites and delightful posh boutique hotels but may I suggest the Sheraton?
Established brands such as the Sheraton can seem non personalized and routine. But in December, this particular Sheraton, located in the heart of Dallas within walking distance of the arts district, celebrated a year-long, $90 million renovation. And what a transformation!
The Sheraton, a Starwood Hotel and Resort property, is the largest hotel in Texas (1,840 guest rooms) and a top conference destination, offering more than 230,000 square feet of space to meet, confer and gather. Numerous ballrooms, meetings rooms and open spaces can be arranged to suit any need. Up on the 18th floor is the Chaparral Room, graced with fabulous art and a 360 degree view of the city and the perfect place for a company meal.
Ray Hammer, general manager, is an enthusiastic and proud leader of the nearly 600 employees at the hotel; several of these folks confided to me that the Dallas Business Journal has chosen it as one of Dallas' Best Places to Work each year since 2002.
“We all strive for an emotional connection with our guests,” he told me the afternoon we arrived. “We like to share the feeling of our hotel.”
The mid-March weekend we drove in was busy at the hotel, with a large children's music convention in full bloom. While there were many guests gathering in the spacious lobby, check in was quick and efficient. We rode the elevator up to our room and took in the expansive view of downtown. Rooms feature the Sheraton's wonderful pillow top Sweet Sleeper Bed. We had two flat screen TVs and a great downtown view. Perfect for watching the snow fall that night – yes, snow! It was simply lovely to watch it descend past our 16th floor window.
There are more than a few aspects of the downtown Sheraton to let you know you've stepped into the 21st century. Electronic reader boards, called Four Winds Interactive signs, are positioned throughout the hotel and conference center. They are graphics-loaded, touch-screen panels that help guests navigate their way around the hotel property. A 3-D image of the hotel alternates with maps of downtown or any destination chosen by the guests. This system alone cost more than $500,000.
For those who are concerned with carbon footprints, the Sheraton allows guests to refuse daily housekeeping in exchange for a $5 gift certificates to use on site for food and beverages. The Smart System controls the environment: lights are automatic when guests enter the room and temperature controls in each room responds to guests' body temperatures. If you're not in the room, the system turns off.
And yes, old Texans can learn new tricks! There are recycling bins strategically placed to make recycling easy. All leftover room amenities such as shampoo and soaps are donated to local shelters.
Computer hookups scattered throughout the hotel and all public spaces are available with complimentary WiFi. Many Sheratons, including this one, now offer The Link – a full computer system featuring 32 permanent computer stations in the lobby where guests may surf the Internet or check email. And coming soon – a suitcase drop on site for busy travelers. The hotel will accept your luggage, drive it to the airport, have it sent through security and checked to your final destination. The 4,000-square foot Fitness Center offers an outdoor pool and $500,000 in the latest equipment. The hotel is pet friendly too; for a small deposit, you are welcome to bring along your four-footed friends.
Dining – Keeping with the lively, family feel, the Kitchen Table Restaurant is an open concept in the lobby. Floor to ceiling windows direct your gaze to the patio where fire pits light the evening sky. Complimentary s'mores are often passed by staff who enjoy watching the surprise and delight on guest faces.
The Draft Sports Bar is a definite stopping place – there are flat screen TVs throughout and lots to do including pool, darts and Nintendo Wii games. There are two private karaoke salons and be sure to sample the wide variety of beer, both local and international. The menu boasts lots of great favorites like nachos and sliders, mini corn dogs, Frito pie, and pizza.
Chill – the frozen yogurt shop is filled with glass jars brimming with colorful candy and the Sheraton's homemade chocolate, Bark Bar. Peets serves up coffee and light snacks.
Executive chef Michael Braun is one of the most innovative chefs we have experienced. His banquet repasts were inspiring. Braun uses mini iron casserole dishes and bamboo baskets to showcase tasty creations like a delightful lobster-macaroni and cheese dish. Succulent individual beef ribs, shrimp and a superb breakfast buffet was beautifully arranged and thoughtfully presented. Is it any wonder that Braun has received numerous awards for his cooking?
The Dallas Arts District, a 19-block area filled with some of the true treasures of Texas, is home to a fabulous collection of shops, restaurants, and shopping. Do not miss the Dallas Museum of Art, currently offering more than 24,000 works of art from every period and country. The subject of a recent New York Times article, the DMA is led by director Bonnie Pitman, gaining acclaim for her reorientation toward the museum patron. Pitman keeps programming visitor-centered and interactive.
Other highlights: The Crow Collection of Asian Art is free and graciously offers galleries full of 50 centuries of Asian art. Stanley Korshak is a must – just to gaze and admire and swoon over the luxurious men's and women's adornments. Other jewels to discover: the Barry Whistler Gallery, lavishly offering some of Texas' finest artists, the Rachofsky House, the Winspear Opera House, the Nasher Sculpture Center, and the Dallas Center for Performing Arts. Do not forget to visit the original Neiman Marcus at 1618 Main Street. This is ground zero for Texas society and the store pulls out all the stops for its shoppers. Can't afford a $100 picture frame or a $400 shell necklace? Just stand quietly and breathe in the rarefied air.
A trip to the Dallas Museum of Art, with shopping at Neiman's – and a lovely and affordable room? That sounds like a spring break to me! One great feature is that many weekend Sheraton specials are offered which often include breakfast. Our weekend, rooms were going for as little as $89 with junior suites just slightly more. We particularly appreciated the check in/check out kiosks near the front desk where you can choose your room, check-in for air travel and print boarding passes. Visit www.sheratondallashotel.com for last minute specials and enjoy a artsy weekend with a high tech flair.
Cynthia Calvert is an experienced travel writer based in Houston, Texas. She owns four newspapers, The Tribunes, in suburban Houston with a delivered circulation of 50,000 and an online presence receiving more than 155,000 unique visitors each month. The Tribunes are an accredited (application basis only) part of Google News and enjoy a serious presence on the Internet (www.ourtribune.com).
Getaway: Down-home comfort in Dallas
For one of the largest cities in America, downtown Dallas grows a bit quiet on the weekends. Too much solitude for a city might worry the city’s development executives, who are working toward jump-starting the heart of Dallas, but for the traveler, particularly a weekend getaway visitor, the peace is a welcome attribute.
Downtown is home to fabulous museums and performance spaces of the arts district, not to mention the brand spanking new AT&T Performing Arts Center. There’s also the flagship Neiman Marcus department store, numerous restaurants to choose from and the Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza that offers a historical timeline to the assassination of President John F. Kennedy.
At the heart of downtown is the newly renovated Sheraton Dallas Hotel, which just completed its $90 million renovation of the hotel and conference center and is within walking distance of most downtown attractions, so guests can park the car and forgo Dallas traffic. Peace and comfort and a feeling of home were the driving forces of this transformation, said Ray Hammer, general manager, along with state-of-the-art technology. The hotel is bathed in calming earth tones, with comfy chairs and sofas everywhere, restaurants offering comfort foods such as mac and cheese and meatloaf and a 32-seat docking station where guests can enjoy free Wi-Fi on PCs or dock their own laptops.
At the entrance, since this is Texas, a sign also lets visitors know it’s the largest hotel in the Lone Stone State. It might be because Hammer is from Boston, but he’s not bragging about that statistic.
“What I want that sign to say is, ‘Welcome to the warmest hotel in Texas’,” Hammer said.
Warm includes a fire pit on the hotel’s patio, where guests can enjoy drinks or coffee and s’mores, that arrive toasted and wrapped in aluminum foil, or cups of toasted almonds, all part of the hotel’s focus on down-home comfort.
“We try to keep it simple and what people miss when they’re not at home,” Hammer explained.
Restaurants include the Kitchen Table with its comfort foods as well as more sophisticated fare, Peet’s Coffee, Chill Yogurt and the $3.5 million Draft Sports Bar, a fun 4,500-square-foot space with pool tables, darts, karaoke booths and Wii games on large-screen TVs.
The fitness center consists of 4,000 square feet of high-class equipment, fronting the outdoor pool and cabana area overlooking the Dallas skyline.
The 1,840 guest rooms, 222 suites and 24 presidential suites have all been refurbished as well, and include plush mattresses and linens, flat-panel LCD high definition TVs and work areas with high-speed internet access. Children and pets are welcome, the latter receiving dog bowls and beds upon request.
The renovation included some major green initiatives, Hammer said, including the installation of a $1.5 million laundry system that reduces water consumption by two-thirds. Rooms contain recycling bins and infrared detection systems that adjust temperature. Guests can also place a card outside their door foregoing housekeeping services to save energy and receive a $5 gift card on any of the hotel’s dining establishments.
And if the renovation’s not reason enough to visit, the hotel was voted No. 1 in the Dallas Business Journal’s Best Places to Work.
Specials are available, including group rates, and can be accessed via the Web site. And in the not-too-distant future, the light rail will provide service from the airport to downtown.
Six Cooksey Communications Clients Recognized for Community Efforts
Cooksey Communications, a Dallas/Fort Worth-based strategic communications consulting firm, is pleased to announce that six of their clients received 2010 Communitas Awards from the Association of Marketing and Communication Professionals (AMCP) for their dedication to Community Service and Social Responsibility.
The Communitas Awards, an outgrowth of the pro bono recognition program of the AMCP, are an international effort to recognize exceptional businesses, organizations and individuals that are generous of their time and resources, and those that are changing how they do business to benefit their communities.
“We are very proud of our clients and the recognition they have received through the Communitas Awards,” said Gail Cooksey, president of Cooksey Communications. “This honor demonstrates that our clients are dedicated to helping their communities and are adapting their business practices to benefit their employees, communities and environment.”
The awards received on behalf of Cooksey’s clients include:
Excellence in Community Service
• McQueary Henry Bowles Troy LLP for its “Company Sponsored Volunteer Projects” in the Dallas area promoting health and wellness.
• Brennan Financial Services for their “Community Partnership” in supporting the Star Children’s Charities.
• Jackson-Shaw/Jackson-Shaw Foundation for their “Philanthropy” initiatives in Dallas, Jacksonville and Washington, D.C.
Excellence in Social Responsibility
• The Sheraton Dallas Hotel for their expansive “Green Initiatives,” which are part of the recently completed $90 million renovation project.
• Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP's Dallas and Houston offices in the "Pro Bono" category for their outstanding provision of legal work to indigent clients across Texas.
Combined Community Service & Social Responsibility
• OmniAmerican Bank for their “Leadership in Community Service and Corporate Social Responsibility” and overall community support through corporate contributions, volunteer efforts and green initiatives.
Founded in 1995, Association of Marketing and Communication Professionals (AMCP) fosters and supports the efforts of its members who contribute their unique marketing and communication talents to public service and charitable organizations. Over the past three years, AMCP has given over $60,000 to help create marketing materials for homeless shelters, orphanages, day camps, community theaters and art centers; and for educational endeavors for children, the elderly and underprivileged.
About Cooksey Communications
Cooksey Communications, Inc. is a Dallas/Fort Worth-based strategic communications consulting firm that specializes in issues management for transportation, water resources and economic development clients and strategic communications for professional services firms and retail/hospitality clients. The 11th-largest firm in the region, Cooksey represents clients such as Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP; the National Math and Science Initiative; Jackson-Shaw; and Devon Energy. For more information, visit www.cookseypr.com.
Vote The Kitchen Table for Best Breakfast Spot in Dallas
Write in “The Kitchen Table” for best breakfast in Dallas and comment on this post for a chance to win free breakfast for two. Share with your friends. The more people that comment, the more free breakfasts will be given away.
Visit D Magazine’s Best of Big D to vote now.
Arena Football Is Coming Back To Dallas
After a one year hiatus, the Arena Football League is coming back to Dallas! The Dallas Desperados are gone, and have been replaced with the all new Dallas Vigilantes. The Vigilantes, owned by Pilot Point resident and former Tampa Bay Storm investor Peter C. “Woody” Kern, are competing in the revamped Arena Football League, with their season opener April 10 against the Tulsa Talons. Their first home game is April 30 at American Airlines Center against the Oklahoma City Yard Dawgz.
The Sheraton Dallas Hotel is located in downtown, and provides east access to DART rail and the American Airlines Center. With great accommodations and rates, the Sheraton Dallas is a great place to spend the weekend when traveling into Dallas for a home Vigilantes’ game.
2010 Dallas Vigilantes Schedule
Week 1 Bye
Week 2 Saturday, April 10 at Tulsa Talons
Week 3 Friday, April 16 at Tampa Bay Storm
Week 4 Bye
Week 5 Friday, April 30 Oklahoma City Yard Dawgz
Week 6 Friday, May 7 Orlando Predators
Week 7 Friday, May 14 at Jacksonville Sharks
Week 8 Saturday, May 22 Chicago Rush
Week 9 Saturday, May 29 at Milwaukee Iron
Week 10 Saturday, June 5 Bossier-Shreveport Battle Wings
Week 11 Friday, June 11 Tulsa Talons*
Week 12 Saturday, June 19 at Alabama Vipers
Week 13 Saturday, June 26 at Oklahoma City Yard Dawgz
Week 14 Friday, July 2 Iowa Barnstormers
Week 15 Friday, July 9 Tampa Bay Storm*
Week 16 Saturday, July 17 at Chicago Rush
Week 17 Saturday, July 24 Utah Blaze
Week 18 Saturday, July 31 at Bossier-Shreveport Battle Wings
* Game to be aired live on NFL Network
The Sheraton Dallas Welcomes Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke
The public is invited to hear Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke speak at a Dallas Regional Chamber luncheon on April 7 at the Sheraton Dallas Hotel.
Bernanke hasn’t made a public appearance in the Dallas area since October 2007.
Tickets are $200. Call 214-746-6776 or visit www.dallaschamber.org events for tickets and more information.
Valet parking will be available at the Sheraton for $12, and self-parking will cost $5. Parking is also available on multiple surface lots and meters nearby.
Celebrate March Madness at Draft Media Sports Lounge
Now that March Madness is upon us, there is no better place to watch the games then Draft Media Sports Lounge inside the Sheraton Dallas Hotel. Draft offers fans an exciting place to cheer on their favorite teams with a full bar and food menu. Draft offers 21 Flat Screen HDTVs, with the biggest one being 104”. There are also Nintendo Wii Stations and pool tables to keep yourself occupied during halftimes.
On Thursday, March 25, join the Sports Page Weekly for an NCAA watching party. The Sports Page Weekly Promo Girls will be in house along with the Dallas Vigilante Cheerleaders giving away tickets to their upcoming arena league season.
2010 World Balloon Convention Comes to the Sheraton Dallas
The World Balloon Convention will take place April 15 – 18, in Dallas. When you walk through the doors of the first-ever World Balloon Convention, expect to be blown away by an incredible lineup of special events. This four-day, inspiration-packed convention will open your eyes to what’s truly possible with balloons—from the elaborate decor to the special effects to the elegant parties, and more. The WBC is the ultimate balloon experience—you don’t want to miss this premiere event.
The education offered at the World Balloon Convention is designed for a variety of skill levels and interests, from those just beginning in balloons to seasoned professionals looking for new techniques and inspiration. The curriculum also features a strong selection of business-focused classes to help you make more money while creating fabulous designs. Classes range from Deco-Twisting the Easy Way!, a level 1 class, to Weddings That Wow, a level 3 class.
The Sheraton Dallas is proud to be the headquarters for the World Balloon Convention. The Sheraton is located near many downtown Dallas attractions including the AT&T Performing Arts Center and the American Airlines Center. For more information on booking your room for the World Balloon Convention, please visit the convention’s official site.
Star Chefs and Great Wines at Savor Dallas - 6th Annual Event Returns to Downtown Dallas
The 6th annual Savor Dallas to be held March 5th and 6th in downtown Dallas, is “An International Experience of Wine, Food, Spirits and the Arts,” dedicated to showcasing the finest chefs in Dallas-Fort Worth, the world's best beverages, and the renaissance of Downtown Dallas, especially the Arts District. The largest premium wine and food event in Texas will be headquartered in the recently renovated Sheraton Dallas Hotel.
“We are so excited to be gearing up for Savor Dallas 2010,” says Jim White, co-founder along with his wife Vicki Briley-White. “The addition of the AT&T Performing Arts Center adds a spectacular new element to the "Arts District Wine Stroll", and the beautifully renovated Sheraton Dallas is the host hotel for the weekend and venue for the "International Grand Tasting" and our Reserve Tasting.”
On Friday, March 5th, Savor Dallas celebrates the Arts District with the popular "Arts District Wine Stroll". Guests enjoy wine and food tastings in the beautiful Dallas Museum of Art – Seventeen Seventeen Restaurant; Meyerson Symphony Center; Nasher Sculpture Center; Winspear Opera House; and Wyly Theatre (from 5-7pm).
The Sheraton Dallas Hotel is the focal point of all the fun activities on Saturday March 6th. The afternoon features a series of wine tasting seminars led by top experts. Then, a limited attendance "Reserve Tasting" featuring super premium wines and spirits is presented in the Sheraton's 38th floor Chaparral Club.
The gourmet highlight of the Savor Dallas weekend is the "International Grand Tasting" (March 6, 7- 10pm). It's staged in The Lone Star Ballroom of the Sheraton Dallas and features a sampling of signature cuisines from over 60 of Dallas-Fort Worth’s “Star Chefs.” Additionally, guests can choose from over 400 premium wine varietals, top shelf cocktails and hand-crafted beer and ales.
Savor Dallas donates proceeds from a fine wine silent auction to the North Texas Food Bank and funds a scholarship for a deserving chef to attend culinary school, which is administered through the Greater Dallas Restaurant Association. The Art Department at Booker T. Washington High School receives profits from sales of Savor Dallas t-shirts and proceeds from the sale of student artwork at Savor Dallas.
For a complete schedule of events and list of participating restaurants, and to purchase tickets, go to www.SavorDallas.com or call 888-728-6747.
Ray Hammer Of Sheraton Dallas Hotel Appointed To Dallas Convention & Visitors Bureau Board Of Directors
The Sheraton Dallas Hotel announced today that its General Manager, Ray Hammer, was recently appointed to the Dallas Convention & Visitors Bureau Board of Directors. In this role, Hammer will help establish policies, review budgets, contribute to the formation of the marketing strategies and serve as an advisor to the Bureau’s full-time staff.
Hammer was selected by the Bureau’s nominating committee and will serve a one-year term. He is eligible to be re-appointed for two additional one-year terms.
“It is truly an honor for me to join this distinguished group of community and business leaders who are working so hard to position our city as a world-class destination for business events, conventions and leisure travel,” Hammer said. “Since the Sheraton Dallas Hotel is located in the heart of downtown Dallas and attracts a significant amount of conference business, I am especially looking forward to working with Phillip Jones and his team to make his outstanding vision for Dallas a reality.
New members to the 2009 – 2010 Dallas Convention & Visitors Bureau Board of Directors also include:
o Matt Berge, Doubletree Dallas Campbell Centre
o Mark Brooks, Dallas Marriott Quorum
o Ron Chapman, Jr., Ogletree, Deakins, Nash, Smoak & Stewart, PC
o Ben Gomez, Dallas Area Rapid Transit
o Raymond Hammer, Sheraton Dallas Hotel
o Cornell Holmes
o Nathan Moore, Mary Kay, Inc.
o Ricardo Ortiz, Bickerstaff Heath Delgado Acosta, LLP
o Alissa Salas, Alissa Salas, CPA, C.P.
o Anthony Vedda, North Texas GLBT Chamber of Commerce
o Jerry Walker, Conference Hospitality Group
In addition to his appointment to the Dallas Convention & Visitors Bureau Board of Directors, Hammer is an ex-officio member of the board of directors for the Metro Dallas Homeless Alliance and serves on the board of directors for curriculum development at the Holland College School of Hospitality. He is also a mentor for the Social Science Future for Foster Adolescents and is a volunteer for the Boy Scouts of America.
About the Dallas Convention & Visitors Bureau
Dallas is a destination that inspires big ideas. As the No. 1 visitor destination in Texas, the Dallas area offers the best shopping in the Southwest, a cutting-edge culinary scene led by nationally acclaimed celebrity chefs, 70,000 hotel rooms, ranging from luxury to boutique, and more than 200 golf courses. The city boasts the largest contiguous urban arts district in the U.S. with five cultural venues designed by Pritzker Prize-winning architects. In addition, the Dallas metropolitan area is the only one in the Southwest to host teams representing five major professional sports leagues, including the legendary Dallas Cowboys. The Dallas area is also the largest film and television production center in Texas and the location of the Dallas Film Commission. For additional information about the city, see www.visitdallas.com. Live Large. Think Big.™
Ray Hammer of Sheraton Dallas Hotel Named GM Of The Year By Hotel Association Of North Texas
The Sheraton Dallas Hotel announced today that its General Manager, Ray Hammer was recently named General Manager of the Year in the full service hotel category (500+ rooms) by the Hotel Association of North Texas (formerly the Hotel Association of Greater Dallas). Hammer received the HOSPY award for his involvement with the hotel’s $90 million renovation project and his role with increasing workplace satisfaction. Hammer was presented the honor at the association’s 3rd annual HOSPY`s & Silver Plume Awards Gala held on October 30, 2009, at the Renaissance Richardson Hotel.
“There are many outstanding individuals and organizations in North Texas that have made significant contributions to our industry and are very deserving of this recognition. That said, I am deeply honored that I was selected by the Hotel Association of North Texas as General Manager of the Year,” said Ray Hammer. “Although this award recognizes my commitment, it also represents the dedication and hard work of my entire team at the Sheraton Dallas Hotel. This HOSPY award definitely serves as an affirmation that we are doing something right, and challenges us to continue raising the bar.”
Over the past year, Hammer has overseen the $90 million renovation of the 1,840 room Sheraton Dallas Hotel. He has been involved in every aspect of the transformation, including development of new food and beverage venues, selection of furniture and design elements and incorporation of energy-efficient and water-conservation features. Hammer has also focused on efforts to increase employee satisfaction, resulting in the hotel being named by the Dallas Business Journal as number one in the publication’s annual “Best Places to Work” ranking.
"The HOSPY Award celebrates those who have helped make the North Texas hotel industry one of the best in the country," said Brooke Dieterlen, executive director of the Hotel Association of North Texas. "It is through their efforts, which are made on a daily basis, that Dallas and North Texas area remain one of the top places to visit or hold meetings."
In all, 13 HOSPY awards were presented to individuals, hotels, and companies in categories that include Top Hotel of the Year and General Manager of the Year in both full-service and select-service categories, Green Hotel of the Year, Hotel Chef of the Year, Friend of the Industry, Allied Partner of the Year, Supervisor/Manager of the Year, Front-of-the-House Employee of the Year and Heart-of-the-House Employee of the Year. In addition, Where Magazine partnered with the Hotel Association to recognize the Hotel Concierge of the Year and the Corporate Concierge of the Year with the Silver Plum Award.
About the Hotel Association of North Texas
The Hotel Association of North Texas (formerly the Hotel Association of Greater Dallas) is one of the largest local hotel associations in the country representing more than 40,000 rooms in the North Texas market. Established in 1926, the association works to promote the interests of the hotel community throughout North Texas.
Dallas Business Journal "Best Places to Work"
Sheraton Dallas Hotel, announced today that it was recently named number one in the large size businesses category in the Dallas Business Journal’s ranking of the “Best Places to Work” in Dallas-Fort Worth. Re-flagged as a Sheraton in February 2008, this is the first year the Sheraton Dallas qualified for and has participated in the prestigious survey by the Dallas Business Journal, the best source for up-to-date Dallas business news and resources.
“It’s a wonderful compliment to have Sheraton Dallas recognized as one of the best places to work in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex,” said Ray Hammer, general manager of the Sheraton Dallas Hotel. “Sheraton Dallas doesn’t strive to create a great work environment for the accolades, but instead, we do it because we know it is the right thing to do for our employees. Emphasizing our employees’ happiness makes a difference in the overall atmosphere of the hotel and the level of service our guests receive. There is no better satisfaction than walking around the hotel and being able to look anyone on our staff in the eye and know you’re doing the best you can to make the hotel a great work environment. This recognition reinforces our belief that we must be doing something right on behalf of our employees and our guests.”
The Dallas Business Journal’s “Best Places to Work” survey, handled by Kansas-based Quantum Market Research (QMR), an independent human resources company, questioned employees of participating companies about specific work place issues. The top-scoring companies in three categories made up the 2009 list of “Best Places to Work” in Dallas-Fort Worth. The categories included: small businesses (1-100 employees), mid-sized businesses (101-500 employees), large businesses (more than 500 employees). Only companies whose number of responses met QMR’s specifications to guarantee a 95 percent confidence level, with a margin of error of plus/minus five percent, were included in the final rankings.
Sheraton Dallas Hotel Introduces Draft Media Sports Lounge - Downtown Dallas' Newest Sports Bar
The Sheraton Dallas hotel announced today that Draft Media Sports Lounge, the latest result of its $90 million renovation project, is open for business. Sports fans and visitors can run, walk, skate or dribble into Draft, where they will encounter a $3.5 million, 4,000-square foot sports nirvana, located adjacent to the hotel’s main lobby and check-in, which was designed to provide the ultimate entertainment experience.
The introduction of Draft – named both for its variety of 12 local and internationally brewed draft beers, as well as the popularity of professional sports leagues’ talent draft events – takes the sports bar and lounge concept to a new level of enjoyment and comfort. Patrons can watch their favorite sporting events, while enjoying a cold draft beer or other beverage from Draft’s full-service bar, which is open from 11 a.m. to 1 a.m. Monday through Friday, and 4 p.m. to 1 a.m. Saturday and Sunday. Guests can also munch on a variety of delicious entrées such as tasty barbecue pork shanks, mouth-watering flat bread sandwiches, succulent brisket sliders and even beer-glass desserts. Food service is available from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Monday through Friday, and from 4 p.m. to 11 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Draft will be open early on Saturday and Sunday for most big college and NFL games.
In addition to viewing the latest sporting events on one of 21 HDTV flat screens, the largest being 104”, visitors to Draft can test their vocal chords in one of two private karaoke salons, relax with a game of pool, enjoy free Wi-Fi access, challenge each other to a Nintendo Wii competition or simply kick back with conversation in one of the venue’s lounge areas.
“We have created an enticing new sports bar menu and experience that will cater to our guests seeking an entertaining dining option, and one that will also attract visitors from the central business district and surrounding areas,” said Ray Hammer, general manager of the Sheraton Dallas. “The presentation and delectability of our new menu items will certainly impress those who have discerning tastes, and those items are well complemented by a choice of local and internationally brewed draft beers. Whether you’re relaxing by yourself or celebrating a big win with friends, Draft Media Sports Lounge provides the perfect setting to watch your favorite sporting events or simply enjoy an evening of comfort, dining, entertainment and community.”
Patrons seeking an alternative dining environment can also satisfy their appetites at The Kitchen Table, a new casual dining restaurant offering coffee-rubbed short ribs, breakfast skillets, handmade pies and chicken-fried pot roast. At Peet’s Coffee & Tea, fresh, hot doughnut holes, bagels, pastries, made-to-order salads and sandwiches, as well as freshly brewed and blended coffee and assorted teas are available. At the hotel’s soon-to-be-open dessert bar – Chill – frozen yogurt smoothies topped with a variety of fresh, healthy toppings to freshly baked treats, such as “Bark Bar – a made-in-house chocolate bark” will satisfy any sweet craving.
“The Kitchen Table and Peet’s Coffee & Tea recently opened to a very favorable response and Chill is expected to open in early September. Collectively, these three new dining options, along with Draft Media Sports Lounge, serve as the perfect combination to meet and exceed the dining needs of our guests and visitors,” Hammer added. “Each venue is uniquely designed to better serve our guests, visitors from the nearby arts, convention and business districts, as well as the entire D/FW Metroplex.”
Draft Media Sports Lounge
Part of the Sheraton's $90 million renovation, Draft's a massive (414 capacity) wood-paneled den of vicarious athletic thrills, outfitted with a wall-length leather-trimmed bar, thick high-back booths, sofa'd lounging areas, 21 flat screens, and an anchoring 104-inch plasma; adulation stretches from the standard (photos of Dirk, jerseys from Troy, shoes from...Keyshawn), to the ornate (expressive sports-hero paintings; reliefs of team logos elegantly carved into wood panels -- as opposed to an inexpertly scrawled "suck on it, 'Skins"). The one-page menu elevates gut-enhancing standbys: soft pretzels w/ cheese sauce & raspberry-chipotle mustard, the Flat Bread Meat Loaf Sandwich w/ jack, fennel slaw & cayenne ketchup, the "Loaded" flatbread pizza (fresh mozz/sweet Ital sausage/pepperoni/onions/green peppers/black olives/sauteed 'shrooms), and four ice-cream sundaes (hot apple pie/choc fudge brownie/banana split/cheesecake & strawberries) served as "glasses" or "shots" (for if you're man enough?). To make you even happier/sadder over the game's outcome, the bar slings a dozen drafts (Boulevard, Smithwick's, Black and Tan...), 14 mostly Cali wines, 60+ spirits (including some finer bottles -- who doesn't love Cowboys & Cognac?), and six signature cocktails, including the Absolut/wasabi/lemon juice/sugar "Half Time Martini" and the Patron/Cointreau/Grand Marnier "Ray's Ultimate Margarita", which you should go Crazyfor.
Beyond watching sweaty men chase balls, Draft also offers opportunities for you to actually do stuff, with free wi-fi, red felt back-corner pool tables, Wii stations, and two private, state-of-the-art karaoke rooms -- so even if the 'Boys end up Wade-ing through another disappointing season, you Don't have to Stop Believing.
Win a Wedding Reception at the Dallas Bridal Show from Sheraton
The Sheraton Dallas Hotel is partnering with the Dallas Bridal Show (which is July 11-12 at Dallas Market Hall, 2200 Stemmons Fwy.) to give away a free wedding reception. All you have to do is sign up as you enter the show. The lucky winner will receive a reception in the hotel’s newly renovated Chaparral Room that includes food and drink (excluding alcohol) up to $6,000, tables, chairs, and linens, floral centerpieces, wedding cake, and the honeymoon suite with breakfast and a limo to the airport. I don’t know about you but in these difficult economic times a free wedding sounds pretty darn good! You could use the money you save as a down payment on a house, or for a luxurious honeymoon. In addition, the Dallas Bridal Show will have several other prizes to win as well as local vendors and wedding experts who can help plan your big day. Don’t miss out on this excellent opportunity!
Sheraton Dallas Hotel Partners with Bridal Shows, Inc. to Give Away Wedding Reception at Dallas Bridal Show
The Sheraton Dallas Hotel announced today that it will partner with Bridal Shows, Inc. to give away a wedding reception during the Dallas Bridal Show. Valued at over $6,000, the reception will be given away through a drawing of registered brides attending the show at Dallas Market Hall from July 11-12, 2009.
“We are so excited to work with the Sheraton Dallas Hotel for the upcoming Dallas Bridal Show and look forward to seeing the smile on the face of one lucky bride,” said Naomi Hulme, president and CEO of Bridal Shows, Inc.
The winner of this prize package will receive a wedding reception hosted in the Sheraton Dallas Hotel’s newly designed Chaparral Room, which is part of the property’s $90 million renovation project that will be completed in 2009. The reception package includes:
• Food and beverage (up to $6,000, does not include alcohol)
• Tables, chairs and linens for both
• Floral centerpieces
• Wedding cake
• Honeymoon suite with breakfast and limo transfer to the airport
“The newly renovated Chaparral Room is designed with fantastic elements that make it the perfect venue for weddings, anniversaries and other private events,” said David Swift, director of sales and marketing for the Sheraton Dallas Hotel. “We know that this prize will generate enthusiasm among local brides and it also allows us a wonderful forum to help us to reintroduce this iconic space within our hotel to the community. We look forward to working with Bridal Shows, Inc. to reward the lucky bride-to-be.” For more information and updates about the wedding reception giveaway, visit the Dallas Bridal Show website at www.bridalshowsinc.com.
About Bridal Shows Inc.
Since 1990, Bridal Shows Inc. has been producing quality bridal shows in Dallas, Fort Worth and Plano that are proven, well-established bridal events known for their consistent growth in vendors and attendance. Featuring over 350 of North Texas’ top wedding professionals and with over 10,000 attendees, The Dallas Bridal Show is the third largest bridal event in the United States.
Sheraton Dallas Hotel Names Convention Service Manager
The Sheraton Dallas Hotel announced today that Paul Ruby has joined the hotel as convention service manager. In this role, Ruby will be responsible for the smooth execution of meetings, events and conferences hosted at the hotel, including those taking place during the property’s $90 million renovation project that is scheduled for completion later this year.
“Paul is a perfect example of the top national talent that the Sheraton Dallas Hotel looks for when recruiting new executive staff to serve our guests,” said Ray Hammer, general manager of the Sheraton Dallas Hotel. “He has been recognized by Starwood and by our industry associations for his dedication to superior customer service and excellence performance standards. Paul will be a true asset to our team and we look forward to the expertise and contributions he will bring to the table.”
With nearly 20 years serving at Starwood properties, Ruby has developed an extensive background in catering and convention services. Most recently, he worked with the Westin Park Central Hotel in Dallas where he served as director of catering and convention services and as senior convention manager. In 2008, Ruby was recognized as Convention Manager of the Year by the Association for Convention Operations Management (ACOM) and Successful Meetings magazine. Among his many additional honors, he received a White House Certificate of Appreciation in 2001 and was also named Catering and Convention Service Director of the year for the SW Region in 2004, Convention Director of the Year for revenue achievement in 2004 and Convention Manager of the Year for Starwood NAD in 2006. Ruby earned an Associates Degree in Applied Science for food service and hotel management from Jefferson State in Birmingham, Ala., and is designated as a certified meeting planner. He is a member of ACOM and has served as vice chairman of the association’s program committee.
Sheraton Dallas Hotel Launches Redesigned Guest Rooms
The Sheraton Dallas Hotel announced today that the first group of redesigned guest rooms, featuring the brand’s signature Sheraton Sweet Sleeper™ bed, are now available to guests in search of a relaxing urban getaway. Renovation of the guest rooms in the north and center towers is part of the hotel’s $90 million project, of which the hotel component will be complete in June 2009. In addition to the guest rooms, which are also serving as the new design template for Sheraton hotels across the nation, the renovation project includes a comprehensive redesign of the hotel’s public spaces such as the lobby, meeting rooms and convention center.
“Every detail of our newly renovated guest rooms, including the color scheme, artwork, lighting and furniture layout, have been designed to create a sense of comfort and belonging for our guests,” said Ray Hammer, general manager of the Sheraton Dallas Hotel. “The final result truly provides a tranquil environment that, without a doubt, will help to ease the many burdens our guests experience when they travel so they feel right at home.”
The hotel’s redesigned rooms have been created in response to guests’ preferences for flexible room layouts through development of zones. The spotlight is on the resting zone, which features the brand’s signature Sheraton Sweet Sleeper bed. This one-of-a-kind bed features a plush mattress, warm blanket, comfortable duvet, crisp sheets and hypoallergenic pillows. The Sheraton Sweet Sleeper bed helps guests start their day relaxed and refreshed.
Additional zones include a welcome area, a “connection zone” comprised of a modular, mobile desk that accommodates a guest’s need for work, meeting space, entertainment or dining, and a reenergizing bathroom area that is designed to minimize clutter and maximize space. The rooms also include state-of-the-art technology features, such as flat panel HDTV’s and iPod docking stations, as well as energy-saving features such as fluorescent lights, motions sensors and energy reducing appliances.
Sheraton Dallas Hotel Provides Accommodations For Families Visiting Children's Medical Center
Located at the heart of Dallas’ commercial center, the Sheraton Dallas Hotel announced today that it has joined forces with Children’s Medical Center to provide much-needed accommodations for the growing number of visiting families who have children being cared for at the hospital. In addition, the hotel will provide various in-kind items to the hospital throughout the year, as well as volunteer support.
“Children’s is a phenomenal institution with a standard of care unlike no other,” said Ray
Hammer, general manager of the hotel. “The Sheraton Dallas Hotel wanted to support the
hospital in ways that directly benefit the children being treated and their families, so being able to offer accommodations for qualified, visiting families are one way to help the hospital fulfill a tremendous need. We also look forward to providing volunteer support by our hotel staff and other in-kind donations.”
As the largest hotel in Dallas, the hotel prides itself on being an active community participant. In addition to this new effort with Children’s, the hotel has also developed a partnership with The Bridge, Dallas’ newest homeless assistance center, and continues with its plans to cultivate partnerships with other community organizations in order to address civic issues and stimulate economic growth, tourism and development.
About Children’s Medical Center
In its mission to make life better for children, the Children’s Medical Center pediatric healthcare system devotes itself solely to caring for the complex medical needs of children. Children’s is private, not-for-profit, and is the ninth largest pediatric healthcare provider in the country, licensed for 483 beds and operating 10 ambulatory care sites. More than 800 medical staff members help fulfill the needs of patients and their families during more than 350,000 patient visits each year. Through its academic affiliation with UT Southwestern Medical Center, Children’s hosts research conducted by its medical staff members that is instrumental in developing treatments, therapies, and greater understanding of pediatric diseases. Many of the 50 specialty programs of the Children’s system have received national and international recognition, confirming a stellar reputation for Children’s as one of the finest pediatric healthcare providers in the U.S. Children’s Dallas is the only designated Level 1 trauma center for pediatrics in Texas and one of only 14 in the U.S.
Sheraton Dallas Hotel Kicks Off $90 Million Renovation Project
Located at the heart of Dallas’ commercial center, the Sheraton Dallas Hotel announced today that it has begun construction on the first phase of its $90 million renovation project which will include a comprehensive new design of its public spaces, guest rooms in the north and center towers and conference center. Led by Leo A. Daly, an internationally renowned architecture, planning, engineering, interior design and project management firm, completion of the four-phased renovation project is estimated for summer 2009.
Sheraton Dallas’ renovation plan is part of a global initiative from Sheraton Hotels & Resorts and Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. (NYSE:HOT), to revitalize the iconic Sheraton brand and differentiate the guest experience at each of its 406 hotels across 71 countries.
“Our entire Sheraton Dallas team is excited to undergo a renovation of this magnitude and we look forward to transforming our hotel into a place where guests can kick back, relax and feel that they truly belong,” said Ray Hammer, general manager of the Sheraton Dallas Hotel. “Most importantly, we are pleased that the renovations will be conducted in a manner that causes the least amount of disruption to our guests so that we may continue to provide the superior, personal touches that are so firmly associated with the Sheraton brand.”
Phase one of the renovations includes changes to the fourth floor fitness center and pool area, registration desk and north end of the lobby. Phase two will cover the south end of the lobby and fourth floor meeting spaces. Phase three will include meeting spaces on the third and upper floors, as well as the Chaparral Room. The final phase will encompass the second floor meeting spaces. Renovations to the guest rooms, which will serve as the model template for all Sheraton hotels across the nation, will take place throughout the duration of the project.
Upon completion, the hotel will provide guests with a relaxing environment designed to ease the travel burden and help them feel at home. In particular, the guest rooms have been designed in response to guests’ preferences for flexible room design through development of four distinct zones. They include a welcome area, a “connection zone” comprised of a modular, mobile desk that accommodate an individual’s need for work, meeting space, entertainment or dining, a rest area featuring the luxurious Sheraton Sweet Sleeper bed, and a re-energizing bathroom area designed to minimize clutter and maximize space.
Guests in search of a community atmosphere where they will feel a sense of belonging, warmth and community will enjoy the social aspect of the new lobby, which has been inspired metaphorically by elements of nature and great public parks from around the world. Game tables and oversized chairs encourage playful interaction while a communal table allows guests to work as a group or independently. The heart of the new lobby features Link @ Sheraton(sm) experienced with Microsoft®, a unique lobby lounge enabling today’s travelers – who live a digital lifestyle – to stay connected in today’s 24/7 digital world with instant access to information and technology to check email, research local attractions and even print boarding passes using free Wi-Fi and Internet-enabled computer stations. The Link@Sheraton is a unique environment that meets the needs of Sheraton’s core guest by enabling them to work, relax and remain connected to family and friends during their travels.
Meeting spaces will also draw from the nature elements used in the lobby design. Custom carpeting with patterns that evoke leaves, flowers and branches along with lighting sconces, glass fixtures and overhead lights bring a piece of the outdoors to the interior design. The renovations will also allow the Sheraton Dallas hotel to offer guests state-of-art technology in guest rooms and public areas. New flat panel HDTV’s will be installed in all guest rooms, suites, parlors and clubs and touch screen electronic monitors will be installed as directional guides in hallways throughout the entire hotel. Updates to the registration desk include an automated check-in kiosk for guests who prefer to bypass a personal check-in experience.
Green initiatives have also been incorporated into the renovations. In addition to using fluorescent lights, motion sensors and energy-saving appliances, the hotel is investing in an Energy Management System that will maximize a guest’s comfort level while they occupy the room and minimize energy consumption and waste when the guest rooms and meeting spaces are not in use.
New Leadership Appointed At Sheraton Dallas Hotel
Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide is pleased to announce that a new leadership team has been appointed to drive rebranding and renovation efforts at the Sheraton Dallas Hotel, as well as lead the property’s operational and marketing initiatives. Ray Hammer is general manager of the hotel and David Swift is director of sales and marketing.
Originally a Sheraton when it opened in 1959, the 1,840-room hotel reflagged to Adam’s Mark and became a Sheraton again in late April 2008. The hotel is undergoing a $90 million renovation to the guest rooms and public spaces that is estimated for completion in June 2009.
With over 10 years of experience as a general manager and over 20 years of hospitality experience, Hammer joined Sheraton Dallas Hotel after serving with The Westin Park Central and Sheraton Park Central in Dallas, Sheraton North Houston and Schaumburg Embassy Suites.
He originally started his career with Starwood as a chef, serving as executive chef for the grand opening of the Halifax Sheraton in Nova Scotia, Canada, and the PGA Sheraton Resort in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla. Hammer holds an associate degree in applied sciences from the Culinary Institute of America and an associate degree in hotel and motel management from the Essex Technical Institute.
Swift joined the Sheraton Dallas Hotel leadership team after serving as director of sales and marketing with some of Starwood’s San Antonio properties for nearly 10 years, including the Westin La Cantera Resort and the Westin Riverwalk. Prior to working with Starwood, Swift served with Marriott Hotels and Resorts at the Marco Island Resort & Golf Club in Marco Island, Fla., and the Austin Marriott at the Capitol. He holds a bachelor’s degree in political science from the College of Wooster in Wooster, Ohio.