Renamed in 2013 to honor the former U.S. senator from Texas, the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center is a sprawling venue anchored in downtown Dallas. With a 2-million-square-foot campus, the facility boasts more than 1 million square feet of exhibition space plus three ballrooms, more than 80 meeting rooms, an arena, a theater, and one of the largest column-free contiguous exhibit spaces in the United States. The KBHCC features a renowned public art collection and has expansive grounds that contain monuments, a cemetery, and a plaza where visitors can enjoy some green space in the heart of one of the South's most vibrant cities.
WHERE TO SLEEP
The Omni Dallas Hotel, which has 1,000 rooms, is attached to the KBHCC. Nearby, the Joule Hotel set in a neo-Gothic landmark building dripping with art and upscale service is a Dallas favorite. Another 3,000 hotel rooms are within walking distance of the center, including the Magnolia Hotel, a mid-range boutique property prized for its location and historic charm.
WHAT TO EAT
Few eateries are within walking distance of the KBHCC, so one of the center's four restaurants or its small food court may be the best option for a quick lunch. Impress clients with a five-star dinner at The French Room, or entertain groups from 12 to 800 guests in the historic elegance of the Aldolphus, a hotel with expansive meeting
and events space attached.
HOW TO GET THERE
Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport (www.dfwairport.com
) is 19 miles from the KBHCC, and taxis cost $45. Dallas Love Field (www.dallas-lovefield.com
) is seven miles
away and taxis are about $20. There are a variety of transportation options available, including the DART rail line, which provides efficient transportation to the convention center. The KBHCC has more than 2,000 parking spaces, with another 4,000 nearby.
The KBHCC is the exclusive provider of electricity, aerial rigging and lighting, catering, plumbing, and cable TV services.
Electricity to exhibits is left on 24 hours a day at no additional charge.
Seventy-five truck berths and the world's largest helipad ensure exhibitors ample access to the facility for loading and unloading of freight.
The venue does not have contracts or formal agreements with labor unions, though show organizers may institute their own.
All floorplans must be submitted to the center 30 days in advance.
The center uses flat-rate pricing, which includes all labor costs, for utility services.
The venue offers free Wi-Fi in its lobbies. Additional telecommunications services are available through Smart City Networks.
Requests to use balloons for decoration must be received 60 days in advance.
For a unique special-events venue, check out The Quixotic World Theatre House, a whimsical space for up to 200 attendees located in downtown Dallas.