Fort Worth, Texas, is perhaps the most iconic of Old West destinations, with a cowboy heritage shining through in its working Fort Worth Stockyards, a must-visit site for leisure travelers and meeting delegates alike.
But many may not know that Fort Worth is a world-class arts and museum town with event-ready fine arts institutions.
“Fort Worth is home to a mix of ‘cowboys and culture,’” said John Cychol, vice president of meeting sales at Visit Fort Worth, echoing the destination’s tagline. “From the world’s only twice-daily cattle drive to Michelangelo’s first painting, visitors are immersed in the creative energy of the city the moment they set their boots down.”
And if attendees come to town in need of a new pair of boots, M.L Leddy’s, at the foot of the Stockyards, is a feast for the eyes and nose with its rows of colorful cowboy boots and smell of fresh boot leather. Groups can even make special arrangements for attendees to come in and pick out their own cowboy boots—a great perk for VIPs.
New developments of interest to event planners include:
- The new TEXRail commuter rail line that connects downtown Fort Worth into DFW.
- Planning for a major renovation and expansion of the Fort Worth Convention Center.
- Stockyards Heritage Development Co.’s $175 million renovation of historic Mule Alley in the Stockyards, which in 2020 will include the new 200-room Hotel Drover, a Marriott Autograph Collection Hotel with 15,000 square feet of meeting space and an “event barn.”
While Fort Worth is home to world-class museums and culture, its authentic Western spirit is always close enough to be roped in.
“Fort Worth is one of the most distinctive destinations because of how authentic and genuine of an experience it offers visitors,” Cychol said. “Most importantly, it is seen as the ‘Texas’ people expect when they come to the Lone Star State.”
4 Fantastic OffSites
Billy Bob’s Texas
Touted as the world’s largest honky-tonk, this three-acre indoor Stockyards district expanse features its own indoor rodeo arena, dozens of bar spaces, a giant dance floor and a live-music offering that stages top touring country and western acts. Catering options range from downhome Texas barbecue to vegan and vegetarian options. From line dancing and mechanical bull riding to armadillo races, this is as Texas as it gets.
Fort Worth Stockyards
The Fort Worth Stockyards is the beating heart of the iconic Old West cattle town and offers four Western-themed spaces for groups from 50 to 750. Event planners can rent the Lone Star Room, Stockman’s Club, Stampede Room and Heritage Room at the century-old Stockyards Station, which can arrange for catering, entertainment and event design. Stockyards Station also offers more than 20 shops and restaurants.
Fort Worth Zoo
The oldest zoo in Texas—and ranked one of the top five in the nation by USA Today—opened a new event pavilion near the African Savanna where guests can mingle near zebras and ostriches and feed the giraffes. Sixty-four acres of landscapes are available for corporate events, teambuilding and other activities for groups from 75 to 7,500 and can include animal encounters. Turn-key services such as catering, staging and linen rentals are offered.
The National Cowgirl Museum & Hall of Fame
The National Cowgirl Museum & Hall of Fame recently finished a $5.5 million renovation of its second floor, which now features a wall-to-ceiling video twice daily projecting life-size horses. This tribute to the women of the West offers a rotunda, Hall of Fame, the Spirit of the Cowgirl Theater and exhibit galleries as event venues. Catering is arranged via a list of nine area vendors.
Fort Worth CVB Information
Visit Fort Worth
Fort Worth is located in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex of North Texas. The city is approximately 23 miles west of Dallas Fort Worth International Airport (DFW) and just over 30 miles from Dallas Love Field Airport (DAL).