With its mild climate, many restaurants and live entertainment, and proximity to other Texas cities, Austin offers convention planners an attractive package. Its facilities, which include more than 12,000 hotel rooms, are well suited to the needs of large gatherings. The Austin Convention Center boasts 246,000 square feet of exhibit space, and its 54 meeting rooms total 61,440 square feet of space. At 43,300 square feet of space, its Grand Ballroom is the largest ballroom in Texas. In 2005 construction began to transform the Lester E. Palmer Auditorium into the Joe R. and Teresa Lozano Long Center for the Performing Arts. This $77 million project will produce a grand performance hall with seating for 2,400, as well as a smaller theater to accommodate conventions and receptions. The Texas Exposition and Heritage Center lies east of the downtown area. The Performing Arts Center and the Erwin Center on the University of Texas at Austin campus offer a variety of large meeting and performance spaces, while a number of hotels can provide banquet and meeting rooms for smaller gatherings.
Convention Information: Austin Convention & Visitors Bureau, 301 Congress Ave., Ste. 200, Austin, TX 78701; telephone (512)474-5171; toll-free 800-926-2282; email firstname.lastname@example.org