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Houston Blog

  • September 24, 2012
    Houston First has narrowed the field of candidates vying to build a new 1,000-room convention center hotel down to two. Rida Development and TRT Holdings/Omni Hotel were chosen out of 11 groups that originally responded to a request for proposals, according to the Houston Chronicle . Rida Development is a Houston-based developer that's built major hotels and other projects in Texas, Florida and eastern Europe. TRT Holdings is a Irving-based holding company whose assets include Omni Hotels...
  • September 21, 2012
    Score another accolade for Hotel Sorella in CityCentre. The three-year-old boutique West Houston property was named Lifestyle Hotel of the Year at the Boutique & Lifestyle Hospitality Awards this week. The awards, handed out by the Boutique & Lifestyle Lodging Association at its annual event in Miami, honor properties in six categories. Sorella took the top spot in the lifestyle category. The Betsy Hotel in Miami Beach took Boutique Hotel of the Year and Jonathan Plutzik, principal owner...
  • September 19, 2012
    So just how important is Houston's economy in the national landscape? Important enough to merit a visit from Melissa Francis, host of Fox Business channel's Money with Melissa Francis . The savvy anchor formerly of CNBC has had a long career on television stretching back to childhood (she had a recurring role on Little House on the Prairie and says Michael Landon was a pretty good guy). Money will be broadcasting from Houston this Thursday and Friday. Francis' guests while...
  • September 18, 2012
    Every big city has a signature holiday light display. But Houston has been sorely lacking in this department--until this year. In November the Houston Zoo will debut Zoo Lights, a family-oriented attraction that will transform the campus into a holiday wonderland complete with more than 300,000 LED lights, 15 miles of tree lighting and seasonal songs and stories. TXU Energy is the presenting sponsor for the event, which will run from Nov. 23 - Jan. 5. Sip hot chocolate as you stroll through
  • September 14, 2012
    One of the region's most visited historic attractions is undergoing a major restoration effort. Texas' tall ship, the Elissa, was pushed by tugboats from her home on the Galveston Ship Channel to dry dock in Texas City earlier this month. The hull of the 1877 ship will be completely restored, bringing her back to seaworthy condition. The Elissa has been unable to sail since late 2010 when an inspection revealed that her hull was almost completely rusted through, according to the...
  • September 12, 2012
    Efforts are now underway to save one of the region's most beloved historical tourist attractions. Texas' "tall ship", the Elissa, was barged from her home on the Galveston Ship Channel to dry dock in Texas City earlier this month. The 1877 vessel is undergoing a $1.5 million restoration effort that will return her to seaworthy condition. The Elissa stopped sailing in January 2011 after an inspection found that her hull was nearly eaten through in certain places, according to...
  • September 11, 2012
    Longtime Houston arts supporter and philanthropist Kitty King Powell has donated $1.5 million to three local performing arts organizations. The Houston Ballet , Houston Grand Opera , and the Houston Symphony each received $500,000 from Powell, whose daughters announced the gifts earlier this month. The gift to Houston Ballet is earmarked to help support the new Houston Ballet Center for Dance, which opened in April 2011; monies directed toward the Symphony are to be used for the orchestra's
  • Proposal Would Improve City Parks System
    August 22, 2012
    If voters approve a proposed public bond package in November, Houston's parks will get some much needed green. The $410 million bond package would include $160 million for improvements to bayous and parks. City officials say the money will go a long way to connecting, expanding and improving parks citywide. Voters head to the polls November 6. The initiative has actually spawned an organization that hopes to raise awareness about the benefits of the bond proposal. The citizens coalition...
  • August 21, 2012
    Houston wants to host a mega bowl game--and the city's ready to make its case. Officials announced their plans on Tuesday to bid for the Champions Bowl, which will pit the top team from the Big 12 against that of the Southeastern Conference. The game would be played at Reliant Stadium. The other cities said to also be bidding for the Champions Bowl are Arlington, San Antonio, New Orleans and Atlanta. "The inclusion of Houston in this group of elite bowl destinations is a recognition of...
  • August 8, 2012
    UPDATE : Oxheart, the intimate tasting menu concept from Justin Yu made the narrowed list of the 10 best new restaurants in the country. Click here for more details. Three local restaurants have made Bon Appetit 's list of the best new places to eat in the nation, tying Houston with Portland for the most spots on the much-lauded roundup. Underbelly , Oxheart (pictured right) and Uchi were all included on the list of best new restaurant nominees. All three opened in the last year under
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