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Blog

Rida Development to Build New Convention Center Hotel

Houston officials have chosen Rida Development Corp. to build the new 1,000-room convention center hotel adjacent to the George R. Brown. The hotel will be developed on the block immediately north of Discovery Green and attached via a skybridge to the convention center. Houston-based Rida will team up with Morris Architects, a well-established local firm with almost 75 years of experience in the Houston area. "We are so excited to be developing this transformational hotel in our home city…

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And Then There Were Two

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 &…

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Sorella Earns Top Honor Among Lifestyle Properties

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 of…

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Fox Biz Anchor Brings the Show to Houston

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 she's in town…

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Zoo Lights to be a Signature Holiday Event

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…

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Texas' Tall Ship Undergoing Repairs, Set to Sail in Early 2013

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 Houston…

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Texas' Tall Ship Undergoing Repairs, Set to Sail in Early 2013

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 an article in…

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Philanthropist Gives $1.5 Million to Houston Arts Groups

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…

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