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NCEW does Dallas in 2010: don't let the boots and big hair fool you--Dallas is 'a big city where people do big things'.

If the phrase "Dallas, Texas" still conjures up images of JFK's motorcade, America's Team, or JR Ewing, you're in serious need of an update. You'll have an opportunity to gain just that when NCEW hosts its 2010 convention in the heart of North Texas.

With a suggestive new city slogan ("Where's your D spot?"), some five hundred new residents moving into the region every day, and the most "arts-intensive" metro area in the country, this simply ain't your daddy's Dallas any more.

Consider:

* Dallas boasts the largest urban Arts District in the country and a resurging music and club scene. There's the internationally acclaimed Nasher Sculpture Garden, with its collection of pre-Columbian art and twentieth-century sculpture, the Dallas Museum of Art, I.M. Pei's Morton H. Meyerson Symphony Center, and the Sixth Floor Museum, a moving tribute to President John. E Kennedy and the most tragic days of Dallas history--all within walking distance of one another. A short drive away is the Meadows Museum, home to the largest collection of Spanish art outside of Spain. And Fort Worth, just a half hour away, boasts the Modern Art, Amon Carter, and Kimbell museums. Indeed, Dallas-Fort Worth (DFW) is the most arts intensive metro area in the country per-capita, with $6,654 in expenditures per person on the cultural arts each year.

* And let's not omit the culinary arts. Did you know there are more restaurants per capita in Dallas than in NYC? They range from the home-grown elegance of The Grape and York Street restaurants to the trendy and nationally renowned Nobu and N9NE dining establishments.

* With some six million people, the Dallas-Fort Worth area is the largest metropolitan area in the Lone Star State and the fourth-largest in the country. DFW is more populous than thirty-three states, and since 2000 it's been second only to Atlanta in growth.

* DFW has been the most dynamic urban region in the nation for nearly two decades, ranking first in job gains in the 1990s. Site Selection magazine has ranked DFW among the top three markets for new and expanding facilities for the last three years. At $300 billion-plus, the DFW economy is the size of an average European nation.

* DFW is headquarters to twenty-four Fortune 500 companies, landing it fourth among U.S. metros nationally and number one in Texas. The roster of recognizable names includes American Airlines, Southwest Airlines, Texas Instruments, Brinker International, Electronic Data Systems, JC Penney, Blockbuster, Radio Shack, GameStop, etc. As a friend who had moved here in the 1980s from Phoenix told me when I first considered making a similar move in 2002: "Dallas is a big city where big people do big things."

* The region has a distinct international flavor and is served by twenty-three foreign consulate offices and six foreign trade offices. DFW is home to one of the largest and fastest-growing Hispanic populations in the country. Dallas was ranked among the top-five cities for Hispanics and African-Americans by Hispanic magazine in August 2006 and Black Enterprise magazine in 2004.

* Fifteen members of the National Academy of Sciences and four active Nobel Laureates are on the faculty at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas.

* Long regarded as a bastion of conservatism, Dallas has shown in recent years a propensity to elect Democrats to local office. Two of the past three Dallas mayors are Democrats. In the 2006 elections, Democrats swept all forty-two contested judgeships in Dallas Country. (Yes, we still elect judges in Texas.)

You get the picture. There's a lot more to Dallas than boots, barbeque, and big hair. The Dallas Morning News and other convention sponsors are eager to show it to you.

We expect to headquarter the convention in downtown Dallas, within walking distance of scores of museums, restaurants, and the flagship Neiman Marcus department store. We'll build in time to ride the Trinity Express commuter rail into Fort Worth, just forty minutes away, to check out the National Cowgirl Museum and Hall of Fame and the historic Stockyards district in The City Where the West Begins. We might even stop halfway between the two rival cities to get an up-close and personal look at the new Dallas Cowboys stadium in Arlington, scheduled to open for the 2009 season with a retractable roof boasting the world's longest single-span roof structure.

Dallas is as centrally located as possible and remarkably easy to get to, whether you're driving or flying. Served by two airports and more than two dozen airlines, it isn't more than a two- to three-hour flight from most anywhere in the country. Hotels are affordable.

Times they are a changin'. Let us show you the real Dallas in 2010.

Keven Ann Willey is the editorial page editor at The Dallas Morning News. Email: kwilley@ dallasnews.com
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Author:Willey, Keven Ann
Publication:The Masthead
Date:Sep 22, 2007
Words:797
Previous Article:Consider a new way to select NCEW's convention cities: bidders are getting harder to come by.
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