Business is booming in Dallas, which anchors the fourth-largest employment center in the nation
They say everything is bigger in Texas, and it’s not just a trite phrase — Forbes’ three fastest-growing U.S. cities — which the magazine calculates using population and economic metrics — all call the Lone Star State home. Those include Dallas, a town of big hair, big personalities, and big job growth, at 4 percent.
You’ll find major companies headquartered here, such as AT&T, 7-Eleven, and Texas Instruments, along with many small businesses. A recent survey from Thumbtack.com and the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation gave Dallas an A+ grade for small-business friendliness, while a study from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation found Dallas’ municipal business regulation to be the most efficient in the country. Financial services, telecommunications, information technology, and medical research are all thriving industries.
If it’s been a while since you’ve been to Dallas, you may be surprised. “This is not the Dallas most people remember — there are more parks, more public transit, a stronger local music and arts scene, and a strong local food and beer scene,” says Geoff Barry, a lifelong Dallas-area resident who works as a community manager for Evernote and is a volunteer coordinator for an art nonprofit. “The last five to 10 years have really been a renaissance for the city.”
Ready to do some big business in Big D? Here’s what you need to know.
Planes, Trains, and Automobiles
You can fly from Sea-Tac to Dallas in about four hours nonstop on a variety of airlines, including Alaska, American, US Airways, and Southwest. Most flights will take you into Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport (DFW), although Southwest’s hub is at Dallas Love Field (DAL). Dallas-Fort Worth is a sprawling area, so most travelers opt to rent a car once they arrive. If you’re only going downtown, however, you can take the Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART) light rail from DFW, which takes about an hour. Uber and Lyft ride-sharing services both have a presence in the area as well.
The Power Lunch (or dinner)
“You’re in Dallas, so I’d definitely suggest a steak house,” Barry says. Options abound, but he likes Knife, located at Mockingbird Station on the light rail line. “You’ll be treated to some amazing cuts, and if you want to impress, you can try the 240-day dry-aged rib eye,” he says. Barry also likes Lark on the Park for its beer menu, rotating chalk art murals, and location near Klyde Warren Park. CBD Provisions, inside The Joule hotel, is another of his favorites. “It’s upscale, has interesting selections, and the décor is ideal for impressing clients or landing a sale,” he says. For stately elegance and top-of-the-line service, Mansion Restaurant, at Rosewood Mansion on Turtle Creek, is a sure bet, serving contemporary American cuisine with French influences.
Get Some Sleep
For those attending an event at the convention center, the Omni Dallas Hotel is the height of convenience, as it’s connected via a sky bridge. The LEED Gold-certified building features 110,000 feet of event space, multiple restaurants, and an infinity pool. Adjacent to the Arts District, the Fairmont Dallas offers spacious work desks and high-speed Internet access within a luxe contemporary environment. For a boutique vibe, Uptown’s Hotel ZaZa boasts themed suites (think Da Vinci and Russian royalty) that wow for small social events.
Gonna Make You Sweat
The Dallas Museum of Art, Crow Collection of Asian Art, and Nasher Sculpture Center are part of the 19-block Dallas Arts District that will satisfy the art connoisseur in you. For a dose of history, head to the Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza, which has an in-depth exhibit on the life, presidency, and death of John F. Kennedy. While you’re in the West End Historic District, stop by Wild Bill’s Western Store for a pair of beautiful cowboy boots or just to browse the oh-so-Texas accessories.