At a property with more than 600,000 square feet of indoor and outdoor event space, 11 ballrooms and 79 meeting rooms, plus 1,608 guest rooms, it could be easy for a group to get lost in the shuffle. Not so at Dallas’ Hilton Anatole. “Eighty percent of our business is 400 peak rooms or less, which is unusual for large properties,” says Harold Rapoza, general manager. Due to its space layout, the hotel can stack three or four smaller groups without them interacting with each other, he says.
The staff at Hilton Anatole is used to accommodating needs of high-profile guests. It regularly plays host to winter meetings of Major League Baseball, and in January served as headquarters for Ohio State during the College Football Playoff National Championship. The Buckeyes branded the entire hotel with its paraphernalia, adding to the spirit for the team that would go on to win the national championship game. Rapoza says the hotel can do branding packages for groups, ranging from elevator wraps to social media screens to window shams. “We come up with the design and the packaging,” he says. “More and more groups are finding that’s one part of this hotel that is unique; it’s so big and open that they can do a lot of branding.”
Return events are a big part of Hilton Anatole’s business, including groups like the American Football Coaches Association, American Medical Association, American Bar Association and QuakeCon, also known as the “Woodstock of gaming,” which held its 20th anniversary conference there in July.
It’s no surprise they keep coming back, as the property is continually updating, spending about $150 million on renovations over the last five years, including a major bandwidth upgrade. The next big project is building a $15 million resort pool, complete with high-end F&B, cabanas, waterslides and a family play area. Once completed around Memorial Day 2016, the pool area will accommodate events of up to 1,000 people.
Get outside at the property’s 7-acre park, which can do events for up to 3,000. “This feature is really unique because we can keep them on-site but have an out-of-hotel experience,” notes Rapoza.