Known as the Rodeo Capital of the World, Mesquite is the beginning of Texas' agricultural belt, as hinted at by the nearby rural-sounding place names of Whispering Oaks, Heartland and Falcons Ridge. It can get warm here, the record being a July day in 1980 when the temperature soared to 112F. Texas A&M University has a campus here, which keeps the area young and Mesquite venues budget-conscious.
Event though the main airport, Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport (DFW), is approximately 30 miles away, Mesquite is a bit of a sprawl: east and north of Interstates 635 and 20, respectively, but also west and north to the Dallas suburbs of Hi-Point Square, Sunnyvale and Skyline, among other destinations. But from the planner's perspective, the area is just about the farthest eastern suburb of the Fort Worth-Dallas area, which means – as attendees won't need to go through Dallas to get anywhere in the area – access to Mesquite venues is quick.
The convention center, Resistol Arena (sometimes referred to as the Mesquite Convention Center), is home to the Mesquite Championship Rodeo. It has space for up to 7,000 persons, and tickets to the rodeo—for tie-down roping, steer wrestling, saddle bronc riding, etc.—can be secured for groups, too. It's about as Texas as you can get. Follow it up with an evening at Mesquite's Rodeo City Music Hall, which puts on performances by Country, Gospel and Bluegrass impersonators and tribute bands, or at the city's AMC Cinema Mesquite, which has 30 screens and seats almost 6,100 people, one of the largest multiplexes in the nation.
For yet another view of the Lone Star State, go five miles west, on the eastern shore of West Rock Lake, and visit the Dallas Arboretum & Botanical Garden – 66 acres of natural splendor that also has more than 10,000 square feet of meeting space.
Hotel venues in Mesquite are modest – Courtyard by Marriott, Comfort Inn Mesquite, Fairfield Inn, La Quinta Inn and Holiday Inn Express, among others. Only two, the 101-room Spanish Trails Inn (which describes itself as a "motel") and 160-room Rodeo Center Hampton Inn have more than 100 rooms.
Mesquite is firmly the land of the fast-food takeout, with the few standout restaurants being chain restaurants, albeit good ones in the classic barbecue and Tex-Mex arenas. The Saltgrass Steak House has a location.