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Amarillo, TX Event Planning

Key Highlights

Hotels 60
Total Sleeping Rooms 6,000
Committable Sleeping Rooms* 175
Committable Meeting Rooms* 8
Convention Center Space 410,000 Sq. Ft.
Largest Exhibit Space 410,000 Sq. Ft.
Largest Ballroom 25,000 Sq. Ft.
Average Hotel Room Rate USD $83
Average Daily Meal Cost USD $46
Average Weekly Car Rental USD $363
*Maximum for a single hotel

Amarillo, TX Meeting Planning Overview

Welcome to the Amarillo Meeting and Event Planning Guide, a City Guide written for meeting planning professionals. A modern, sophisticated destination boasting a strong Western heritage, convenient Texas Panhandle location and a variety of meeting facilities and unique venues, Amarillo offers a perfect blend of 21st-century economy and historical wealth. Situated almost equidistant from both coasts and along I-40, one of the busiest east-west highways in the country, Amarillo is not only a major destination for Old West enthusiasts, but also a fantastic meeting and event destination. The city's year-round attractions, vibrant arts scene, spectacular canyon country and stretch of historic Route 66 put Amarillo on the meeting and travel destination map.

Founded in 1887 at the intersection of two railroads, Amarillo now sits at the intersection of two major interstates, I-40 and I-27. Lying seven miles outside of the city center and fresh off a $52-million upgrade, the Rick Husband Amarillo International Airport offers nonstop service to major regional markets, including Dallas, Houston, Denver and Las Vegas. The airport handles more than 200 takeoffs and landings each day, with service from American Airlines, Southwest Airlines and United Airlines, along with various general aviation aircraft and military flights.

The Tri-State Exposition fairgrounds events complex and the Amarillo Civic Center Complex serve as the city's two major meeting and event venues. Amarillo Tri-State Expo offers 488,000 square feet of arenas, stalls, riding and workspace; it hosts large-scale meetings and sporting events in its Amarillo National Center, which offers 5,000 permanent seats and 5,000 additional seats on the floor. Additional spaces include the 44,000-square-foot, 2,188-seat Rex Baxter Building and the 14,430-square-foot Commercial Exhibit Hall, as well as equestrian and livestock centers. Located in the downtown area, the Amarillo Civic Center Complex hosts meetings, conventions, trade shows, banquets and sporting events throughout its 410,000-square-foot complex. Spaces include the 4,870-seat Cal Farley Coliseum, 2,345-seat Amarillo Civic Auditorium and several exhibit halls, banquet halls and meeting spaces. The complex's Globe-News Center for the Performing Arts, which serves as the host of the Amarillo Opera, Amarillo Symphony and Lone Star Ballet, offers 1,300 seats, rehearsal and education rooms and a multi-level lobby. Amarillo's collection of year-round attractions, cultural venues and museums double as unique venues suited for private events and meetings. The picturesque Palo Duro Canyon State Park welcomes visitors to take in the 120-mile long, 800-foot-deep Palo Duro Canyon, often dubbed the “Grand Canyon of Texas,” as well as camp, ride horses, picnic and hike or bike along 30 miles of marked trails. The park's Pioneer Amphitheater is home to TEXAS, an outdoor musical drama and the state's official play, which runs throughout the summer months. The internationally famous musical draws thousands each year. Palo Duro Canyon State Park offers private event spaces at its Lone Star Interpretive Theater and Mack Dick Group Pavilion, among others.

Amarillo's variety of museums celebrate the city's Western heritage, art and sport, as well as offering rentable space for groups. The only museum in the Texas Panhandle dedicated solely to the visual arts, the Amarillo Museum of Art welcomes groups to gather amongst its renowned Asian art collection, as well as its American and European works. The Kwahadi Museum of the American Indian provides a glimpse into the cultures of the people of the Pueblos through its art and artifacts, as well as regular performances by the Kwahadi Indian dancers. Its indoor and outdoor activity areas, as well as beautiful grounds, provide a fantastic landscape for private events. The American Quarter Horse Hall of Fame Museum showcases the history and modern activities of the American Quarter Horse, as well as offering space rentals in its Grand Hall, theater/club room and gallery/classroom. Finally, situated a 20-minute drive outside of Amarillo, the Panhandle-Plains Historical Museum showcases Western and Panhandle history dating from the dinosaurs. The largest history museum in Texas, the Panhandle-Plains Historical Museum offers special event space in several large venues, including its 4,325-square-foot Pioneer Hall, 4,644-square-foot Derrick Room and 1,894-square-foot Hazlewood Lecture Hall.

About Amarillo, TX / Additional Info

Situated on the wide-open Great Plains and along the second-largest canyon in the country, the Texas Panhandle destination of Amarillo offers the very best for outdoor enthusiasts and history buffs, as well as art and culture seekers, thanks to its professional ballet, opera, symphony and theater companies. The city sits at the center of the Panhandle in a 26-county area bordered by New Mexico and Oklahoma. Literally meaning "yellow" in Spanish, Amarillo was named for the color of its Amarillo Creek soil and vibrant wildflowers. In fact, in the early days after its 1887 founding, many of Amarillo's houses were painted yellow in honor of its name.

Amarillo offers a unique mix of two American eras, including working ranches and a 21st-century economy built on heavy manufacturing, petrochemicals and modern ranching. The 88-square-mile destination is home to an exciting array of cowboy culture, including the Working Ranch Cowboy Association's annual World Championship Ranch Rodeo, held every November. The city is also home to the Amarillo Livestock Auction, one of the largest of its kind in Texas, as well as more than one mile of antiques shops and eateries along historic Route 66.

Many of Amarillo's attractions enable visitors to explore the region's natural beauty and heritage. Elkins Ranch Jeep Tours take passengers on open-air expeditions through Palo Duro Canyon terrain, with some tour options spanning the rim to the canyon floor. At Amarillo Botanical Gardens, visitors walk amongst themed gardens, ranging from a hummingbird garden to a Japanese garden, as well as a year-round tropical plant conservatory. The Don Harrington Discovery Center welcomes families to take part in hands-on science and technology exhibits to discover the fun of bubbles to the inner workings of the solar system. Amarillo Zoo shows visitors more than 60 species of animals, while Amarillo Little Theatre is one of the oldest continuously operating community theaters in the country, offering a diverse collection of productions each season.

Many of Amarillo's favorite restaurants honor the city's Old West legacy and historic Route 66 setting. Welcoming nearly 500,000 patrons each year, The Big Texan specializes in handcrafted beers brewed on-site and its famous 72-ounce steak, which is free of charge if eaten within one hour. The vintage Route 66 hamburger stand known as Golden Light Cafe is Amarillo's oldest restaurant, while the nostalgic Coyote Bluff Cafe is known for its try-it-if-you-dare "Burger from Hell." Providing a taste of the East, the Japanese steakhouse Kabuki Romanza offers dinnertime rain and light shows, as well as sumptuous teppan-style fare(cooked on an iron griddle).

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