Grapevine’s Gaylord Texan Resort broke ground on September 8, 2016 on their $120 million expansion project. Expected to be complete in 2019, the construction will add more than 300 new guest rooms and 86,000 square feet of meeting space, bringing the hotel’s total to 1,811 guest rooms and 490,000 square feet of meeting space. The Grapevine property intends to compete for conventions and conferences as the 2nd largest hotel in Texas, right behind the Sheraton Dallas Hotel with 1,840 guest rooms.
Texas export volumes surpass other states by a substantial and growing margin, and the Houston metro area ranks No. 1 in the state merchandise exports, according to a report by The Perryman Group.Texas export shipments of merchandise totaled $251.1 billion in 2015. California ranked a distant second with $165.4 billion. The goods from Texas were bound for more than 200 markets around the globe. In terms of industries, Texas’ largest export category was computer and electronic products, with $45.4 billion of the total merchandise exported last year. Petroleum and coal products exports were 2nd and added $44.1 billion in exports. Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land topped the list with $119 billion, followed by Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington with $28.7 billion.
Amazon has announced an additional North Texas fulfillment center, marking the online retailer’s eighth Texas facility and big news for North Texas employment. The Seattle-based firm already employs more than 10,000 full-time hourly associates at its current Texas fulfillment centers. Amazon will move into an existing warehouse at DFW Airport in Coppell that will create 1,000 new jobs. Employees at this new facility will pick, pack and ship larger customer items, such as big screen televisions, kayaks, and patio furniture.
The Charles Schwab Corp. will build a $100 million, 500,000-square-foot regional campus in Westlake that ultimately will bring 1,200 jobs to North Texas within 10 years. The corporate complex will anchor a mixed-use development at the intersection of Texas 114 and Texas 170, where developers also plan a hotel, retail stores and residences. Gov. Greg Abbott said Tuesday that the project will get a $6 million grant from the Texas Enterprise Fund, creating the most new jobs of any enterprise fund grant made during his administration.
Flying burritos will soon be a reality over Virginia Tech. Chipotle is taking part in a test this month that will let some of the university’s students and staff have their favorite tortilla-wrapped meal delivered by drone.Virginia Tech is conducting the test with Project Wing, a unit of Google owner Alphabet Inc., which makes self-flying devices that deliver food, medicine and other goods. Chipotle’s burritos will be put together at a food truck and then loaded on a drone. The flights will take place at an undisclosed site on Virginia Tech property, but not at the main campus in Blacksburg, said Mark Blanks, director of Virginia Tech’s Mid-Atlantic Aviation Partnership. “It’s real customers that are working and need lunch and want it delivered by drone,” Blanks said. Hundreds of flights and burrito deliveries are expected to take place over several days, Project Wing said. It will just be burritos, though. Other menu items won’t be delivered by drone, said Chris Arnold, a spokesman for Denver-based Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc.