Perhaps you've heard: Dallas is no longer the city of J.R. Ewing. Mayor Tom Leppert said as much during the topping-off ceremony at the convention center hotel, and his message was reiterated today at the House of Blues during the Dallas Convention and Visitor's Bureau annual meeting. Dallas CVB CEO Phillip Jones told his audience that the "1980s perception" of Dallas is on the way out: "It's not just about J.R., but it's about so much more that we're very proud of."
That "so much more" was illustrated in a preview sampling of short promotional videos that will be released for social media, and includes, but is not limited to: martinis, Ishi, Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders, Highland Park football, runway models, pick-up basketball, the City Tavern, generally attractive people and Big Tex, who sported just about the only cowboy hat in the mix. See for yourself here.
Mayor Leppert also spoke at the meeting, reiterating that whole just-say-no-to-J.R. thing. What Dallas needs to do, he says, is work on "changing that perception of what might have been 10, 15 years ago of the view of Dallas."
The CVB plans on selling the "new Dallas" to a whole heck of a lot of visitors too: Their total room booking goal for 2011 is 1,025,000 nights, announced CVB Chairman Tyrus Sanders. No doubt the Super Bowl will help in achieving that goal -- the big game was a major feature of the meeting.
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Jones gave a tiny tip o' his (non-cowboy, presumably) hat to Fort Worth and Arlington for getting ESPN and CNN, respectively, to broadcast game coverage, but reminded the crowd that Dallas will have 3,500 journalists staying in town during the Super Bowl. "That's great," for those cities, said Jones, "but we are going to get the lion's share of the coverage."
In addition to convincing folks we don't all ride to work on horses and hang out with a "covetous, egocentric and amoral oil baron," Jones also tasked the CVB members with refraining from charging outrageous prices to Super Bowl visitors. "Please work with our NFL partners," said Jones, "and make sure that they're happy and they leave with a good feeling about our city and they come back."
As if anyone needs to tell Dallas to play nice. After all, we're in the Friendly State, are we not? Surely that's more timeless-Dallas than dated-Dallas.