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News & Press: General Tourism News

New Developments

Wednesday, March 15, 2017   (0 Comments)
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Cowboy Mounted Shooting Association Returns to Amarillo for Next Five Years

It has been a natural fit from the start; the Cowboy Mounted Shooting Association and Amarillo.

A regular fixture of fall events in Amarillo since 2008, the CMSA board has approved a five-year contract extension with the Amarillo Tri-State Exposition and the City of Amarillo to keep the CMSA Wrangler World Championship in Amarillo through 2021.

CMSA is a fast-growing equine sport that features top shooters riding some of the fastest horses through a set course. The contestants use two .45 caliber single action revolvers loaded with five rounds of blank ammunition. The most accurate shooter combined with the fastest horse wins.

For those who prefer, there are categories for rifle competition.

Contestants are required to dress western, either in a contemporary style or more frequently in the style of the late 1800s.

“It’s like drag racing on horseback, only you slow down just a bit to shoot your targets and complete the course,” Dan Plaster, president of the CMSA, says. “Our relationship with Amarillo has been outstanding and the board was very excited to nail down our event in Amarillo for the next five years.”

“We knew this would be a good pairing. Each weekend the CMSA is in town for the World Championships, they attract hundreds of contestants and their impact is over $500,000. So we welcome them back with open arms,” Dan Quandt, Vice President of the Amarillo Convention & Visitor Council, says.

The 2017 CMSA Wrangler World Championships are Oct. 18-21 in the Amarillo National Center.

New Developments in Beaumont

Cinemark Tinseltown: Luxury Loungers

3855 Interstate 10 S
Beaumont, TX 77705
Cost: $7.75 and up

The movie experience at Cinemark Tinseltown has been taken to the next level! A huge renovation means you can now watch movies just like you are in your own home. There are luxury electric-powered lounger recliners complete with footrests and cup holders. All seating is reserved so you don’t have to stress out about not getting there in time. Cinemark has taken the average movie trip and transformed it into the ultimate movie experience! See more at:

Wreck It Room

6370 Phelan Blvd
Beaumont, TX 77706
Cost: $30 - $60

Traffic have you fed up? Boss always breathing down your neck? Is your family being annoying? Take out all that aggression (in a healthy way, of course). The Wreck It Room is on Phelan and provides a place where you can let out your frustrations by destroying objects. You can choose between a baseball bat, crowbar or hammer and go to town on old computers, copy machines and just about any other type of device you can think of. Customers are required to wear gloves and a face shield (and it’s probably best to wear protective clothing too). Wreck It Room is open Tuesday - Thursday 11:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m., 4:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m. Open Friday - Saturday 3:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m. See more at:

The Haunted Hotel Experience

447 Orleans St
Beaumont, TX 77701
Cost: $35, per person

Over the years, you’ve probably made a visit to the Haunted Hotel in downtown Beaumont. You survived, right? This time you may not be so lucky! Three rooms and one hour, can you escape The Experience? You are given clues and the opportunity to find your way out of different situations within the hotel. Right now the Apartment Experience Room and CSI Diner are the hot places to check out. The Experience makes for a fun date night and they even have corporate options if you want to check it out with your work team! See more at:

High Ground Air Soft

5545 Eastex Freeway
Beaumont, TX 77706
Cost: $20 - $50

High Ground Airsoft has been open for a few years in Beaumont, but they are always changing up the scenery and floor design to keep it feeling like a new experience inside. Airsoft replicas look like real firearms but shoot small plastic BBs which allows for realistic battle and tactical scenario game play. The indoor, fully air conditioned, 30,000 square foot building has two play floors, a fully stocked pro shop and a private party room. Guests are encouraged to wear tactical loads outs which serve as protection from the impact of BBs. See more at:

Jumping World

2651 11th street
Beaumont, Tx 77701
Cost: $6 - $11

Jumping World has been around for about a year, but they are always adding new entertainment options to keep everyone in the family happy! One popular option: Teen Nights and Dodge Ball Tournaments! Jumping World offers a huge main court with the longest trampoline lanes in Texas, a foam pit, toddlers court, 2 Dodge Ball Courts, a slam dunk court, birthday party booths, private rooms, video game arcade and more! You can celebrate a birthday or set up a fundraiser too! See more at:

Kingdom Zoo Wildlife Center

1605 Strickland
Orange, TX 77630
Cost: $5 - $20 donation

Kingdom Zoo is a new, exciting wildlife center in Pinehurst (near Orange). This micro zoo houses 100 species of small exotic animals from six continents ranging from rare species of tarantula to rainforest dwellers like the coatimundi and the beautiful and rarely seen aracari toucan.  For now, they are open two Saturdays a month and by appointment on Thursday evenings. Check the website each month for the open Saturdays. See more at:

Elise’s Family Fun Center

18291 Englin Road
Winnie, TX 77665
Cost: $20

New at Elise's Family Fun Center in Winnie is a fun trained named “The Moonshine Express” and a new Pirate Cove black light state of the art mini golf course! The train and golf course is the latest addition to a huge selection of entertainment options for the entire family. Elise’s offers more than 300K square feet of indoor fun including: roller skating rink, bumper cars, inflatables, go carts, arcade games and much more.

We can’t talk about family entertainment without mentioning one of our favorite stops: Gator Country! There are new renovations and a few new guests now living at the wildlife rescue ranch off Interstate 10. Check out more of Beaumont's things to do for other entertainment including roadside attractions, museums and outdoor adventures. See more at:

Jimmy Buffet Returns to Frisco

It is that time again to grab your shaker of salt and put those “Fins Up.” Jimmy Buffett and the Coral Reefer Band, together with Special Guest ZZ Top will perform at Toyota Stadium for one night only on SATURDAY, June 10th at 7pm.

Local Parrotheads won't want to miss their chance to soak in the full Margaritaville experience.

Dan Hunt, President of FC Dallas & Toyota Stadium said, “It is my great pleasure to welcome our friend Jimmy Buffett back to Toyota Stadium in Frisco Texas. We have been very fortunate to have Jimmy Buffett and the Coral Reefer Band as a mainstay of our venue, and are excited for the migration of the parrot head nation. We are also proud to be welcoming Special Guest ZZ Top to Toyota Stadium. It’s really amazing to be able to bring iconic musicians together for fans across the Metroplex.”

Turning Margaritaville into a musical has been an idea for quite a while but now it's gearing up to make its debut. "Escape to Margaritaville" will have its world premiere at the La Jolla Playhouse, in La Jolla, California, in May 2017. After that, the musical will make a pre-Broadway stop in New Orleans, Houston and Chicago. The play will feature the music and lifestyle of Jimmy Buffett, from an original story, and includes both new songs and the most-loved Buffett classics. Speaking of Buffett classics, the most famous of them all, "Margaritaville" has been inducted into the 2016 Grammy Hall of Fame for its cultural and historic significance. Another milestone this year is the 40th anniversary of the 1977 album Changes In Latitudes, Changes In Attitudes, which featured the debut of “Margaritaville.” Other iconic songs from that record are regularly performed on tour as requested by the fans, such as the title track, “Changes In Latitudes, Changes In Attitudes,” “Lovely Cruise,” and “Banana Republics.”

Tickets went on sale March 3 and are available at,, or charge by phone at 855.492.8053.

Grapevine Convention & Visitors Bureau

New:  LEGOLAND® Discovery Center welcomes two new Interactive Exhibits

Opening:  Grapevine Vintage Railroad is now open for the 2017 season.

Historic Casino Hall in La Grange – Renovation Completed

The Historic Casino Hall in La Grange is one of the city’s oldest and most significant buildings.  Having completed an almost $4million renovation, the two-story building includes a performing arts center, La Grange Visitors Center, and office space.  Originally built by German immigrants, the building continues to maintain the Casino Gemütlichkeit spirit and will provide a place of friendliness and good cheer for years to come.

 See more of the Historic Casino Hall in CBS Austin’s Road Trippin’ video.

The Apex Centre Now Open in McKinney

McKinney's New Aquatics and Fitness Facility opened March 2. This 80,000 square foot aquatics and fitness facility includes a gymnasium, an elevated track, a supervised playroom, classrooms, locker rooms and an outdoor leisure pool with 10,000 square feet of surface water. Conference and party rooms are available to event rental. The Apex Centre was a cooperative project with the City of McKinney Parks & Recreation Department and the McKinney Community Development Corporation. 3003 Alma Road, McKinney, TX 75070.

New Museum Opening in Palestine

Texas State Railroad Society Museum at 808 W. Oak Street grand opening March 24, 2017.

Home2Suites Now Open in Portland

A Home2 Suites by Hilton opened on Valentine’s Day in Portland, Texas—across the bay from Corpus Christi. The state-of-the-art, all-suite hotel features complimentary WiFi and a fully equipped kitchen, complete with a full-size refrigerator, dishes, microwave, and flatware. A full breakfast with more than 400 options is offered every day at the brand’s Inspired TableTM. The hotel offers a business, along with an outdoor saline pool, fitness facility, and laundry area.

Home2 Suites in Portland is located at 139 Buddy Ganem Drive in Portland. Call them at 361.643.1000 or visit at

The Texas Heritage Trails Program Needs YOU!

 Please send your legislators an email (letter) or call to SAVE the Texas Heritage Trails Program ($ 2.5 MILLION - $75 K per trail x 10 regions x 2 years). For every dollar spent on tourism, the return on investment is over $ 7.70 & HERITAGE TOURISM IS OVER $ 13! That means BIG money BACK for Texas & saves our TEXAS CULTURE & HISTORY!

It’s very easy! Please take a few minutes to do this to help save this important program that BRINGS IN MONEY to Texas!

 As we move forward, please email or call the regional Director listed on the above website ASAP if you or your region have an advocate for the program on either the Appropriations or Finance Committee.

Lunar and Planetary Science Conference to Be Held in The Woodlands For Ninth Year

Planetary scientists from around the world will converge on The Woodlands for the 48th Lunar and Planetary Science Conference (LPSC) March 20–24 at The Woodlands Waterway Marriott Hotel and Convention Center. The annual conference, which brings together international specialists to present the latest results of research in planetary science, has been a significant focal point for planetary science research since its inception in 1970, when it was known as the Apollo 11 Lunar Science Conference, and it’s a key meeting group for The Woodlands Convention and Visitors Bureau.

The robotic and human lunar missions in the 1960s and 1970s resulted in a huge growth in understanding of the Moon, and the conferences in the early years were a forum for presentation of new thoughts about the formation of the Earth-Moon system with a strong focus on the study of lunar samples. The word “Planetary” was added to the name of the conference in the late 1970s to reflect the expansion of the meeting to include research about the entire solar system.

“The Lunar and Planetary Institute has hosted the Lunar and Planetary Science Conference (LPSC) in The Woodlands for the past several years, and we have always been warmly welcomed by the town, meeting venue, businesses and community,” said Kira Honnoll, LPSC meeting planner. “LPSC brings nearly 2,000 university and NASA scientists from all over the world to The Woodlands.”

Conference attendance has grown from just a few hundred scientists in 1970 to approximately 1,800 scientists from 35 countries ast year. One of the reasons LPSC continues to thrive and grow is that it is clearly a meeting that is accessible and important to young scientists, reflected by the fact that student participation makes up nearly 30 percent of the overall attendance.

“We’re happy to have LPSC back for another year here in The Woodlands,” said Nick Wolda, president of The Woodlands Convention and Visitors Bureau. “The convention always brings incredible ideas and people to The Woodlands to experience our great site. We’re proud to be known as the host town to such an important convention in the planetary science community.”

To plan your visit to The Woodlands and for a complete list of hotels, go to or call 281-363-2447. “Like” The Woodlands Convention & Visitors Bureau on Facebook at, “follow” them on Instagram and Twitter at @TheWoodlandsCVB and “view” them on YouTube

New Developments Now Open in Tyler

1836 Kitchen

1836 Texas Kitchen is a new kind of Texas flavor. Made up of a wide range of flavors that make up the Lone Star State, there’s nothing on this menu that won’t satisfy your craving.

ETX Brewing Co.

Two brothers joined forces to create a family-owned microbrewery just off the square that offers East Texas exceptional craft beers.

Texas Association of Convention and Visitor Bureaus
PO Box 8665
Round Rock, TX  78683
Phone: 512-550-3464
Copyright © 2013 by TACVB - All rights reserved.

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