Eye on Travel

Radio Guest List — Hall Arts Hotel in Dallas, Texas — December 21, 2019

Photo Credit: Joseph Haubert

Locations in this article:  Dallas, TX

This week’s broadcast of Eye on Travel comes from the Arts District in Dallas, Texas and the new Hall Arts Hotel. First, a report: will the 737 Max ever fly again? The latest on not just the investigation but also Boeing’s decision to suspend production of the troubled jetliner. Roger Dow, CEO of the U.S. Travel Association, with an update on what to expect in the world of travel for 2020. And then a look at the transformation of Dallas and the art scene, led by the vision of Craig Hall. We’ll also talk to the CEO of the Perot Museum, Linda Silver, and Kourtny Garrett, the woman driving the resurgence of downtown Dallas. And Rebecca Rothney, Founder of Pack for a Purpose, on what we as travelers can do to help those in need with what they need, every time we travel. There’s all of this and more on this week’s episode of Eye on Travel from the Hall Arts Hotel in Dallas, Texas.

Photo Credit: Joseph Haubert


Click here to listen to the show streaming live from 10 a.m. until 1 p.m. ET on Saturday, December 21, 2019.


Have a travel question? Then ask Peter. E-mail him at peter@petergreenberg.com, or tweet your questions to @petersgreenberg (include #AskPeter).


Kourtny Garrett, President & CEO of Downtown Dallas Inc., talks about the changes in Downtown Dallas over the last 20 years. The heart of downtown is driven by the business district, but the urban core of Dallas continues to evolve. She says that the organization is overseeing $4 billion worth of projects in the next year. Then, she dives into the Art District’s impact on the changing city. It’s more than just a place to stay overnight because the art is integral to what you experience here.


Eddie Abeyta, Director of Design of HKS, speaks about the Hall Arts Hotel and its location in the heart of the Dallas Arts District. He sees it as an intersection of creativity through visual and performing arts. A lot of intent was put forth in deciding what to put here that would compliment the space and be right for the community. The hotel’s inside is designed with specific detail to light. He thought a lot about how the spaces were designed but also all of the light necessary to showcase the art.


Patricia Meadows, Hall Art Hotel Art Curator, was the main art curator for the guest rooms within the new hotel. All of the guest rooms celebrate the Arts District and have a focus on local artists. There are 17 local artists featured within the guest rooms, and there are about 450 art pieces in those rooms. She also speaks about working with the hotel’s owner, Craig Hall, and his involvement with the art in the hotel. Hall has put art in every development he’s had and he knows what he likes. The hotel has toyed with the idea of people being able to buy the art, but currently it has created a book you can buy with all proceeds going to the Hall Arts Foundation.


Roger Dow, President & CEO of U.S. Travel Association, speaks about what travel trends we can expect to see in 2020. As we near another election season, many travelers experience trepidation. The trepidation of travel to the U.S. though could mean continued lower prices for U.S. citizens traveling abroad. He also explains what travelers need to know about the REAL ID, what it is, when you need to get it, and what you can expect it to change in travel throughout the U.S.


Rebecca Rothney, Founder & Chairperson of Pack for a Purpose, shares her organization’s mission of teaming with local destinations and travelers to supply those in need with what they need around the world. Verified nonprofits and trusted organizations around the world list the items needed on the website, https://www.packforapurpose.org/. Then, travelers can pick what they are bringing, let the organization know what they are bringing, and show up with it. The website is a system that allows the organizations in need to refresh and update needs. For example, if someone brings 100 toothbrushes, the organization can remove that from its site as not to end up with more. The organization gives travelers a way to connect with the destination they are traveling to on another level.


Tui Snider, Author of 100 Things to Do in Dallas – Fort Worth Before You Die, speaks about writing the book and how she took a lot of reader input. Instead of the large one off-bucket list items, her suggestions steer towards the places people grew up within the cities. There are also quirky spots to visit like the Doll House Museum, which hosts over 20,000 dolls or the National Cowgirl Museum. Then, she gives us her favorite breakfast spot, the Old South Pancake House. German pancake is a must try and prepared right at your table. There is a surprisingly high German population in Dallas and even a German, Southern dialectic.


Natalie Gempel, FrontRow Editor for D Magazine, talks about the best things to do in Dallas during the holiday season. She recommends a trip to the Arboretum, which features a 12 days of Christmas display and a Christmas village. There are seasonal favorites like the carriage rides through Highland Park and of course, The Nutcracker. There are also new holiday traditions being formed through pop-ups like the HIDE Bar Christmas pop-up. She also gives her favorite spots to visit year-round including Lockhart, Pecan Lodge, and her favorite spot for barbeque, Slow Bone.


Craig Hall, Chairman and Founder of Dallas-based HALL Group, explains what brought him to Texas and the positive attitude and culture of the city that kept him here. In addition to Hall Arts Hotel, he has built two hotels in Paris and one in Napa, but he’s not concerned about and doesn’t want to form a brand. He wants to create individual, unique places that fit into the locations he builds. For Hall Arts Hotel, he wanted to create a comfortable place for business people during the week, and a great place for people to visit or staycation. This hotel was long in the making, with a lot of years of planning.


Linda Silver, Ed.D., Eugene McDermott Chief Executive Officer of the Perot Museum, gives us an overview of the world famous museum and why it’s different than any other you’ll walk into. The museum is a combination of the city’s science, natural history, and children’s museums, so there is something for everyone to experience there. She also describes some of its more popular exhibitions and some of its more exciting on loan features. It even has an exclusive exhibition from South Africa that features human fossils and artifacts, which date back over 250,000 years.


Zac Harmon, Executive Director at the Old Red Museum of Dallas County History and Culture, explains how this museum showcases the true Dallas. Most people, especially international travelers, look at Dallas as the city where a presidential assassination took place. This is one of the worst things that can happen to a city publicity-wise, but it has maintained the status of being a leader in the South. Dallas is an economic leader in the South and each of its galleries showcases a 10-minute movie that gives you a window into Dallas’ history. The museum starts with John Hinkley Bryant and moves through today.