LSAF 2020 – New Date, New Digs!
The Lone Star Audiofest is moving! We’ve had a good run at the Embassy Suites Park Central in North Dallas, but we’re changing venues this year.
Lone Star Audiofest 2020 will be held at the Embassy Suites Galleria in Dallas, Texas. The cost will be $120.00 per night. The parking charge is waived for LSAF exhibitors and attendees. Furniture can be moved, but it must be moved back before checkout. Alternatively, they will move furniture for you if needed for a flat-rate charge of $100.00.
It is near the Park Central property where we’ve met for the last ten years – just four miles west of it, actually. The room layouts are very similar too. So it will have must the same “look and feel” as prior shows.
One thing that’s different though: The carts are not very good for moving large equipment, so you might want to bring your own cart. You can find them at Lowe’s, Home Depot and Amazon.com for $50.00 to $200.00.
Embassy Suites Dallas Galleria
Bar, restaurant and lounge
Embassy Suites Galleria Floor and Room Layout
A little bit of history:
Our first show in 2005 was held at the Tulsa Embassy Suites. We called it the “Great Plains Audiofest” and it was there in 2005 and 2006. We decided to move the show to Dallas in 2007, and changed the name to “Lone Star Audiofest.” We initially held the show at Embassy Suites Market Center in 2007, and then moved to Embassy Suites Park Central in 2008, where it was held until 2019. We moved the show to Embassy Suites Galleria in 2020.
When choosing where to go in 2020, we evaluated Market Center, Park Central, Love Field, Frisco and Galleria. All were Embassy Suites properties. We settled on them a long time ago because of the two-room layout. We also like the free breakfasts and happy hour from 5:30 to 7:30. How fun is that? A two-hour happy hour!
We had a good run at the Park Central property, but it had been getting a little run down, so we had considered moving for the past year or two. We liked our old familiar spot, but between the decline in the neighborhood and the increasingly worn out furnishings there, we were getting ready to move.
And then John Busch of Manzanita Audio Solutions gave us the nudge at the last show in 2019 – He threw down the gauntlet and wrote Hilton corporate about the condition of the Park Central property. So they sold it.
No kidding! Hilton sold the property to Interstate Hotels and Resorts.
At first, we were hopeful they might improve the property, so we considered staying. But upon investigation in October 2019, they hadn’t updated the rooms yet and I’m not entirely sure they will, certainly not to the level we would want. They can’t improve the neighborhood, which has become a little bit “wrong side of the tracks.” So they were out of the running.
But we’ve always liked the Embassy Suites properties. I had found that way back in 2005 when I searched for hotels for the first shows in Tulsa. Same thing when we moved it to Dallas, where we looked at many other options, but came back to the Embassy Suites. The way they have a sleeper room with a door separating it from the “living room” makes these suites perfectly suited for exhibitors at the show. The living room becomes a show room for our sound gear, and the door to the sleeper room provides privacy for personal effects.
So I looked at Market Central again. Truth is, it is very much like Park Center right now. I don’t mean to be insensitive, but the homeless are everywhere in that area. There is a “homeless neighborhood” at the expressway turnaround, under the bridge that supports the highway right next to the hotel. So while I empathize with the plight of those unfortunates, I don’t think that’s where we want the show to be.
Love Field is a nice property, and it is similar in size to both Park Central and Market Center. Each of these three properties has eight stories with approximately thirty rooms per floor. Frisco is a nice property too, but it is considerably more expensive, at over $200/night. All the others are in the $120-$140 range.
Then there was Galleria. What attracted me to that property is it is a little smaller, being only six floors. It feels more suitable for our show. It is also in a nicer neighborhood, one that I hope won’t decline for years to come. Galleria has two ballrooms (Remington I and II) and a conference room, so we can have seminars there and exhibitors needing larger rooms can take advantage of those. And it has the same free breakfasts and happy hour that we have enjoyed.
The rooms are almost exactly like Park Central, so if you’re familiar with past shows, you’ll feel comfortable with the room layout. See the room layouts available (shown above) One difference is that all rooms on each floor are the same. At Park Central, there were four rooms on each floor (near the corners) that were a little larger. This isn’t the case at Galleria. They’re all the same there, with only very minor differences between rooms. Some have two double beds, and some have a single king size bed, for example. They also have handicap-accessible rooms. But for the most part, the rooms are all almost the same, especially in the living room.
The cost will be $120.00 per night. So that keeps us at an affordable price point. As usual, each exhibitor will book their own room. The hotel staff will keep us all on the same floor, unless we fill a floor and must spill over onto another.
There are 24 rooms on each floor that are great for exhibitors, all facing the atrium. There are an additional 7 rooms on each floor that are down a hall at the ends. Those aren’t desirable for exhibitors, but may be used by LSAF guests. The hotel knows this and will avoid placing us in those rooms. The rooms down the halls at the ends are x00, x01, x08, x09, x16, x24 and x25, where “x” is the floor number. All the other rooms facing the atrium are nearly the same and are perfect for exhibitors.