Nestled in the West 7th district, just off of Interstate 30, the Home2 Suites by Hilton Fort Worth Cultural District (1145 University Drive) celebrated its opening Wednesday, June 24. The newest hotel to open in Fort Worth, this 162-room property is owned by Southeastern Development and managed by LBA Hospitality.
“We’re thrilled to add another exceptional property to our growing Texas portfolio,” said Farrah Adams, Chief Operating Officer of LBA Hospitality. “The Home2 Suites Fort Worth Cultural District is situated in the heart of the Cultural district centrally located for our guests to enjoy dining, shopping, and world-class museums.”
The new Home2 Suites Fort Worth Cultural District offers all-suite accommodations with sleek, modern design and pops of cowboy flair. With a custom lobby layout, 60% larger than the prototype Home2 Suites, guests can enjoy the communal space at a safe social distance. The lobby features a double-sided breakfast bar and an open and modern Oasis, Home2’s expanded community multi-functional space for social gatherings, individual work, and meeting zones.
Accommodations consist of spacious studio and one-bedroom suites with a streamlined approach to storage and function, including fully-accessorized kitchens and modular furniture. The hip and stylish innovations include a “working wall,” which incorporates the kitchen and a flexible working/media space.
For outdoor space, there’s a cozy outdoor patio, complete with saline swimming pool and gas grills. Additional amenities include free WiFi, complimentary breakfast, and Spin2Cycle, the 24-hour fitness center, and laundry room combo where guests can do laundry while they work out. For business meetings and celebrations, the hotel offers 650 square feet of meeting space, accommodating up to 24 guests. Home2 Suites by Hilton Fort Worth Cultural District is pet-friendly.
With recent events top of mind, the hotel is taking all of the necessary precautions to protect the safety and wellbeing of guests and associates. Hilton has developed a global program introducing a new standard of hotel cleanliness and disinfection: Hilton CleanStay with Lysol protection. Hilton CleanStay program builds upon Hilton’s already high standards of housekeeping and hygiene, where hospital-grade cleaning products and upgraded protocols are currently in use, to ensure Hilton guests enjoy an even cleaner and safer stay from check-in to check-out.
Ft. Worth, aka. “The City of Cowboys & Culture” was named “Best of Travel” by Money Online, and earned a spot on the “Top 10 city for Young Professionals” list by Forbes Magazine. The Home2 Suites Fort Worth Cultural District is a short walk to West 7th Street, where guests can enjoy a stroll in Trinity Park, shop and dine in one of the dozens of restaurants and shops, and visit one of five world-class museums of the Cultural District.
With COVID-19 keeping folks at home over the past few months, people may be seeking opportunities to volunteer outdoors. At the same time, Fort Worth’s parks are suffering from too much litter and too few volunteers.
Keep Fort Worth Beautiful and the Fort Worth Park & Recreation Department are joining on a series of park cleanups. Between June 27 and Aug. 1, nine city parks are scheduled to be beautified.
Both organizations are seeking volunteers. Helpers can break up the monotony of being indoors while maintaining required social and spatial distancing.
City staff members will greet volunteers at each park on the day of the cleanup with gloves and trash bags. Just bring energy – and a facemask – along with your can-do spirit. Registration is required so enough supplies are available.
Saturday, June 27. Hallmark Park, 502 Sycamore School Road. Meeting location: north parking lot; eeds cleanup around the creek. Register to help.
Saturday, June 27. Oakland Lake Park, 1645 Lake Shore Drive. Meeting location: east parking lot. Register to help.
Saturday, July 11. Eugene McCray Park at Lake Arlington, 3440 Quail Road. Meeting location: north parking lot.
Saturday, July 11. Carter Park, 1414 E. Seminary Drive. Meeting location: south side of Carter Park Drive, first parking lot on the left.
Saturday, July 18. Cobb Park, 2600 Cobb Park Drive. Meeting location: north U-shaped parking lot by the pavilions.
Saturday, July 18. South Z Boaz Park, 5250 Old Benbrook Road. Meeting location: Winscott Road entrance, first parking lot on the right.
Saturday, July 25. Candleridge Park, 7427 S. Hulen St. Meeting location: near 4400 French Lake Drive, on-street parking.
Saturday, July 25. Sycamore Park, 2525 E. Rosedale St. Meeting location: parking lot off of Rosedale Street next to youth ball fields. .
Saturday, Aug. 1. Gateway Park, 750 Beach St. Meeting location: west parking lot next to dog park.
Museums in Fort Worth’s Cultural District are starting to reopen after closing in mid-March due to COVID-19 concerns. Here is opening information:
Amon Carter Museum. The Carter is set to reopen June 19, continuing with the mixed medium exhibition The Perilous Texas Adventures of Mark Dion and the internationally-celebrated photography exhibit Eliot Porter’s Birds.
Kimbell Art Museum. On June 20, experience the reopening of the Kimbell Art Museum featuring an extension of Flesh and Blood: Italian Masterpieces from the Capodimonte Museum. During the reopening, visitors can view more than 30 masterpieces from the Kimbell’s African, Ancient American and Asian collections that have been installed in the Louis I. Kahn Building, alongside the museum’s European paintings and sculpture.
Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth. The Modern will reopen July 1 with an extension of the esteemed exhibition Mark Bradford: End Papers. In addition, Red Groom’s Ruckus Rodeo will be on view through Aug. 16. The Modern has temporarily put a hold on in-person education programs and docent-led tours. Numbers of people per group on self-guided tours will also be limited. Magnolia at the Modern film series is aiming to return this summer, but will be determined at a later date.
Fort Worth Museum of Science and History. The museum hasn’t announced a reopening date but is aiming for mid-July. In the meantime, check out the online interactive Discovery Lab for an exciting digital experience.
National Cowgirl Museum and Hall of Fame. The museum, the Alice Walton Cowgirl Park and The Shop at The Cowgirl are reopening June 24 with a special opening and gift for supporting members on June 23. The exhibition Laura Wilson: Looking West will remain open until August.
In lieu of the traditional Juneteenth parade this year, Fort Worth residents have an opportunity to participate in a historic event: a 2.5-mile caravan through downtown Fort Worth to commemorate freedom from slavery.
Community activist Opal Lee will lead the event at 9 a.m. June 19. At 93 years old, Lee will continue her walking campaign to make Juneteenth a national day of observance. With 47 states officially recognizing Juneteenth as a holiday, Lee believes now is the time for national recognition to occur.
Residents can follow behind Lee from the Fort Worth Convention Center, 1201 Houston St., to Will Rogers Coliseum. Participants are encouraged to decorate their vehicles to show support.
“I believe Juneteenth can be a unifier because it recognizes that slaves didn’t free themselves and that they had help, from Quakers along the Underground Railroad, abolitionists both black and white like Frederick Douglass and William Lloyd Garrison, soldiers and many others who gave their lives for the freedom of the enslaved,” Lee said.
Walking to raise awareness is not new to Lee. She started a campaign to walk to Washington, D.C., in 2016 and relaunched it in 2019 to bring awareness to the fact that there is support for the Juneteenth holiday all across this nation.
Fort Worth City Councilmember Ann Zadeh was named secretary of the Regional Transportation Council (RTC). Zadeh was appointed to the RTC in 2017.
Johnson County Judge Roger Harmon was elected chair and will lead the 44-member transportation policymaking body for the next year.
Harmon replaces Denton County Judge Andy Eads, who has chaired the RTC through the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, which will continue to be an important issue as officials at all levels of government determine how to respond. Harmon, who was appointed to the RTC in 2001, will also lead the RTC during the 87th Texas Legislative Session, which begins in January.
Transportation funding is likely to be a focus of the next session as governments grapple with the changes in travel patterns and economic challenges brought on by the coronavirus pandemic and determine how to continue to meet the needs of residents no matter how they choose to travel.
Dallas County Commissioner Theresa Daniel is the new vice chair after serving as secretary for the past year. Daniel has been a member of the RTC since 2018.
The new officers will serve in their positions through June 2021.
As the transportation policymaking body for the 12-county Dallas-Fort Worth area, the RTC oversees transportation planning for the fourth-largest metropolitan area in the country. The region has a population of more than 7.5 million people and is expected to grow to more than 11 million by 2045. The RTC guides the development of roadway, rail and bicycle-pedestrian plans and programs; allocates transportation funds; and recommends projects to the Texas Transportation Commission.
The RTC also ensures transportation services are coordinated throughout the region and the metropolitan area complies with air quality regulations. Dallas-Fort Worth is currently in nonattainment for ozone and is working toward meeting the federal standards.
The policymaking body’s collaborative approach has helped the region develop a world-class, multimodal transportation system that provides residents choices of how to travel to work, school and recreational activities.
The RTC has also embraced technology as it seeks to pursue innovative ways to move people, such as high-speed transportation. It is currently examining high-speed options between Dallas and Fort Worth, including Arlington. High-speed rail, hyperloop technology and magnetic levitation are among the options that could be considered.
Additionally, the RTC is collaborating with metropolitan planning organizations between North Texas and South Texas to determine how cities along the bustling I-35 corridor could be connected by high-speed transportation.
The U.S. Census Bureau recently released population estimates as of July 1, 2019. According to these estimates, Fort Worth’s population is 909,585 and the city is ranked 13th nationwide, with 11,032 more people than 14th-ranked Columbus, Ohio, and 1,922 fewer than 12th-ranked Jacksonville, Fla.
Fort Worth’s population has surpassed three cities since 2017, first moving up from 16th in 2017, then to 15th in 2018 and 13th in 2019.
Fort Worth added 164,761 residents since the 2010 Census base estimate, equating to 22% growth since 2010.
Seattle has been the fastest growing large city (more than 500,000 population) since 2010, with 24% growth between 2010 and 2019, while Fort Worth and Austin are tied for second-fastest-growing large city.
Fort Worth is estimated to have added 16,369 people between July of 2018 and July of 2019, equating to 45 people per day.
The draft estimate of Fort Worth’s population by the North Central Texas Council of Governments (NCTCOG) is 873,130 as of Jan. 1, 2020. NCTCOG and the U.S. Census Bureau use different data sources, methodologies and timeframes for producing annual estimates, and both revise past annual estimates when producing new estimates.
Mayor Betsy Price declared a state of emergency and an 8 p.m. curfew in the interest of public health and safety. The nighttime curfew is established for all of Fort Worth, including public places and streets, beginning June 1. The nightly curfew will begin at 8 p.m. and will end at 6 a.m. the following morning.
“First, I want to acknowledge the injustice and tragic death of George Floyd and the mourning we are experiencing as a community and nation. I also want to commend those individuals who have assembled over the past couple of days to peacefully exercise their first amendment rights,” said Mayor Betsy Price. “It is important that we remain respectful of each other and our community. Unfortunately, there were individuals who displayed blatant disregard for the welfare of others – which is why we are enacting an 8 p.m. curfew.”
During the hours of curfew, travel on public streets or in any public place is prohibited. However, first responders and news media personnel are exempt. People traveling to and from work or school or seeking medical attention are also exempt.
Violating the curfew is a misdemeanor offense punishable by a fine up to $500.
The declaration of emergency is in place for up to 72 hours unless it is continued by the Fort Worth City Council.
The City Council’s Tuesday, June 2 meeting is rescheduled for Thursday, June 4 at 3 p.m. to accommodate the curfew and allow for residents to speak before Council. Residents can register to speak online or by phone during the resident comment portion of the meeting. Due to COVID-19 and the public health precautions in place, residents are encouraged to participate virtually for public comment. The City Council work session will still take place Tuesday, June 2 at 3 p.m. For questions about the declaration and curfew, residents and businesses can call 817-392-8478.
Because of the current curfew, the June 2 City Council meeting has been moved to June 4. The meeting will now begin at 3 p.m.
For the first time since March, the City Council chambers will be open to the public. Meetings have been conducted in a virtual format since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Visitors to City Hall must undergo a temperature check and health screening upon entering the building and masks or face coverings are required. To promote social distancing, seating will be limited in the Chambers. Residents planning to make an in-person presentation should arrive at least 15 minutes prior to the start of the meeting to allow time for screening and ensure seating is available.
Though in-person comments will be allowed at the 3 p.m. Council meeting, you may also call in to speak on an agenda item or during the public presentation portion of the agenda. To sign up to speak, use the link on the agenda,PDF File call 817-392-6150 or email the City Secretary. The deadline to sign up to speak is 1 p.m. on June 4.
Members of the City Council may be participating remotely in compliance with the Texas Open Meetings Act, Council Rules of Procedure, or under the provisions provided by the governor of Texas in conjunction with the Declaration of Disaster enacted March 13, 2020.
The Council work session will be on June 2 at 3 p.m. in Room 290 at City Hall, 200 Texas St. The Council meeting will be June 4 at 3 p.m. in the Council Chamber on the second floor of City Hall.
The June 9 Council meetings have been canceled.
To help control the flow of people and to distribute guests throughout the day, the Fort Worth Zoo will temporarily enact a reservations system when it reopens on May 29.
All guests, including members, must reserve tickets online for each member of their party and must select a designated time slot. Membership cards and timed tickets will be checked on entry. No tickets will be sold at the zoo.
Social distancing among all zoo staff and guests is vital. The zoo will have visual reminders placed to ensure guests are maintaining a safe social distance along the pathways.
Per state and county officials’ suggestions, guests are strongly encouraged to wear facemasks while visiting the zoo. (Please bring your own.) All zoo staff working in the park must wear masks.
Guests will not have access to some high-touch attractions and areas of the zoo, including some rides, animal feedings, playgrounds, water fountains and misters. Staff will continuously clean high-touch surfaces like vending machines, tables, chairs and more. Guests are encouraged to wash their hands after encountering those areas. In addition to restrooms located throughout the zoo, some hand-washing stations are positioned throughout the park.
If a guest feels sick, they should not visit the zoo.
Trinity Metro will receive $55 million as part of the CARES Act funding for public transportation. The Regional Transportation Council approved the funding, which can be used for financial impacts from the COVID-19 pandemic.
Trinity Metro’s $55,161,034 will be used to offset losses in the operating budget from decreased sales tax and fare box revenue. The money will also be used for COVID-19 expenses that were incurred to protect passengers and employees.
“The grant funds will primarily cover salaries, wages and lost revenues,” said Bob Baulsir, CEO and president of Trinity Metro. “Most importantly, the money will be used for the health benefits and protections for our employees and customers to ensure Trinity Metro maintains a safe and healthy working and riding environment.”
The funding is part of the $2 trillion CARES Act signed into law on March 27. From the CARES Act, the Federal Transit Administration received $25 billion for transit providers to respond to the crisis.
The Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington Urbanized Area received $318 million, which is allocated among 11 transit providers. The North Central Texas Council of Governments received the funds for the region and is the designated entity for distributing the money to the area’s providers.
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