A dearth of close-by hotels has been a challenge for the Abilene (Texas) Convention Center. That is finally changing, with the groundbreaking this month of a 200-room DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel.
The new property, expected to open adjacent to the center in spring 2023, will bring 17,000 square feet of meeting space, a full-service restaurant, a pool deck, and rooftop bar to the city’s business district. The $80 million project is the result of a public-private partnership allowing Abilene to reinvest state and local hotel occupancy taxes in the facility.
The Abilene Convention Center originally opened in 1970 with 100,000 square feet of event space and expanded in 1990, adding a 30,000-square-foot conference center. In 2017, the venue built the Adamson-Spalding Storybook Garden on the east side exterior grounds. The convention center’s 20,000-square-foot exhibit hall can fit 108 booths or 1,500 people for a banquet. A 45,000-square-foot auditorium seats 2,091.
Four other hotels of 100-plus rooms that fall within STR's "upscale" category—Courtyard by Marriott Abilene Northeast, Hilton Garden Inn Abilene, Holiday Inn Express & Suites Abilene, and Home2Suites by Hilton Abilene—are each located about five miles from the convention center, a 10-minute drive.
Abilene is about two and a half hours from Fort Worth. Abilene Regional Airport is served by American Airlines.