The “Hub City” is ready to dazzle planners with an array of new and unique venues.
As the late Buddy Holly would tell you, it’s so easy to fall in love with Lubbock, Texas. It’s not so big you will get lost and not so small your group will feel cramped. Instead, Lubbock is just the right size for your next event.
Above all else, Lubbock has character. Businesses, hotels, restaurants and residents are proud of where the city has been and where it is going. Yes, the downtown is revitalized, but not at the expense of Hub City’s culture. Lubbock strikes the right note with visitors because of its friendly nature—the care taken for guests’ health and safety is second to none.
Attendees of a convention, meeting or other event will always know they are in Lubbock. Everything is uniquely West Texan and that’s exactly the way the city likes it. That sense of place grounds the hospitality community, which, with its charm, will wow any meeting planner and the group he or she represents.
It’s fitting the city’s favorite son is nicknamed Buddy. Musician Buddy Holly’s legacy lives on decades after his far-too-early death (he died at age 22 in a famous plane crash), with the recent completion of Lubbock’s newest world-class theater.
The Buddy Holly Hall of Performing Arts and Sciences made its long-awaited debut early this year. This premier venue will serve as the foundation of the city’s downtown revitalization.
The hall is as versatile as the musician himself. The main theater, aimed for concerts and other large events, seats more than 2,000 and has two VIP lounges. Meeting groups may opt for The Crickets Studio Theater, a 425-seat venue with a private entrance and separate lobby ideal for receptions and registration. The main lobby is a great option for private receptions, galas and gatherings expecting 300 guests.
Fans of the legend will also want to check out the Buddy Holly Center, a fine arts museum that features an iconic sculpture of Holly’s horn-rimmed glasses. The building hosts events, too, with no less than Paul McCartney playing there in 2014.
Nothing goes with the arts like a fine glass of wine, which is a true art in and of itself. Fortunately, Lubbock is crushing it with top-notch wineries—both in town and on the outskirts—all perfect for teambuilding or off-site meetings.
Llano Estacado Winery is the largest premium winery in Texas, serving sips produced solely in the Lone Star State. It has two on-site meeting rooms, and has served as host to corporate events, galas and fundraisers. Have your group tour this property to plant seeds of ideas and bond over tastings. Coincide your event with one of the many wine festivals the property hosts to enhance the experience.
English Newsom Cellars also has a meeting room on-site and can be fully rented out for a gala or an event for up to 200 people. Private dinners and wine tours are both the perfect way to entertain your board of directors or executives.
Inside an old Coca-Cola bottling plant now sits McPherson Cellars, an award-winning winery complete with an event center that holds 250 attendees. The industrial decor will draw almost as many compliments as the wine.
As home of the first designated Culutural Arts District in Texas, Lubbock has a flourishing arts scene to help attendees discover creative ways to tackle challenges. Its commitment to the arts goes beyond its love for its hometown musicians.
Charles Adams Studio Project, in addition to hosting an annual festival, offers attendees group classes. It excels in setting up screen-printing activities for meetings and creative metalworking sessions.
Texas Tech, a natural site for meetings, sports a public art exhibit displayed via an outdoor walking tour. It’s a great way to combine exercise with a brain break before returning to the meeting.
First Friday Arts Trail in the Cultural Arts District brings the movement all together. Free trolleys connect you to the different venues, and food trucks are a staple along the routes.
The Pioneer Pocket Hotel on Broadway in downtown Lubbock is as boutique as they come. It has 10 rooms, each featuring a distinct Lubbock theme (cotton, music, windmills, etc.), on the fourth floor of the iconic Pioneer Building. Planners can place their C-suite guests or VIPs at the fully automated hotel. For an upscale dinner option, The West Table Kitchen and Bar is a fine-dining option on-site. The Brewery LBK, found on the first floor, is a destination for group tastings or even small meetings in its private space.
Joining the Broadway scene in the new Cotton Court Hotel, a 165-room property near Buddy Holly Hall, restaurants and retail. The location is great for hitting the town, but the hotel does all it can to entice guests to stay. A courtyard with an open fire pit is an inviting space for an outdoor reception. Indoors, the ballroom can host 360 attendees and there is an intimate boardroom available for small groups. Be sure to explore the creative aesthetic that harkens back to an era when cotton gins were prevalent around Lubbock.
DoubleTree by Hilton Lubbock University Area, opening in December 2020, adds another 45,000 square feet of event space and 140 sleeping rooms downtown. The highlight is a pillarless ballroom. Beloved chef Antonio Pena has designed a locally based menu at the lobby bar and restaurant.
When the work is done, attendees are ready to play. Planners can take the reception to unusual venues to break up the monotony of a typical cocktail party.
Adventure Park allows attendees to bring out their inner child. Mini-golf, go-karts, bumper boats and the three-tiered Adventure Towers (netted bridges) are among the outdoor activities available to guests. A game room, maze and climbing wall continue the excitement indoors.
4ore! Golf lets your group get into the swing of things. This driving range includes all the amenities planners are looking for: event space for 250 people, including an outdoor patio for 175; a private lounge and bar; and meal service.
The Range is another nontraditional driving range, as it has evolved into a popular gathering destination. Attendees who don’t golf will enjoy walking around the picturesque premises and planners can schedule an outdoor concert on-site.
The “Hub City” has earned its nickname. This West Texas destination is easy to get to via car or plane. American, Southwest and United have nonstop flights from each metropolitan area in Texas, as well as Las Vegas, Phoenix and Denver. Five highways surround Lubbock, making it a popular spot for events with many Southwestern attendees.
Once attendees arrive, they’ll enjoy the short distance between attractions. The average commute is about 15 minutes. Less time in transit allows more time to experience the meeting and the city’s rich culture.
Lubbock really has the best of big cities and the charm of a small town.
By: Jillian Guinn
By: Visit Lubbock Interns
By: Ruth Tingey
By: Jillian Guinn