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Miss Texas Caroline Carothers arrives at the Virgin Hotels Dallas groundbreaking with Sir Richard Branson

Sir Richard Branson, founder of the Virgin Group which includes more than 400 companies including Virgin Records, Virgin Airlines and Virgin Hotels, was joined recently by Dunhill Partners, Inc. and Gatehouse Capital as well as Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings and other dignitaries to break ground on  the new Virgin Hotels Dallas in the Design District. Accompanied by Miss Texas Caroline Carothers, Branson rode into the groundbreaking astride a white horse.

“A few years ago I wrote a love letter to Dallas,” said Branson, referring to his 2014 venture to bring Virgin Airlines to Dallas Love Field. “It seemed only fitting that I build a hotel worthy of your fine city.” Branson said travelers who fly Virgin into Love Field and stay at the hotel will earn loyalty points on both brands, and the points can be used with either brand.

The 240-room hotel, expected to open in 2018, will feature luxury suites, restaurants, bars, meeting space, and a rooftop terrace with a pool, spa and gym.  The Virgin Hotel will be located at Hi Line and Turtle Creek in the Design District. Construction will start March 2017. It will be the first Virgin Hotels in Texas. Virgin Hotels Chicago opened last year with hotels in Nashville, Palm Springs, Silicon Valley and New York coming soon.

"Gatehouse Capital has demonstrated it is the premiere lifestyle hotel developer in the country with its development of W Hollywood, W Dallas, W San Diego and W Silicon Valley among many others,” stated Bill Hutchinson, founder and president of Dunhill Partners which owns the Dallas Design District.  “Gatehouse is an experienced and credible addition to our team. We are glad to have their team’s extensive experience on this project. I have known Marty Collins, founder of Gatehouse, and his wife Josy for a long time. Josy Collins is a long-time and significant tenant in the Design District with Scott + Cooner, which is prominently situated in the Decorative Center.”

Marty Collins, CEO of Dallas-based Gatehouse Capital commented, “We love the Dallas Design District and have had an office here for five years.  I am so happy that Dunhill Partners purchased the Design District and is taking the development to the next level. Virgin Hotels is an iconic brand with a great vision on revolutionizing an industry.  The national lifestyle hotel segment is an important development platform within Gatehouse and this project presents an opportunity for us to further showcase our capabilities with a great brand and owner."