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GRAPEVINE, TX-The Gaylord Texan will open doors Aug. 11 on the first phase to an entertainment district for the 400,000-sf resort and convention center property. The $16-million design can accommodate 1,500 customers.

The Glass Cactus is a lake-fronting, two-story venue, totaling 39,000 sf with a 1,438-sf stage and bi-level decks adding another 11,382 sf of seating area. HKS Inc.’s Dallas team designed the building; Westwood Construction Co., also in Dallas, built it; and SWA Group of Austin was the landscape architect.

North Texas is filled with live music venues, but the Glass Cactus is the first for the Grapevine area. “We certainly hope this will be well received by the locals,” says Jim Biafore, the Glass Cactus’ general manager. “I can see this growing.”

Not only can the Glass Cactus design be expanded, but there’s talk of taking down more resort land for other entertainment uses, Biafore tells GlobeSt.com. “We’re already knocking around ideas,” he says, “but it’s premature at this time.” First, he stresses, the Gaylord team wants to monitor the customer flow, coming from both inside and outside the resort’s walls, and the business volume before deciding.

“We are providing a platform for live music in Texas,” Biafore says. The resort has struck a deal to become the official location for the Texas Music Project, a cooperative of musicians and educators who lend their skills and support to schools statewide and communities at large.

LeAnn Rimes will headline a VIP party; the headliner for the grand opening has yet to be decided. But, the plan isn’t to be all country. “Our intent is we’re going to play a variety of music and not limit ourselves to one genre,” Biafore says. The Glass Cactus will come on line with a staff of 150 to support a nightly lineup of live music.

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