American Airlines is putting the finishing touches on what will be a 600-room hotel in the Fort Worth area.
Scheduled to open in early 2023, the $250 million, nine-story hospitality complex will offer a 10,000-square-foot ballroom, sprawling fitness center with a pool, dining room and tavern, outdoor tennis and pickleball courts, and more.
But before you start wondering how many AAdvantage loyalty points rooms will cost or earn, heads up – the hotel won’t be open to the public. It’s the newest part of the airline’s $1 billion Forth Worth headquarters and is meant to give visiting employees a place to relax and unwind after a day of training and meetings.
The new hotel will be called Skyview 6. The name is similar to other buildings on the campus (for example, two office buildings – Skyview 7 and 8 – are right near Skyview 6).
It’s all part of a massive campus expansion for American’s headquarters, which was originally built in 1957. Plans for this newest part of the campus took 5 years to complete and included negotiations with Dallas Fort Worth International Airport, which owned the land the new campus would eventually be on. The 18,000 acres couldn’t be sold though, so the two parties eventually agreed on a 99-year ground lease.
Originally slated to open in 2021, Skyview 6 was delayed due to the Coronavirus pandemic.
It replaces the original hotel made for American Airlines employees (i.e. flight attendants-to-be in town for their 6.5 weeks of intensive training to “earn their wings,” or staff taking classes), that had stood at the same site since the 1960s. That hotel was closed a few years ago – it was probably just as well.
Although the public won’t be able to stay in Skyview 6 when it opens, they’re always welcome to visit the C.R. Smith Museum (building #9 on the map above). Opened in 1993 (and with its own massive makeover in 2018), the museum, “preserves the history of American Airlines and explains what it takes to run the airline, as told through the perspective of the team members who work there. Through its activities, the museum serves schools, the general public and American Airlines team members. The Museum is committed to education, with a focus on hands-on, interactive learning.”
Among the artifacts at the museum is a piece of American Airlines flight attendant history – the iconic “graduation staircase and medallion.” It’s where American Airlines flight attendants got their “graduation photo” taken when they “earned their wings” after completing the airline’s rigorous training sessions. In place since 1957, the stairs were no longer to code and were going to be demolished with the rest of the training center building.
But as Kirk Hotelling, managing director for AA campus properties said, “It was pretty clear early on that our team members and stakeholders felt strongly that the most iconic feature of the Stewardess College (now called the American Airlines Training Center), should be preserved and relocated to the American Airlines CR Smith Museum.” And so that became the plan.
A similar re-creation of the staircase will also stand in Skyview 6, so FAs who’ve just earned their wings can get their own photos taken.
You can see other buildings on the AA campus (pre-completion of Skyview 6) on this page of Key.Aero.
Feature Image: American Airlines
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