Houston First Corporation is leading the effort to promote Houston as one of the great cities of the world. Our employees operate the city’s finest convention, arts and entertainment venues. A local government corporation formed in 2011, Houston First manages more than 10 city-owned buildings and properties and underground and surface parking for nearly 7,000 vehicles. These facilities include the Hilton Americas-Houston hotel, George R. Brown Convention Center, Jones Hall for the Performing Arts, Wortham Theater Center, Houston Center for the Arts, Talento Bilingue de Houston, Miller Outdoor Theatre, Houston First Outdoors (which includes Jones Plaza and other smaller venues) and Theater District Parking. Houston First is responsible for the day-to-day maintenance, licensing and operation of these properties as the sites of conventions, trade shows and theatrical performances that enrich the lives of Houstonians. In 2014, Houston First and the Greater Houston Convention & Visitors Bureau completed a strategic alignment to create a single, clear voice that speaks for the Houston product in all sales and marketing efforts. The George R. Brown Convention Center was opened in 1987 and expanded in 2003. The GRB has more than 1 million square feet of exhibition, meeting and registration space, and ranks as one of the nation’s 10 largest convention centers. In the fiscal year that ended on June 30, 2012 the GRB was the site of 244 conventions and other meetings. Across the street are the 1,200-room Hilton Americas-Houston, which is connected to the convention center via double-deck pedestrian sky bridge, and the 12-acre Discovery Green park. A second hotel connected to the convention center just north of the park is expected to open in 2016. In the Theater District, Houston First facilities are home to Houston Grand Opera and Houston Ballet at Wortham Center and Society for the Performing Arts and Houston Symphony at Jones Hall. Outdoor facilities managed by Houston First include Jones Plaza, Ray C. Fish Plaza, the Bush Monument, the Sabine Promenade and Sesquicentennial Park properties next to Wortham Center, as well as Root Square next to Toyota Center. A new project in the planning stages just north of the GRB is the Nau Center for Texas Cultural Heritage, which will showcase the story of how Southeast Texas has developed into one of the most culturally diverse regions in the nation. Houston First interacts with several partners that benefit from our passion and resources such as Discovery Green, Bayou Place, Buffalo Bayou Partnership, Downtown Aquarium, Hobby Center for the Performing Arts, and the Greater Houston Convention and Visitors Bureau.