After Moving to New Downtown Digs, HBG Design Names New Dallas Leader and Principal for Nat’l Hospitality Practice

After 20 years at HKS Architects, Ray Mabry has joined Memphis-based HBG Design to "forge new frontiers in the national hospitality and entertainment industry" while helping HBG cement its footprint in the Dallas metro area. He'll be doing that from the firm's new Dallas office in the iconic, 72-story Bank of America Plaza.

Ray Mabry has joined HBG Design in its new Bank of America Plaza office as its new Dallas office leader and principal, bringing with him extensive experience in design and project management.

“Ray is a veteran of leading complex projects in the hospitality and entertainment market sector, making him a perfect fit to lead HBG’s projects in the space,” Nathan Peak, practice leader at HBG Design, said in a statement. “He’s committed to leading HBG’s Dallas Office with great passion and enthusiasm as he forges new frontiers in the national hospitality and entertainment industry and helps HBG cement our footprint in the Dallas metro area professional community.”

HBG Design originally opened its Dallas office in April 2021 with a select “collective” of key former Wilson Associates architects and interior designers. Dallas was its third office location, joining its Memphis, Tenn.-based headquarters and its West Coast office in San Diego.

Six months ago, the firm moved its Dallas office into new digs on the 38th floor at the iconic Bank of America Plaza.

Now HBG is looking to grow the Dallas office under Mabry’s leadership. Originally from Abilene, Mabry is a longtime Dallas resident. For the past 20 years, he has worked with HKS Architects in Dallas. He will serve HBG Design clients as principal-in-charge and project manager, the firm said.

Aerial view of Cascades pool design at WinStar World Casino by HBG Design [Image: HBG]

North Texas and around the globe

HBG said that Mabry brings a wealth of design leadership and project management experience in the commercial hospitality industry for clients under most major brand flags in both urban and resort locations.

“I’ve worked in Dallas for 20 years now, and it has become my home. I am thrilled to embark on this new journey with HBG Design as Dallas Office Leader,” Mabry, AIA, LEED AP BD+C, told Dallas Innovates. “Like my previous position at HKS, I’ll continue to focus on hospitality and entertainment design leadership, which has been my core specialization throughout my career.”

HBG said Mabry’s experience in the gaming sector also includes commercial gaming projects mainly in Las Vegas and Asia for various operators, and most recently MGM National Harbor.

Mabry’s project portfolio spans across Europe, Asia, South America, the Middle East, and the Caribbean, and he has been instrumental in delivering brand hospitality designs that include the Hotel Drover in the historic Fort Worth Stockyards and both The W Hotel and Omni Hotel in Nashville, Tennessee.

HBG renovated the former Texaco headquarters into ‘The Star’ luxury apartments in downtown Houston. [Photo: HBG Design]

‘It’s the right time and right place for us in Dallas’

As Dallas office leader, HBG said that Mabry will deepen his specialized focus on premium and luxury brand hospitality, gaming/entertainment, and conference/event center venue design.

Mabry said that from his first conversations with Peak and HBG Interior Design Director, Emily Marshall, it was apparent that the firm has a concept-centric approach to design and shares his philosophy that hospitality design should have a lasting impact on guests.

“I share HBG Design’s philosophy of crafting memorable experiences,” Mabry said. “I take great joy in designing places where guests can unwind and escape from their daily lives, while providing the best possible experiences to my clients and their guests.”

Exterior of Lucas Oil Live at WinStar Wold Casino [Photo: HBG Design]

Mabry said the firm plans to double the Dallas office in size within the next year, taking it to about 15 employees. The relocation to the Bank of America building in downtown Dallas is aimed at accommodating that goal.

“Having a presence in Dallas is really important to our vision for the firm’s future; it allows us to extend our hospitality specialization across the region; deepen our relationships with regional clients by having additional locally based professionals and resources; and expand our talent pool as the firm continues to win new work and grow our professional staff,” Mabry said.

“It’s the right time and the right place for us in Dallas,” he added. “The city is known for its hospitality interior design resources, and as we expand our integrated design offerings, we want to attract the very best regional talent to contribute to our industry-leading national presence.”

Interior of Lucas Oil Live at WinStar Wold Casino [Photo: HBG Design]

Hospitality, entertainment, and gaming

Nationally recognized, HBG Design has been pioneering the creation of imaginative and transformative guest experiences for 45 years. Clients include commercial hospitality and entertainment giants such as Hyatt Hotels, Hilton Hotels, IHG, Caesars Entertainment, Elvis Presley Enterprises, and 50 Sovereign Nations across the United States.

“HBG Design has been working in Texas and in the surrounding region for about 15 years now,” Mabry said. “Our regional project experience includes flagged hotels in the Dallas market, developer-driven mixed-use and multifamily projects in Dallas and Houston, including the award-winning historic renovation of the former Texaco headquarters into ‘The Star’ luxury apartments in downtown Houston. We also have a strong presence in the gaming resort space across Oklahoma, Arizona, and Louisiana.”

Mabry said the firm recently completed a new 6,500-seat event center called Lucas Oil Live and a new Luxury Spa Hotel Tower at WinStar World Casino in Oklahoma, about a 90-minute drive from Dallas.

“With the new hotel opening, that brings the number of hotel rooms we’ve designed at WinStar up to 1,800 rooms to-date. If you haven’t already been up there, you’ll want to check-out the three-acre Cascades pool complex which we completed late last summer. There’s really nothing like it in the region,” he said.

Quincy Preston contributed to this story.

Inside the Luxury Spa Hotel Tower at WinStar World Casino [Photo: HBG Design]

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