Teresa Preza first came to Sugar Land 14 years ago while pursuing a job in event management. Today, she’s assistant director of economic development for the city. Here are some of her reasons for calling Sugar Land her “home sweet home.”

TXM+E: What do you love about living in Sugar Land?

Preza: The plethora of options to live a fully entertained experience: from seeing my music idol Mariah Carey at Smart Financial Centre with my friends, to hanging out with the family in the Town Square Plaza after dinner at the one-of-a-kind Jupiter Pizza & Waffles Co. on the weekends, to catching a baseball game at Constellation Field on a hot summer day. Sugar Land truly offers big city amenities while still keeping the charm and warmth of a safe community.

TXM+E: What are some of your favorite things to do in the community?

Preza: On any given weekend, I take advantage of the free programming at Town Square, like catching a movie alfresco with my family. I also enjoy escaping into nature through Cullinan Park’s naturally preserved trails with expansive forestation. But something I take pride in is going to Smart Financial Centre to see varied performances like the Russian Nutcracker Ballet with my mom, taking my niece to see Jojo Siwa or getting a single ticket to catch one of my favorite comedians, Dave Chappelle.

TXM+E: Why should groups meet in Sugar Land?

Preza: The options to program a perfect meeting experience are limitless. Not only is Sugar Land safe, clean and aesthetically pleasing, there are more than a dozen activities and entertainment offerings and hotel options all within a 10-mile radius of the Houston Marriott Sugar Land conference center, located in Town Square. For a meeting planner, Sugar Land offers logistical ease, an ideal location, and creative and imaginative entertainment and educational spaces.

TXM+E: What are the top three things event planners should know about Sugar Land as a destination?

Preza: Location, diversity and charm. Perfectly situated right off of U.S. 69 and within 20 minutes from downtown Houston, Sugar Land is strategically located to accommodate travelers flying or driving to their meeting. Also, Sugar Land is housed within one of the most diverse counties in the nation, making it the ideal place for creative and imaginative programming and entertainment. Consistently ranked as one of the safest cities in the nation, Sugar Land offers ease, safety and walkability to not just its residents, but also to its businesses and visitors.

Event planners often prepare for the worst, but one thing they likely didn’t anticipate was a global pandemic when selecting event cancellation insurance policies for their 2020 gatherings. Panicked planners began contacting Marcia McKinney, owner of Northeast Insurance Advisors, in late February and early March, but as meetings and events ground to a halt, they were already out of luck.

“It’s kind of like trying to buy homeowner’s insurance as your house is starting to catch fire... it’s too late,” says McKinney.

 

Zehnder’s of Frankenmuth is one of six recipients of the James Beard Foundation’s 2020 America’s Classics Award, which is given to locally owned restaurants that have timeless appeal and are beloved regionally for quality food that reflects the character of their community. Per the foundation, “Zehnder’s of Frankenmuth, a chicken dinner behemoth positioned between Detroit and Michigan’s summer lake destination, is decidedly on the beaten path. William Zehnder Sr. and his wife, Emilie, bought a former hotel in 1928.

 

In early April Detroit’s TCF Center became a 1,000-bed alternate care site to help ease the burden on local hospitals during the COVID-19 crisis. The 723,000-square-foot facility became the TCF Regional Care Center. According to Pure Michigan’s Michelle Grinnell, who serves as public information officer for the state’s alternate care sites, 39 patients were treated at TCF, the last of whom was discharged on May 7.