Culture / Newsy

CBS Morning Star Gives Fort Worth Love, Makes a Few Digs at Dallas — Mo Rocca Is All In On Cowtown’s Growing Riches

Record 10.9 Million Visitors Last Year and a $3.1 Billion Impact Gives Visit Fort Worth Reason to Celebrate

BY // 02.19.23

Visit Fort Worth brought the beat and the jokes to the Fort Worth Convention Center for its 10th annual meeting. Mo Rocca, the witty CBS Sunday Morning correspondent, was on hand to deliver the keynote address ― giving his witty take on the city’s many strengths and playing to the audience with a few friendly digs at Dallas, that neighbor to the East.

“Everyone needs a good foil ― a villain,” Rocca cracked.

The newsman began his remarks with a restaurant review of his own. Having dined on roasted cabrito at James Beard nominated Don Artmenio on Thursday night, Rocca gave it high marks, quipping “Your goat is the goat.”

Rocca also sampled some of Fort Worth’s own Rahr beer Adiós Pantalones. He seemed to enjoy its name as much as its flavor. In fact, Rocca suggested it should be the theme at next year’s Visit Fort Worth annual meeting. Noted.

Mo Rocca remembered his first visit to Fort Worth back in 1994 when he was working on Wishbone, a PBS series about a Jack Russell terrier who gets lost in the world of books.

“That dog was a real diva. It was my first job in television,” Rocca says. “I remember being impressed by the level of talent. It was like the talent level of New York and Los Angeles  ― but without the crazy.”


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Of Fort Worth’s embarrassment of riches in respect to its culture and arts, Rocco described the famed Kimbell Art Museum, which he toured once again on Thursday, as “All class, and no snobbery.”

Rocca got a lot of laughs when he observed that while the name for Fort Worth natives is Fort Worthians, the name for Dallas natives is Dallasites, noting that it all feels a bit like a Biblical story where the “ites” get completely wiped out.

“The way they go on and on about NorthPark is kinda crazy.”

Finally, Mo Rocca gave his take on the theme of the morning  ― Collective Effervescence ― and ended his remarks with: “Fort Worth is the Alka-Seltzer to Dallas’ heartburn and indigestion. Fort Worth, oh what a relief it is.”

visit – Bob Jameson with the grandmother of Juneteeth, local celebrity Opal Lee, pose with Mo Rocca.
Bob Jameson and the grandmother of Juneteeth and Fort Worth’s own Opal Lee, pose with Mo Rocca of CBS This Morning. (Photo by Leo Wesson)

Fort Worth Mania

The rousing musical intro for Visit Fort Worth’s annual meeting came courtesy of Disko Cowboy from Vinyl Ranch. That proved to be more effective than a cup of French roast as guests entered the ballroom beginning at 7 am. The after-party was once again hosted by Chef Tim Love. Fort Worth has a lot to celebrate this year, and even more to look forward to in the future.

This year’s theme was Collective Effervescence with Visit Fort Worth touting the impact of tourism on the local economy and spotlighting the city’s hospitality industry.

Travis Heim of Heim Barbecue was on hand to give this year’s annual Hospitality Award to the Joe T. Garcia family and the Lancarte Family. Heim noted hat he was once an employee of the legendary restaurant, joking that he was “one of its slowest bartenders ever.” A tribute to Joe T. Garcia’s legacy was voiced by actor Luke Wilson, a North Texas native.

Visit Fort Worth CEO and president Bob Jameson led his own remarks with the fact that Fort Worth welcomed a record $10.9 million visitors in 2022 — with a $3.1 billion economic impact made. Jameson pointed out that Cowtown soon will be adding more than 700 hotel rooms in and around downtown alone. The much-anticipated new hotels Bowie House and The Crescent, which are both currently under construction along Camp Bowie, are major parts of that push.

visit – CEO of Visit Fort Worth, Bob Jameson, touts the success and the future at the 10th annual meeting.
CEO of Visit Fort Worth, Bob Jameson, touts the success and the future at the 10th annual meeting. (Photo by Leo Wesson)

“Tourism means big business and it means more than 30,000 hospitality jobs,” Jameson says. “It’s thanks to the athletes, the artists, the filmmakers and the chefs. You are important to sharing the Fort Worth welcome to all. The people, places and experiences are what fuel our rocket engine.”

Not only is 2023 going to be a big year for Fort Worth hotels, it seems like there is something to look forward to all over the city.

A new vision for the Fort Worth Botanic Garden is taking shape. Fort Worth Zoo is opening new major attraction when Predators of Asia and its Africa debuts. There are also a number of high-profile concerts and sporting events hitting town. This in large part due to the magnet of Dickies Arena, which Jameson noted was ranked as one of the top four venues in the world by Billboard last year.

Specially printed five dollar bills were passed out to be used as tip money for unexpected service. (Photo by Leo Wesson)

Visit Fort Worth also unveiled a new cinematic commercial featuring the story of three different visitors discovering Fort Worth for the first time. It features the voice of the late Jimmy Stewart, coming his 1974 documentary Fort Worth: Unexpected City. Stewart was not only a frequent visitor to the city, having starred in Strategic Air Command at what was then Carswell Air Force Base (it’s now the Naval Air Station Joint Reserve Base Fort Worth), the legendary actor was a true fan of the city.

Finally, since paper bills are only printed at two locations in the United States  — Washington D.C. and at Fort Worth’s Bureau of Engraving and Printing — Pinnacle Bank and Visit Fort Worth arranged to have special $5 bills printed for the occasion. They are stamped with Visit Fort Worth an Unexpected Hospitality and are meant to be used as tips for those in the industry.

Yes, Fort Worth continues to be going places. Just ask Mo Rocca.

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