Invasion of the Central Europeans

Omega’s Stephen Urquhart/Photo by Jeanne Prejean

More European luxury brands are targeting Dallas’ monied set, and Tuesday night proved it. At NorthPark Center, the president and CEO of Swiss luxury watch company Omega, Stephen Urquhart, snipped the ribbon on a 1,300-square-foot Omega Boutique there, the brand’s first in North Texas. Later he hosted a private dinner at Abacus for the North Texas Food Bank, Omega’s local charity of choice. “Dallas is a very upscale market,” Urquhart said. Houston already has an Omega Boutique and San Antonio may get one by June, he added.

Over at Highland Park Village, meantime, top executives from the German-based Oetker Collection, which owns and manages luxury hotels, were chatting up the properties at a reception for travel agents in the Champagne Room at Lounge 31. This is the first time the Oetker brass has descended en masse on Dallas, the company’s Alain Briere said. They screened photos of swank getaways like L’Apogee Courchevel in the French Alps–it will open in November–and Palais Namaskar in Marrakech, Morocco, which offers guests a private jet service.

With the European economy in the throes of a double-dip recession, there’s no doubt that to these European companies, folks with dough in the Dallas, Texas, market are looking pretty darn good.