Plano is a suburb of Dallas, Texas, with a population of 250,096 (2005). CNN Money rated Plano as the best place to live in the Western United States in 2005 and in 2006, Money magazine named it as the 11th best place to live in the US. Plano grew slowly until the 1980s when many large corporations moved their headquarters to the city. Today, the city is home to several large corporations such as Perot Systems, Electronic Data Systems, Frito-Lay, Cinemark Theatres, and JCPenny. The city's proximity to the Telecom Corridor has also brought many telecommunications and semiconductor companies to the area.
Named an All-America City in 1994, Plano's proximity to Dallas and other large suburbs places it in prime location for sports, entertainment, nightlife and the arts. This location is also one of the main reasons for the city being suitable for business travelers and conventions. 80% of visitors to Plano are there for business conventions. Visitors to Plano can experience the history of the town by taking a walking tour of historic areas of the city, including restored homes, the downtown area, local landmarks and the Interurban Railway Museum. The city is locally famous for the annual hot air balloon festival.
Southern Methodist University is located in Plano, as are two campuses of the Collin County Community College District. The ArtCenter of Plano is located in a historic downtown building and houses the Plano Repertory. The ArtCenter also has art galleries which display the work of local artists as well as hosts national shows. The city has recently seen an increase in retail offerings. The new Shops at Willow Bend is an upscale mall while the Shops at Legacy feature an Angelika Film Center.