Growth in hotel occupancy continues (for the past 49 months).
Year-to-date 2013 hotel occupancy is up 3.2% over 2012 and ADR is up 4.1% over 2012.


December 2013

December 2012

% Change





December 2013

December 2012

% Change




Did you know that the Pelican Grand Beach Resort has 170 team members?


Greater Fort Lauderdale’s "The Beach Looks Good On You" tour created a buzz last week attracting winter-weary New Yorkers to a tropical oasis with a beach-chic vibe at Grand Central Station's Vanderbilt Hall and John F. Kennedy International Airport's Terminal 5. The events featured live music, palm trees, beach cabanas, a hobie cat, a huge beachcam screen streaming live images of Fort Lauderdale's beaches, giant sunglasses for photo ops, solar-powered charging stations for mobile devices, vending machines dispensing free "Hello Sunny" sunglasses for consumers who tweet #HelloSunny, and much more. Crew from JetBlue gave away Greater Fort Lauderdale vacation getaways every hour, along with blue chips and bottled water. The one-day event brought a Greater Fort Lauderdale beach day to thousands of Grand Central Terminal commuters. Metro North train station platforms feature 200 The Beach Looks Good on You posters. Street teams outside Grand Central shared the sunshine with free Greater Fort Lauderdale sunglasses and giveaways for chances to win a Greater Fort Lauderdale beach getaway.

The spectacular Greater Fort Lauderdale billboard is wrapped around Toys R Us at 44th and Broadway and the iconic "Beach-on-Wheels" cruised the streets of New York day and night, branded with destination messaging and filled with the sand of Greater Fort Lauderdale's Blue Wave certified beaches. For one month, New Yorkers can warm their buns on a custom-designed heated bus shelter near Grand Central Terminal that look like sun lounges on the beach. Free beach-themed pedi-cab rickshaw rides around the city were available. Greater Fort Lauderdale's beach is featured on billboards at Times Square and near the Lincoln Tunnel, tempting Super Bowl fans headed to the big game. Advertising in TV, newspaper, magazine and digital in the tri-state area and hundreds of branded taxi tops will ensure Greater Fort Lauderdale shines brightly during the heart of winter.

The following day, the Hello Sunny beach scene moved to JetBlue Airways' JFK Terminal 5 for one week, through Super Bowl Monday. Click here to see more pics.


In NYC, we started the day bright and early with our team at Good Morning America’s plaza. Virginia Sheridan did a live TV interview with NBC’s LXTV “New York Live” with Ben Aaron (click here to view), along with coverage in the Wall Street Journal, Yahoo Travel, Daily Meal, South Florida Business Journal, NTDTV (Chinese TV), Epoch Times and many travel blogs.


Our team is preparing to hit the streets in Chicago, Wednesday, February 19 on Michigan Avenue, next to the Tribune Tower. We’ll be bringing some warmth and giving away free sunglasses and ice scrapers and a chance to win a beach getaway Chicagoans will have the chance to meet the Blackhawk Ice Crew, Tommy Hawk and NHL Hall of Famer Denis Savard, while warming up with Greater Fort Lauderdale. Our beach mobile will be onsite along with frozen bikinis, warm your buns benches, live beach cam on giant plasma screen, photo kiosks and real swimsuit models. The tour continues to Washington D.C. on March 18, and to São Paulo, Brazil, on April 29.


Congratulations to Francine Mason as she moves on after 25 years of creative and innovative marketing at the GFLCVB. While we will all miss Francine dearly, we reflect proudly on her many accomplishments, from shedding the rowdy “Spring Break” image to the Convention Center groundbreaking to the current Hello Sunny brand. Her contributions to the transformation of Greater Fort Lauderdale have led to record-breaking visitor numbers and scores of destination awards over the years, and her marketing savvy and forward-thinking approach will forever be part of our tourism fabric.


In January, we hosted a UK Post-Florida Huddle UK Media Fam with 5 top travel trade media from the UK. Coming up individual fam trips from Passport Magazine, Sunday World from Ireland and and


6 more weeks of winter? Not for this groundhog. Our annual Groundhog Day contest is happening now. Facebook fans can enter to receive one of 50 Hello Sunny sunglasses:


To attract visitors looking for romance, we invite you to create special offers like spa treatments for two, wine pairings or other creative ideas. Your romantic offers will be promoted to travel and lifestyle media. The offers will be featured on and our Facebook and Twitter pages as well. Login now to upload your special offer: or contact Justin for help.


Groups meeting in February will generate more than $20.6 million to Broward County. Groups include: 
Feb 2-5: Bacardi Founder’s Award (300 attendees)
Feb 3-5: CenturyLink Sales Kick-Off Meeting Florida (150 attendees)
Feb 3-14: PRI-MED South 2014 (4000 attendees)
Feb 4-11: L’Oreal Paris Matrix Sales Imagination 2014 (400 attendees)
Feb 6-15: National Investment Company Services Association Annual Conference (350 attendees)
Feb 6-16: Andersen Corporation Sales Meeting / Dealer Summit (250 attendees)
Feb 8-18: Cleveland Clinic 2014 Colorectal Symposium (305 attendees)
Feb 12-14: RSVP Pre-Cruise Group (150 attendees)
Feb 12-18: Florida Sunshine Cup (350 attendees)
Feb 14-21: Roche PT Leadership Meeting (450 attendees)
Feb 15-23: 2014 Pentair Global Leadership Meeting (350 attendees)
Feb 16-21: Onehope 2014 Meeting (200 attendees)
Feb 16-28: BMO Capital Markets 2014 Global Metals & Mining Conference (1000 attendees)
Feb 17-21: Quinceaneras (240 attendees)
Feb 18-23: FOMA Annual Meeting (180 attendees)
Feb 22-23: Soul Train Cruise (400 attendees)
Feb 22-Mar 1: Cartus Broker Services 2014 International Conference (420 attendees)
Feb 23-28: Novartis Top Meeting 2014 (200 attendees)
Feb 24-Mar 2: 2014 Anthony Robbins "Unleash the Power Within" (450 attendees)
Feb 25-Mar 2: Association of Certified E-Discovery Specialists 2014 (400 attendees)
Feb 25-Mar 5: 2014 Annual Leadership Conference & Expo (205 attendees)
Feb 28-Mar 5: Citigroup 2014 ICG CIRA Global Property CEO Conference (724 attendees)

The convention sales team recently participated in PCMA Annual Conference in Boston, SGMP Education Day in Gainesville, HCEA Summit in Philadelphia, GFLCVB Hello/Meet Sunny New York Mission, and Sunbelt Mission in Texas.
Catch the sales team at these upcoming events and tradeshows:
Feb 10–12: CSPI Annual Meeting/ DMAI’s Destination Showcase, Washington, DC
Feb 17–20: FSAE AAC Meeting/ Xsite Tradeshow, Tallahassee
Feb 18–21: MPI Northern California Chapter Annual Meeting & Sales calls, San Francisco
Feb 18–20: GFLCVB Hello/Meet Sunny Chicago Mission & Client Event, Chicago
Feb 21–23: Xchange MICE, at sea
Feb 23–27: MPI European Meetings & Events Conference, Istanbul, Turkey
Feb 25–26: Potomac Chapter of MPI MACE 2014, Washington, DC
Feb 27–Mar 2: GFLCVB DC Area Destination Preview


In January, Fernando Harb and Erick Garnica represented the CVB at JetBlue’s inaugural event in Lima, Peru. They also conducted a Super FAM with top product managers from Germany and the United Kingdom, hosted at the B Ocean. Fernando and Erick attended Florida Huddle in Palm Beach and a Norwegian Airlines tourism economic impact special event with Norwegian Air Shuttle CEO Bjorn Kjos and his senior leadership team. Josh Winston conducted a Professional Travel Agents of North America (PTANA) sales mission to Washington, DC, and attended AAA Great Vacations in Columbus, Ohio. Justin Flippen conducted a site visit of Inktel Direct, the CVB’s call center, where he updated account agents with an overview briefing of our various programs.

The GFLCVB UK office hosted key tour operator partners in GFL including Cosmos, TUI, American Sky, America As You Like It and Tour America. Attendees had the chance to experience the destination before heading to Florida Huddle. January also saw the launch of a consumer campaign with Foodism magazine, offering one lucky reader a holiday for two. The GFLCVB UK PR team attended the annual Visit USA Meet the Media event and the ‘mediaplace’ event hosted by TravMedia.

Port Everglades has been selected “Best U.S. Homeport” by nationally recognized cruise travel magazine Porthole. This is the second consecutive year Port Everglades has received the “Editor-In-Chief Award” as the best departure port in the country. In the Spring, Port Everglades will begin a $24 million construction project to modernize, reconfigure and expand Cruise Terminal 4. The improved Terminal 4 will be ready to welcome cruise guests for the 2015 season.

Richard Gray attended FITUR in Madrid and made a presentation at the LGBT press conference on Greater Fort Lauderdale. He is currently working on increasing partnerships with the IGLTA, CMI, the GFLGLCC, The Pride Center, Pride South Florida and Beach Bear Weekend. Richard was appointed to the Board of the International Gay & Lesbian Travel Association Foundation whose primary mission is to improve global LGBT travel.


Sports Development welcomes more than 25,000 athletes, coaches, and families to Greater Fort Lauderdale in February, attending events such as: the A1A Marathon and Half Marathon and Expo, the Clay Court Classic Tennis Tournament, and the Weston Cup Soccer Tournament.


Noelle Stevenson attended the National Association of Producers TV Executives conference in Miami with more than 3,000 industry professionals in attendance. Noelle will also attend Pollstar music conference in Nashville in addition to meeting with producers and directors to promote music videos to the destination. Filming around Broward: Film permits were issued for the following productions in January 2014: TV Series: Gator Boys; The Cruise; Wake Up Call; Buy This Restaurant; Beyond the Reef; Burger Wars; Four Weddings; Travel Channel’s Toy Hunter TV Commercials: Bell & Howell Super Nova Lantern; Florida Lotto; Hair Club 2014; Strayer University; The Home Depot; Wubble; EpiPen; Group Matrix; Jempak; Safelite AutoGlass Still Photography: Babies R Us; Belk Easter Sale; Wal*Mart; Jo Ann Fabrics; Bal Harbour Magazine; Cquadrat; Windsor G4; ACE; Ellos Clothing; JCPenney; Le Monde Editorial; Monroe & Main; Hearthsong Telenovelas: En Otra Piel; Sangre En El Divan Documentaries: Monster Fish; Jodie Marsh on Cosmetic Surgery Feature Film: A Change of Heart Other: Redemption. 

The construction of the new Hampton Inn and Suites Hotel, located on the northeast corner of the Sawgrass Expressway (SR 869) and US 441 (SR 7) in Coconut Creek, is projecting an opening date for the beginning of the second quarter 2014. The hotel will offer spacious suites, several with Jacuzzis, kiosks on every floor with computer access, oversized free form heated pool, outdoor spa, 3 meeting rooms totaling 1,000 square feet, full service exercise facility, refrigerator and microwave in every room, professional designed putting green, multilingual staff, suite shop, complimentary wireless throughout the facility, Direct TV, and more. Six wind turbines started supplying power Thursday to the Hilton Fort Lauderdale Beach Resort. The turbines, installed in August, are part of Hilton’s efforts to demonstrate a more environment-friendly business model.

The Sun Trolley expanded service along its Downtown Fort Lauderdale Link Route to make it more convenient for people to live, work and play by trolley. Click here to view the map.


The Publix Fort Lauderdale A1A Marathon & Half Marathon invites you to participate in the 8th annual running of the event on Feb 16. Anyone interested can register at

Jan 31-Feb 2: Big Cypress Shootout: Seminole War Reenactment, Billie Swamp Safari
Jan 31-Feb 1: Jerry Seinfeld, Hard Rock Live
Jan 31-Feb 2: Shen Yun 2014, Broward Center for the Performing Arts
Feb 1: Family Fun Day / Car Show, Coral Springs
Feb 1: Happy Lunar New Year - Vietnamese Music Show, Hard Rock Live
Feb 1: The Kinsey Sicks 2014, Broward Center for the Performing Arts
Feb 4: Florida Panthers vs Toronto Maple Leafs, BB&T Center
Feb 5: John Prine with Jason Wilber, Parker Playhouse
Feb 6: Florida Panthers vs Detroit Red Wings, BB&T Center
Feb 6-8: Nabucco, Broward Center for the Performing Arts
Feb 7-9: South Florida Fine Jewelry, Art & Antiques Show, Gallery of Amazing Things
Feb 8: The Ed Tour starring Ed Schultz, Parker Playhouse
Feb 9: Gala in the Gardens, Flamingo Gardens
Feb 9: Pops on Parade, Broward Center for the Performing Arts
Feb 11: Rachmaninov and Elgar "Songs for a Desert Island" Broward Center for the Performing Arts
Feb 12: Freddy Cole Quartet, Broward Center for the Performing Arts
Feb 13: Alan Parsons Live Project, Hard Rock Live
Feb 13-14: Erth's Dinosaur Zoo, Parker Playhouse
Feb 8-Mar 16: Florida Renaissance Festival, Quiet Waters Park
Feb 14: Andrea Bocelli, BB&T Center
Feb 14: Darlene Love, Parker Playhouse
Feb 15: The Love Rule, Broward Center for the Performing Art
Feb 15: YAA Love Fest, Young at Art Museum
Feb 16: A1A Marathon, Fort Lauderdale
Feb 16: Liza Minnelli, Broward Center for the Performing Arts
Feb 16: The Youth Pride Band, Broward Center for the Performing Arts
Feb 18: St. Petersburg Philharmonic Orchestra, Broward Center for the Performing Arts
Feb 19: Trisha Yearwood, Broward Center for the Performing Arts
Feb 21-23: Miami City Ballet Program III: Triple Threat, Broward Center for the Performing Arts
Feb 22: Beatles Tribute Concert, Lauderhill Sports Park
Feb 22-23: Blue Wild Ocean Adventure and Marine Art Expo, BCCC
Feb 22: The Fab Faux 2014 - Greatest Beatles Tribute Band, Parker Playhouse
Feb 25: Demi Lovato: Neon Lights Tour, BB&T Center
Feb 25-Mar 9: Memphis, Broward Center for the Arts
Feb 27: Florida Panthers vs Washington Capitals, BB&T Center
Feb 27-Mar 2: Capitol Steps 2014 - Fiscal Shades of Gray, Broward Center for the Arts
Feb 28: Disney Junior Live! Pirate & Princess Adventures, BB&T Center
Feb 28: Sergio George presents Salsa Giants, Hard Rock Live

Best wishes,

Nicki E. Grossman