HAPPY ST. PATRICK’S DAY
It’s the luck of the Irish with two St. Patrick’s Day Parades & Festivals. Showcasing Irish culture through live performance and entertainment, the Fort Lauderdale St. Patrick's Parade and Festival takes place Sat, Mar 9 11am-7pm at Huizenga Plaza and the Riverwalk/Riverfront area, parade starts at noon and runs along Las Olas Blvd. http://www.ftlaudirishfest.com. And Hollywood’s St. Patrick's Day Parade & Festival takes place Sun, Mar 10 from 12-6pm, with the parade starting at 1pm in downtown Hollywood. http://www.stpatricksparade.com.

YEAR-END STATS

Growth in hotel occupancy continues (for the past 38 months), with the highest January hotel occupancy since 2006, and the U.S. January’s highest Average Daily Rate since 2008.   

GREATER FORT LAUDERDALE AVERAGE HOTEL OCCUPANCY

January 2013

January 2012

% Change

80.1%

79.3%

+1.0%

GREATER FORT LAUDERDALE AVERAGE HOTEL DAILY RATE

January 2013

January 2012

% Change

$140.86

$132.97

+5.9%



TOURISM MEANS JOB$
Did you know the Hilton Fort Lauderdale Beach Resort and the GALLERYone DoubleTree Suites by Hilton both provide exceptional employment opportunities for over 400 team members annually.

LODGING OVERVIEW BY SMITH TRAVEL RESEARCH, MARCH 6
RSVP for the Lodging Overview Presentation, conducted by Brittany Baldwin, Business Development Manager with Smith Travel Research. This breakfast presentation will include a year-end report summarizing information from U.S., Regional, Local and Segment Mix data collected by STR and provide you with STR’s expert insight on domestic and international trends that may impact future business. This event is targeted to hoteliers – ideally General Manager, Director of Sales and Marketing or Director of Revenue Management. Registration and networking begins at 8am. Space is limited. RSVP to meetsunny@broward.org by March 4.

SAVE THE DATE: NATIONAL TOURISM APPRECIATION DAY, MAY 2
Reserve your seat for National Tourism Appreciation Day luncheon on Thursday, May 2 at the Broward County Convention Center and celebrate the importance of tourism with keynote speaker, Greg Schwem. $35pp. RSVP now to Maria Mele mamele@broward.org. Remember to get your red outfit ready.

SUPER SUMMER SAVINGS: 2-FOR-1 OFFERS
Attractions, restaurants, cultural activities, spas, golf courses, and dive operators are participating in the 2013 Super Summer Savings program by offering 2-for-1 offers to help increase business May 1 through September 30, 2013. The CVB's online summer program promoting these values will reach millions of in-state and out-of-area consumers and is FREE to participate. Click here to sign up. Deadline has been extended to Friday, Mar 8. To see past participants, go to http://sunny.org/summer. Order 2-for-1 cards for your guests now. Contact Frank at fpadin@broward.org.  

GREATER FORT LAUDERDALE WARMS UP CHICAGO
Greater Fort Lauderdale’s "Goodbye Chilly, Hello Sunny" tour ended in Chicago last month. The CVB team, along with Starmark and M Silver, brought some warmth to the Windy City by setting up shop on Michigan Avenue, next to the Tribune Tower, giving away free sunglasses and ice scrapers, along with a chance to win a beach getaway. Chicagoans had the chance to meet the Blackhawk Cheerleaders, Tommy Hawk and NHL Hall of Famer Denis Savard, while warming up with Greater Fort Lauderdale. Our beach mobile was also onsite along with frozen bikinis, warm your buns benches, the live beach cam on giant plasma screen, photo kiosks, real swimsuit models, and window displays on Michigan Avenue. Broadcast coverage included CBS1 Chicago News, UNIVISION Chicago News, WCIU, The U’s “You & Me This Morning” and WGN9, The CW’s “Around Town” with Ana Belaval. To check out the video of our team in Chicago click here. You can also view the photos on our Facebook page here.

CONVENTION SALES TEAM UPDATE

The convention sales team recently participated in Chicago Hello Sunny/ Meet Sunny Mission and Client Event, LCC Client Event in Washington, DC, Sunbelt CVB Group Client Events in Dallas, Association Management Companies Annual in St. Pete Beach, Xsite in Tallahassee, MPI Northern California Chapter Annual Meeting & Client Event in San Francisco, Visit Florida Sales Mission in Bogata, Colombia, and World Confess Medical Meetings Summit in Philadelphia.
Catch the sales team at these upcoming events and tradeshows:
Mar 4–6: Mid-Atlantic HelmsBriscoe DC Destination Preview
Mar 5:   PCMA New England Education conference
Mar 10–12: ASAE Great Ideas Conference, Colorado Springs,
Mar 13-14: DMAI Foundation Dinner/ Destinations Showcase, Washington, DC
Mar 11–14: GFLCVB Carolina Sales Mission
Mar 19–22: Pharma Forum, Orlando
Mar 20–22: Smart Meetings, Seattle
Mar 26–28: MIC Colorado, Denver

AWARD-WINNING
The GFLCVB received the 2013 Tourism Destination Marketing Award during Routes Americas in Cartagena, Colombia. The award is presented for the best destination marketing campaign by a tourism authority. The GFLCVB and FLL team created marketing and promotional campaigns to increase market share in the South Florida region resulting in FLL garnering more than 50% of the tri-county domestic market. Greater Fort Lauderdale Film & Entertainment received several 2013 Association of Film Commissioners International (AFCI) Marketing Awards for LOGO: 1st place for Underground logo; SPECIALTY ITEM: 2nd place for Underground iPad Cover; DIRECT MARKETING PIECE: 1st place for FILM KIT cover; PRINT ADVERTISING SERIES: 1st place for film print advertising; and DIGITAL ADVERTISING: 2nd place for film digital advertising.  And congrats to Starmark for winning four Gold ADDYs for the sunny.org New York Times interstitial banners, the “Defrost App” in the mobile category, “Fork Lauderdale Dine Out App” for GPS & Location, and “Defrost Taxi Wrap” vehicle graphic. A job well done!

NEW FLORIDA LAW REGARDING INTERNATIONAL DRIVING PERMITS
Recently a law was introduced in Florida, requiring international visitors to obtain an International Driving Permit (IDP) in order to drive while visiting the State. The Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles announced that the law will not be enforced until a final review and revision to the law can be made. Our doors and roadways remain open to all international travelers with valid drivers' licenses from their home country. Visitors can feel free to motor in Florida without worry or the necessity to obtain an International Driving Permit. The Convention & Visitors Bureau has communicated with our delegation to offer strong support for an exemption to this law, especially for Canadian and other English language licenses while they review the entire statute. We welcome our many international visitors, and encourage all to continue with their Florida travel plans.

MARCH GROUP SALES UPDATE

Groups meeting in March will generate more than $13 million to Broward County. Groups include:   
Mar 1-2: National Diversity Council Florida Women’s Conference (250 attendees)
Mar 1-4: Dot Foods Winner Circle Incentive Trip 2013 (240 attendees)
Mar 1-7: Citigroup 2013 ICG CIRA Global Property CEO Conference (724 attendees)
Mar 2-8: 2013 Global Tax Planning – Americas (500 attendees)
Mar 2-8: Novo Nordisk Sales Training Summit Meeting (120 attendees)
Mar 6-10: American Association of Directors of Psychiatric Residency Training (421 attendees)
Mar 9-16: 30th Annual International Seminar on Primary & Secondary Batteries (200 attendees)
Mar 9-18: Bridgestone Bandag Tire Solutions Executive Symposium 2013 (500 attendees)
Mar 10-17: Suncoast Meetings & Events National Drowning Prevention Alliance (175 attendees)
Mar 11-15: 2013 NCAL Spring Conference & AHCA/NCAL Independent Owner Conference (250 attendees)

SPORT LAUDERDALE

Sports will host over 25 events in March with more than 17,000 attendees. Highlighting: The High School National Hockey Championships at the SAVEOLOGY Iceplex in Coral Springs, the US Swimming Southern Sectionals at the Fort Lauderdale Aquatic Complex, and the Cloverleaf Volleyball Invitational at the Broward County Convention Center.

NATIONAL URBAN LEAGUE CONFERENCE: JULY 2015
The National Urban League Conference heads to Fort Lauderdale in July 2015, thanks to the efforts of Albert Tucker who worked with both the local and national leagues to showcase the area as a viable candidate for the event. Click here to read the article in today's Sun-Sentinel.

MULTICULTURALLY SPEAKING
Greater Fort Lauderdale is hosting the Executive Board of the American Tennis Association (ATA) Mar 7-10, in town preparing for the 96th Annual ATA National Championships in August 2013. To enhance exposure to the HBCU experience, Greater Fort Lauderdale will host the FAMU Presidents Tour Mar 10-12. Southern Florida Minority Supplier Development Council Expo takes place at the Broward County Convention Center Mar 14-16.Greater Fort Lauderdale will also host more than 30 meeting planners and travel agents’ Mar 14-17 in collaboration with Jazz in the Gardens, which takes place Mar 16-17 at Sun Life Stadium.

VIVA FLORIDA 500 – FLORIDA’S 500TH ANNIVERSARY

Commemorate 500 years of Florida's rich heritage and diverse cultural history by submitting your deals and events which highlight our shared history and heritage.  Your event or deal will be featured on Sunny.org at www.sunny.org/vivaflorida.  Deals can range from a special Viva Florida 500 hotel rate to a culinary menu, dish or treat. Events need to highlight our rich history and heritage, such as music festivals that share our culture through dance and sound or food festivals that share our Spanish, Hispanic, Latin, Caribbean, English, French and other cuisine. To also have your event featured on the statewide Viva Florida website, visit http://www.visitflorida.com/submit_viva_event/ to add your event to the calendar there. Click here for the Viva Florida 500 form and return via email to Justin Flippen at jflippen@broward.org. To learn more about Viva Florida 500 visit http://visitflorida.com/viva or http://fla500.com.

TOURISM SALES
In February, Alfredo Gonzalez attended Routes in Bogota, Colombia, and the Egroup Communications Conference at Sea aboard the Allure of the Seas. Fernando conducted the Visit Florida Spain Mission to Madrid and Barcelona. Alfredo and Fernando finished up the month at ANATO in Bogota, Colombia. Josh Winston attended Lehigh Valley International Airport’s Cruise-a-thon in Allentown, Pennsylvania, which drew hundreds of travel industry professionals. Justin Flippen conducted several Viva Florida 500 conference calls and meetings, working on the upcoming visit of a replica Spanish Galleon in May 15-19 at Las Olas Marina..

MAKE A DEAL WITH US
Do you have a deal on http://sunny.org/lauderdeals? Does it need to be updated or would you like to provide us one?  If your property has offers, make sure they are current. If you are not already participating in one of our programs, we welcome your submissions. Click on the links below to submit an offer. If you have questions or need to make a change, contact Justin at Jflippen@broward.org.
LauderDeals
Cruise and Play deals for cruisers
Special Offers for Latin American visitors
Florida Resident deals
Honeymoon packages
Travel Industry Rates

AIRLINE EMPLOYEE PROGRAM
To help fill unsold hotel rooms to industry partners with easy access to air travel, hotels can offer special rates for airline employees. Rates and a full listing of participating hotel properties can be found on our website at http://sunny.org/airlineemployees. For participation in this program, click here and submit the form to Justin at JFlippen@broward.org by March 15.

FILM & ENTERTAINMENT

Lauderdale Live meetings continue to take place for 2013 with music venues and locations finalizing in March. Tortuga Rock the Ocean Music Festival sold out the host hotel's room blocks, thank you for all who provided additional rooms towards this music event. Driven Music Festival will be hosted in Fort Lauderdale promising a phenomenal line up and music industry professionals, host hotel: The Hyatt Regency Pier 66. Noelle Stevenson joined the FLGLFF/MGLFF film festival board for continued expansion of the LGBT film festival in Fort Lauderdale. The kickoff party for the new Cinema Paradiso in Hollywood took place Feb 28. O2 Media Studios in Pompano Beach produced “Mission Makeover” and “All mixed up” TV series. Noelle will attend Tour Connection in March in NYC with over 300 entertainment travel agents attending.

Film Permits were issued for the following productions in February 2013:
Featured Film: Temple of Joy; Everglades; Southern Formal/Double XXposure.TV Series: Graceland-Season 1; The Glades-Season 4; Gator Boys Season 2; Pekin Express; Long Island Medium On The Road; Mission Makeover; Heart and Soul; Four Weddings; Les Anges de la Télé- Réalité; The Voice; Tanked; South Beach Tow Season 2B. TV Commercials: TNT; Porsche; Arm & Hammer; ADT; RSA Jeep; Sears; Purperez; Graceland-Promo; Gordman’s. Still Photography: Target; Road Warriors Campaign - The Angler; Walmart March 24,2013 Circular; Windsor Jet Challenger 604; Undergear Swim; TPFS410; Belk – Private Brands; G5 At Sunset; Agusta 139; Primark; Macy’s Father’s Day; Promotional Advertising Taurus/Rossi and Heritage; Sam’s Premium Pet Food. Telenovela: Marido En Alquiler. Industrial: Extended Stay Suites. Web: Krissy Belle; Shooting Caribbean Excursions.   

HOTEL/DINING NEWS
The Riverside Hotel presents their newest restaurant and lounge, Wild Sea Oyster Bar & Grille. A new culinary haven boasting ultra-fresh seafood and other tantalizing offerings that doubles in the late evenings as a luxurious lounge. Visitors will be welcomed by an expansive raw bar serving a delicious selection of east and west coast oysters. Inside, the restaurant boasts a full bar with an accompanying seating area and an open dining room overlooking an extensive wine cellar, as well as a private dining area. Welcome aboard Achim Kuhn, the new general manager at the newly renovated Hyatt Place Fort Lauderdale 17th Street Convention Center. Achim brings more than 20 years of hospitality leadership experience to the destination.

CONGRATS!

Ina Lee, publisher of Travelhost Media, received the Carolyn M. Michaels’ Leadership Award for nearly four decades of service within the Greater Fort Lauderdale Chamber of Commerce, particularly focused on beach and hotel related expansion. (The award is named after the Chamber's executive vice president who has been at the organization for three decades).  Ina Lee is currently the Chair of the Chamber’s Beach Council and serves on the organization’s Board of Directors. She also offers free weekly guided meditation classes every Wednesday 5:45-6:30pm at George English Park in Fort Lauderdale. For more info call (954) 463-4733 or go to www.meditatewithina.com.

ON VIEW
The Museum of Art | Fort Lauderdale, in coordination with the Cleveland Museum of Art, offers the opportunity to experience the distinct vision of the Wari. This exhibition presents a vision that is simultaneously ancient and contemporary and remains on view through May 19, 2013. Check out the banners that are displayed in 4 airports in Lima.

HAPPENINGS AROUND TOWN

Through Mar 10 (weekends): Florida Renaissance Festival, QUIET WATERS PARK
Mar 1-3: Miami City Ballet: Program III, BROWARD CENTER FOR THE PERFORMING ARTS
Mar 1: Burgers & Beer Festival, SEMINOLE PARADISE
Mar 1: DisneyLive! Mickey's Music Festival, BB&T CENTER
Mar 2: Bon Jovi: Because We Can World Tour, BB&T CENTER
Mar 2: Galt Mile Wine & Food Festival - A Seaside Affair!
Mar 2: ThePreNup, MIRAMAR CULTURAL CENTER
Mar 2-3: 25th Annual Las Olas Art Fair, LAS OLAS BOULEVARD
Mar 2-3: Big Cypress Shootout: Seminole War Reenactment, BILLIE SWAMP SAFARI
Mar 3: SunTrust Jazz Brunch, RIVERWALK
Mar 3: Kenny G, HARD ROCK LIVE
Mar 3: Florida Panthers v. Carolina Hurricanes, BB&T CENTER
Mar 5-17: Flashdance, Broadway, BROWARD CENTER FOR THE PERFORMING ARTS
Mar 5 & 8: Florida Panthers v. Winnipeg Jets, BB&T CENTER
Mar 5: Judy Collins, PARKER PLAYHOUSE
Mar 6: Long Live the King: Allan Harris Sings Nat King Cole, BROWARD CENTER FOR THE PERFORMING ARTS
Mar 7: Southside Johnny and The Asbury Jukes, HARD ROCK LIVE
Mar 7-10: PrideFest, WAR MEMORIAL AUDITORIUM
Mar 8-9: Daryl Hall & John Oates, HARD ROCK LIVE
Mar 8-9: Legally Blonde The Musical, FORT LAUDERDALE CHILDREN'S THEATRE
Mar 9-10: Arts & Crafts Festival, Lauderdale-by-the-Sea
Mar 8: Best of The Second City, BROWARD CENTER FOR THE PERFORMING ARTS
Mar 8: Pride Comedy Night, PARKER PLAYHOUSE
Mar 9: Andre Rieu and his Johann Strauss Orchestra, BB&T CENTER
Mar 9: Celtic Crossroads, PARKER PLAYHOUSE
Mar 9: St Patrick's Day Parade & Festival, HUIZENGA PLAZA & RIVERWALK
Mar 9-10: Arts Ballet Theatre: Chipollino, BROWARD CENTER FOR THE PERFORMING ARTS
Mar 9-10: Lady Bug Release, MUSEUM OF DISCOVERY & SCIENCE & AUTONATION IMAX
Mar 10: Florida Panthers v. Montreal Canadiens, BB&T CENTER
Mar 10: MQB Tour - Mira Quien Baila Tour, HARD ROCK LIVE
Mar 10: St. Patrick's Day Parade and Festival, DOWNTOWN HOLLYWOOD
Mar 11: A Tribute to Pavarotti, MIRAMAR CULTURAL CENTER
Mar 12: Florida Panthers v. Tampa Bay Lightning, BB&T CENTER
Mar 13: Matchbox Twenty, HARD ROCK LIVE
Mar 14: Daisy Bates: Southern Circuit Independent Film Festival, MIRAMAR CULTURAL CENTER
Mar 14-17: Dania Beach Marine Flea Market, DANIA JAI ALAI
Mar 14-17: You Say Tomato, I Say Shut Up, BROWARD CENTER FOR THE PERFORMING ARTS
Mar 15-17: MOD Weekend 2013, FORT LAUDERDALE BEACH
Mar 15: The Pirates of Penzance, PARKER PLAYHOUSE
Mar 16:  Florida Panthers v. New York Islanders, BB&T CENTER
Mar 16: Sheryl Crow, HARD ROCK LIVE
Mar 16-17: Jazz in the Gardens, SUN LIFE STADIUM
Mar 16-17: Coral Springs Festival of the Arts
Mar 17: Viva Las Vegas, PARKER PLAYHOUSE
Mar 18-30: World AIDS Museum Exhibit, STONEWALL LIBRARY & GLBT ARCHIVES
Mar 19-24: Symphony of the Americas: The Power of 150 Voices Strong! BROWARD CENTER
Mar 20: Joan Jett & The Blackhearts, HARD ROCK LIVE
Mar 21: Clueless on Las Olas, LAS OLAS BOULEVARD
Mar 21-24: Disney on Ice: Dare to Dream, BB&T CENTER
Mar 22: Gabriel Iglesias, HARD ROCK LIVE
Mar 23: Pilobolus, PARKER PLAYHOUSE
Mar 23-24: Yo Gabba Gabba! Live! Get the Sillies Out! BROWARD CENTER FOR THE PERFORMING ARTS
Mar 24: One Night of Queen, PARKER PLAYHOUSE
Mar 24: Yes, HARD ROCK LIVE
Mar 27-30: Bare the Musical, BROWARD CENTER FOR THE PERFORMING ARTS
Mar 27: Romeo Santos, HARD ROCK LIVE
Mar 28: Florida Panthers v. Buffalo Sabres, BB&T CENTER
Mar 29-30: Eric Clapton, HARD ROCK LIVE
Mar 29: Maroon 5, BB&T CENTER
Mar 30: An Evening with Maxi Priest, MIRAMAR CULTURAL CENTER
Mar 30: Florida Derby, GULFSTREAM PARK RACING & CASINO
Mar 30: Florida Panthers v. New Jersey Devils, BB&T CENTER

Sunny wishes,

Nicki E. Grossman
President