Sunny.org Shines Brighter Than Ever with New Look and Feel
The official tourism site for the Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention & Visitors Bureau re-launched with a new look and feel, enhanced content and the ever-popular “beach cams.” Visitors to www.sunny.org will notice a fresh style and navigational ease that compliments Greater Fort Lauderdale's “beach chic” personality and affordable luxury. The site includes new Google map-it capabilities, easy hotel bookings, upcoming event highlights, Vacation Planner E-guide, Lauderdale Luxe collection, SSL section, Bet on it, Cruise and Play section, GLBT section, new Meetings E-guide with featured meeting hotels and venues in the meetings section. The refreshed sunny.org makes it easier than ever to personalize and book your own ultimate vacation, meeting, sports group or family reunion. Visitors can log onto www.sunny.org/win to register to win their very own 2009 Greater Fort Lauderdale beach getaway.
Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Sunshine
After touring Toronto, Chicago, and NYC, the GFL Beachmobile went to the inauguration, with a specially designed slogan. Click here to see a clip on CNN. Next stop Boston.
Follow the Groundhog to Greater Fort Lauderdale
Groundhog Day email campaign will broadcast to more than 450,000 in our database and to Sherman's Travel email database, in combination with a Beach Chic Starter Kit giveaway. The Groundhog video spot will also be featured on CNN.com homepage in cold-weather states for one week. Visit www.sunny.org/groundhog to view.
Trip Advisor Rankings
According to Trip Advisor, in all of the United States and Canada, Fort Lauderdale ranks as the #4 top family fun beach destination and #10 for Overall Family Vacation.
Tourism Sales Update
Josh Winston heads to Boston in February for a special reception highlighting our casually upscale charm to travel industry professionals. The Greater Fort Lauderdale Beachmobile will be there as well.
In conjunction with Black History Month, the Gospel Complex for Education & Preservation will commence the Capital Campaign to raise the funding to build the Gospel Complex. The Land Purchase Agreement has been completed and the site plan is underway. The new Greater Fort Lauderdale Multicultural Visitors Guide hits the shelves by the end of February. Greater Fort Lauderdale will be the host destination for the National Association of Real Estate Brokers, Inc. (NAREB) 62nd Mid-Winter Conference. The conference will be held at the Renaissance Plantation Hotel from Feb 19–22.
Convention Sales Team Update
The convention sales team has showcased GFL to AmeriQuest Transportation Services, CMP Meeting Services, AON Corporation, CMC & Associates, A Meeting Space, Corporate Meetings Unlimited, Macro International, Strategic Site Selection and HRG Events & Meeting Management. The sales team was recently in New Orleans for Professional Convention Management Association (PCMA)’s Annual Meeting, Tallahassee for GFLCVB Tallahassee Sales Mission, Dallas for International Gay & Lesbian Travel Association (IGLTA) Board of Directors Meeting and Grand Rapids for Religious Convention Management Association (RCMA).
Catch the sales team soon at these upcoming events and tradeshows:
Feb 2–6: Chicago Area Sales Mission and Events
Feb 7–11: MPI’s Meet Different, Atlanta
Feb 22–23: ASAE’s Great Ideas Conference, Doral, Miami
Feb 25-26: Destinations Showcase (DMAI) Foundation Dinner, Washington, DC
Last weekend, the GFLCVB hosted a group of 14 planners. “Thank You” to our partners who provided outstanding accommodations, dining, transportation, and spa services to help make this weekend a successful visit: Marriott Harbor Beach Resort & Spa, The Westin Beach Resort, Fort Lauderdale, The Atlantic Resort & Spa, Water Taxi, Samba Room and PRA Destination Management Southeast Florida. Future 2009 Mini-Fam dates currently scheduled are: Mar 26–29: in conjunction with 58th running of the Florida Derby at Gulfstream Park; June 26–29: in conjunction with events and performance of Stomp, accommodations at Westin Beach Resort, Fort Lauderdale; Sept 10–13; and Nov 5–8. We try to alternate opportunities with various properties and venues in the area to showcase all of Greater Fort Lauderdale’s fabulous accommodations and facilities. If you are interested in hosting an event, accommodations or a meal at your hotel or venue with the CVB on one of the already scheduled dates, please contact Christine Tascione at the CVB at 954-767-2466 or email@example.com.
February Group Sales Update
Groups meeting in February generate more than $14 million to Broward County. Sample groups include:
Feb 2-6: Adecco National Sale Meeting (800 attendees)
Feb 9-16: PRI-MED South 2009 (4,000 attendees)
Feb 20-Mar 3: AUSA 2009 Winter Symposium (4500 attendees)
Feb 27-28: Olivia 2009 Western Caribbean Cruise (300 attendees)
Greater Fort Lauderdale welcomes the following sports groups in February, with over 17,000 competitors plus family and friends:
Jan 29-Feb 1: SE Age Group Soccer Championships (2600 attendees)
Jan 29-Feb 1: Florida Open Judo Championships (500 attendees)
Jan 30-Feb 1: FLA Swimming Invitational (600 attendees)
Feb 4-8: American Youth Soccer Sect 14 Conference (500 attendees)
Feb 5-8: Fort Lauderdale Billfish Tournament & US Fisheries Conference (1500 attendees)
Feb 6-8: South FL Senior Games (800 attendees)
Feb 12-16: GLTA South FL Tennis Clay Court Classic (2500 attendees)
Feb 13-15: Jr International Water Polo Tournament (2200 attendees)
Feb 13-15: President's Day Extravaganza (500 attendees)
Feb 13-18: Presidential American Youth Soccer Tournament (2500 attendees)
Feb 20-22: National Marathon Conference (1200 attendees)
Feb 20-22: Fort Lauderdale Masters Challenge (500 attendees)
Feb 26-Mar 1: Interzone Adult Soccer Invite (1250 attendees)
Feb 28-Mar 1: Ruggerfest (850 attendees)
This month, Paula DaSilva, an eight year veteran of 3030 Ocean at the Marriott Harbor Beach Resort & Spa, will be competing to win the grand prize on the 5th season of the popular TV show Hell’s Kitchen. The show premiered January 29. No one is prouder of Chef Paula's abilities in the kitchen than her mentor, Chef Dean Max at 3030 Ocean. Let’s all cheer on Chef Paula for the win.
SUNsational Service Training
There is still time to sign up for this fast-paced interactive class designed to help reach your goals of outstanding service for every citizen and visitor. Repeat and referral guests become even more critical during these times and providing great ( SUNsational ) service becomes even more critical to ensuring our destination continues to soar and build the reputation that brings people back.
Port Everglades News
On January 3, a world-record breaking number of cruise passengers, 49,234 to be exact, sailed in and out of Port Everglades in a single day. By 2011, Port Everglades is poised to become the world's top cruise port. December 2009 marks the debut of the world’s largest ship, the new RCCL Oasis of the Seas boasting 16 decks and 5,400 passengers.
Port Everglades Launches Ship to Shelter
Holland America Line and Port Everglades debuted an innovative community charitable program, Ship to Shelter, designed to donate valuable and reusable goods from the line’s cruise ships to local people in need. Partnering with U.S. Customs and Border Protection and Cooperative Feeding Broward, Port Everglades will work with the Seattle-based cruise line to donate items from its ships that regularly call at Port Everglades. The goods will be distributed to individuals and families in need by Cooperative Feeding Broward. Partially used stateroom amenities, that are no longer needed on cruise ships, are packaged for re-use by the needy, while providing an environmentally friendly solid waste disposal solution. Holland America Line will continue to donate other items from various Port Everglades–based ships from January through April and October through December each year. We would like to start an amenity re-use donation program for hotels. If you are interested in donating shampoos and lotions, please contact Jessica Taylor, firstname.lastname@example.org. If you already have a program in place, please let us know so we can help promote your charitable efforts.
The Plane Facts: FLL News
Total passenger traffic for 2008 was 22,621,500, down -0.3% over 2007 with 60,403 less passengers traveling through the facility. Domestic traffic for the year was down -1.2% while international traffic grew 6.5% over 2007. 2008 marked the first year where international traffic has reached the 3 million bench mark. International traffic has almost doubled since 2004. Air Carrier flights for 2008 were 247,572 take offs and landings, down -2.5% over 2007. General Aviation was down -11.4% with 47,924 operations.
Congratulation to the ARFF 20th Anniversary
Bob Barker, of The Price is Right fame, will host the Animal Rights Foundation of Florida's (ARFF), a non-profit animal advocacy group, 20th Anniversary Gala on Mar 14 at the Broward County Convention Center, with special guest Pamela Anderson. Highlights of the gala will include a gourmet vegan dinner, an open bar, silent and live auctions featuring rare items, and book signings. An awards ceremony for animal champions will be emceed by Barker. Award recipients include Nicki Grossman and former Hollywood City Commissioner Cathleen Anderson. Tickets $250. Call (954) 727-ARFF, or visit www.animalrightsflorida.org.
Broward County Transit (BCT) and Wannado City® announce the launch of Wannado City Breeze, a new transportation system with a real-life, mini-replica of a BCT bus, bus stops, a main transit terminal and a special bus pass, inside America's first indoor role-playing theme park for kids. Ah-Tah-Thi-Ki Museum is pleased to announce that Jessica R. Cattelino, author of High Stakes, Florida Seminole Gaming and Sovereignty, will be on hand to autograph books from 1-3pm daily at the Museum booth during the Seminole Tribal Fair in Hollywood February 13-14. The Fort Lauderdale History Center (FLHC), debuts Streamline: Frank Lloyd Wright in Fort Lauderdale, at a special exhibit opening reception on Feb 5 at the History Center’s 1905 New River Inn. And welcome aboard Kelley Shanley, the new president and chief executive officer of the Broward Center for the Performing Arts.
What's New in Hollywood
Take your pooch for a walk on the beach near where the hit movie Marley and Me was filmed. The Dog Beach of Hollywood is located between Pershing and Custer Streets, and is open Friday-Saturday from 3-7pm. $5 daily fee or $30 six-month fee ($10 daily, $60 six months for non-resident). Funtastic Fridays offers a variety of activities every Friday night at Anniversary Park in Historic Downtown Hollywood. February marks the grand opening for the Hollywood Beach Welcome Center, located near Michigan Street on the Broadwalk. The Welcome Center will be a WiFi hotspot staffed by a trained visitor specialist equipped with a cell phone, a lap top, a dedicated email address and promotional print materials and maps. Call 877-672-2468. New on the Hollywood dining scene: Sage Oyster Bar, a casual French bistro, opened on Harrison Street, with emphasis on fresh fish prepared by award winning Chef Laurent Tasic. Mickey Byrne’s Irish Pub & Restaurant offers an outstanding Irish breakfast, Shepherd’s Pie, fish and chips. Vedue’s Fish and Burger Shack offers indoor, patio and Broadwalk seating and features fresh seafood and burgers.
Hollywood Resident Reward Wednesday
Every Wednesday from 4pm to closing, several Downtown Hollywood restaurants will be offering their neighbors special savings. Hollywood residents who present their driver's license or official Department of Motor Vehicle identification cards with a valid Hollywood address will receive 15% off their check at participating restaurants and retailers (exclusive of tax and gratuity) when dining downtown. Participating restaurants include: La Barraca, La Piazza Pasta Café, Lola's on Harrison, Luce, Mickey Byrne's, Mix Ultra Lounge and Sushi Blues Café. www.downtownhollywood.com
Job.travel offers employers unlimited job postings and unlimited candidate searches for an annual subscription of $198. To take advantage of unlimited job postings and candidate searches in the Venice of America, please visit www.job.travel/Directory/City/Fort_Lauderdale.
Happenings Around Town
Through Feb 23: Picasso/Luna, Museum of Art, Fort Lauderdale
Through Feb 28: Dinosaurs Alive 3D, Museum of Discovery & Science
Through Mar 23: Coming of Age/American Art, Museum of Art, Fort Lauderdale
Feb 4-15: A Jew Grows in Brooklyn, Broadway, Coral Springs Center for the Arts
Feb 4-8: Dixie's Tupperware Party, Broward Center for the Performing Arts
Feb 5-7: La Cenerentola, Florida Grand Opera, Broward Center for the Performing Arts
Feb 5-8: Fort Lauderdale Billfish Tournament
Feb 5: Florida Panthers vs. New York Islanders, BankAtlantic Center
Feb 6: Jackie Mason, Broward Center for the Performing Arts
Feb 6: Love Me Tender, The Ultimate Elvis Bash, Broward Center for the Performing Arts
Feb 6: Billy Joel, Hard Rock Live
Feb 6: Slacktone live band, Mai-Kai, 6pm
Feb 7: Third Avenue Art District Annual Artwalk, Fort Lauderdale
Feb 7: ArtExplosion 2009, various locations
Feb 7-Mar 8: Florida Renaissance Festival, Quiet Waters
Feb 10-15: A Bronx Tale, Parker Playhouse
Feb 10: Florida Panthers vs. Toronto Maple Leafs, BankAtlantic Center
Feb 11: Bernadette Peters, Broward Center for the Performing Arts
Feb 11-12: Frankie Valli & The Four Seasons, Hard Rock Live
Feb 13: Florida Panthers vs. New York Rangers, BankAtlantic Center
Feb 14: George Winston, Broward Center for the Performing Arts
Feb 15: Florida Panthers vs. Washington Captials, BankAtlantic Center
Feb 17: Florida Panthers vs. New Jersey Devils, BankAtlantic Center
Feb 17-Mar 1: A Chorus Line, Broward Center for the Performing Arts
Feb 17: Aaron Lewis of Staind, Hard Rock Live
Feb 18: Taste of the Beach 2009, Lauderdale-By-The-Sea
Feb 18: HSMAI luncheon featuring Will Seccombe, Visit Florida, at The Grill Room, Riverside Hotel
Feb 19: Florida Panthers vs. Chicago Blackhawks, BankAtlantic Center
Feb 19: La Boheme, Broward Center for the Performing Arts
Feb 20-22: Footloose, Parker Playhouse
Feb 21: Florida Panthers vs. Boston Bruins, BankAtlantic Center
Feb 21-22: Mardi Gras Fiesta Tropicale, Downtown Hollywood
Feb 22: A1A Marathon, Downtown Fort Lauderdale to Pompano Beach
Feb 24: Fat Tuesday on Hollywood Beach
Feb 27-Mar 1: Big Cypress Shootout, Billie Swamp Safari
Feb 27: Smucker's Stars on Ice, BankAtlantic Center
Feb 28: Harlem Globetrotters, BankAtlantic Center
Feb 28: 29th Annual Sistrunk Parade & Festival, Fort Lauderdale
Feb 28: Orange Blossom Festival, Parade & Rodeo, Bergeron Rodeo, Davie
With all best wishes,
Nicki E. Grossman