Vital signs are positive with continuing growth in hotel occupancy for the past 30 months, with the highest May occupancy since 2001.
GREATER FORT LAUDERDALE AVERAGE HOTEL OCCUPANCY
GREATER FORT LAUDERDALE AVERAGE HOTEL DAILY RATE
The Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention & Visitors Bureau won two 2011 National Association of County Information Officers (NACIO) Awards of Excellence for Sunny.org Greater Fort Lauderdale Tourism Mobile Site and 2012 Greater Fort Lauderdale Marketing Plan.
TAX FREE SHOPPING
Florida's tax-free weekend is August 3-5, 2012. To help shoppers: http://sunny.org/taxfree . Promotions in the Caribbean will encourage Bahamians and Trinidadians to visit and shop Broward. If your hotel would like to offer special rates during the tax-free weekend, email Justin firstname.lastname@example.org with your special deal.
SUPER SUMMER SAVINGS ON BILLBOARD NEAR YOU
Look for our Super Summer Savings billboards at I-95 and 595 (now), I-595 and the Turnpike (July) and I-95 and Taft (August). We also have a billboards in Orlando (July, LED Board: East /West Expressway & Tampa Ave) and Tampa (through August: I-275 at Floribraska Ext) in case you’re heading that way! Visit www.sunny.org/SuperSummer for your "Super Summer Savings" card and take advantage of dozens of unbeatable "two for one" offers from luxury spas and championship golf to scuba diving, kayaking, museums and natural wonders.
VACATION LIKE A VIP IN GREATER FORT LAUDERDALE
Vacation Like A VIP signature packages are being booked at Lauderdale Luxe properties, with guests receiving a room upgrade, complimentary valet parking, $25 American Express gift card and $100 resort credit to be applied to spa, golf, food & beverage, pool/beach cabana, water activities or kids programs. Visit http://sunny.org/vip.
LAUDERDALE SPA CHIC
Get ready to relax during the fourth annual Lauderdale Spa Chic, September 1-30, where 14 top spas offer treatments for $99 (up to 50% savings): The Atlantic Hotel; Bonaventure Resort & Spa; Embassy Suites Deerfield Beach Resort & Spa; Grand Resort & Spa (gay); Diamante Day Spa; Harbor Beach Marriott Resort; Hilton Fort Lauderdale Beach Resort; Lago Mar Resort and Club; Residence Inn by Marriott Oceanfront; Planet Massage; The Ritz-Carlton, Fort Lauderdale; The W Fort Lauderdale; The Westin Beach Resort & Spa, Fort Lauderdale; and The Westin Diplomat Resort & Spa. Special Spa Chic transportation provided by USA Transportation. For details visit www.sunny.org/spachic.
MEDIA VISITS: Fort Lauderdale Grows Up
During the month of June Greater Fort Lauderdale hosted two international group press trips from the United Kingdom and Europe. In addition, the communications department has assisted several domestic writers from various outlets based outside of Florida including the Huffington Post, New York Resident, Meetings Focus. Here are a few examples of the resulting coverage:
In addition, to print and online media, the GFLCVB worked with visiting television broadcast media from Spain, as well as coordinated a Satellite Media Tour aboard a 104’ San Lorenzo luxury yacht. Here is an example of television segments that reached more than 5 million viewers to date. http://www.cisionpoint.com/BouncingBallVideoPassThrough.aspx?locator=6-285B1E049E-A85621F-A757780
Business activity is up at Port Everglades by nearly 10% and the number of direct jobs increased 13%. The total value of regional economic activity resulting from business at Port Everglades rose to nearly $15.3 billion in FY2011 from $14 billion in FY2010. Increases in cruise passenger activity contributed to the upturn in Port Everglades cruise impacts. Between the FY2010 and FY2011 period, Port Everglades cruise passengers increased by 278,617 passengers from 3,674,226 in FY2010 to 3,952,843 (7.6%) in FY2011. Specifically, multi-day passenger activity increased by 349,895 passengers (10.6%). Passengers per average vessel call on multi-day cruises continued to increase from 2,300 in FY2010 to 2,700 in FY2011, due to larger capacity vessels calling Port Everglades, particularly the year-round weekly services of Royal Caribbean Cruise Line’s Oasis of the Seas and Allure of the Seas.
Total traffic for May 2012 was 1,868,780, down 2.4% over May last year. Year to date total traffic is down .3%. Major carriers with positive growth for the month were Virgin up 19.7%, followed by JetBlue up 12.0%, AirTran up 5.8% and American up 3.3%. Traffic should begin to show improvement. New service by several carriers in the last two months and the arrival of Alaska Airlines in July should begin to show significant positive results. JetBlue added new international routes from Bogota, Colombia and Kingston, Jamaica. Spirit, has begun service to Denver, CO, as well as resumed seasonal service to Las Vegas. AirTran Airways has introduced new service to San Juan, Puerto Rico and Southwest has added non-stop flights from Milwaukee, WI, and Manchester, NH. Alaska Airlines will debut its service to Seattle in July 2012. Fort Lauderdale based-Silver Airways has service to the Bahamas, Tampa, Key West and new service to Tallahassee.
In June, Alfredo Gonzalez conducted a Scandinavia Sales Mission to Finland and Norway. Fernando Harb accompanied Christine Tascione to represent Greater Fort Lauderdale at American Marketing Group Travel Market in Scottsdale. Josh Winston welcomed the American Airlines Brazilian Incentive Fam and attended NACTA’s annual South Florida Chapter planning meeting.
Sports welcomes more than 40,000 athletes, coaches, and families to Greater Fort Lauderdale in July, including the Rising Stars Summer Showcase in Davie, American Dance Awards in Hollywood, the USTA National Boys14 Clay Court Championships at the Jimmy Evert Tennis Center, and various martial arts at the Broward Convention Center.
SUPERIOR SMALL LODGING WHITE GLOVE AWARDS
Congratulations to the 57 properties in the 2012-2013 Superior Small Lodgings program from Deerfield Beach to Hollywood. Recipients of the White Glove Award for best housekeeping practices, properties that score 100% during the annual inspection include: Deerfield Beach: Carriage House Resort, Deerfield Buccaneer Resort Apartments Fort Lauderdale: Alcazar Resort, Ambrosio's Inn, Beach Guest House, Birch Patio, Casa del Sol Resort & Marina, Estoril Paradise Inn, Kira-Mar Waterfront Villas, The Pillars Hotel, Pineapple Point Guest House, Summerland Suites, Villa Venezia, Worthington Guest House Hillsboro Beach: Royal Flamingo Villas Hollywood: Atlantic Sands Beach Suites, Bougainvillea on the Beach, Desoto Ocean Spray, Desoto Oceanview Inn, Enchanted Isle Resort, Grenier’s on the Beach, Hollywood Sands Resort, Manta Ray Inn, Neptune Hollywood Beach Club, Nevada Beach Apts, Quality Inn & Suites, Sea Downs, Tide Vacation Apartments Lauderdale by the Sea: High Noon Resort, Windjammer Resort & Beach Club Pompano Beach: Bahama Beach Club, Cottages by the Ocean, Croton Arms Resort, Pelican Place, Pineapple Place and Sunny Place.
CONVENTION SALES TEAM UPDATE
The convention sales team recently participated in the Meeting Focus Live! at the B Ocean, GFLCVB Destination Preview – Post-Meeting Focus Live!, Philadelphia Sales Mission, Milwaukee Sales Calls, PCMA Education Conference in San Antonio, TX, Smart Meetings Mart in Seattle, PCMA Executive Edge & AIBTM in Baltimore, Health Care Exhibitors Association in New Orleans, and American Marketing Group/ Well-Being Conference in Scottsdale.
Catch the sales team at these upcoming events and tradeshows:
July 10–14: Florida Society of Association Executives, Orlando
July 15–18: Destination Marketing Association International, Seattle
July 16–18: Chicago Client Event & Appointments
July 16–20: Boston Client Events & Sales Calls
July 21–23: International Association of Venue Managers, Fort Lauderdale
July 28–Aug 1: MPI World Education Congress, St. Louis
Mark your calendars for these upcoming 2012 Destination Previews (dates subject to change):
Super September Destination Preview: Sept 27–30
Fabulous Fort Lauderdale Fall Destination Preview: Nov 8-11
JULY GROUP SALES UPDATE
Groups meeting in July will generate more than $11 million to Broward County. Groups include:
July 7-13: Florida Police Chiefs Association Summer Conference (194 attendees)
July 11-14: Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church, Diocese of South West America Annual Conference (200 attendees)
July 11-17: L’Oreal Paris Matrix Education Mid-Year Training (237 attendees)
July 12-15: Florida Democratic Party (175 attendees)
PER DIEM RATE CUT THREATENS INDUSTRY
U.S. Travel reports that GSA is considering several revisions to its methodology for calculating its annual lodging per diem rate. One proposal would reduce per diem rates in major travel markets by 30 percent, which could have significant and long-lasting economic impacts on government and private sector business travel, and harm the nation's tentative economic recovery. U.S. Travel is deeply engaged and partnering with the American Hotel and Lodging Association (AH&LA) to address this matter. By mobilizing 50,000 targeted grassroots leaders and an array of advocacy resources, they are working with leaders on Capitol Hill and within the Administration to stop any policies that could negatively impact travel. More info at www.ustravel.org
THE ART OF BRICK: LEGOS
The Art and Culture Center of Hollywood welcomes back Nathan Sawaya. “The Art of the Brick” showcases more than 30 pieces of Sawaya’s LEGO® brick art, including his 5-foot-wide rendition of Mount Rushmore, which is composed of more than 30,000 LEGO® bricks. View "The Art of The Brick," a variety of both large and small-scale works, along with the LEGO interactive room, where children of all ages can create their own masterpieces or take the Florida BRICK Creation Challenge. Exhibition is on display through August 19.
FILM & ENTERTAINMENT
Greater Fort Lauderdale welcomes the International Academy of Film & Television , located in Hollywood, FL. Current Productions include: TV Series: The Glades (Season Three); Burn Notice (Season 6); Animal Planet’s Tanked; Ev & Ocho; Caught in the Middle; 2012 Miss Hooters International; Raising Mom; Swamp Wars; TLC/Southwest Airlines On The Fly; America’s Most Wanted; ITV’s May the Best House Win; Travel Channel’s Destination America; W Fort Lauderdale 2012 Bliss Spa Guy. TV Commercials: Invicta Watches – Shop NBC; Florida Lotto (Gas for Life); Maroone: Who Ya Gonna Call?; Recycling: It’s Okay. Still Photography: Walmart; Venus Fall Fashion. Telenovelas: La Ruta; El Rostro De La Venganza; Una Maid in Manhattan; Relaciones Peligrosas; Corazon Valiente; Sabado Gigante; Quiero Mi Baby. Feature Films: Man on the Train; Not For Human Consumption. Documentary: Nippon Television BS NTV Travel Channel; Couch Diaries; UK: Plants Behaving Badly – Orchids; World’s Weirdest; Callejeros Viajeros: Eat Florida. TV Special: Descontrol. Music Video: Kenny Chesney, “Come Over”; MU2; Shine; Mia Martina. Webisode: Nolan & Auerbach, P.A.; Yes He Is; Sony.
Congrats to Harbor Beach Marriott Resort & Spa for being named one of the Top 100 U.S. Resort Spas for 2012 by Conde Nast Traveler. And congrats to the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino, Lago Mar Resort and Club, and Marriott North Fort Lauderdale for receiving a 2012 TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence, for properties who consistently receive excellent ratings from their members. The Pillars Hotel continues to enhance the hotel grounds and deluxe poolside rooms. Exterior work includes upgrading the pool area and the swimming pool itself. The patio area in front of the wine bar will now accommodate dining tables.
The latest exhibition at the Museum of Art | Fort Lauderdale, SHARK!, delves into a variety of issues in an examination of the human impact on sharks, exploring the shark as a predator and its portrayal in culture, the importance of shark conservation, the biology of the myriad of shark species and the thrill of shark encounters. Exhibition is on view through January 6, 2013.
ANOTHER SHARK! "THE GREAT WHITE SHARK" GREG NORMAN PINES SIGNATURE GOLF COURSE COMES TO POMPANO BEACH
Construction is now underway on Greg Norman’s redesign and renovation of the Pines Course in Pompano Beach (course director Bob Loring pictured here with Greg Norman). During the Pines redesign and renovation, the Palms Course will simultaneously have a new irrigation system installed. Once completed (tentatively scheduled to open in late fall of 2012) the City of Pompano Beach will have a Greg Norman signature designed golf course that will be one of the finest municipal golf courses in the state of Florida.
ULTIMATE DANCE EXPERIENCE IN POMPANO BEACH
Thanks to a bright idea from Beach Vacation Rentals (a Superior Small Lodging) owner Elaine Fitzgerald, and a grant from VISIT FLORIDA, ballroom and Latin dance will be the focus of new vacation packages in Pompano Beach. Fitzgerald, a dancer herself who believes dance vacations are an untapped opportunity for tourists and business travelers, plans to create and market a website called South Florida Dance Vacations to package her beach-area apartments and cottages with the ultimate dance experience, incorporating traditional ballroom, Latin, Country Western, swing or Argentine Tango with sightseeing, beach activities, private lessons and evening social dances. “We have a literal mecca of the finest dance venues and world champion instructors here, and we should promote it. Our area is perhaps second only to New York City with the quality and quantity of dance here. But New York City does not have a beach!” For more info, visit http://www.4rentbythebeach.com.
Timpano Italian Chophouse is launching a new era with renovations, expansion and new summer menu. Updates include new flooring, a fully restored bar and lounge area, and an expansion of 1,189 sq ft to banquet space. Each function room will be equipped with a large flat screen television. The Starlight Lounge will feature a refinished bar, expanded space and elevated stage area for live entertainment Tuesday-Thursday at 7pm and Friday & Saturday starting at 7:30pm. Sublime has won the New Times Readers' Choice Best Broward County Restaurant Award. East End Brasserie, the oceanfront French-American bistro located at The Atlantic Resort & Spa, has launched an expanded menu featuring summer-fresh ingredients and a greater selection of dishes and French classics.
SATURDAY NITE ALIVE
Free on Fort Lauderdale beach every Saturday night through Aug 11 from 7-11pm: 20 live bands, dozens of street vendors, special parking rates and trolley service. Entertainers perform on the sidewalks along Fort Lauderdale Beach from Hall of Fame Drive to Castillo Street. Isle Casino Racing Pompano Park Presents Saturday Nite Alive offers 25 unique restaurants and outdoor cafés plus patio and oceanfront lounges. http://saturdaynitealive.com/
HAPPENINGS AROUND TOWN
Through July 24: Sea Turtle Walks, Museum of Discovery & Science
Through Aug 19: Nathan Sawaya: The Art of the Brick, Art & Culture Center of Hollywood
Through Sept 30: Super Summer Savings in Greater Fort Lauderdale, http://www.sunny.org/supersummer
Through Jan 6: SHARK! Museum of Art | Fort Lauderdale
July 2: Al Green, Hard Rock Live
July 3-12: The Amazing Spider-Man: The IMAX Experience, Museum of Discovery & Science and AutoNation® IMAX® Theater
July 4: Fourth of July Spectacular, Fort Lauderdale Beach, A1A and Las Olas Blvd
July 4: Hometown 4th of July Celebration, Hollywood beach
July 4: Celebration Featuring Sister Hazel, BankAtlantic Center
July 5: Don Mclean, Hard Rock Live
July 7: Mango Mania, Flamingo Gardens
July 7-8: Stars, Stripes & Science, Museum of Discovery & Science and AutoNation® IMAX® Theater
July 10: Share-A-Pet Event, McSorley’s
July 12: Frank Sinatra, Jr., Seminole Casino Coconut Creek
July 14: Fort Lauderdale Strikers vs. San Antonio Scorpions, Lockhart Stadium
July 15: Yolanda Adams, Hard Rock Live
July 19: The Rose Lifestyles of St. Tropez, Museum of Art | Fort Lauderdale
July 19-29: Cirque du Soleil Dralion, BankAtlantic Center
July 20-Aug 31: The Dark Knight Rises: The IMAX Experience, Museum of Discovery & Science and AutoNation® IMAX® Theater
July 19: The Spinners & The Manhattans, Hard Rock Live
July 20-21: Hairspray, Fort Lauderdale Children's Theatre
July 21-22: Wet-n-Wild Weekend, Flamingo Gardens
July 24: BugFest-By-The-Sea, Lauderdale-by-the-Sea
July 25: The Dukes of September, Hard Rock Live
July 26: Jon Bon Jovi and The Kings of Suburbia, Hard Rock Live
July 27: Symphony of the Americas Summerfest Concert, Broward Center for the Performing Arts
July 27: Fort Lauderdale Strikers vs Atlanta Silverbacks, Lockhart Stadium
July 28: An Evening with John Waters, Parker Playhouse
Nicki E. Grossman