Growth in hotel occupancy continues (for the past 27 months), with the highest February hotel occupancy in the state at 86.6%; February’s Average Daily Rate is $143.83; and February’s RevPAR Analysis is $124.62.
GREATER FORT LAUDERDALE AVERAGE OCCUPANCY
GREATER FORT LAUDERDALE AVERAGE DAILY RATE
GREATER FORT LAUDERDALE RevPAR ANALYSIS
CELEBRATE NATIONAL TOURISM APPRECIATION DAY
Get your red ready: Reserve your seat for the Tourism Appreciation Day luncheon on Friday, May 11 at the Broward County Convention Center, as we celebrate the importance of tourism. Entertainment provided by The Water Coolers. $35pp. RSVP by May 4 to Kim, email@example.com.
At the South Florida Advertising Federation ADDY Awards, Defrost Your Swimsuit campaign for the GFLCVB won Best of Show. Gold ADDY’s were presented for “Find Your Sunny: Super Boy” national TV spot; the Sunny.org mobile website; the Greater Fort Lauderdale Defrost Your Swimsuit app: and the Greater Fort Lauderdale Defrost Your Swimsuit campaign. Three Silver ADDY’s were awarded for the Greater Fort Lauderdale Super Summer national TV campaign and outdoor board, as well as one for the Greater Fort Lauderdale pre/post cruise video. The GFLCVB won top honors at the Hospitality Sales & Marketing Association International’s (HSMAI) annual Adrian Awards competition, considered the most prestigious in the hospitality industry. Gold and Bronze Adrian Awards were presented for marketing and public relations excellence for the “Defrost Your Swimsuit” marketing program with integrated advertising, digital, public relations and special event components that generated national broadcast and print media coverage and “Vacation Like a VIP” promotion which featured a signature, exclusive summer package at all 12 Lauderdale Luxe Collection hotels.
A FOND FAREWELL TO OUR SPORTS GURU
Congratulate John Webb as he moves north to head up the Florida Sports Foundation in Tallahassee. While we will all miss John, we are proud of his many accomplishments during his 12 years at the CVB. He will still be involved in bringing sports to Florida. Thanks John for your legacy in Broward…you will be missed!
Sports Development will welcome over 18,000 attendees in April including the YMCA Masters Swimming and YMCA National Diving Championships at the Fort Lauderdale Aquatic Complex, NAHA and Florida Cup Adult Hockey Tournaments at the SAVEOLOGY Iceplex, and Synchronized Swimming Regional Championships at the Coral Springs Aquatic Complex.
You can find a list of Easter brunches, dinner and activities at http://sunny.org/easter. If you would like to add your special Easter offer, send info to Justin firstname.lastname@example.org.
SUPER SUMMER SAVINGS: 2-FOR 1 OFFERS
Thanks to our many hospitality industry partners for offering 2-for-1 experiences from arts and entertainment to transportation and spa to encourage summer visitation. Visit http://sunny.org/supersummer to view the 30 special summer two-for-one deals available May 1 through Sept 30. Super Summer Savings cards will be available for distribution beginning mid-April for added value to your summer guests. Email Kim email@example.com to get Super Summer Savings cards.
LAUDERDALE AIR SHOW RETURNS
In a salute to the military, the Lauderdale Air Show will thrill visitors April 28 & 29, during US Navy Fleet Week over Fort Lauderdale beach. The GFLCVB has invited media, meeting planners, and tour operators to experience the four-hour line up of military and civilian air acts scheduled to include the US Air Force Thunderbirds and US Navy Seals Leapfrogs on Fort Lauderdale beach: http://lauderdaleairshow.com
LAUDERDALE SPA CHIC
Get ready for the fourth annual Lauderdale Spa Chic, September 1-30, with spa treatments for $99 (up to 50% savings). For more info go to http://sunny.org/spachic
SEA TURTLE SEASON IS HERE
The sea turtle nesting season began March 1. These large marine reptiles will soon begin visiting our beaches at night with regularity. Females of three different species of sea turtle come ashore at night, lay their eggs and return to the sea. Loggerhead turtles may lay four to five nests per turtle per season, with each nest containing an average of 110 eggs. In 2011 there were 2,126 loggerhead nests deposited on our beaches. Green sea turtles deposited 261 nests last year and Leatherback sea turtles deposited five nests last year. The peak of the nesting season in Broward County is June and July. If you are on the beach at night and see a large turtle coming ashore, please observe this phenomenon from a distance. If you wish to participate in organized tours to witness the nesting ritual, contact the Broward County Sea Turtle Conservation Program at (954) 519-1255 for info.
In March, Alfredo Gonzalez and Fernando Harb attended ANATO in Bogota, Colombia, and ITB in Berlin, Germany. Fernando represented the CVB on a Colombia Sales Mission to Medellin, and at the Italy Showcase in Firenze. Fernando also conducted a Brazil Sales Mission to Sao Paolo. Alfredo attended Network 2012 in Tampa, Florida Beach in Sweden, and wrapped up the month with Josh Winston at Next Generation in Las Vegas. Josh went on a Boston Sales Mission and attended a Bangor Maine NACTA event here in town with Fernando.
UPDATE YOUR ONLINE OFFERS, SUBMIT NEW ONES
Provide us with any changes to your online deals whether these changes are to the offer details or to the valid dates. If your property has submitted offers, make sure they are current by visiting www.sunny.org/LauderDeals and reviewing Cruise and Play, Super Summer 2-for-1, Latin American Special Offers and Florida Residents. And if you are not already participating in one of our programs, we welcome your submissions. To make changes or to add an offer, contact Justin at Jflippen@broward.org.
SUPERIOR SMALL LODGINGS ANNUAL REVIEWS
Superior Small Lodgings Annual Reviews begin May 4. To qualify, you must have 50 rooms or less, meet the Superior Small Lodging guidelines and pass the review with an 82% grade. As a Superior Small Lodging member, you will be included in the 2013 Greater Fort Lauderdale Superior Small Lodging directory, as well as the SSL website, the Broward listing on www.sunny.org/ssl, Broward SSL Facebook: www.facebook.com/superiorsmalllodgings and the Greater Fort Lauderdale Playbook. SSL members can join Visit Florida at a discounted rate and will receive a free SSL sign to display on your property as well. The deadline date to sign up is April 6. For more information on becoming a Superior Small Lodgings member, go to www.sunny.org/sslmembers or click here for the sign up form.
PORT EVERGLADES: Welcome Aboard
Port Everglades welcomes new Chief Executive/Port Director, Steven Cernak, to the South Florida seaport. At the top of Cernak’s list are three critical expansion projects for Port Everglades that are projected to create 7,000 new jobs regionally and support 135,000 jobs statewide over the next 15 years. These key expansion projects are planned to be constructed over the next 6 years and will add five new cargo berths, widen and deepen the channel to 50 feet and bring freight rail into the port. The Port is also embarking on a $54 million renovation project to transform 4 existing cruise terminals into modern passenger facilities for more than 30 different Carnival Corporation cruise ships as well as cruise ships from other lines. Cruise Terminals 2, 19, 21 and 26 will begin renovations by the end of April, with completion dates ranging from December 2012 through early June 2013.
FULL SAILS AHEAD
Full Sails in Fort Lauderdale is a public art exhibit for 2012-2013 throughout the City of Fort Lauderdale. Large masted sculptured sailboats will cut a vibrant bright colored swath through A1A, Las Olas Boulevard, Riverwalk, Downtown, 17th Street Harbor Shops and Sistrunk Boulevard. One hundred scale-model fiberglass sailboats will find their way around town starting in October during the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show. Local artists will paint them and after their season in the sun, through May 2013, they’ll be auctioned to benefit Fort Lauderdale Parks & Recreation. Adopt a sailboat! Details at http://www.fullsailsinfortlauderdale.com
A WORK OF ART
Soon to be LEED certified Broward County Convention Center has just added some new “eye candy” to the buildings already stunning design. Through the work of the Broward County Cultural Division Public Art and Design Program, Aquaria, by Larry Kirkland, continues the building’s aquatic theme with a sculpture of countless stainless steel fish scales mounted within the curved ceiling coffers of the two sky bridges from the building to the garage. The artwork utilizes natural light reflection, as well as an ever changing LED lighting display to create a warm and inviting ambiance.
FLL FLYING HIGH
Total passengers for 2011 is up +4.2% over 2010 with 23,340,835 passengers arriving and departing FLL. Total traffic for February 2012 was 2,006,399, up 4.8% over February last year. Leading the way in traffic growth was Virgin up 39.3%, followed by American up 29.4%, Continental up 14.9%, JetBlue up 12.6%, and Southwest up 4.6%. On the international side, Canada was very strong with traffic up 21.3% over February last year. Condor continued to do very well and finished the month with a load factor of 93%. From October 2011 to February 2012, the average load factor increased by 2%. Seats for the period were down 1.7% but total traffic was up .5%. This relatively small increase has a huge impact on total traffic. A 2% increase on a 150 seat aircraft is 3 passengers. At an average of 600 flights a day, that’s 5,400 passengers a day, 54,000 per month, and 648,000 per year. Spirit Airlines has resumed its seasonal service between Fort Lauderdale and Las Vegas. Upcoming new service includes JetBlue to Kingston, Jamaica in April. In May, Jetblue to Bogota, Colombia, Spirit to Denver, and Air Tran to San Juan, Puerto Rico, and a new airline for FLL, Alaska Airlines, to Seattle in July.
NEW TRAVEL CHANNEL SERIES HOTEL IMPOSSIBLE CHECKS IN AT THE OCEAN MANOR
The new hour-long weekly series Hotel Impossible’s transformation of the Ocean Manor in Fort Lauderdale is set to air on April 30. The series finds struggling hotels and gives them the tools to turn their business around. Ocean Manor, the first resort along the famed Galt Ocean Mile, opened more than 50 years ago and has recently undergone a multi-million dollar renovation. Series host and hotel “fixer” Anthony Melchiorri worked his magic on the property putting it back on the right path to success. It was once a celebrity hot spot in the 1960s and 70s, with past guests including Johnny Carson, Robert Conrad and Eric Clapton. Visit www.oceanmanor.com. Details on the new Travel Channel series can be found at www.travelchannel.com.
The Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention & Visitors Bureau will be hosting a Pan Hellenic Council Presidents Breakfast to update all Greek Organizations on April 5. Greater Fort Lauderdale welcomes the Pentecostal Assemblies of the World First Ladies Relief Retreat at the Renaissance Plantation Hotel April 13-16. The soft opening of the Urban League of Broward County’s Empowerment Center takes place on April 19.
CONVENTION SALES TEAM UPDATE
The convention sales team recently participated in the following: GFLCVB Carolina Sales Mission, GFLCVB Colorado MICE and Sales Mission, Pharma Planners Forum in Orlando, ASAE Great Ideas Conference in Colorado Springs and GFLCVB Destination Preview. Catch the sales team at these upcoming events and tradeshows:
Apr 4–5: Lauderdale Convention Collection Sales Mission & Event
Apr 3–5: GFLCVB Mid-Atlantic Sales Mission
Apr 10–14: International Gay & Lesbian Travel Assn Annual Convention
Apr 15–18: GFLCVB Brazil Sales Mission
Apr 25–27: Lauderdale Convention Collection Sales Mission & Event
Apr 25–27: Collaborate Marketplace, Las Vegas
Apr 26–29: GFLCVB Destination Preview with Fort Lauderdale Air Show
Apr 30: Dunn’s Crab Feast, Washington, DC
Mark your calendars for these upcoming 2012 Destination Previews (dates subject to change):
Fort Lauderdale Flies: Air Show Preview: Apr 26–29
Sunsational Summer Splash: June 7–10
Super September Destination Preview: Sept 27–30
Fabulous Fort Lauderdale Fall Destination Preview: Nov 8-11
APRIL GROUP SALES UPDATE
Groups meeting in April will generate more than $10 million to Broward County. Sample groups include:
Apr 5-15 Majestic Tours 2012-Passover (500 attendees)
Apr 11-15: Greater Grace Temple/P.A.W. Elect Ladies “Relief Retreat” (250 attendees)
Apr 13-15: 35th National Conference on Breast Cancer (600 attendees)
Apr 18-21: Nutra Blend 2012 Incentive (200 attendees)
Apr 18-23: The Hukilau 2012 (145 attendees)
Apr 18-24: Sunshine Stampede 2012 (175 attendees)
Apr 18-27: 2012 National Customs Brokers and Forwarders Association Conference (400 attendees)
Apr 24-30: Cruise3Sixty 2012 (2500 attendees)
FILM & ENTERTAINMENT
This month Noelle Stevenson will attend the Tour Connection in NY with 250 entertainment travel agents, followed by Connections UK where she will host a reception for production / film industry professionals. Noelle will also head to the Tribeca Film Festival in NY hosting the 2nd Filmmaker’s Soiree in partnership with the Fort Lauderdale International Film Festival. The Glades on A&E sets up shop back in Broward for Season 3. And the screening of the independent film entirely shot in Broward, Finding Joy, starring Lainie Kazan, Josh Cooke, Barry Bostwick, Tyler Bunch, Liane Balaban, and Arielle Hoffman, takes place in Fort Lauderdale. Click here to see the trailer. Current productions include: TV Commercials: Pepsi; Powerade/Coca Cola; Citibank – Just Like Us; Toyota; Dodge Dart; BB&T; Kraft Cheese; Lottery: $300,000 Jubilee Scratch-off; Dunkin Donuts; Invicta Watch Spring Sales Event on Shop NBC; Popod; Mobistar (Belgium’s mobile cellphone); Wander Wand; Rivet Strips. Still Photography: Vogue; Glamour Magazine; Breuninger German Swimwear; UK’s Fashion World Catalogue; Bob’s Stores (Northeast); Julipa 1 Fashion Catalogue (UK’s leading direct home shopping company) ; UK’s Vero Moda; Bon Prix (UK/Germany); Undergear (men’s swimwear and apparel); Blink/Vero Moda; Next Branded; Walmart. TV Series: The Glades (Season Three); Real Housewives of Miami; Fishing America; Rivals; Four Weddings; MTV’s MADE; Comcast On Demand; TLC/Southwest Airlines On The Fly; Swamp Wars; Univision’s Sabado Gigante (Giant Saturday); Think Green; America’s Most Wanted; RelativityREAL’s The Family Show; Florida Travel + Life’s Affordable Luxury; Galavision’s Trailer Project M. Telenovelas: Una Maid in Manhattan; Quiero Mi Baby; Corazon Valiente; Galavision’s Detras Del Saber; Quiero Mi Boda; Eva Luna. Feature Films: Assumed Memories; Fragments. Documentary: United Way Worldwide – Big Brothers Big Sisters; Sand: The Invisible Hero; The Balancing Act. Web: Lamar Excursion at Port Everglades; DHL.
The Broward Office of Film and Television is proud to announce another successful production, Assumed Memories, an Indie film just wrapped in Southwest Ranches, starring Armand Assante, Eric Roberts, Casper Van Dien, Nancy Stafford, Barbie Castro and William Moses.
Get ready for a multimedia phenomenon that presents itself as an artistic expression in the heat of the summer: raw talent of the streets in a presentable package. Red Eye influences, inspires and educates the general public. Saturday, July 14, 2012 6-10pm. More info at artserve.org
The Sun Tower Hotel recently completed renovations including new furniture in the guest rooms, pool area and restaurant terrace, along with new landscaping. They also rank #2 on TripAdvisor for Fort Lauderdale B&B and Inns. The Comfort Suites Airport & Cruise Port has finished a complete renovation including the lobby, Breakfast Room and fitness room, which has state-of-the art work-out equipment. The hallways and sleeping rooms, which all with brand new furniture and 42” flat-screen TVs), have new paint and carpeting along with new bathrooms. Even the exterior has a whole new color scheme. The Beachcomber in Pompano Beach recently added new pool furnishings
Timpano Italian Chophouse’s expansion plan is moving forward and is scheduled for April. The Las Olas restaurant is expanding the private room, to hold up to 130 people and will also be making a few improvements in the main dining room. They will remain open through the process. BurgerFi is on course to open a new location on Sunrise Blvd across from the Galleria Mall this spring. Pho Vi serves up authentic Vietnamese cuisine in downtown Hollywood. Everything is homemade on site using the freshest ingredients and time-honored family recipes. If you haven’t had a chance, make sure to stop by Tundra Las Olas for your Tundra Tour. For $59.95 take an epicurean taste tour, served from Tundra’s cold plates, hot plates, and entrees. Tundra’s perfect “amuse” (petit) presentations are continuous and progressively served approximately four minutes apart. All tours start on the hour, every hour. Enjoy your journey!
Your ticket to fly a water jet pack! This exhilarating new sport is amazingly easy to learn. Be one of the first to earn your wings. Flights take off daily, across from the Galleria Mall. Book your flight now: http://www.riderocketman.com.
The first countywide bike-sharing system in the nation, Broward B-Cycle, is rolling strong. More than 7,600 trips have already been taken by over 4,700 users. The initial 20-station system, has expanded to 26 stations and now includes a station near the Broward County Courthouse, a station at Hollywood North Beach Park, and stations in three additional cities: Dania Beach, Hallandale Beach and Lauderdale-By-The-Sea. For more info go to: broward.bcycle.com. Sun Trolley Tracker is now available for download at iTunes. This app supplies real time location of all trolleys, along with directional info, and customers location with closest trolley. In February, the City of Fort Lauderdale, together with the Rio Vista Civic Association, dedicated the park directly across the New River from the Historic Stranahan House Museum as "Stranahan Landing," a place where travelers going from Lemon City in Miami to Lake Worth would hire Frank Stranahan to ferry them across the river. Xtreme Indoor Karting was featured on Discovery Channel's American Choppers and Costume World Broadway Collection in Pompano Beach was featured on the Today Show this past month.
An new exhibition at the Museum of Art | Fort Lauderdale, 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. Th SHARK exhibition is view May 12 through January 6, 2013.
ALL ABOARD FLORIDA
Florida East Coast Industries, Inc. (FECI), the owner of Florida’s premier passenger rail corridor, is developing a privately owned, operated and maintained passenger rail service to connect South Florida and Orlando, which will be operational in 2014. The passenger rail project, called All Aboard Florida, is designed to serve Florida’s growing number of business travelers, as well as families and tourists traveling for pleasure. The All Aboard Florida passenger rail project will connect South Florida to Orlando through a 240‐mile route combining 200 miles of existing tracks between Miami and Cocoa and the creation of 40 miles of new track to complete the route to Orlando. All Aboard Florida will provide a high‐quality experience for passengers and will be the first privately owned, operated, and maintained passenger rail system in the United States. Eventually the system could be expanded with connections to Tampa and Jacksonville.
HSMAI HELPS YOU FIND NEW BUSINESS
Join HSMAI South Florida at the Riverside Hotel on April 18 for breakfast program, “The Engagement of Finding New Business,” featuring panelists: Jeff Hallick, Bimini Boatyard; Jim Oliver, The Ritz-Carlton, Fort Lauderdale; Dan Lindblade, Greater Fort Lauderdale Chamber of Commerce; and Bob Swindell, Greater Fort Lauderdale Alliance. Register at http://www.hsmaisouthflorida.org.
The Fort Lauderdale Historical Society is in need of docents Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday afternoons and every other Sunday from about 1-4pm. If you know of anyone who would enjoy being trained as a docent, contact Ellen Ferrelli, Director of Educational Services, at 954-463-4431 ext 12 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Broward Water Partnership rebate program has expanded. In addition to residential homeowners, rebates of up to $100 are now offered to property owners and managers of multi-family homes, businesses and non-profits. Applicants must be replacing toilets that use more than 1.6 gallons of water per flush (gpf) with High-Efficiency Toilets that use 1.28 gpf or less. Some applicants may also qualify to receive free, low-flow faucet aerators and showerheads. Water-efficient pre-rinse spray valves for commercial kitchens are also available and can reduce water consumption by as much as 70% - delivering a tremendous savings. Click here or go to www.ConservationPays.com to find out more.
WELCOME TIKI LOVERS
The 11th Annual Hukilau, the largest annual celebration of Tiki culture on the east coast with more music and a fine art show, is scheduled for April 19-22 in Fort Lauderdale. The event will now feature one of the most sought-after speakers on historic Polynesian Pop, influential author Sven Kirsten: http://www.thehukilau.com.
HAPPENINGS AROUND TOWN
Through Apr 8: Offering of the Angels: Old Master Paintings and Tapestries from the Uffizi Gallery, Museum of Art
Mar 29-Apr 8: Cirque Dreams presents Pop Goes the Rock, Hard Rock Live
Apr 1: SunTrust Jazz Brunch, Riverwalk
Apr 2: Red Hot Chili Peppers, BankAtlantic Center
Apr 3: Florida Panthers vs. Winnipeg Jets, BankAtlantic Center
Apr 7: Florida Panthers vs. Carolina Hurricanes, BankAtlantic Center
Apr 7: Leslie Jordan & Varla Jean Merman, Parker Playhouse
Apr 10: Liza Minelli, Hard Rock Live
Apr 10-22: South Pacific, Broadway, Broward Center for the Performing Arts
Apr 10: Van Halen, BankAtlantic Center
Apr 14: Fort Lauderdale Bus Loop, Downtown Fort Lauderdale
Apr 14: Red Bull Candola, Huizenga Plaza, downtown Fort Lauderdale
Apr 15: Riverwalk Trust’s Yoga-Fest, Esplanade Park at Riverwalk
Apr 19-22: THE HUKILAU, The Mai-Kai Restaurant, Bahia Cabana and Bahia Mar
Apr 20: 17th Annual Las Olas Wine and Food Festival, Las Olas Boulevard
Apr 20-22: Sunshine Stampede Rodeo, Bergeron Rodeo Grounds
Apr 20-22: Ladies, Let’s Go Fishing Weekend Seminar, I.T. Parker Community Center, Dania Beach
Apr 20-22: Pompano Beach Seafood Festival, Pompano Beach
Apr 20: Rammstein, BankAtlantic Center
Apr 21: Earth Day, Hugh Taylor Birch State Park
Apr 21: Kenny Vance and The Planotones, Parker Playhouse
Apr 25: Elvis Costello and The Imposters Show, Hard Rock Live
Apr 27: Get Downtown, YOLO Plaza on Las Olas
Apr 27: Billy Gardell, Hard Rock Live
Apr 27: Live MMA Professional Fights, War Memorial Auditorium
Apr 28-29: Lauderdale Air Show, Fort Lauderdale Beach
Apr 29: A Ukrainian Montage, Broward Center for the Performing Arts
Nicki E. Grossman