A special thank you to our hospitality community as we say bid farewell to 2010. As we focus on 2011, it's a pleasure to work with each of you, and absorb your friendly warmth and energy. We look forward to working together, united, as we make a splash in the year ahead. And if you need any last minute ideas for New Year's Eve visit: http://sunny.org/newyears.
In 2011, Fort Lauderdale celebrates 100 years of sandy beaches, turquoise waters and warm hospitality. Help us celebrate Fort Lauderdale's past, present and future to commemorate Fort Lauderdale's 100th birthday. For a list of activities leading up to the March 27 Centennial Birthday Party on the Riverwalk visit http://sunny.org/centennial or click here for the City of Fort Lauderdale Master Centennial recap.
One of 6 Forgotten Vacation Spots
You might enjoy reading the following article from US News & World Report and Yahoo Travel, which highlights Fort Lauderdale as one of 6 Forgotten Vacation Spots that should not be overlooked by travelers. The article describes how Fort Lauderdale has grown-up from the days of Spring Break to a sophisticated vacation hotspot with more luxe offerings. Click here to read.
Valentine’s Day promotion
To attract out-of-market visitors looking for romance, we invite you to create special romantic packages or special romantic offers like spa treatments for two, wine pairings or other creative ideas. We will promote your offer to national travel and lifestyle media. The offers will be featured on sunny.org as well. Please send your special offer to Kim Canter firstname.lastname@example.org by Jan 10.
The Plane Fact: FLL News
Total passenger traffic for the month of October was 1,699,591, up 10.7% over October 2009. International traffic was 232,542, up 33.7% over last October. FLL has experienced 14 consecutive months of positive growth in total passenger traffic. Traffic looks very positive for 2011. New service in November included Southwest to Phoenix and Hartford and a second Denver flight. In November and December, Spirit added capacity to Boston, Tampa, Las Vegas and most of their international destinations and begins new service to five new destinations in the first half of 2011.
The Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport Ambassador Program
Fort Lauderdale- Hollywood International Airport has 60 dedicated local citizens acting as volunteer “Ambassadors.” The objective is to provide airport users with friendly, informed service that enhances their experience at the airport. They welcome visitors to the Greater Fort Lauderdale area and undoubtedly make an incredibly positive impression; visitors are introduced to the spirit of the Greater Fort Lauderdale area, friendly, outgoing and caring. To find out more about the airport ambassador program click here.
Congratulations to the 2010 SUNsational Service Courtesy Awards Nominees
For more than 20 years, the GFLCVB has been recognizing outstanding service in the tourism industry with the Courtesy Awards program which encourages hospitality and courtesy among those who directly serve Broward visitors. In December, The Class of 2010, with 151 nominees, were recognized for their SUNsational Service at a special luncheon held at the Broward County Convention Center. Congratulations to the 14 winners: Beth Barnes, Hard Rock Café; Ronald Burns, Hyatt Regency Pier Sixty-Six; Rochelle Figueroa & Jason Smith, The Ritz-Carlton, Fort Lauderdale; Gaylene Grimmer, Hilton Fort Lauderdale Marina; Oral Gordon, Hilton Fort Lauderdale Beach Resort; Samara Hausman, Hampton Inn Fort Lauderdale / Plantation; David Mannino, Yellow Cab; Juan Marrero, Westin Beach Resort & Spa, Fort Lauderdale; Rosalie Morton, Embassy Suites Fort Lauderdale; Jerry Mosley & Sherri Stickney, Broward County Convention Center; Frank Perretta, The Atlantic Resort & Spa; and James Vann Jr., Delaware North Companies at the Fort Lauderdale / Hollywood Int’l Airport.
Vatican Splendors: Art and Faith
The Museum of Art | Fort Lauderdale welcomes the Vatican Splendors: A Journey through Faith and Art, Jan 29 through Apr 24, 2011. Experience 2,000 years of Vatican art, history, culture and religion, presented through works by masters including Michelangelo, Bernini, Giotto and Guercino, and objects dating back to the first century.
Media coming to town
In January, three Canadian TV production crews will film in Greater Fort Lauderdale (two will be featured on Quebec's Travel Channel and the other a Toronto-based shopping series). A UK crew will be shooting a TV series about a couple looking to open a business and relocate to Fort Lauderdale. We will also welcome another UK journalist writing about a non-Disney Florida vacation.
Greater Fort Lauderdale Film Commission
Current productions in the works include: TV Series: HGTV: My First Sale (Dania Beach), High Noon Productions; Marriage Ref, NBC Studios; Four Weddings, Kirkstall Road Enterprises; Travel Channel, Loyal Kaspar; Color Splash, Johlt Productions; The Balancing Act, O2 Media; Telenovela: Alguien Te Mira (Someone's Watching Your) and El Fantasma de Elena (Elena's Ghost), Telemundo; TV Commercial: Curve and Body Shaper, Loud Mouth TV; Still Photography: Perry Ellis-JAG, Go Scout, Inc.; H & M International Catalog, KF Productions; Kohl’s Department Stores, Route 7 Productions; Justice Clothing Catalog for Girls and Preteens-Spring 2, Lock Box Productions; Vision Express, The Production Factory LLC; Blue Cross and Blue Shield, Lone River Productions; Fit Flop, Select Services: Reality TV Series: MADE – Emma Pagano, New Remote Productions, Inc. / MTV Networks.
Calling All First Time Home Sellers
HGTV's "My First Sale" will be in South Florida seeking first time home sellers (and their realtors) who might be interested in sharing their home selling experience with HGTV and their audience. The are looking for homes that are in the early sale process to cover from the sale sign being planted on the front lawn to closing. Click here for more info.
In December, Alfredo Gonzalez and Fernando Harb attended the Luxury Travel Expo in Las Vegas and used new text marketing to create a buzz. Fernando also showcased our destination to a German Fam group and Josh Winston was joined by Judy Erickson and the Hollywood CRA team to host more than 300 travel agents for the NACTA annual convention at the Westin Diplomat Resort & Spa in Hollywood.
International Tourism Update with HSMAI South Florida
Alfredo Gonzalez and Fernando Harb will discuss the latest in international tourism trends and marketing efforts at the HSMAI South Florida luncheon on Wed, Jan 19 at the Renaissance Fort Lauderdale Cruise Port. Register here.
Albert Tucker will be participating at the 2011 Stellar Awards program in Nashville Jan 13-17. The CVB will host the National Urban League of Executives Annual Conference at the Hilton Fort Lauderdale Beach Resort Jan 19-22.
Superior Small Lodgings
The 2011 Florida Superior Small Lodging (SSL) Accommodations Directory is here. Florida has more than 200 Superior Small Lodgings, including Broward County’s 77 annually reviewed properties. To get a free copy of the SSL Directory, contact email@example.com. For a list of Broward’s SSLs go to: http://sunny.org/ssl. We look forward to seeing all the SSL members at the next meeting on Jan 12 at 8:30am at the CVB's office.
Convention Sales Team Update
The convention sales team recently participated in the following: SFMPI Annual Board Meeting in Naples, IAEE- Expo! Expo! in New Orleans, and Assn Forum’s Holiday Showcase in Chicago.
Catch the sales team at these upcoming events and tradeshows:
Jan 8–12: PCMA Annual Meeting
Jan10–14: GFLCVB Tallahassee Sales Mission
Jan 19–20: HCEA Annual Summit, MD
Jan 25: Lauderdale Convention Collection Event – NYC
Jan 25–28: RCMA Annual Meeting
Upcoming Sales Missions Want to join us? Contact the group sales team leader listed.
Jan 10-14: Tallahassee Sales Mission (Michele Bemis)
Feb 9-11: MPI Northern California Chapter Annual and Sales Calls (Elena Gladstone)
Feb 28-Mar 2 North Central FL Meeting Planners Expo, Gainesville (Michele Bemis)
Mar 28-Apr 1: Carolina Sales Mission (Michele Bemis)
Apr 5-7: Mid-Atlantic Sales Mission (Sally Slater, Dion James)
Apr 17-19: Milwaukee Sales Mission (Nora Gorman)
Apr 18-21: Minneapolis/St. Paul (Stacy Copeland)
Apr 28: ASAE & The Center’s Springtime in The Park (Sally Slater)
May 3-5: Boston Sales Mission (Christine Tascione)
May 9-13: Dallas Sales Mission (Angella Lopez)
June 6-10: Philadelphia Area Sales Mission (Steve Aird, Dion James)
June 6-10: Omaha/ Iowa/ Kansas City Sales Mission (Stacy Copeland)
June 14-17: Seattle & Portland Sales Mission (Elena Gladstone)
July 11-13: Fort Lauderdale Mini-Tradeshow at Chicago Yacht Club & Sales Calls (Nora Gorman)
July 23-26: MPI World Education Congress Tradeshow and Meeting, Orlando (Christine Tascione, Sally Slater)
Aug 7: St. Louis & ASAE Client Event (Stacy Copeland, Nora Gorman, Sally Slater)
Sept 7-8: HSMAI’s Affordable Meetings National, DC (Dion James)
Sept 19-21: St. Louis Sales Mission
Oct 10-14: New York Sales Mission (Steve Aird)
Oct 11-13: IMEX America (Christine Tascione)
Oct 17-21: Atlanta Sales Mission (Michele Bemis)
Dec 13: Association Forum’s Holiday Showcase, Chicago (Nora Gorman)
Mark Your Calendar for these 2011 Group Sales Missions/Destination Previews: Mar 17-20; May 19-22*; July 14-17*; Sept 15-18*, Nov 3-6*. *These dates are currently tentative. Hotels and specific arrangements for the itinerary are currently in progress for all of these previews for next year. Details of our 2011 calendar of tradeshows, sales missions and previews were sent out in early November to hotel Directors of Sales (and Marketing). If you need another copy of the documents, visit www.sunny.org/partners.
January Group Sales Update
Groups meeting in January will generate more than $12 million to Broward County. Sample groups include:
Jan 5-8: National Railroad Construction Maintenance Association (250 attendees)
Jan 6-9: 2011 Everglades Coalition Conference (100 attendees)
Jan 6-15: Bausch & Lomb Sr Leadership Meeting (210 attendees)
Jan 9-14: Cypress Meetings & Incentives National Sales Meeting (280 attendees)
Jan 9-15: Zimmer Dental Annual Meeting (200 attendees)
Jan 14-22: Tropical Plant Industry Exhibition (2200 attendees)
Jan 14-22: Honeywell Life Safety 2011 Meeting (575 attendees)
Jan 17-23: National Urban League Meeting (600 attendees)
Jan 24-27: 2011 National Network of Statewide Afterschool Networks Annual Meeting (250 attendees)
Jan 24-29: HelmsBriscoe IMBC 2011 (400 attendees)
Jan 25-30: 5 Linx Enterprises 2011 National Event (250 attendees)
Jan 27-Feb 2: BITAC – Food & Beverage 2011 (220 attendees)
Jan 29-Feb 5: Composites 2011 Convention and Trade Show (1600 attendees)
Greater Fort Lauderdale welcomes the following sports groups in January, with more than 14,500 competitors plus family and friends:
Dec 29-Jan 3: Dixie Amateur, Women's Division (250 attendees)
Jan 1-9: National Soccer Coaches Recertification (2000 attendees)
Jan 5-16: USTA Men's Pro Circuit Futures (1000 attendees)
Jan 7-9: Open Water Swim (600 attendees)
Jan 7-10: Women's Hockey Tournament (300 attendees)
Jan 7-10: Rising Stars (4000 attendees)
Jan 7-11: MLS Combine (1250 attendees)
Jan 7-16: USTA Women's Pro Circuit Challenger (500 attendees)
Jan 10-16: International Sportsfest (500 attendees)
Jan 11-20: Canadian Soccer Seniors (140 attendees)
Jan 13-17: FLIRT - Ft Lauderdale Invitational Regional Bowling Tournament (300 attendees)
Jan 14-16: FL Lacrosse Classic (250 attendees)
Jan 14-17: FL Jr Panther's Martin Luther King Day Tournament (350 attendees)
Jan 14-17: FL Open Judo Championships (400 attendees)
Jan 14-26: Olympic Devt Camp – Canada (240 attendees)
Jan 26-30: US Junior Soccer Classic (375 attendees)
Jan 28-30: Sun & Surf Spectacular (300 attendees)
Jan 28-30: Wendy Memorial Swim Meet (300 attendees)
Jan 28-30: SE US Regional Water Polo Championships (650 attendees)
Jan 28-Feb 6: USA Women's Training Camp (100 attendees)
Jan 29-30: FSHL All Star Game (600 attendees)
Jan 29-Feb 5: German National Team Training Camp (147 attendees)
World Class Thoroughbreds Return
World class thoroughbred racing returned to South Florida Jan 5 with the beginning of Gulfstream Park's premier winter racing season. Live racing runs Wed through Sun until April 24. Post time is 1:15pm. In addition to world-class winter thoroughbred racing, Gulfstream Park also boasts year-round simulcasting, genuine Vegas-style slots, Royal Match 21 Electronic Blackjack, Electronic Roulette, no-limit poker, live entertainment, and a wide array of dining options including Ten Palms and Christine Lee’s.
The Florida Panthers come alive at the BankAtlantic Center with several home games in January:
Jan 2: New York Rangers
Jan 7: Carolina Hurricanes
Jan 11: Washington Capitals
Jan 13: Nashville Predators
Jan 15: New Jersey Devils
Jan 17: Atlanta Thrashers
Jan 19: Columbus Blue Jackets
Jan 21: Tampa Bay Lightning
Click here for team schedule.
The Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino set a new Guinness World Record for the “World’s Largest Guitar Smash," led by Huey Lewis, - effectively smashing 1,914 guitars in celebration of the grand opening of Winner’s Way Parking Garage, which adds 2,400 parking spaces. The grand total of parking spaces is now more than 12,000, offering guests another hassle-free, covered option, featuring 15 elevators, six escalators, a 351-foot-tall pedestrian bridge to Seminole Paradise, a 164-foot-tall pedestrian bridge to the Seminole Hard Rock Casino, and a car count system – all in a brightly lit environment. Sawgrass Mills celebrates the opening of Florida’s first Prada outlet store, enhancing the already popular collection of luxury retailers found at The Colonnade Outlets. Tree Houses -- Look Who's Living in Trees, a national traveling exhibition opens at Young At Art Museum Jan 15 through May 15. The exhibit will also feature "Coastal Forests," a special show of photography and mixed media artwork by self-taught environmental artist Deborah M. Mitchell. www.youngatartmuseum.org.
Florida Renaissance Festival
Seen by more than one million people in South Florida, the 16th Century production features more than 100 costumed performers, 12 stages with continuous entertainment and more than 20 stage acts from around the world. Celebrating its 19th year, the festival now features five themed weekends starting Feb 12 through Mar 13. www.ren-fest.com.
ME Productions has named Cindy Malin Head of Business Development and Benjamin-Michael Antipuna Director of Creative Services. Cindy will champion ME Productions as South Florida’s premier event production and destination management company that offers clients everything under the sun, even an in-house floral department. Ben will provide ME Production with an introduction to the rarest talent event entertainment has to offer. www.meproductions.com. Costume World’s newest addition opened in November in Pompano Beach. Their Broadway Museum has an extensive collections of original Broadway costumes, accessories, millinery, and theatrical memorabilia on display in one location. www.costumeworld.com. The Wave Update: To check out the latest news from the Downtown Development Authority in Fort Lauderdale click here.
Good Eats & Drinks
Hollywood Beach Suites, Hotel & Hostel announced the opening of Taco Beach Shack, Hollywood Beach’s first taco restaurant and bar, featuring an array of specialty burritos, quesadillas and tacos hand stuffed with fresh fish, meat and chicken. www.tacobeachshack.com. New York Prime introduces Rare Las Olas featuring traditional steakhouse dinner fare, as well as sushi grade black & blue tuna and lobster Wellington. Rare also boasts a spectacular bar, outdoor seating and upstairs Late Night Lounge. (Located where Bova used to be). http://www.centraarchy.com/rare/. Vibe Ultra Music Lounge recently opened on Las Olas Boulevard, brought to you by the people of YOLO, O-Lounge and Tarpon Bend. www.vibelasolas.com. Join Chef Andy at Le Bistro Restaurant for a Cooking Class and Lunch Jan 22 from noon-3pm, $50 per person. Learn how to entertain for 2 or 20 with professional shortcuts and restaurant secrets. Call for reservations 954-946-9240.
Come Laugh, Come Dance, Come be Entertained
Join Fortitude Weekend, a new LGBT benefit weekend featuring 12 events throughout Fort Lauderdale, Feb 17-21, 2011. Fortitude includes a film festival, comedy night, live concert, Women’s and Men’s pool parties, sunset cocktails, brunch, and nightclub/bar events. Performers include Alec Mapa (from Ugly Betty), Judy Gold, Taylor Dayne, Martha Wash and more. Visit www.fortitudeweekend.com for info and tickets.
Congratulations to our own Albert Tucker and Bruce Appel who were recognized on Dec 16 by Broward County for their 10 and 15 years, respectively, of service at the GFLCVB.
Happenings Around Town
Through Jan 2: Holiday Fantasy of Lights, Tradeswind Park
Through Jan 2: International Gem & Jewelry Show, War Memorial Auditorium
Through Jan 9: Rock of Ages, Broward Center for the Performing Arts
Through Jan 14: Light Up Lauderdale, Downtown Fort Lauderdale
Jan 1-2: Las Olas Art Fair, Fort Lauderdale
Jan 3: Discover Orange Bowl, Sun Life Stadium
Jan 5: Florida Panthers vs Atlanta Thrashers, BankAtlantic Center
Jan 6-9: Cooking with the Calamari Sisters, Broward Center for the Performing Arts
Jan 7-9: Fort Lauderdale Beach Car Show & Auction, War Memorial Auditorium
Jan 8: SE Florida Scottish American Festival & Highland Games, Fort Lauderdale Stadium
Jan 8: Oh What a Night of Doo-Wop Rock ‘n Roll, Parker Playhouse
Jan 8: Dr. Martin Luther King Breakfast Celebration, Pompano Beach
Jan 11: The Toronto Symphony Orchestra, Broward Center for the Performing Arts
Jan 11: Clarence Clemons and the Temple of Soul, Hard Rock Live
Jan 12: Rim Shots: An Evening with Jeff Hamilton Trio, Broward Center for the Performing Arts
Jan 12: Golden Dragon Acrobats, Parker Playhouse
Jan 12: Tommy James & The Shondells, Hard Rock Live
Jan 12: Winter Concert Series, Emma Lou Olson Center, Pompano Beach
Jan 14: Do-it-Yourself Flowers on a Budget, Hugh Taylor Birch State Park
Jan 14: Jeff Daniels, Broward Center for the Performing Arts
Jan 14-16: Fort Lauderdale Orchid Show, War Memorial Auditorium
Jan 14-16: Miami City Ballet, Broward Center for the Performing Arts
Jan 15: Celtic Crossroads, Parker Playhouse
Jan 15: If You Give a Cat a Cupcake, Miramar Cultural Center
Jan 16: Forever Plaid, Parker Playhouse
Jan 16: Swingin’ Evening of Entertainment, Broward Center for the Performing Arts
Jan 16: Rapunzel, Broward Center for the Performing Arts
Jan 18: Club Swing, Broward Center for the Performing Arts
Jan 18-30: Les Miserables, Broward Center for the Performing Arts
Jan 19-23: Los Vivancos - Extreme Flamenco Fusion, Hard Rock Live
Jan 20: Linkin Park, BankAtlantic Center
Jan 21: Simply Sinatra Starring Steve Lippia, Parker Playhouse
Jan 22-23: Gun & Knife Show, War Memorial Auditorium
Jan 22: The Spencers: Theatre of Illusion, Parker Playhouse
Jan 25: A Virtuoso Evening, Broward Center for the Performing Arts
Jan 25: Lucia Di Lammermoor, Miramar Cultural Center
Jan 26: Winter Concert Series, Emma Lou Olson Center, Pompano Beach
Jan 27: Lucia Di Lammermoor, Broward Center for the Performing Arts
Jan 27-29: Trawler Fest, Bahia Mar Yachting Center
Jan 28: Barry Manilow, BankAtlantic Center
Jan 29-30: Nautical Flea Market, Pompano Beach Amphitheater
Jan 29-Apr 24: Vatican Splendors: Art and Faith, Museum of Art | Fort Lauderdale
Happy New Year!
All best wishes,
Nicki E. Grossman