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What's New 2014

07/23/2014

for the love of summer
Explore the exotic Everglades. Get lost in a world of butterflies. Swim with fish. Enjoy 2-for-1 deals at more than 30 attractions through Sept 30, 2014. When combined with summer hotel value rates and low fare air service into FLL, summer in Greater Fort Lauderdale is easy and affordable. Visit sunny.org/summer to request a 2-for-1 Summer Savings card for your clients or to print a voucher. Even more to love: book a two-night minimum stay this summer on sunny.org and get a $25 gift card.

indulge in luxe for less
The 11 hotels that make up the Lauderdale Luxe Collection tout the signature ‘Vacation Like A VIP’ package providing a room upgrade, complimentary valet parking, $25 American Express gift card, $100 resort credit to be applied to spa, golf, food & beverage, pool/beach cabana, water activities or kids programs, 2-for-1 Summer Savings card and complimentary valet parking at The Colonnade Outlets at Sawgrass Mills, along with a complimentary glass of Prosecco for two at Villagio Ristorante. For details on how to Vacation Like a VIP, valid through September 30 with a two-night minimum stay, visit sunny.org/vip.

broward 100
Broward County gets ready to kick off its 100 year centennial. “Broward 100 – Celebrating the Art of Community” will be a year-long, community-wide celebration beginning October 2014, with numerous events and activities that incorporate the arts to strengthen communities and build unity. There will be four featured cornerstones of Broward’s centennial celebration: Inside Out, VisualEYES, Calendar 100 and a grand finale event, October 2-4, 2015, that will showcase Greater Fort Lauderdale’s diverse talent in an exciting way. Visit broward100.org for details, and to wish Broward County a happy birthday.

restaurant scene
Beauty and the Feast Bar | Kitchen is the newest restaurant concept at The Atlantic Hotel & Spa, featuring a trendy globally-inspired American menu of small plates, entrees, and family-style feast plates. Newcomer in the Himmershee Village neighborhood from the Creative Kitchen Restaurant Group is The Bull Market, an American gastropub with shared plates menu of traditional items with a funky twist -- like Dr Pepper Pulled Pork, Captain Crunch Chicken Fingers and Angry Orchard Sloppy Joes. Fork & Balls, a new meatball restaurant concept from The Restaurant People, recently opened on Las Olas Boulevard featuring a casual bar scene with craft beers and wine, as well as a wide variety of balls, meatballs that is. Sliders, sandwiches and salads on the menu as well. Steak 954 at the W Fort Lauderdale has been recognized in Wine Enthusiast’s 2014 list of America’s 100 Best Wine Restaurants.

slip into something sunny
Sawgrass Mills continues to expand and offer first-in-market locations. The famed Diesel brand brings its haute couture denim to the upscale Colonnade Outlets. For tiny fashionistas, Catimini, offers fresh, innovative, chic apparel for children. And just in time for swimsuit season, OndadeMar offers a vast selection of bikinis, one-pieces and resort wear with a laid-back, sophisticated beach style. Also opening: OneClick, Apple reseller; Samsung, The North Face Outlet Store and AllSaints British fashion retailer, the first in Florida. On the culinary front, Zinburger Wine & Burger Bar recently opened offering gourmet burgers, salads, cocktails, wines by the glass and a hearty selection of beers.

hotel refresh
On the horizon, a new $147 million, 349-room, Margaritaville Resort, a Jimmy Buffett-themed project stretching five acres along Hollywood’s famed Broadwalk and the Intracoastal Waterway, is expected to be complete by July 2015. The hotel will feature seven restaurants/bars, multiple pools, full-service spa, and double surf wave rider. Costa Hollywood, a $180 million, six-story, 304-room condo-hotel opens June 2016, with holistic day spa, upscale dining and shopping district, plus a rooftop pool deck overlooking the Intracoastal and Atlantic Ocean.

Conrad Hilton will open a 290-room Conrad Fort Lauderdale Resort and Residences on Fort Lauderdale beach. Expected to open in 2015, the 24-story condo-hotel property is undergoing more than $34 million in upgrades including a Conrad Spa, swimming pool and exclusive oceanfront dining experience.

Beachwalk Resort, opening Spring 2015 along the Intracoastal Waterway in Hallandale Beach, is a new development designed by Pininfarina, with 84 residences, 216 two bedroom/two bathroom (divisible) resort rental units, luxury infinity pool, restaurant and fitness center. Beachwalk’s sister property, HYDE Resort will be located beachfront with 40 residences and 367 resort units in a 40-story building featuring a 9th floor pool with sweeping ocean views, a spa, restaurant and access to the shared new Beach Club located on Hollywood beach. Ground breaking anticipated in July 2014.

More hotel news around town:

Victoria Park Hotel replaced the former Schubert Resort as a boutique family hotel. The quaint, mid-century modern property with 31 rooms will re-open July 2014. 

The B Ocean Fort Lauderdale is now officially Sonesta Fort Lauderdale, the first in Fort Lauderdale. The Courtyard by Marriott Fort Lauderdale East re-opened with newly renovated rooms and a new lobby. Residence Inn Fort Lauderdale Airport and Cruise Port is under construction in Dania Beach and scheduled to open September 2014. Bonavanture Resort & Spa recently underwent a refresh of the property’s conference and event space, as well as the spacious aLaya Spa. Updates to the guestrooms are scheduled for 2014.

FLL news
Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport is in the midst of an upgrade, including new runway, new restaurants and concourse, and renovated terminals and skywalk (pictured left) designed by a local artist. International flights now total 17% of traffic to the airport -- a direct result of new international service launching from Latin America and the Caribbean, including JetBlue Airways daily non-stop flights from Lima, Peru; Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago; Montego Bay, Jamaica; and Punta Cana, Dominican Republic. Increased service by Spirit Airlines from Punta Cana, DR and Lima, Peru also began this year. Copa Airlines begins service from Panama City, Panama in July, increasing connectivity to key feeder markets including Brazil, Colombia, Peru and Ecuador. Scandinavian low-cost carrier Norwegian Air Shuttle recently began twice-weekly flights from Stockholm, Oslo, and Copenhagen, with London Gatwick launching July 4, 2014. New nonstop domestic service: Silver Airways from Jacksonville, Fla. in August; JetBlue Airways from Las Vegas, Jacksonville, Fla, and Pittsburgh in Oct 2014 and Albany, NY in 2015. Spirit Airlines from New Orleans in August 2014 and Houston in Sept 2014. Frontier Airlines began service from Cleveland in June, and will fly from Washington-Dulles in September 2014.

convention center news
Broward County is in the master planning phase of a new 750-room convention center hotel and 70,000 square-foot expansion. Details at broward.org/ccexpansion. The Broward County Convention Center celebrated its two-year anniversary as the first convention center in Florida and one of only three in the nation to achieve LEED Gold certification for an Existing Building -- making it easy for meeting planners and groups who have a preference for truly green meeting facilities to Meet Green in Broward. Book any of the six hotels in the Lauderdale Convention Collection, June 15-Oct 15 and enjoy free event space and Convention Center welcome reception; 10% off F & B, electric, a/v, internet, security staffing and more. sunny.org/meetings