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It doesn’t seem possible that 21 years have flown by so quickly. Since being named President and CEO of the Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention & Visitors Bureau in 1995, I've had the distinct pleasure of interacting with each and every one reading the CVBuzz, either directly or indirectly. I want to take this opportunity to say THANK more

Join the Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention & Visitors Bureau as we recognize Nicki E. Grossman for her invaluable contribution to the evolution of our destination. Join us at the Tourism Appreciation Day luncheon on Thursday, May 26 at the Broward County Convention Center with special guest, Roger Dow with U.S. Travel Association. Seats still available, RSVP at $35 per person.



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Enjoy 2-for-1 deals at more than 65 attractions, restaurants and spas from May 1-Sept 30. Visit to view special summer two-for-one deals available now through Sept 30. Thanks to our many hospitality industry partners for offering 2-for-1 experiences from arts and entertainment to transportation, dining and spa, and stimulating summer visitation. If you would like to order Summer Savings cards for your guests, contact Rita Wells to place your order. Also, the CVB has met with several restaurant and spa partners to discuss exciting opportunities to enhance Spa Chic and Dine Out Lauderdale. New dates and new features will be announced in the near future.

As part of the 7th Annual Great American Beach Party, four Fort Lauderdale icons, including Nicki E. Grossman, will be recognized for their lifelong accomplishments with an induction into the City's Walk of Fame on May 28. Each of the 2016 honorees has distinguished themselves in their respective fields, while making positive contributions to the City of Fort Lauderdale. As part of the awards program, each honoree will receive a commemorative marble paver that is placed in the Walk of Fame to memorialize their outstanding accomplishments. Congrats Nicki!

Congrats to Starmark and LP Media, Inc for receiving gold in the Out-of-Home & Ambient Media category at the American Advertising Awards for the Greater Fort Lauderdale Boston/Chicago Bus Shelter Activation and Campaign.

Exclusive Greater Fort Lauderdale ‘Vacation Like A VIP' packages are available through September 30 at participating Lauderdale Luxe Collection hotels and offer 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, complimentary valet parking at The Colonnade Outlets at Sawgrass Mills, and a complimentary Savings Passport coupon book for Sawgrass Mills. For details on the Vacation Like a VIP program, valid May 1 through September 30 with a two-night minimum stay and a list of participating Luxe properties, visit



Reviews will take place soon. Click here to sign up now. 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 2017 Greater Fort Lauderdale Superior Small Lodging directory, as well as the SSL website, the Broward listing on, Broward SSL Facebook: 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. For more info on becoming a Superior Small Lodgings member, go to *Superior Small Lodging Membership will be extended to hotel properties with 51-75 units. More info to follow.

Sports Development welcomes more than 20,000 athletes, coaches, and families in May including the FL State Open Bowling Championships at Sawgrass Lanes and Strikers Bowling Centers, the Sunshine State Games Figure Skating at the ICEDEN in Coral Springs, the EVP Beach Volleyball series on Fort Lauderdale Beach, the Red Bull Wings for Life Run in Sunrise, Beach Brawl Roller Derby at the Broward County Convention Center, and the National Junior High School Rodeo Finals at Bergeron Rodeo Grounds.

You are invited to attend the CVB’s Hospitality Sports Update meeting, Wed, June 8 at 8:30am at the Hard Rock Café at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino. Hear from 25-30 local event directors, who will discuss their various sporting events hosted throughout Broward County and how you can get involved. RSVP to Dawson

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In April, Fernando Harb attended World Travel Market Latin America and Sao Paulo Fashion Week, networking with top clients and media. More than 1200 press, bloggers and TV attended. Fernando also attended the GFLCVB Meeting Incentives Conventions & Exhibitions Luncheon with industry professionals promoting the meetings side of our destination. Erick Garnica, along with the UK Sales & Marketing team, conducted a sales mission in Scandinavia, visiting Norway, Denmark, and Sweden, visiting top tour operators who are selling our destination and providing training to sales representatives. It is important to note that since Nov 2013, non-stop flight service with Norwegian Air from these countries continues to increase visitation into our destination from this region.


Caitlan Etchevers attended a Los Angeles Sales Mission and Training with Elena Gladstone from convention sales. A “Lunch and Learn” was held educating both travel agents, tour operators and meeting planners on the destination and Broward County Convention Center. Caitlan also attended the NACTA South Florida Chapter monthly meeting at the Diplomat Resort & Spa by Curio meeting with local agents and NACTA leadership. She also visited AAA local branch offices with Lidia Gorzelany, Tourism Marketing Manager of Pompano Beach, updating the agencies on spring/summer promotions, represented the CVB on the JetBlue inaugural flight between Fort Lauderdale and Barbados, and showcased the destination to the AITS/Visit Florida China fam. A special thanks to the partners who participated. Last month was the official launch day for Dream Vacations, a new travel agency brand that’s a CruiseOne company under the World Travel Holdings umbrella. The organization, along with Caitlan, celebrated its big day with a ribbon cutting ceremony. In addition, April 8 was declared “Dream Vacations Day” by the City of Fort Lauderdale. Click here to read more.

The GFLCVB UK PR team have been working hard to secure six leading UK media for the upcoming UK & Ireland press trip. The media includes family friendly Sainsbury’s Magazine, Gay Star News, glossy OK! Magazine and Irish national newspaper Irish Daily Star.

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Richard Gray attended the World Travel & Tourism Summit in Dallas representing the global LGBT market. Mr. Marriott was the keynote speaker, and Richard had the opportunity to meet him and thank him for his commitment to LGBT tourism. The IGLTA Conference in Cape Town last month was a huge success with more than 300 global key LGBT travel experts represented. It was the first time an LGBT conference had been held in the continent of Africa. South African Tourism Minister, Derek Hanekom, made a powerful welcome address on the importance of diversity and inclusion. David Scowsill, president of the WTTC spoke about the huge importance of the emerging Asia market and how they are traveling. Richard was appointed Vice Chairman, for the second time, at the IGLTA International conference.



The Tortuga Music Festival, held on Fort Lauderdale beach last month, was a great success attracting more than 75,000 to the destination. The CVB OFME was a key partner in orchestrating the event. Noelle Stevenson will partner with the GLAAD Media Awards, an annual LGBT film event in NY on May 14, promoting the MIFO Fort Lauderdale Film Festival and inviting key filmmakers and celebrities as guests to this year’s film festival.

Film Permits were issued for the following productions in April 2016: TV Series: D1 (Untitled); I AM Jazz – Season 2; The Truth is Stranger than Florida; What’s My Car Worth – Season 7. TV Commercials: Coty Fragrances; HH Gregg; Jet Smarter Speed Bullet; Outback Steakhouse; OzeaDerma Infomercial; Party City; Silk Milk; Simplicity Pet Care Infomercial; Speedway Convenience Stores; SunSetter Miami; Top Dog Pet Travel – “Hairy Kid.”  Still Photography: Baggallini Handbags; Beauty Swim Shoot; Family Maternity Shoot; Fashion House Spring; Jamba Juice; Model Portfolio; Mother’s Day Mini Sessions; Hawker Aircraft; Wal*Mart. Telenovelas: Silvana Sin Lana. Documentaries: Florida Tourism Video; Rich Kids of Instagram. Music Video: Maria José feat. Ivy Queen - 'Las que se ponen bien la falda.' Feature Film: Boyfriend Killer. TV Movie or Special: Dirty Heels. PSA: Hello; Telemundo Studios PSA. Web: Chase Small Business; On the Fly – Online Story Piece for UFC. Other: FAA Airport Certification Safety Inspector Training Video.   

Groups meeting in May will generate more than $24 million to Broward County. Groups include:
May 1-7: National Genealogical Society Family History Conference (2500 attendees)
May 3-6: Arctic-Florida Sea-Level Rise Summit (400 attendees)
May 5-9: BeachBear Weekend 2016 (500 attendees)
May 5-9: Women’s Conference 2016 (500 attendees)
May 7-11: 11th Annual International Conference on HIV Treatment Adherence (400 attendees)
May 8-17: 2016 Society of General Internal Medicine Annual Meeting (1200 attendees)
May 11-13: The School Board of Broward County – National Summit for Principal Supervisors (400 attendees)
May 11-20: National Association of Addiction Treatment Providers Annual Conference (300 attendees)
May 12-21: Infusion Nurses Society 2016 Annual Convention & Industrial Exhibition (700 attendees)
May 19-23: Wedding Experience Show (1200 attendees)
May 19-27: International Conference & Trade Show (2000 attendees)
May 24-27: BizBash Florida Expo 2016 (1500 attendees)
May 26-29: Anniversary Fetish Weekend (600 attendees)
May 29-June 7: European Wax Centers (1200 attendees)

Congrats to The Ritz-Carlton, Fort Lauderdale for receiving the 2016 AAA Five Diamond Award, the only five-diamond hotel in Greater Fort Lauderdale; and to the Margaritaville Hollywood Beach Resort for receiving the AAA Four-diamond designation. The Sheraton Fort Lauderdale Airport & Cruise Port Hotel in Dania Beach will be closing on June 7 to embark on an extensive $30 million conversion of the property to a Le Meridien, a Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide Parisian-born brand. Le Meridien Fort Lauderdale Airport is projected to open in the third-quarter of 2017. Welcome aboard David Gott, the new general manager at Sawgrass Mills.

Total passenger traffic for February 2016 was 2,437,622 up 10.1% over February last year. Domestic traffic increased by 10.6%. International traffic was up 8.4%. February was the 23rd consecutive month of positive growth in total passenger traffic. New service for 2016 includes JetBlue: Barbados in April, Aguadilla (Puerto Rico) in May, Nashville in May, San Diego in June, and New Orleans in September. Spirit: Philadelphia in April. Norwegian Air Shuttle: Paris in July. Southwest: Nassau in August.

We invite you to submit your celebrations, special offers, and events for Mother’s Day, Father’s Day and 4th of July to be featured on dedicated pages on You can easily submit your offers online under your partner login at If you do not know your partner login, contact Michelle Reynolds at When creating your coupons for these holidays, be sure to select the appropriate coupon category. For events simply visit to input the details of your event, including location, dates, times, admission (if any), website, and event description. Again, be sure to select the applicable category for your event and also include a text-free picture for your event or a photo of the venue at which your event is taking place. If you have any questions about submitting your offers and events, feel free to contact Justin Flippen at

Check out our team in action at various events and functions around the world. Click here to see.

Every Friday: Friday Night Sound Waves, Fort Lauderdale beach
May 2-9: Fleet Week, Port Everglades
May 6: Bill Burr: Plowin’ Ahead
May 7: Official Florida Panthers Playoff Block Party, Himmarshee Public House
May 7: Dragons & Drums, ArtsPark at Young Circle
May 7-8: Fort Lauderdale Air Show, Fort Lauderdale beach
May 8: Wings for Life World Run, BB&T Center
May 10: George Benson & Boney James, Hard Rock Live
May 10-22: Beautiful: The Carole King Musical, Broward Center for the Performing Arts
May 10: George Benson & Boney James, Hard Rock Live
May 11: RuPaul's Drag Race: Battle of the Seasons, Parker Playhouse
May 12: The Music of ABBA: Arrival from Sweden, Coral Springs Center for the Arts
May 14: 3rd Annual Crawfish Fest, Downtowner Saloon
May 21: Seventh Annual Covenant House Florida 5K on A1A
May 21: Tracy Morgan, Hard Rock Live
May 26-June 9: Alice Through the Looking Glass: An IMAX 3D Experience, Museum of Discovery & Science
May 30: Memorial Day KidzFest, Flamingo Gardens

Best wishes,

Nicki Signature

Nicki E. Grossman

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