It’s time to Duende and celebrate! Broward County commemorates its centennial with a series of art and performance projects that highlight the culture, sports and recreation venues, natural attractions and community diversity. Visitors and residents have been celebrating the art of community with VisualEYES mural art, Inside Out black and white photography appearing around town, a year-round calendar of festivals and events, and now Duende takes place this weekend October 2-4. Highlights include:

  • Friday (Oct 2): A dance kickoff showcasing Broward-based dancers and performers transforming downtown Himmarshee Village into a mix of performances and flash mob experiences, from 6pm-3am on SW 2nd Street. Take in a light show as buildings are lit up with a different color each hour that will celebrate the moods of Duende.
  • Saturday (Oct 3): Party like it’s 2015 for the celebration of the Century as three stages come to life between the Broward Center and the railroad tracks from 11am-3am. From 11am-5pm: family-friendly experiences and performance events, interactive art booth, art bus, bounce house, egg time capsule, musical instrument petting zoo, nest lounge, costume tent, and edible art stations. Broadway-style performance “WE”…The Passion & Rhythm of the People featuring Jon Secada and Linda Eder starts at 8pm at the Broward Center for the Performing Arts. (Tickets are still available). And at ArtsPark at Young Circle in Hollywood, LEGACY a 10 member band featuring the sounds of the 50’s, 60’s and 70’s from 8-9:30pm. 
  • Sunday (Oct 4): Duende A.M.P. Festival at Pompano Beach Amphitheater, local bands compete for Most Amped Performance and winner will perform at 6:30pm followed by Sammy Figueroa, Otis Cadillac, The Jason Taylor Foundation’s Bluapple Poetry Network and Body and Soul Dance Theatre.

For more information, and a complete list of events, visit Broward100.org.

Growth in hotel occupancy continues (for the past 69 months) with the highest August average hotel daily rate in history! 


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Join us Thursday, October 15 at 12pm for the 2016 Greater Fort Lauderdale Marketing Plan Presentation and Luncheon at the Broward County Convention Center. See what's on the horizon for tourism sales, convention sales, multicultural business, sports development, film, music & entertainment, LGBTQ, public relations and advertising as we gear up for the year ahead. FRLA’s annual trade show kicks it off at 11am with service providers, venues and cultural groups exhibiting. Click here to RSVP. Any questions, contact Rita Wells rwells@broward.org.

In addition to Broward County’s Duende weekend, Greater Fort Lauderdale welcomes many groups and events this month including: Macaroni Kid Publishers (Oct 1-4), a community of mommy bloggers from around the nation with 500+ local editions, and seven national editions; JetBlue inaugural flight from Mexico City & Media Fam (Oct 1-4); Southern Comfort Conference (Sept 29-Oct 3), one of the largest gatherings of the transgender community in the world with 1000+ in attendance; TBEX Conference (Oct 25-30), the world’s largest blogger conference with 800+ international travel bloggers; Swatch Beach Volleyball FIVB World Tour Finals (Sept 29-Oct 4) on Fort Lauderdale beach; and Wizard World Comic Con (Oct 2-4) at the Broward County Convention Center.

There is still time to experience the culinary greatness in Greater "Fork" Lauderdale during Dine Out Lauderdale. Special $35 three-course dinner menus at 35+ top Broward restaurants through Oct 12. FORT LAUDERDALE American Vintage at the Westin Fort Lauderdale Beach Resort, Beauty and The Feast at the Atlantic Hotel & Spa, Bistro at Sonesta Fort Lauderdale, The Capital Grille, Chart House, Chima Brazilian Steakhouse, Coco Asian Bistro & Bar, Dapur Asian Tapas and Lounge, Dos Caminos at the B Ocean Resort Fort Lauderdale, Eduardo de San Angel, 15th Street Fisheries, Indigo Restaurant at the Riverside Hotel, Johnny V, Mai-Kai Restaurant and Polynesian Show, Morton's The Steakhouse, Ocean 2000 at the Pelican Grand Beach Resort, Royal Pig, Ruth's Chris Steakhouse, S3 -Sun, Surf & Sand, Scolapasta Bistro, Sea Level Restaurant - Ocean Bar at the Harbor Beach Marriott, Seasons 52, Shooters Waterfront, Spazio, Sunfish Grill, Steak 954 at the W Fort Lauderdale, Tsukuro, Tuscan Grill, Wild Sea Oyster Bar Grille at the Riverside Hotel, Yolo (You Only Live Once) Restaurant  DEERFIELD BEACH Chanson Restaurant at the Royal Blues Hotel HALLANDALE BEACH Adena Grill, III Forks at Gulfstream Park, Juniper on the Water  HOLLYWOOD Bongo's Café, Elements Bistro at the Crowne Plaza Hollywood Beach Resort LIGHTHOUSE POINT Le Bistro OAKLAND PARK Las Pampas Grill & Bar POMPANO BEACH Cafe Maxx, McCoy's Restaurant at the Pompano Beach Marriott, Ocean Grill Restaurant & Tiki Bar at the Beachcomber Resort & Villas WESTON Ireland's Steakhouse at the Bonaventure Resort and Spa.Visit http://sunny.org/dineout for participating restaurants and their Dine Out menus

Groups meeting in October will generate more than $185 million to Broward County. Groups include:  
Oct 1-8: International Energy Credit Association (440 attendees)
Oct 2-10: The Mike Ferry Organization – East Coast Super Star Retreat (1800 attendees)
Oct 4-10: Competitive Carriers Association 2015 Annual Convention (500 attendees)
Oct 6-10: Network of Academic Renewal Global Learning Conference (500 attendees)
Oct 9-17: National Association of Gay & Lesbian Real Estate Professional (500 attendees)
Oct 11-13: National Association for College Admission Counseling College Fair (300 attendees)
Oct 13-18: Int’l Lyme & Associated Diseases Society Annual Meeting (400 attendees)
Oct 16-122: SOCAP Annual Conference (400 attendees)
Oct 16-22: The Institute of Internal Auditors All-Star Conference (400 attendees)
Oct 27-30: TBEX North America (1000 bloggers)
Oct 28-30: South Florida Women’s Summit (500 attendees)
Oct 28-Nov 5: American College of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers Conference (600 attendees)
Oct 29-Nov 11: 56th Annual Int’l Boat Show (125,000 attendees)

TOURISM SALES                   
In September, Fernando Harb and Erick Garnica participated at La Cita de las Americas in Boca Raton, a one-on-one appointment conference providing networking opportunities for travel industry professionals from key markets in Latin America and the Caribbean. Fernando participated at Ladevi workshops in Bogota, Colombia, conducting presentations for travel specialists and media interviews. Erick represented GFLCVB and FLL/Hollywood International Airport at World Routes Airline Development Forum in Durban, South Africa, meeting with senior planning managers and directors from international airlines carriers to attract future airlift into the destination. World Routes is the largest global annual airline conference. Fernando participated at ABAV International Tourism Fair in Brazil, the largest tourism trade show in the Americas. Fernando also participated at FIT, Argentina's leading tradeshow for the tourism industry, the largest and most important tourism fair in Latin America, with almost 60,000 visitors and more than 1,300 exhibitors.

Caitlan Etchevers attended the Expedia South Florida Partner Summit and the World Medical Tourism & Global Healthcare Congress in Orlando showcasing the new Sunny Health program to hospitals and insurance companies and attended several medical tourism workshops. Caitlan also visited the Mark Travel Orlando Call Center, meeting with more than 100 agents and promoting the Travel Agent Academy. The Tourism Sales team has also been showcasing GFL to many FAMS including AA South China, Glamour Tours from Italy, and a second AZUL Airlines FAM from Brazil. Justin Flippen conducted a site visit to the Inktel call center and continues to represent the CVB on the Broward100 project. Justin is also working with Victory Florida, commemorating the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II, designed to educate residents and visitors about Florida’s role in WWII by promoting cultural, heritage, and veteran tourism and increasing visibility and visitation to WWII and veteran related historic and cultural events, museums, exhibits, sites, and memorials. To add veteran related events to the celebration or to learn more about Victory Florida, visit www.VivaFlorida.org/victory

The CVB UK PR team hosted five UK journalists in GFL including InStyle, Daily Star, The Scotsman, Daily Express and Manchester Evening News. Thank you to our partners for helping host, including the Sonesta Fort Lauderdale (host hotel) and Sawgrass Mills. The UK Sales and Marketing team presented at the Cruise International Awards, co-sponsored by the CVB.

Congratulations to Albert Tucker, who received the Margaret Roach Humanitarian Award at Urban League of Broward County’s Red Gala event for demonstrating ongoing leadership in the areas of social justice, race relations and community service in Broward County. Last month the CVB hosted Ms. Xernona Clayton, and her Trumpet Awards Board, at the Diplomat Resort & Spa, as she celebrated her 85th birthday, with friends including Ambassador Andrew Young, (pictured left). Angella Lopez attended Diversity Summit in Dallas in August connecting with more than 30 clients that have an interest in bringing their conferences/meetings to South Florida. More than 350 youth will participate in the Broward, Jr. Carnival parade and competition on Sun, Oct 4 at Central Broward Park in Lauderhill. This annual Caribbean inspired family event fosters artistic development and creative freedom, all while inspiring young people to take up the torch of Carnival tradition and carry it high. Gates open at 12:30pm, parade begins at 2pm. Admission is $10, kids under 19 free; parking is $1.50 per adult. Also taking place this weekend, the International Reggae & World of Music Awards on Sun, Oct 4 at the Broward Campus of Broward College. For more info contact Fara Larrieux (754) 204-3464. GFL will host the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Psi Omega Chapter Regional Cluster October 16-18. Look out for the ladies in pink & green! Additional groups in October include Oct 12-14: HelmsBrisco DTC Multicultural 2015 (Oct 12-14); Jewish Education Center Conference (Oct 23-25); and South Florida Women’s Summit (Oct 28-30).

Sports Development welcomes more than 12,000 athletes, coaches, and families to Greater Fort Lauderdale in October including the FIVB Swatch Beach Volleyball World Tour Finals and Xtreme Top Box Cross Fit Competition on Fort Lauderdale beach, the Rising Stars Fall Showcase in Plantation/Davie, the ONE Hockey Tournament at the ICEDEN in Coral Springs, the Dunn’s Run in Deerfield Beach, and the AAU Taekwondo Training Camp at the Broward County Convention Center. (Photo credit: Martin Steinthaler).

The Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention & Visitors Bureau and the Broward County Sports Hall of Fame proudly announce the 2015 Annual Sports Banquet and Induction Dinner honoring six of Broward County’s sports legends: Eddie Jones/Basketball; Marty Hendrick/Swimming; Steve Hutchinson/Football; Charlie Partridge/Football; Ryan Shealy/Baseball and Lisa Zielinski/Volleyball. Join us Tues, Nov 3 at the Broward County Convention Center. Cocktails and silent auction at 5:30pm, dinner and induction at 7pm. Contact Saskia Fisher at 954-767-2455 or via email sfisher@broward.org, if you would like to contribute or attend.

Richard will be attending the Out & Equal Workplace Summit, the world’s largest LGBT conference with more than 3000 attendees, in Dallas Oct 5-10 and making a presentation on GFL's commitment to the Transgender traveler. Gay Pride Fort Lauderdale celebrates "We're Coming OUT" on Oct 9-11 at Holiday Park and the War Memorial Auditorium. Look for the rainbow flags along Fort Lauderdale beach between Las Olas Blvd and Sunrise Blvd. The Miami Fort Lauderdale Gay & Lesbian Film Festival is Oct 9-11. The National Association of Gay & Lesbian Real Estate Professionals celebrate their second Fort Lauderdale conference at Hyatt Regency Pier Sixty-Six, Oct 12-14. Also in October Richard will host a LGBT Fam for the TBEX travel bloggers.

OFME’s Noelle Stevenson, launched and unveiled “Underground Lauderdale Fashion” at Fashion week in NY last month, in association with Susanne Bartsch’s Fashion underground NYC event. German TV interviewed both Susanne and Noelle on how the concept and creation of this fashion initiative came to life. In attendance was Calvin Klein, Ru Paul, Le Blond, Vogue, Jason Leli, Dianne Brill, Zaldy Milliner, Amanda Lepore among a few key industry peeps.

OFME prepares for the upcoming MIFO Film Festival as they host opening night at the NSU Art Museum Fort Lauderdale. Filmmakers and industry professionals will attend the annual two part event and opening night film screening in October. Actress/model, Patricia Velasquez, will showcase her film Oct 10 during the festival with an event taking place at C&I studios in her honor. FLIFF’s Chairman’s Awards Gala, co-chaired by Noelle Stevenson, takes place Nov 21 at the Diplomat Resort & Spa, where Nicki Grossman will be honored with the Visionary Award. Key filmmakers and talent will be in attendance including Victor Nunez, and renown actor Ed Harris and Amy Madigan, who will receive the lifetime achievement award. For tickets contact Alan Koslow akoslow@becker-poliakoff.com or Noelle Stevenson nstevenson@broward.org.

Film Permits were issued for the following productions in September 2015: TV Series: Bachelor 20; Evil Stepmothers; Road Spill – Drivers Seat.  TV Commercials: Depends – Take on the Weekend; Mini Cabrio.  Still Photography: Belk; Ford; Insideout Collection; Next.  Telenovelas: Quien es Quien.  Music Video: Pettie Meller – Barbaric.  Feature Film: Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children.  Documentary:  Drug Wars; Foster Shock. Web:  Lion’s Compass; Rhone Collective; Simple Mobil; Wilson.

Tortuga Music Festival returns to Fort Lauderdale beach with an extra day, April 15-17, 2016. Early bird tickets go on sale, Oct 2 at 10am at http://www.tortugamusicfestival.com

Total passenger traffic for July 2015 was 2,315,600, up 10.3% over July last year. Domestic traffic increased by 8.2% and international traffic was up 18.6%. July 2015 was the 20th consecutive month of double-digit growth in international passenger traffic. It was also the 16th consecutive month of growth in total passengers. Upcoming new international service includes: JetBlue to Mexico City, Oct 2015; Providenciales (Turks and Caicos), Nov 2015; and Quito, Ecuador in 2016. New domestic service includes: JetBlue: Baltimore, Charleston, Philadelphia, and Albany, Dec 2015; Southwest: DCA, Aug 2015 and Minneapolis, Jan 2016; Allegiant: Portsmouth, NH, Akron, OH, and Rochester, Oct 2015; San Antonio, Nov 2015; and Grand Rapids, MI (seasonal), Dec 2015; and United returns to Cleveland, Oct 2015. Traffic will continue to increase for the remainder of 2015 and through the first quarter of 2016. Calendar year 2015 should exceed 26 million passengers.

Port Everglades received its first Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification for Cruise Terminal 4, which underwent many energy-efficient improvements when it was expanded and completely renovated over the past year. Construction features that made the terminal eligible for LEED certification include: Recycled concrete and asphalt used in the building's construction; Low-water usage toilets/urinals and fixtures; Energy-efficient lighting inside and outside as well as the use of natural lighting within the terminal; Energy-efficient air conditioning and windows; Remote control of the lighting and air conditioning systems, which is part of the Port's overall energy management program; Use of Regional materials manufactured within 500 miles of the Port; and Low VOC (volatile organic compounds) products used for paints, coating, flooring and adhesives. Port Everglades recently became the first deep-water port in Florida to join Green Marine, an environmental certification program for the North American marine industry.

Congrats to the Hampton Inn by Hilton Hallandale Beach for the coveted “Two Palm” designation as part of the Florida Green Lodging Program, and “Gold Level” as part of TripAdvisor GreenLeader Program. The Hyatt Regency Pier Sixty-Six has unveiled its newly renovated, luxurious Panorama Ballroom. The 5,900-square-foot ballroom now features several upgrades including new carpeting, lighting, furnishings and a fresh color palette. Throughout the space, a maritime-inspired carpet creates a festive atmosphere; modern lighting in the reception area features a potpourri of hanging glass globes, while more elegant light boxes with crystal spikes adorn the event spaces as part of the transformation.

Sawgrass Mills announced plans to expand by adding a full-price component, Town Center at Sawgrass. When complete in the fall of 2018, Town Center at Sawgrass will add approximately 25 new full-price retailers in 118,000 square feet of space. Construction is slated to begin in early 2017. Currently, the open air Colonnade at Sawgrass is in the process of being expanded for the third time and will be completed in March 2016. The Oasis at Sawgrass will be undergoing a massive upgrade in 2016.

Congrats to the Mai-Kai Restaurant & Polynesian Revue, named the #1 Tiki Bar in the World by Critiki News, a travel guide and historic archive of Polynesian Pop culture hotspots around the world.The Diplomat Resort & Spa’s award-winning steakhouse, Diplomat Prime, received the coveted 2015 Wine Spectator Best of Award of Excellence for their outstanding wine list. Restaurants who receive the award tend to offer 350 or more wine selections, along with superior presentation, and display either vintage depth, with several vertical offerings of top wines, or excellent breadth across several wine regions.

Congratulations to the CVB’s Michelle Reynolds in Strategic Client Services, for celebrating 10 years with Broward County. And make sure to check out our team in action at various events and functions around the world. Click here to see.

Through Oct 12: Dine Out Lauderdale: http://sunny.org/dineout
Oct 1: Glam-A-Thon Launch Party, Himmarshee Public House
Oct 1-Nov 30: Hubble 3D, Museum of Discovery & Science & AutoNation IMAX
Oct 1-Nov 30: Space Station 3D, Museum of Discovery & Science & AutoNation IMAX
Oct 2-4: 2015 Wizard World Comic Con Fort Lauderdale, Broward Convention Center
Oct 2-3: Coral Springs Craft Guild Annual Craft Show and Holiday Boutique, La Quinta Coral Springs
Oct 2: Taste of Harbor Beach, Marriott Harbor Beach Resort & Spa Grand Ballroom
Oct 2-Feb 11: Wild Africa 3D, Museum of Discovery & Science & AutoNation IMAX
Oct 3-4: 6th Annual Harvest Festival & Great Scarecrow Competition, Flamingo Gardens
Oct 3: Florida Panthers vs. Tampa Bay Lightning, BB&T Center
Oct 3-4: Great Balls Of Fire Opening Weekend Activities, Museum of Discovery & Science & AutoNation IMAX
Oct 3: LEVEL - Art Exhibit Opening -featuring the work of Bob Troy & Lam Pimental, Tedds ART Works Gallery
Oct 4: 34th International Reggae & World Music Awards, Bailey Hall of Broward College
Oct 6: SE Florida's Senior Life & Health Expo, Inverrary Country Club
Oct 6: The Taste of Equality, The Village at Gulfstream Park
Oct 8: 90 Miles Out, Gallery 2014, Hollywood
Oct 9-11: Pride Fort Lauderdale 2015, War Memorial Auditorium
Oct 10: Florida Panthers vs. Philadelphia Flyers, BB&T Center
Oct 10: Repticon Fort Lauderdale Reptile & Exotic Animal Show, Universal Palms Hotel
Oct 10: Riverwalk's 10th Annual Mutts & Martinis, Downtowner Saloon
Oct 11: South Florida's Italian Culture & Heritage Festival, ArtsPark at Young Circle
Oct 12: Greater Fort Lauderdale National College Fair, Broward Convention Center
Oct 15: An Evening with Buddy Guy, Hard Rock Live
Oct 15: Florida Panthers vs. Buffalo Sabres, BB&T Center
Oct 15: Jerusalem Quartet, Bailey Concert Hall
Oct 16-17, 23-24: Haunted Nights, Flamingo Gardens
Oct 16: North Beach Village Gallery Grand Opening
Oct 17: 4th Brazilian Festival of Pompano Beach, Community Park
Oct 17: Florida Panthers vs. Dallas Stars, BB&T Center
Oct 18: Smoke On The Water BBQ Feast, Esplanade Park
Oct 22-Nov 8: Big Fish. Broward Center for Performing Arts
Oct 23-24: Florida Fly Fishing Expo, International Game Fish Association Museum
Oct 23: Rob Thomas, Hard Rock Live
Oct 23: The Charlie Daniels Band, Coral Springs Center for the Arts
Oct 24: UB40 featuring Ali Campbell, Astro, and Mickey Virtue, Broward Center for the Performing Arts
Oct 25, 30-Nov 1: Spirits of Stranahan House Halloween Tours
Oct 25: Storytime with the Good Witch, Flamingo Gardens
Oct 27: Florida Panthers vs. Colorado Avalanche, BB&T Center
Oct 27: The Jazz Ambassadors of The US Army Field Band Concert, Pompano Beach Amphitheater
Oct 30: Florida Panthers vs. Boston Bruins, BB&T Center
Oct 31: “Not So Spooky” Halloween Extravaganza, The Village at Gulfstream Park
Oct 31: Animal Grossology Halloween, Museum of Discovery & Science & AutoNation IMAX
Oct 31: Florida Panthers vs. Washington Capitals, BB&T Center
Oct 31: Mark Knopfler, Broward Center for the Performing Arts
Oct 31-Nov 3: Sesame Street Live - Make a New Friend, Parker Playhouse
Oct 31: Wicked Manors, Wilton Manors