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B Hotels & Resorts® and B Ocean Fort Lauderdale continue to make headlines with special announcements and offerings, new programs and hotel packages and one-of-a-kind exclusive guests-only events. To learn more, simply read below and you'll know why you'll often find B In The News!
Fort Lauderdale JournalShare
City Celebrates 100 Years with Urban Renaissance and a Vision for the Future
Hotel companies have certainly shown that they are ready to invest in Fort Lauderdale's growing upscale tourism market. A deluxe Ritz Carlton (www.ritz-carlton.com/fortlauderdale) is on the beach now, along with a trendy W Hotel (www.whotels.com/fortlauderdale). On the Intracoastal Waterway, within walking distance of the Broward County Convention Center, is the Hilton Fort Lauderdale Marina (www.fortlauderdalemarina.com) hotel, with views of the city skyline and the yacht-filled marina at the base of the property.
The newest hotel to open along Fort Lauderdale's beachfront boulevard is called B Ocean Fort Lauderdale (www.bhotelsandresorts.com/ftlauderdale), part of the expanding B Hotels and Resorts brand. Formerly a Holiday Inn property, (and the 1950's-era Schraffts Motor Inn before that), this completely refurbished hotel, where all 240 deluxe guest rooms have ocean views, perhaps best symbolizes the city's efforts to reinvent itself. By convincing private developers and investors that the city is serious about revitalization and upscale growth, business leaders in Fort Lauderdale have seen a plethora of new urban commercial and residential projects in the city that have injected new life into formerly neglected neighborhoods. B Ocean, facing the Atlantic a little north of most of the beachfront properties, and overlooking the green expanse of Hugh Taylor Birch State Park, is helping to revitalize this part of the beach, where new boutiques and cafes are replacing the older Spring Break-era t-shirt shops and pizza joints.
The B Ocean Hotel and Resort is the city's newest property to offer all ocean-view rooms, catering to an upscale market (photo Ron Bernthal)
"There has been a complete renaissance in Fort Lauderdale in the past ten to fifteen years," said Joel Darr, B Ocean's General Manager. "The entire beachfront is now quite stylish, and with all the new development taking place downtown, the city is very different than it was just a short time ago. People are coming here throughout the year now, from other cities in Florida for long weekends, and from Europe as well, because we have something great to offer them.
The Broward Center for Performing Arts (https://browardcenter.org), a beautiful structure opened 20 years ago, has been one of the most successful downtown entertainment venues in the country. A planned $43 million facility expansion, partly in an attempt to draw a younger audience, will include new seating and carpeting, a club level, retractable awnings over the courtyard, and a two-story pavilion at the back of the property overlooking the New River.
A $43 million expansion project is planed for the Broward Center for Performing Arts (photo Arts & Entertainment District)
The downtown Riverwalk Arts and Entertainment District (www.riverwalkae.com), with the New River has its central focus, allows visitors to bike, walk, or take water taxis among a growing number of upscale shops and restaurants, as well as the Broward Center, the Museum of Art (www.moafl.org), the Museum of Discovery and Science (www.mods.org), Himmarshee Village (www.himmarsheevillage.com), with its collection of restaurants, clubs and bars, Parker Playhouse (www.parkerplayhouse.com), and the Fort Lauderdale History Center (www.fortlauderdalehistorycenter.org).
Fort Lauderdale's current mayor, Rob Dressler, and some members of the City Commission, are not content to let the city sit on its laurels of the past two decades, and they want to spend city money on a consulting firm to help Fort Lauderdale formulate a vision for its future. Political opponents claim that the proposed consulting fees, about $300,000, are too high, and there's even a big debate about what the new "visionary" committee should call themselves.
Example of proposed electric light rail project called The Wave, proposed for downtown Fort Lauderdale by the city's Downtown Development Authority. (www.wavestreetcar.com)
What everyone in this city of 166,000 residents seems to want, however, is for the city and its nearby communities to continue to draw visitors by maintaining and expanding the 1991-opened Greater Fort Lauderdale/Broward County Convention Center; Port Everglades, the nation's third busiest cruise port; and Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood International Airport (FLL), the fastest-growing major airport in the country building. These three facilities, along with The Wave, a proposed 2.7-mile electric streetcar system costing $125 million, using federal, state, and local funding, is being planned for downtown Fort Lauderdale in the near future. It is also helpful that in 2011 Fort Lauderdale had the lowest tourism taxes out of 50 U.S. destinations, according to an annual study by the Global Business Travel Association Foundation.
Contact: Great Fort Lauderdale Convention & Visitors Bureau
100 East Broward Boulevard
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33301