FEB 2012

ConventionSouth magazine is the leading resource for meeting planners who book all types of events, conventions, conferences and group travel in the south.

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Home ALABAMA ARKANSAS FLORIDA GEORGIA KENTUCKY LOUISIANA MISSISSIPPI NORTH CAROLINA OKLAHOMA SOUTH CAROLINA TENNESSEE TEXAS VIRGINIA WEST VIRGINIA Planning Directory Planner Resources Meeting Site Showcase Photo courtesy Greater Fort Lauderdale CVB/Alan Maltz INSIDER'S GUIDE By Selena Chavis Fort Lauderdale is not only a tropical destina- tion with hyper- attendee appeal, it offers some of the cheapest travel taxes in the country. Fort Lauderdale A legendary tourist destination, Fort Lauderdale has built an expansive meetings infrastructure to enhance the inherent draw of its 23 miles of beaches. According to Nicki Grossman, president with the Greater Fort Lauderdale CVB, there are three key factors that attract meeting planners to the region: value, accessibility and convenience. "The Global Business Travel Association recently named Greater Fort Lauderdale lowest in business travel taxes for the second year in a row. This accolade, combined with the range of hotel accommodations and value-added incentives of- fered by the Broward County Convention Center, makes planners that book here heroes," she said. "Plus, the diversity of experiences for dining, shop- ping and unique venues—all within a short distance of each other—keep inspiration on the agenda." The Fort Lauderdale area offers more than 33,000 hotel rooms, of which 2,500 are within two miles of the 600,000-square-foot Broward County Convention Center. Grossman noted that the facil- ity is in the final stages of completing LEED certifi- cation by the U.S. Green Building Council. "Planners," she said, "can rest assured when they are meeting in Greater Fort Lauderdale that they are meeting green." Fort Lauderdale - Hollywood International Airport has broken ground on a new runway expan- sion project that is adding an additional runway as well as a cruise port access road. In addition, Grossman noted that new air service is continually being added such as Alaska Air's new non-stop service to and from Seattle. News is also coming out of nearby Hollywood Beach with the 349-room Margaritaville Resort set to open in 2014. Plans call for a Margaritaville Café, rooftop pool, 35,000 square feet of meeting space and more. A revamp of the Hollywoods's Bandshell amphitheater and a new lawn for events are also planned. Think Winter When Scheduling The Greater Fort Lauderdale area is a smart choice for meetings held in the fall and winter months. Along with off-season affordability, meeting attendees will be drawn to the warm temperatures as well as the seasonably warm water temperatures where they can still enjoy the beach. ■ 28 ConventionSouth FEBRUA RY 2012 www.con v Greater Fort Lauderdale CVB

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