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Greater Fort Lauderdale Brings the Heat to New York City

Greater Fort Lauderdale Brings the Heat to New York City


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As I sit shivering in my chilly apartment outside New York City, contemplating whether or not to call my landlord about the heat and watching my neighbor through the window as he struggles to chip away ice from the windshield of his Honda SUV with a shoddy plastic scraper, I reflect back upon the winters of my post-college twenties when I lived in frostless Fort Lauderdale. As a native New Yorker, it was tough not living in the city for those long eight years... except when the frigid days of December through April rolled in and I’d hear about the snow, sleet, and requisite BS that comes with it from all my friends back home. And I was still going outside to play basketball in mesh shorts and my Champion-brand John Starks jersey like it was totally normal — and feeling like I needed to remove a layer.

Unfortunately for Fort Lauderdale, when people think of Florida and fantastic food, they’re more likely to picture the swanky restaurants in South Beach (or, these days, Brickell and the Design District of Miami), the global culinary offerings of Epcot at Disneyworld in Orlando, or the Floribbean cuisine the Keys made famous. But Miami’s beer-guzzling upstairs neighbor is actively attempting to change that, raising awareness about its restaurant scene to entice food-lovers into visiting the burgeoning gastronomic draw.

The canal-filled beach city and its surrounding suburbs are starting to dig their own identity out of the powdery sand lining the Atlantic, and instead of being stigmatized as a rowdy Spring Breaker's party haven, it's now elevating its image into one of the Sunshine State's top dining destinations. From fancy establishments like Steak 954, SAIA, and Market 17 (where you can dine on delectable farm-to-table fare in complete darkness) to masterly interpretations of blue-collar classics at places like ROK:BRGR, Tap 42, and Fort Laudy's favorite hometown franchise success story, Anthony's Coal Fired Pizza, the city offers incredible options for tourists (and locals) looking for a better-than-average bite.

Alas, my SoFla heyday is long gone and I’m a New Yorker once again, but thankfully, the Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention and Visitors Bureau (GFLCVB) understands that we who deal with four distinct seasons could use a break from the arctic freeze part of the year, and they’ve decided to help us out by bringing a bit of the beach up to the Big Apple. It started on Jan. 15, when one of the most heavily-trafficked bus stops in Manhattan (the M42 at 42nd street and Lexington/3rd avenues) was given a special Floridian “heat treatment,” getting installed with two yellow and white-striped sun lounges, dreamy photos of sun-drenched sand and clear blue ocean, and a powerful warming unit to keep commuters comfortable while out in the cold. To make things even more SoFla-chic, there were voluptuous, bikini-clad models handing out free Metro Cards to lucky passersby — a lovely, if not surreal, occurrence in the middle of an icy Wednesday morning rush hour.

The promotion continues on Jan. 28, as the GFLCVB brings its warmth and charm to Vanderbilt Hall at Grand Central Terminal, where palm trees, chiseled abs, and hobie cats are just the beginning of what you’ll discover inside the train station’s tropical oasis. Stop by and you might just finagle plane tickets down south, courtesy of JetBlue, to escape the next polar vortex — or at the very least you’ll snag some oversized “Hello Sunny” sunglasses from one of the free vending machines or score a ride uptown on a pedicab rickshaw (only the most preferred form of transportation of tourists visiting “The Venice of America”). You may even get a taste of some of the deliciousness that’s awaiting you down there… if you’re lucky.

After Grand Central Terminal, the beachy bash moves to JFK Airport’s Terminal 5, where it’ll rage on until the following Monday. From there, the GFLCVB will invade Chicago on Feb. 19, Washington, D.C. on March 18, and Sao Paolo, Brazil, on April 29.

Be on the lookout in the next few weeks for a follow-up piece that showcases my favorite spots to dine at in my old stomping ground of Fort Laudy (and I’ll even shed light on its thought-provoking nickname). You’ll be surprised at how vast the current culinary landscape is, as it’s developed quite a bit in recent years and offers outstanding variety. Until then, make sure you catch the sunny spectacle at GCT on the 28th, and don’t forget to bring a pair of shorts to change into should the feeling to show some skin become too powerful to resist.


What&aposs New in Greater Fort Lauderdale

Kimpton Goodland Hotel - Fort Lauderdale Beach opened inਊpril 2021 at the location of the former and historic Escape Hotel. The Goodland offers a tucked-away oasis of lush greenery and tropical landscaping paired. Open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, Botanic at The Kimpton Goodland Hotel serves up bold, healthful and eclectic flavors that feature local ingredients and Latin and Caribbean influences. The adjacent, pool-side Good Bar continues the good vibes but with a decidedly more relaxed scene. Set amongst lush landscaping, this secluded outdoor bar and lounge features a concise menu of shareable plates and lighter fare with a beverage menu featuring gin and tonics, inventive frozen drinks and patio-perfect white and rosé wines.

AC Hotel Fort Lauderdale Sawgrass Mills/Sunrise opened in March 2021, located adjacent to Sawgrass Mills mall and steps away from the BB&T Center. The eight story hotel is the first new hotel opening in Sunrise, FL in the past 15 years. The਎uropean style designed hotel features򠅴 stylishly sleek guest rooms, a lavish onsite lounge, and a lustrous rooftop bar called Horizon Bar and Lounge, which  can accommodate up to 300 guests for a reception. The hotel is equipped with 1,940 square feet of indoor space, including aਊ meeting room with floor to ceiling windows and an adjacent outdoor terrace. The hotel specializes in਎uropean style breakfasts, Spanish style tapas, local craft beer and specialty cocktails. 

Courtyard Fort Lauderdale Downtown opened in March 2021,਋ringing򠄷 rooms in to the trendy, arts-oriented Flagler Village section of downtown Fort Lauderdale. Features include a state-of-the-art lobby, two meetings rooms with a total of 2,300 square feet of flexible meeting space. The hotel also features The Easton, a rooftop venue with a pool. Guests can relax on a daybed at the pool, enjoy craft cocktails, views, small bites, music and dancing in the indoor-outdoor space.

Cambria Hotel Lauderdale Beach opened in January 2021. The 104-room hotel offers ocean views, a meeting room, coffee bar, pool deck and fitness room. 

Hotel Maren Fort Lauderdale Beach, a Curio Collection by Hilton opened its doors in January 2021 on A1A overlooking Fort Lauderdale beach. The stunning 229,000 square feet, 12-story hotel features 141 luxurious resort rooms, oversize balconies and breathtaking ocean views. Amenities include a VIP lounge, Ocean Club, 5 th floor pool and pool bar, and a state-of-the-art fitness center. The ground floor centerpiece restaurant Riviera features coastal Italian cuisine with Mediterranean influences by celebrity chef Fabio Viviano, known for his turn as a “Top Chef” contestant.

Tru by Hilton and Home2 Suites by Hilton Fort Lauderdale-Downtown Flagler Village opened in November 2020. The dual-branded property has 112 Tru guestrooms and 106 Home2 Suites guestrooms. At 19 stories high, the hotel features two distinctive lobbies – each of which has its own breakfast bar, lounge, and other brand-specific amenities. The property also offers an outdoor pool deck complimented by an outdoor bar, a fitness center, and 4,843 square feet of private event and conference space.  


Fairfield Inn & Suites by Marriott Deerfield Beach Boca Raton opened in November 2020 with 101 rooms, located midway between the beautiful sands of Deerfield Beach and its International Fishing Pier and the expansive Quiet Waters Park.

Tru by Hilton Ft. Lauderdale Airport opened in June 2020. The 115-room hotel is located 3 miles from Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport and less than a mile away from Port Everglades. 

The Hyatt Centric Las Olas, Fort Lauderdale hotel, located on the first 15 floors of 100 Las Olas, offers 238 guestrooms boasting city skyline views. The property features 15,000 square feet of flexible meeting and event space. Lobby-level Harborwood Urban Kitchen & Bar serves classic, modern-American cuisine, with a kitchen helmed by award-winning Executive Chef Greg McGowan. Elev8 rooftop features a pool deck and bar with panoramic downtown views. The hotel opened in April 2020.


Sintavia's CEO Speaks To Greater Fort Lauderdale's Global Importance

Flight, aviation and the space industry have been a part of the Florida landscape and its warm sunny beaches for a long time. Greater Fort Lauderdale in particular, continues to create the ideal business climate for these industries to grow and thrive. Sintavia is a shining example. Headquartered in Greater Fort Lauderdale, Sintavia is a designer and additive manufacturer of critical components for flight and launch customers. CEO Brian Neff founded Sintavia in 2012 after working with metal additive manufacturing at CTS Engines, a jet engine MRO he acquired in 2010. We recently had the opportunity to sit down with Brian and discuss Sintavia, the Greater Fort Lauderdale business climate and why he thinks his company is enjoying such great success.

Q: Brian, how has establishing your headquarters in Greater Fort Lauderdale benefited your company?

A: Well, in general, Southeast Florida is a hub for aviation repair and manufacturing activities—and has been since the days when Pan Am and Eastern Airlines had maintenance bases here. Greater Fort Lauderdale in particular is a great location because we can draw people from a very broad geographic area. For example, Sintavia currently employs technical personnel from as far south as Homestead and as far north as Port St. Lucie—a distance of approximately 150 miles.

Q: What have been the advantages for you personally moving to Greater Fort Lauderdale?

A: I've found that the local governments (in the City of Hollywood, Broward County, and the State of Florida) have been extremely approachable when we have had issues or have wanted to expand. In my experience, they are very willing to listen to our plans and react to them. Additionally, public/private advocacy groups, such as the Greater Fort Lauderdale Alliance, are extremely active and involved with local companies, which is refreshing because I haven't experienced that in other locales where I've had companies.

Q: Does being located in Greater Fort Lauderdale give you an advantage within the global market?

A: For sure, it is recognized as an aviation hub. Each year there is at least one major aviation conference held here, which speaks well to the region's global importance.

Q: What would you say to other CEOs in your industry looking to relocate?

A: Give me a call and stop by! But don't hire my people.

Q: Is there any big news/technology on the horizon for Sintavia?

A: Sintavia's great strength is in the design and additive manufacturing (3D printing) of advanced thermodynamic components for the aerospace industry. An area that we are focusing on is the treatment of waste heat, and we're in the process of proving some really interesting concepts in this area regarding pulsating heat pipe technology—optimized via the 3D printing process. If we're successful, it will have massive implications in all areas of people's lives, not just aviation.

Q: What market trends are you seeing within your industry?

A: It is no secret that sustainability is a huge focus for all industrial industries, including aviation. Luckily, 3D printing lends itself to this trend. In 2019, we founded a green trade association called the Additive Manufacturer Green Trade Association (the AMGTA) to highlight the relationship between 3D design, printing, and its inherent environmental benefits. Like Sintavia, the AMGTA is also based in Greater Fort Lauderdale.

Q: What's your opinion on the workforce offering in Greater Fort Lauderdale? Have you seen any advantages, in terms of recruitment, from a location standpoint?

A: As mentioned, we do quite well geographically in hiring local talent. With respect to recruitment from other states, South Florida is obviously a HUGE draw due to its tax/regulatory environment and also its weather. I was speaking with a young engineer today who is working in upstate New York, and he is champing at the bit to come down to work at Sintavia, and the geography is certainly a part of that.

Q: Sounds great. Thanks for your time, Brian. Is there anything else you would like to add?


Florida Hopes Spring Brings a Rebound

Free tattoos in Panama City Beach, discount Disney tickets in Orlando and breakfast in bed in Kissimmee. Those are some of the perks up for grabs simply for partying in parts of Florida this spring.

Hit hard by the steep drop in visitors after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, hotel operators in Florida vacation cities are aggressively competing for the spring break crowd -- those noisy throngs of young people with shorts, tank tops and open beer containers that some places once tried just as hard to drive away.

''Our rates are low and we've had to cut some deals,'' said Gary Lobo, general manager of the Clarion Hotel Maingate here. Along with the $49.95 a night rate, he is offering his guests free breakfast during spring break and promoting a free shuttle service to the theme parks.

''We've had to be very aggressive,'' Mr. Lobo said. 'ɺ full hotel at a lower rate is better than an empty hotel with a full rate.''

Sulma Crosby, who cleans rooms at the Clarion knows that a full hotel during spring break, from mid-March until early May, means catering to rambunctious teenagers, more wet towels from the pool and more beds to make. But after having had her work week cut from five days to two, Ms. Crosby is looking forward to making as many beds as she can manage. ''I'm sure we're going to do better with spring break,'' she said. 'ɾverybody was hurting bad. At this point we really need them.''

In Daytona Beach, events organizers are counting on brisk spring break business, too, hoping to help it along by spending a bit more this year on spot advertisements on MTV, ESPN and other frat-friendly channels in 35 markets. Organizers have also mailed about 50,000 promotional posters to fraternities and sororities on college campuses.

Daytona Beach's spring break planners also say that the lingering fear of flying among travelers since Sept. 11 may give the town a competitive advantage.

''We're typically a drive destination,'' said Scott Edwards, chairman of the Daytona Beach Spring Break Marketing Committee. ''I think we're getting some people who would have traveled to Mexico or elsewhere just because they can just drive here instead of fly.''

The Flamingo Inn in Daytona Beach is counting on the college crowd driving from across the country. ''Nothing is going to stop them from getting to spring break,'' said Merle Kappelman, owner of the hotel, which closes its doors to the public and rents rooms exclusively to college students from March 9 to April 15.

One city, though, has decided not to court spring break business. Officials in Fort Lauderdale, which took years to shed its image as the nation's spring break capital, say the city cannot afford to woo too many students, even if times are hard.

''South Florida in general is in much better shape than when college kids were in town,'' said Nicki Grossman, president of the Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention and Visitors Bureau, who recalls the 1980's when the city's one mile stretch of beach was overrun by 370,000 loud, rowdy, drunken college students.

''They want inflatable 30-foot beer cans on the beach, they want MTV, drinking contests, and they're not going to find that here,'' Ms. Grossman said. ''It is an image we're recovering from.''

Instead, Fort Lauderdale, which boasts of drawing only 15,000 spring breakers last year, is betting on family-oriented tourists and business conventioneers returning over the next year if the economy continues to pick up and there are no new terrorist attacks. Students are simply not good business, Ms. Grossman said. ''The price a college student is willing to pay for a hotel room doesn't make it worth it for us.''

Other cities are looking to snag visitors for spring break any way they can.

''When the events unfolded in September, we felt we needed to concentrate on this more,'' said Jayna Leach, a spokeswoman for the Panama City Beach Convention and Visitors bureau. So the city signed up more corporate sponsors this year to offer such enticements as free tattoos and passes for open bars at nightclubs. Events planners are spending more money on advertising, including a 12-page insert in college newspapers promoting the area.

Not to be outdone, the Orlando visitors bureau lined up more than 50 area hotels to reduce rates, offer free nights with extended stays and provide free breakfast and other perks. It also teamed up with Disney and other area theme parks to promote discount and second-day-free tickets to some attractions.

''Obviously we're competing with other sun destinations,'' said Jos Estorino, senior vice president of marketing for the Orlando/Orange County Convention and Visitors Bureau. ''It's a recovery plan.''


Appointments are no longer needed! This is a drive-thru site so you must remain in your vehicle during the process.

The Florida Department of Health (FDOH) in Broward County continues to offer COVID-19 vaccines at Snyder Park, 3299 SW 4 Av. Vaccines are offered from 8 a.m. - 4 p.m., Tuesday through Saturday. Everyone needs to bring an ID. Anyone aged 16 and older can now receive the vaccine. Minors (16 and 17) MUST be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian with proof, such as a birth certificate, and legal documents, to confirm guardianship.

If you are receiving your second dose, bring your CDC shot card and Florida government ID.

For all inquiries about testing and vaccinations, FDOH has a COVID-19 Call Center that can be contacted 24/7 at 866-779-6121 or by email at [email protected] For more information, please visit www.CDC.gov and www.floridahealth.gov.

PCR (Diagnostic) COVID-19 Testing Site at Mills Pond Park 2201 NW 9 Ave., Fort Lauderdale OPEN: 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. | Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday & Saturday CLOSED: Thursday & Sundays

There are no age requirements and no doctor referral is needed. Appointments are not required. For more information, contact the Florida Department of Health in Broward County at 954-412-7300. .

  • List of COVID-19 testing sites in Broward County: broward.org/CoronaVirus/Pages/Collection-Sites.aspx
  • List of State-supported testing sites in Florida, by County: floridadisaster.org/covid19/testing-sites/#dbroward

Department of Health Information
To see the latest data from the FDOH, visit bit.ly/2wb29D2 or bit.ly/2ZfwR9n.

Avoid the Three Cs
The City of Fort Lauderdale and the Florida Department of Health remind everyone to protect themselves and others by avoiding the Three Cs: Closed Spaces, Crowded Places, and Close-Contact Settings and by wearing a facial covering in public:

  1. Closed Spaces. Avoid closed spaces with poor ventilation that could allow contagious droplets to linger in the air.
  2. Crowded Places. Avoid crowded places with many people nearby the greater the number of individuals in an area, the greater the chances of COVID-19 spreading from person-to-person.
  3. Close-Contact Settings. Avoid close-range conversations and stay at least six-feet from others.

In addition to avoiding the three Cs and wearing facial coverings in all public spaces, individuals should continue to practice social distancing by staying at least six feet away from others stay home when sick or experiencing COVID-19 symptoms clean and disinfect countertops and frequently used surfaces often and wash hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds (or use hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol). For additional prevention tips, visit www.floridahealthcovid19.gov/prevention.

Weekly Food Distribution at Mills Pond Park
The cities of Fort Lauderdale, Oakland Park, and Wilton Manors will host a drive-thru food distribution event every Thursday, beginning at 9 a.m. at Mills Pond Park, located at 2201 NW 9 Avenue. Produced in partnership with Feeding South Florida, the event provides healthy and nutritious food to those impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Food is distributed on a first come, first served basis (while supplies last). Recipients must remain in their vehicles and will be instructed to open their trunk when volunteers are ready to load it. To access Mills Pond Park, please enter from southbound NW 9 Avenue. For more details, visit bit.ly/2K8cnrn. For more information about Feeding South Florida, visit www.feedingsouthflorida.org. To make a donation to Feeding South Florida, please visit bit.ly/2WJVl8Y.

CareerSource Broward Offers Webinars for Job Seekers
CareerSource Broward offers a variety of webinars for job seekers. The free online workshops focus on a wide range of job-readiness topics including: Job Search Methods That Work, Networking: the Power of People, Video Interview Skills, Résumé Preparation, Soft Skills: Getting and Keeping the Job, Interview Coaching and Practice Session, Telephone Interview Skills, Social Networking Online, and more. For more details and a complete schedule of offerings, visit bit.ly/2ziGHNA.

Find Local COVID-19 Statistics on Broward County Dashboard
To help residents understand the impact of the pandemic locally, Broward County is posting a daily statistical dashboard of COVID-19 indicators. The data includes statistics on number of positive cases, positivity rates, hospitalizations, hospital capacities, and deaths. To view the dashboard, visit bit.ly/2CncuPv.

Fit Fort Lauderdale Goes Virtual
Even during the COVID-19 pandemic, the City’s Parks and Recreation Department continues to strive to make Fort Lauderdale the healthiest city in the nation! To get there, Parks and Recreation has expanded its Virtual Recreation Center to include Fit Fort Lauderdale classes. Fit Fort Lauderdale is now virtual with FREE live classes on Sundays from 1 - 2 p.m. Don’t miss upcoming classes that include Line Dance with Tommy and Kathy (October 4). For details and to register, visit bit.ly/ftlvirtrec.

City’s Virtual Recreation Center Expands Offerings
In addition to fitness classes, Fort Lauderdale’s Virtual Recreation Center offers a variety of free, fun, and educational activities and resources for the entire family. The Virtual Recreation Center offers instructor-led virtual classes in art, cooking, line dancing, acrylic painting, yoga, Zumba, and more! To view the current weekly schedule, visit bit.ly/2T3Pjib. To sign up for a class, visit bit.ly/ftlvrec.

SFRPC Offering Small Business Loans Through CARES Act
The South Florida Regional Planning Council (SFRPC) has secured more than $5.3 million in funding to help struggling businesses as a result of COVID-19. The small business Revolving Loan Fund CARES Act program is available to eligible businesses including small businesses, sole-proprietors, and 501(c)(3) organizations located within Palm Beach, Broward, Miami-Dade or Monroe Counties. Loan amounts range from $25,000 - $500,000 with fixed interest rates from 3% to 4% and financing for up to 10 years. Funding from the program may be combined with other programs including the Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL), Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), or the State of Florida Bridge Loan Program. Personal guaranties and collateral are required. The Revolving Loan Fund CARES Act program is not a grant or forgivable loan. Interested businesses may apply at www.CARESActRLF.org. For more information, please contact Jeff Tart, Senior Loan Officer, at 954-924-3653 or [email protected]

Resources to Assist with Reopening

As cities and counties prepare to begin to slowly reopen, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has released “Guidance for Cleaning and Disinfecting Public Spaces, Workplaces, Businesses, Schools, and Homes.” The guidelines offer specific recommendations and best practices for cleaning and disinfection of a wide range of entities, including restaurants, offices, schools, healthcare facilities, childcare programs, faith-based organizations, recreational facilities, transportation companies, and more. To view the CDC recommendations, visit bit.ly/3dEDPJR. The CDC also released "Interim Guidance for Businesses and Employees," which offers updated strategies and recommendations for employers responding to COVID-19, including those seeking to resume normal or phased business operations. For more details, visit bit.ly/2WKQFj3.

Florida Restaurant and Lodging Association Offers Standards for Hospitality Reopening
The Florida Restaurant and Lodging Association in partnership with the National Restaurant Association and the American Hotel and Lodging Association, has developed a set of reopening standards for restaurants and hotels. The standards cover a wide range of areas including food safety, cleaning and sanitizing, employee health and personal hygiene, social distancing, infection prevention, environmental safety, and more. The operating standards are designed to increase safety, restore consumer confidence, and deliver a clean, comfortable, and sanitary experience to guests. To view the recommendations, visit bit.ly/2xVIvfe.

CDC Encourages Businesses to Flush Plumbing Systems
As businesses begin to reopen, the CDC encourages them to flush their plumbing. Because many businesses have been closed during the COVID-19 State of Emergency, water has not been used and has remained in meter-to-building pipes for several weeks. The CDC and regulatory agencies advise that stagnant or standing water may cause conditions that increase the risk for the growth and spread of Legionella and other biofilm-associated bacteria. This advisory includes hot and cold-water systems, cooling towers, hot tubs, pools, spas, water heaters as well as decorative fountains. Following the Centers’ for Disease Control (CDC) guidelines may greatly reduce chances for Legionella and other opportunistic waterborne microbes from developing within plumbing systems and devices. Businesses owners with questions regarding the CDC recommendations regarding water systems may call the Florida Department of Health at 305-324-2400. To review the CDC Guidelines for reopening buildings after a prolonged shutdown, visit the CDC website at bit.ly/2AbifhF or the EPA website at bit.ly/3chW7Q0.

City Operations

Department of Sustainable Development
The City of Fort Lauderdale’s Department of Sustainable Development building, located at 700 N.W. 19 Avenue, is open to the public. Customers are allowed to conduct business in the building Monday - Friday, 8 a.m. - 3 p.m., provided they adhere to strict guidelines that have been put in place to protect health and safety and ensure proper social distancing. A check-in process has been established in the DSD parking that requires customers to remain in their vehicles and provide staff with their name and phone number. Each customer receives a call when it is their turn to enter the building. Prior to entering, customers are required to have their temperature taken, clean their hands, have any paperwork disinfected, and be wearing a facial covering. Signage inside the lobby prompts customers to follow a designated one-way counter-clockwise direction. Customers proceed to a designated permit services technician for permitting assistance, and those awaiting service are positioned a minimum of six feet apart from each other. Customers with questions may contact the DSD call center at 954-828-6520. The City’s online platform, Lauderbuild, is available 24/7 at the following link: https://aca3.accela.com/FTL/Default.aspx. Lauderbuild provides access to permit searches, online payments, application submittal, license renewal, and more.

Permit Plan Application Submittal
Drop boxes have been installed outside the front door of the DSD building at 700 NW 19th Avenue. Applicants may pick up permit plan application forms as well as instructions for how to submit plans in the appropriate drop boxes. Intake staff will pick up submitted applications throughout the day for processing. Individuals are required to provide their name, email and phone number on the application so that staff can communicate as needed to complete the intake process. All payments should be made using the Lauderbuild online platform. Payments are required to be made prior to the City issuing a permit. Individuals may pick up applications for corrections by appointment only. To schedule an appointment, please call 954-828-6520.

Scheduling of Inspections
Permit inspections are available to be scheduled either through the DSD Call Center at 954-828-6520 or through Lauderbuild. Please be aware that inspections are prioritized to ensure medical facilities are inspected first along with life safety. All other inspections are then performed on a first-come first-served basis. Any sites to be inspected should have all non-essential staff removed from the inspection area so that City staff can maintain social distancing.

Online City Services
Neighbors are encouraged to utilize Fort Lauderdale’s online services to conduct business. Please visit the Lauderserv page on the City’s website at www.fortlauderdale.gov/lauderserv for information about a variety of online services including utility billing, parking and transportation, code compliance, building permits, human resources, and more.

City Sanitation, Yard Waste, Recycling and Bulk Trash Services
All City sanitation collection services, including residential trash collection, yard waste, recycling, and bulk trash, will continue to operate on their regular collection schedules.

Lien Searches
Lien Searches are open and may be requested by contacting the Finance Department at 954-828-5155 or [email protected]

Water and Wastewater Services
Water and wastewater services are not affected by the coronavirus outbreak. These essential services will continue without interruption. During this challenging situation, as people are spending more time at home, please help us prevent sanitary sewer overflows.

Customer Service
Neighbors may contact the City’s 24-Hour Customer Service Center by calling 954-828-8000 or by using the LauderServ app or visiting www.fortlauderdale.gov/lauderserv.

Utility Billing
Utility billing staff will be available by phone at 954-828-5150 during normal business hours, Monday through Friday, from 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Neighbors can call utility billing to ask questions, open a new utility account, or make a payment. Utility billing payments may also be made online at www.fortlauderdale.gov/utilitybilling and at the walk-up kiosk on the east side of City Hall, which is located at 100 North Andrews Avenue.

Business and Employee Assistance Programs

The City of Fort Lauderdale is sensitive to the stress and financial impact our businesses and their employees are experiencing as a result of COVID-19. For more information about programs and resources designed to assist businesses, employees, and the general public during this challenging time, please visit https://bit.ly/2U2qwfw.

The Broward County Office of Economic and Small Business Development (OESBD) is also sharing information about resources that become available from the federal, state, or county government at www.broward.org/econdev.

For the latest updates from the Greater Fort Lauderdale Chamber of Commerce, visit their website.

Fort Lauderdale Police Department

Beware of COVID-19 Scams!
The Fort Lauderdale Police Department reminds everyone to be aware of potential COVID-19 scams by phone, email or in person. Currently, the CDC, Florida Department of Health and other public health officials, and law enforcement are NOT going door to door selling COVID-19 test kits. If someone offers to sell you a kit, either in person or by phone, please call 954-764-HELP to report it!

COVID-19 Resources

For additional information regarding Coronavirus, visit the following websites:

  • National COVID-19 website: www.coronavirus.gov
  • Florida Department of Health: www.floridahealth.gov
  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: www.cdc.gov
  • Broward County: www.broward.org/coronavirus.
  • World Health Organization (WHO): www.who.int
  • Florida League of Cities: www.floridaleagueofcities.com/coronavirus-resources
  • Johns Hopkins University CSSE: Johns Hopkins CSSE

Ways to Stay in Touch

The City of Fort Lauderdale offers numerous ways for neighbors to receive important information and updates:


Broward tourism officials want more Millennials to visit in 2015

As Broward County closes in on a record 14 million visitors this year, tourism officials Thursday revealed new marketing plans and tools aimed at attracting at least a million more tourists in 2015.

Among them, a new campaign to capture a bigger share of the nearly 100 million Millennials market — an untapped segment for the destination. New tools include a Digital Playbook or destination magazine with an iPad version and a new "Hidden Gems" video series highlighting off-the-beaten-path attractions.

The county's official tourism marketing arm — the Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention & Visitors Bureau — is also boosting its promotional efforts to capture more live music and LGBT events and grow multicultural visitation.

"By the time this year is over [we'll have] 14 million visitors, the most ever, the best news we've ever had," bureau President Nicki Grossman told the 550 members of the hospitality community gathered at a lunch event at the Greater Fort Lauderdale/Broward County Convention Center. "We will bring 15 million visitors to Greater Fort Lauderdale and Broward County in 2015."

Next year's advertising budget is approximately $7 million, up from $6.5 million this year.

The tourism bureau will also tout Broward's centennial celebrations in 2015, chronicling its journey from sleepy beach town, to spring break mecca, to the successful and multifaceted destination it's become today.

"We've never been better looking or more successful, Grossman said. "Today, we head into the future armed with a strong and strategic marketing direction and an enviable brand image reaching millions of potential visitors."

The county's 14 million visitors this year will spend about $11.3 billion here, she noted. That's up from 13.4 million visitors and $10.6 billion in spending in 2013.

To kick off the new marketing efforts, the tourism bureau will be showcasing Greater Fort Lauderdale in New York City's Times Square Oct. 8-12, as the official destination of the 2014 CBGB Music and Film Festival, which is billed the world's largest free concert.

During the event, the bureau will tout Broward as a film-friendly destination to film makers and also promote the destination to concert goers through free branded pedicab rides, and photo opportunities with its Beachmobile as models jam to the music clad in rock 'n roll and punk rock garb, among other activities.

Planning is currently underway for the first CBGB music festival in Greater Fort Lauderdale in 2015, Grossman said. Another new event on tap is the AEG Live music showcase, which is slated for June 2015 in Huizenga Plaza in downtown Fort Lauderdale.

To attract more Millennials, the bureau created a Millennial Advisory Board to get feedback and insights. This is the generation typically considered born between 1980 and 2000.

Through that initiative it's identified activities such as shopping, watersports, entertainment and others that appeal directly to Millennials, which will be used in upcoming marketing and advertising materials.

The message to Millennials is, "Greater Fort Lauderdale is action packed fun in a 'chill' beach destination," said Lisa Hoffman, vice president of Starmark, the bureau's marketing and advertising partner.

The Millennial campaign will also include direct advertising through digital and social platforms and public relations activities.


Live Updates

The city is working to convince even more conventioneers and tourists that Fort Lauderdale is no longer synonymous with spring break. The city recently opened sales offices in Washington, London, Toronto and Stockholm, and it plans one in Frankfurt. In the last year, Fort Lauderdale has paid the way for 2,500 British travel agents and tour operators to come see for themselves that Fort Lauderdale no longer resembles the setting of the Glendon Swarthout novel "Where the Boys Are."

The book was made into a 1960 motion picture with Connie Francis, George Hamilton and Yvette Mimieux, giving Fort Lauderdale even wider exposure.

Mr. Swarthout and his wife, Kate, visited Fort Lauderdale last December, for a 50th wedding anniversary cruise to San Francisco via the Panama Canal. "I hadn't been there since the mid-1960's," said Mr. Swarthout, who lives in Arizona. "It seemed a lot more sedate. The bubbles have gone out of it."

That judgment seems unlikely to disturb the city's leaders, who made a strong effort to distance Fort Lauderdale from spring break. They ended their ads in college newspapers inviting students. They erected a five-foot high wall along Highway A1A, the coastal thoroughfare, partly to control traffic but also, some say, to serve as both a physical and psychological barrier. And they directed the police to enforce an ordinance that prohibited beer drinking on streets and beaches.

In 1986, 750 visitors during student break were charged with offenses largely related to drinking, and the next year about 2,000 were arrested. That tough new attitude gave rise to the slogan, "Come on vacation, leave on probation."

In 1991 and 1992, the city is spending $20 million to revitalize the beachfront's roads and sidewalks.

Not everyone is overjoyed at the change. "I did 50 percent of my annual gross income in that six-week period," said Roger Handevidt, the owner of the Orton Terrace, a 15-unit hotel three blocks from the beach. "Today you probably have more foreclosures than at anytime in the 12 years I've been here."

While Mr. Handevidt found the students who stayed at his hotel "rowdy, but not necessarily destructive," he acknowledged that some hotels suffered from student vandalism. He also said the number of women students began declining sharply in the mid-1980's as the number of drunken male teen-agers increased. Rolling With the Changes

At the Elbo Room, a popular beachfront bar that was featured in the movie "Where the Boys Are," business has also slipped since the old days. "There's been a gradual dwindling since 1985," said John Foose, its manager. "But we've kind of rolled with the changes -- from a wild and crazy bar to one that's kind of tame, with a lot of European customers."

The students who still come here for spring break, city officials say, tend to be couples eager to avoid their less-inhibited peers.

At the Surf Shop, a T-shirt shop facing the beach, Benjamin McNiff, an employee, said the transformation had been relatively painless. In the past, he said, "the students would rather spend 7 to 10 bucks on beer than on T-shirts." He continued: "Or else 12 would come in and 10 would rip you off. Now, families spend $50 to $100."

Peter and Dagmar Neufeldt, who own the Banyan Marina Apartments, about a mile from the beach, also like the city's about-face.

"We wouldn't have allowed kids here," Mr. Neufeldt said. "Theyɽ have ruined it." While there is a widespread perception that students spent money only on beer and hamburgers, a survey by the Broward County Tourist Development Council found that in 1985, the average visitor stayed an average of 7.4 days and spent an average of $54.05 a day. Today, the average visitor stays 9.2 days and spends $71.41 a day. Gain for Daytona Beach

Many students now spend spring break in places like the Gulf Coast of Texas the Caribbean Cancun, Mexico, and Baja California, as well as skiing meccas like Aspen and Vail, Colo. But the new capital of spring break is Daytona Beach, Fla., more than 200 miles north of Fort Lauderdale.

"When Fort Lauderdale lowered the boom on spring break, we realized what a tremendous asset it could be to have the future leaders of America at our door," said Suzanne Smith, a vice president with the Daytona Beach Chamber of Commerce.


6. Shopping

From local boutiques, to designer brands, strolling through downtown Fort Lauderdale and beyond makes for a superb shopping experience

Ready to shop until you drop? Luckily, we know exactly what to do in downtown Fort Lauderdale to make that dream a reality! Las Olas Boulevard, located in the heart of downtown, is one of the premier shopping experiences in South Florida. Not only that, there is something for everyone when shopping along the boulevard including art galleries, apparel, florists, sporting goods, and more! For a full list of what Las Olas has to offer, click here: https://lasolasboulevard.com.

While Las Olas has local charm and a ton of things to do, it is almost tiny in comparison to the massive Sawgrass Mills shopping center. The 20-mile trek from downtown Fort Lauderdale will be worth it once you get there! With 2,370,610-square-feet of retail space, and more than 350 stores, it is the 11th largest shopping mall in the country, and the second largest mall in Florida. Sawgrass Mills is full of amazing stores and designers including Armani, Bloomingdale’s, Burberry, Coach, and so much more!

Even though it’s not as large as Sawgrass Mills, the Galleria at Fort Lauderdale is another great shopping complex full of the top designers and name brands. With over 100 retailers to choose from, finding the perfect outfit before bar hopping on Las Olas Boulevard is easier than ever! Popular stores at The Galleria at Fort Lauderdale include:

  • Neiman Marcus
  • Macy’s
  • Dillard’s
  • Apple
  • Michael Kors
  • Sephora
  • Williams-Sonoma
  • H&M
  • And MORE!

1. Lie On A Beach

With 23 miles of coastline, Fort Lauderdale is a heaven for beach lovers, with swimming, waterskiing, diving, or, as I often prefer, lying on the sand and doing absolutely nothing. Parking at the beaches can be a challenge in the high season. Go early to grab a meter or park farther away and walk. Following are some choice beach areas:

Fort Lauderdale Beach Park is just south of the Bahia Mar Resort and is a popular beach with sand volleyball courts, playgrounds, and boat ramps.

Las Olas Beach is at the intersection of the famous Las Olas Boulevard and A1A. You can take a rest on this great beach after shopping, eating, and strolling.

Sebastian Street Beach is a popular gay beach but welcomes all. A beach wheelchair is available from the Sebastian Street Lifeguard (call 954-828-4595 for assistance). There are also accessible showers and accessible parking at 3031 Sebastian Street.

North Beach is across the street from Hugh Birch State Park, a beloved Fort Lauderdale destination.

Pro Tip: Some beaches and parks are dog friendly if Fido is traveling with you. Check out the rules and regulations before you go.


Lime Agua Fresca

Sometimes, you don’t need anything more than simple lime-infused water. Citrus and water pair perfectly together, and we’ve all seen hotel lobbies around the world offering up lemon water or lime water. But with the Ranch’s agua fresca, the flavors are enhanced and blended with mint to add an extra layer of complexity. This fresca also pairs well with sweeteners, transforming it into a homemade limeade!

1 gallon or 16 8 oz servings

Rancho La Puerta’s lime agua fresca

Ingredients

1 gallon of purified water

Garnish: mint sprigs or lime slices
***Naturally Sweet Rancho Lime Agua Fresca Option: Use a handful of fresh stevia sprigs to make stevia infused water, and add it to the 1-gallon drink dispenser. Directions are listed below. (you can also use a traditional simple syrup if desired.)

Preparation

Cut the mint leaves en chiffonade (in 1/16″ slices) and discard or compost the stems.

Add the mint leaves and the lime juice to a one-gallon drink dispenser.

For the Naturally Sweet variation, bring two cups of water to a boil. Add a handful of fresh stevia leaves to the water and boil for three more minutes. Take off the heat, and let the water cool. Discard or compost the stevia.

Add the stevia water to the dispenser.

For both variations, add ice and purified water to fill the drink dispenser to the top. Stir well. Serve in glasses filled with ice cubes and garnished with mint sprigs and/or lime slices.


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