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Industry Briefs

Broward County and the Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention & Visitors Bureau (GFLCVB) are excited to announce that the project to expand the Broward County Convention Center and add a new four-diamond Headquarters Hotel in Fort Lauderdale has officially begun. The phased project began with a demolition event at the Portside Yachting Center recently and will follow a schedule of construction activities into 2023.

"This is an historic day for Broward County," said Broward County Mayor Mark Bogen. "This demolition represents a new beginning as we confidently move forward with plans for the expansion of the Convention Center and the construction of a world-class iconic Convention Center hotel. These new modern accommodations will attract new convention business, create good permanent jobs and bring an economic boost to our local tourism and hospitality industry."  

"After years of planning a larger and more advanced Convention Center, the project is now in motion," said County Administrator Bertha Henry. "We expect this project will create more than 1,000 jobs and boost the local economy by more than $100 million annually." 

"As Greater Fort Lauderdale increases in popularity domestically and internationally as a premier year-round meetings destination, we need to exceed the needs of meeting professionals and create the perfect destination showplace. We are listening to the needs of meeting planners to create the Convention Center experience of the future," said Stacy Ritter, President and CEO of the GFLCVB. 

Broward County expects to attract more convention business with an enhanced mix of accommodations, flexible indoor and outdoor contemporary event and meeting space, and amenities. When completed, the expanded Convention Center will boast more than 1,200,000 sq. ft., including 350,000 sq. ft. of contiguous exhibition hall, a new 65,000-sq. ft. waterfront ballroom, the latest in new technology, new dining concepts, enhanced water taxi access and an iconic waterfront plaza with public access.

The new 800-room headquarters hotel, which will be managed by Omni Hotels & Resorts, will be located on the destination's famed Intracoastal Waterway with a view of the Atlantic Ocean. It is within a two-mile radius of Broward County's Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport, Port Everglades, dining, shopping and Broward's famed 23 miles of Blue Wave beaches. The hotel will also add more than 73,000 sq. ft. of meeting space, an 11,000-sq. ft. spa and fitness center and expand the entertainment, retail and dining spaces for visitors and local residents to enjoy.

The additional room nights generated by the expanded Convention Center will also have a positive impact on local hotels, while the increased tourism revenue will benefit local restaurants, shops and attractions.

The new structures are designed to be LEED Gold certified (Leadership, Energy and Environmental Design) and will be the centerpiece of the resilient Convention Center district enhancement project. 

"Greater Fort Lauderdale has evolved from a spring break haven to a sophisticated, upscale tourism destination. Renovating and expanding the Convention Center is another key building block in our growth as a world-class city," said Amaury Piedra, Chairman of the Broward County Tourism Coalition Committee and General Manager of the Pier Sixty-Six Hotel & Marina. "The redeveloped Convention Center, its new Headquarters Hotel, along with other key redevelopment projects such as the reimagined Pier Sixty-Six, will complement all of the tremendous amenities our destination offers, making it the complete package for both domestic and international groups." 

The County has assembled a team of experts to work on the project including Matthews Southwest, the Project Developer; Balfour Beatty, General Contractor; and Architects Fentress, Stantec and DeSantis, along with numerous consultants and specialists. Demolition of the Portside Yachting Center and site preparation will continue over the summer with an opening of the expanded Convention Center and Headquarters Hotel anticipated for 2023. 

To learn more about the expansion and the new hotel, visit