Black Meetings and Tourism

March / April 2019

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B M & T ••• March/April 2019 ••• 21 FORT LAUDERDALE Fort Lauderdale is one of Florida's most beautiful destina- tions, offering meeting planners plenty of options for a meeting or gathering of just about any size. From large 1,000+ delegate conferences to weddings and family reunions this beach city has got you covered. With the 600,000 sq. ft. Gold LEED Certified Broward County Convention Center, you'll enjoy high-tech meeting and exhibit space as well as five-star food service, an Internet café and elegant banquet rooms. The highly anticipated $750 million Convention Center expansion project is continuing to move forward, with the architects beginning work on drawings necessary for the site plan application. The project will add more than 500,000 sq. ft. of meeting, ballroom and exhibition space, and a plaza along the water with space for three restaurants, an amphitheater and generous outdoor programming space. The project also includes an upscale 800-room headquarters hotel operated by Omni Hotels and Resorts, which will be interconnected with the Convention Center. Greater Fort Lauderdale / Broward County is emerging as the most diverse area in the country and it's the gathering place of choice for large professional organizations, including some of the country's most influential African-American groups. The Urban League, the Newspaper Publishers Association, and 100 Black Men of America have all made return visits to plan their national social justice agendas. Members of Delta Sigma Theta and Omega Psi Phi made history leading the famed Seminole Hard Rock Winterfest Boat Parade and the Alpha Kappa Alphas will convene here this year. Broward County's next big cultural and heritage tourism attraction – a multimillion-dollar tennis training facility and museum that will draw amateur players and enthusiasts of the sport from around the U.S. and the Caribbean to the Greater Fort Lauderdale area – is in development. The American Tennis Association (ATA) will move its headquarters from exhibit space, and another 100,000 sq. ft. of exterior meet- ing space. Add to this 32,000 sq. ft. of meeting space in 36 breakout rooms, an executive boardroom, a VIP suite, plus a 12,000-sq. ft. Banquet hall, and it's no surprise why planners rate the Ocean Center as impressive. The Daytona Beach area boasts more than 200 properties and 12,000 rooms. With oceanfront cottages and resorts and everything in between, finding the ideal place to meet in Daytona Beach is a snap! A host of historical attractions also await visitors. Popular historical sites include the Dr. Mary McLeod Bethune Home and Gravesite; the home of Rev. Dr. Howard Thurman – one of spiritual leaders of the Civil Rights Movement; and Jackie Robinson Ballpark, which features an open-air, interactive museum that not only pays tribute to the baseball legend, but other groundbreak- ing Black athletes as well. For more information contact the Daytona Beach Area CVB at (386) 255-0415 or Ocean Center African American Research Library and Cultural Center

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