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April 11, 2017

New in Florida: Convention Center Expansions, Hotel Openings

Rendering of the proposed expansion to the Broward County Convention Center
Rendering of the proposed expansion to the Broward County Convention Center

It’s been a strong start to the year for Florida’s meetings industry, with a number of major convention center projects and new hotels on the docket. 

Fort Lauderdale recently unveiled plans for the expansion to the Broward County Convention Center and nearby convention center hotel. Construction on the project, which is currently slated to begin for a projected 2021 opening, will add 68,000 square feet of additional ground floor exhibition space, and 65,000 square feet of ballroom space, including a 14,000 square foot ballroom and 20 additional breakout spaces, to the convention center. The new headquarters hotel will create an additional 83,000 square feet of meeting rooms and ballroom attached to the Convention Center north building. 

Miami is still working on a $615 million renovation of the Miami Beach Convention Center. When renovations are complete, the LEED-certified meeting facility will have more than 500,000 square feet of exhibit space, including a 60,000 square foot mixed use ballroom, as well as 81 new break-out rooms spanning 190,000 square feet. Additionally, the parking lot will be transformed into a public park with open lawn spaces, shaded areas, a veteran’s plaza and a food and visitor information pavilion. The project will also add 800 covered rooftop public parking spaces accessible to the general public and residents, as well as a partnership with Art in Public Places to commission public artwork. 

In Palm Beach, a new hotel connected to the Palm Beach County Convention Center could be on the docket. Back in February several media outlets reported that developer Related Cos. was considering a new hotel that would occupy the current site of the valet lot for the Hilton West Palm Beach hotel, with one proposal calling for 200 rooms. The new hotel could either be a different brand or an extension of the current Hilton.

Earlier this year a number of new hotels with notable meeting spaces also opened in the state. The JW Marriott Marco Island Beach Resort opened in early January following a $320 million renovation of the former Marco Island Marriott Beach Resort, Golf Club & Spa. This fall, the resort will open a new 94-room, adults-only tower, bringing the resort to a total of 810 guest rooms and suites and a total of 100,000 square feet of flexible event space. The tower will also have a 12,000 square foot indoor entertainment center, a rooftop pool and a restaurant. 

Later in January the Wyndham Grand Clearwater Beach opened with 343 guest rooms and over 22,000 square feet of flexible meeting space. Venues included the area’s largest ballroom, the 10,632 square foot Dunes Ballroom that can host up to 800 people. Also available are seven different meeting rooms, divisible into 12 breakout rooms. Other venues can offer space for events ranging from 10 - 300 attendees. 

Keep visiting www.internationalmeetingsreview.com for the latest meetings and events industry news, trends and updates. 

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About the Author: Adam Leposa





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