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September 13, 2017

Orange County, Fort Lauderdale Issue Convention Updates Post-Irma

The Orange County Convention Center (OCCC) reports that the facility sustained minimal damage from Hurricane Irma. 

fort lauderdale
The view post Irma from Greater Fort Lauderdale’s Pelican Grand Beach Resort // Photo courtesy of the Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention & Visitors Bureau

The OCCC officially reopened for business Tuesday after the powerful hurricane struck Florida over the weekend, making landfall twice in the Florida Keys and on Marco Island

According to the OCCC, the facility’s leadership team is working with clients and events that are currently coming into the center as well as clients that have rescheduled. All events scheduled for this week have been postponed. 

The facility was also used as a staging ground for equipment and machinery used in hurricane response and recovery efforts. 

“We were proud to host first responders, those charged with saving lives and resorting order after the storm came through,” OCCC officials said in a written release. “We even became the site of an impromptu wedding between two members of the Air National Guard as Irma cancelled their planned beach wedding.”

The Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention & Visitors Bureau also reports that the Greater Fort Lauderdale / Broward County Convention Center is fully operational following the storm. Cleanup efforts in the Fort Lauderdale area are underway, with some businesses and residents still without power. Many Fort Lauderdale area hotels remained open during the storm to provide shelter and accommodations to visitors and residents. Hotels along the area’s coastline have reported no damage and are in the process of reopening by the end of this weekend as power is restored. 

“We are blessed for sure,” said Stacy Ritter, President/CEO of the Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention & Visitors Bureau, in a written release. “The storm was bigger than ever imagined and very concerning for our visitors and 1.9 million residents.  Broward County was well prepared with emergency services, and cleanup activities are taking place throughout the area. The high-code standards of our many new buildings showed that good construction pays off.   We expect to be back to normal operations and welcoming vacationers and scheduled meetings and conference attendees shortly.”

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