by Michael C. Lowe | January 01, 2014
Planners can arrange a variety of beach cleanup activities, such as picking up trash and removing invasive plants, via the Broward County Parks and Recreation Division's Volunteer Program (

Groups can help keep Fort Lauderdale's canals and waterways clean and clear by volunteering with the Marine Industries Association of South Florida (
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Local Update

• Expected to open in 2015, the $147 million, 349-room Margaritaville Resort will be set on five acres along Hollywood's Boardwalk and the Intracoastal Waterway. Plans call for seven restaurants and bars, multiple pools, and a full-service spa. The 1,600-square-foot Landshark Bar and Grill will feature a dock along the waterway for boat access.

• The Fort Lauderdale Marriott Pompano Beach Resort & Spa has opened with 219 guest rooms and nearly 11,000 square feet of function space, including a rooftop terrace overlooking the beach. Other amenities include outdoor swimming pools, a fitness center and an oceanfront seafood restaurant.

• The 501-room Bonaventure Resort & Spa recently completed a renovation of its 60,000-square-foot conference center, including the 175-seat amphitheater. Last May, the hotel opened its new 48,000-square-foot aLaya Spa, with 30 treatment rooms, a private outdoor heated pool, men's and women's saunas, and a full-service salon.

• At the end of this year, the $180 million, 304-room Costa Hollywood condo-hotel will open overlooking the Atlantic Ocean. The property will include a gym, a day spa, upscale dining and a rooftop pool deck.

• The Broward County Convention Center has earned LEED Gold certification for an existing building, making it one of only three such U.S. facilities to be so designated. The 600,000-square-foot center, on the Intracoastal Highway, has four exhibit halls, two ballrooms and 31 meeting rooms.

• The 618-room Fort Lauderdale Marriott Harbor Beach Resort & Spa is planning a $6.5 million renovation of its ballroom and meeting rooms (further details still to come). The hotel has 100,000 square feet of meeting space, a fitness center and a spa.

• The 374-room Hilton Fort Lauderdale Beach Resort became the chain's first property to install wind turbines to promote green energy. The hotel has 10,000 square feet of meeting space, several dining outlets and a fitness center/spa.

Meeting Hotels: Properties include the 637-room Harbor Beach Marriott Resort & Spa; 589-room Hilton Fort Lauderdale Marina; 517-room W Fort Lauderdale; 486-room Sheraton Fort Lauderdale Beach; 433-room Westin Beach Resort, Fort Lauderdale; 384-room Hyatt Regency Pier Sixty-Six; 374-room Hilton Fort Lauderdale Beach Resort; 358-room Embassy Suites Fort Lauderdale; 293-room Westin Fort Lauderdale; 240-room B Ocean Fort Lauderdale, and 225-room Renaissance Fort Lauderdale Cruise Port Hotel.

Hollywood has the 998-room Westin Diplomat Resort & Spa, 500-room Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino-Hollywood and 311-room Crowne Plaza Hollywood Beach Resort.
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Convention Centers: Greater Fort Lauder­dale/Broward County Convention Center; exhibit space, 200,000 square feet; number of meeting rooms, 31; (954) 765-5900;

Airport Transit: Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood Inter­national Airport, about six miles south of Fort Lauderdale. Transfer cost by taxi to Port Everglades and the Greater Fort Lauderdale/Broward County Convention Center, $10-$15; to Fort Lauderdale Beach, $18-$22; by shuttle to Port Everglades, $7-$10; to Fort Lauderdale Beach, $11-$18

Taxes: Tourist Development Tax, 5%; sales tax, 6%; total tax on hotel rooms, 11%

Group Venue: Stache, a speakeasy- style bar in the city's colorful downtown entertainment district, offers a swanky 1920s ambience and signature cocktails such as an amaretto sour with Disaronno, 100-proof bourbon, lemon and egg white. The bar features a pulsating LED-lit dance floor and a full-service kitchen. (954) 449-1044;

Contact: Greater Fort Lauderdale Con­vention & Visitors Bureau, (954) 765-4466;