While we wait for a full return to travel and live events, Fort Lauderdale has been busy expanding one of its most important assets — the Greater Fort Lauderdale/Broward County Convention Center. Currently undergoing a transformation that totals $1 billion, the venue is expected to reveal a brand-new footprint beginning in October 2021, when the first phase opens with 350,000 square feet of new contiguous exhibit space, and the 2021 Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show moves in shortly thereafter.
When the convention center finishes the expansion in 2024, the LEED Gold-certified venue will offer a new grand total of 1.2 million square feet of space, 350,000 square feet of contiguous exhibit space, and a new 65,000-square-foot waterfront ballroom. New dining concepts, the latest event technology, new outdoor spaces, and water taxi access will completely transform the attendee experience from every angle. The project will also adhere to ASM Global’s VenueShield protocol to provide both workers and visitors with the highest levels of safety and sanitation.
And while a neighboring headquarters hotel is in the works for the convention center, the destination is seeing plenty of new properties come down the pipeline in the meantime. Recent and upcoming openings include the following:
- 115-room Tru by Hilton Fort Lauderdale Airport
- 101-room Fairfield Inn & Suites by Marriott Boca Raton-Deerfield Beach
- 141-room Hotel Maren Fort Lauderdale Beach, Curio Collection by Hilton (opening Nov. 22)
- 137-room Courtyard Fort Lauderdale Downtown (December 2020)
- 104-room Cambria Hotel Fort Lauderdale Beach (February 2021)
- 218-room, dual-branded Tru by Hilton and Home2 Suites by Hilton in Flagler Village (February 2021)
- 171-room AC Hotels by Marriott Fort Lauderdale Beach (spring 2021)
- 196-room AC Hotels by Marriott at Dania Pointe (spring 2021)
- 174-room AC Hotels by Marriott Fort Lauderdale Sawgrass Mills/Sunrise (spring 2021)
- 345-room Pier Sixty-Six Hotel & Marina (reopening in 2022)
- 148-room Four Seasons Fort Lauderdale hotel (late 2022)
And if it’s not new places to stay, it’s new places to eat. Fort Lauderdale’s eclectic dining scene is expanding at a quick pace, offering everything from local vegan comfort food to fast-casual fried chicken. For groups, notable new additions include the Sistrunk Marketplace & Brewery, a 24,000-square-foot indoor food hall that offers dedicated event space and about one dozen food and beverage vendors in addition to retail shopping and a DJ and production music academy.