While blue skies and sunshine are nothing new in Greater Fort Lauderdale, meeting planners considering the destination for their upcoming events can expect an even brighter future.
Throughout 2021, a flurry of new developments further improved the business events scene in Greater Fort Lauderdale. In October, the Greater Fort Lauderdale/Broward County Convention Center completed the 800,000-square-foot first phase of its multi-year, 1.2-million-square-foot expansion, giving event organizers access to new spaces and amenities.
When the final phase of the expansion wraps up in 2025, the LEED Gold-certified venue will offer four new ballrooms, including a 65,000-square-foot waterfront ballroom, plus a five-acre outdoor waterfront plaza with three restaurants and an amphitheater.
This building boom hit the hotel scene as well. Ten new properties opened in 2021, adding 1,244 rooms to the destination’s inventory. Here is a sampling:
- The dual-branded 194-room Marriott Fort Lauderdale Airport and 154-room AC Hotel Fort Lauderdale Airport
- 99-room Hillsboro Beach Resort
- 141-room Hotel Maren Fort Lauderdale Beach, Curio Collection by Hilton
- 96-room Kimpton Goodland Fort Lauderdale Beach
At least seven more new hotels will debut in 2022, including the 171-room AC Hotel Fort Lauderdale Beach, 189-room Four Seasons Hotel and Residences Fort Lauderdale, and 100-room Wyndham Dolce Kosher House Hotel.
Dining and Nightlife
- Mama Hank’s in Flagler Village has a 400-pound bulletproof vault door that conceals an intimate, 30-seat dining area, island bar, and warehouse bay door that rolls up for alfresco drinking.
- 901, at the Hyatt Centric Las Olas, is a guest-room-turned-private-speakeasy with the ambiance of the roaring 1920s Jazz Age. Two-hour seatings for up to eight guests can be booked by reservation only.
- Apothecary 330 also boasts a 1920s speakeasy feel with period-perfect appointments and a happy hour that won’t dent your wallet. The speakeasy is hidden within Pizza Craft on Himmarshee Street.
If you want to experience the OG of the area’s speakeasies, head over to Lighthouse Point at Cap’s Place Island Restaurant. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places and a Greater Fort Lauderdale landmark, Cap’s was opened in 1928 by two rumrunners. A short boat ride over the Intracoastal Waterway will whisk you to Cap’s and into the Prohibition Era past.
Other new dining and nightlife spots that are about to open or already have recently include:
- Ya Mas! on Las Olas Boulevard in Fort Lauderdale, a Greek
- Moréa on Fort Lauderdale beach, a Mediterranean oceanfront dining oasis
- Big Buns, a fast-casual dining spot in downtown Fort Lauderdale
- Tacocraft Taqueria & Tequila Bar in Plantation
- Sunset Club Rooftop Bar & Lounge at Costa Hollywood Beach Hotel
- Carousel Club at Gulfstream Park, complete with an antique carousel at the bar
- The Bite Eatery, the first food hall in Pompano Beach
With all these fresh offerings, Greater Fort Lauderdale has more of what planners are looking for to host and entertain their groups.