After three failed attempts spanning over two decades, Broward County is refocusing its efforts to upgrade its convention center and build an adjacent 750-room hotel, the South Florida Sun-Sentinel reported.
A group of business leaders known as the Broward Workshop told the Sun-Sentinel that the convention center was now a top priority. “The county commission has kicked this ball around for too many years,” Broward Workshop chairman Harry Moon said at a Sun-Sentinel editorial board meeting on Thursday. “It needs immediate attention.”
The county commission will meet April 16 to discuss a new study on adding an adjacent hotel and 80,000 square feet of meeting space. Last year, the largest annual convention held in Broward left the county after being there two decades, citing the need for more meeting space and a hotel.
Broward expects to lose $400 million in business and 960,000 room nights between 2008 and 2016 because of the lack of a convention center hotel and the inability to compete with nearby second-tier cities such as Nashville, Nicki Grossman, president of the Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention and Visitors Bureau, told the Sun-Sentinel.
Grossman said she hoped the county would work in a private-public partnership to support some of the development. Costs are expected to be $225 million for the hotel and $85 million for the extra meeting space. [South Florida Sun-Sentinel] –Hiten Samtani