Meeting News - November 10, 2008 - (Page 28)

Destination Insider: Fort Lauderdale Edited by Terri Hardin City Loads Up On Luxe Properties in ’09 Fort Lauderdale’s luxury hotel trend will hit warp speed in 2009 with the opening of two new upscale properties and the massive makeover of a venerable, meetings-oriented resort. Set to debut in March is the $205 million, 23story, 482-room W Fort Lauderdale, which will be Florida’s first W Hotel. Guest rooms will have dramatic views of both the Atlantic Ocean and Intracoastal Waterway. Meeting facilities will encompass 12,400 sf of indoor space and 5,500 sf of outdoor space. Sensory Set Up will pump mood music and signature scents into those spaces. Amenities will include a Stephen Starr gourmet restaurant, Living Room lobby, fitness center, spa, oceanfront infinity pool, and 24-hour concierge and room service. Opening in mid-2009 is the 301-suite Trump International Hotel & Tower Fort Lauderdale, an ultra-luxury, 24-story building designed by architect Michael Graves. The guest suites, ranging from 479-sf studios to 2,365-sf, three-bedroom units, will feature Italian marble flooring and fine furnishings. Final plans on the limited meeting space have not been released. Amenities will include a 5,000-sf spa and Trump Attache, a concierge service. The 433-room Sheraton Yankee Trader Hotel has taken the luxury cue, as well, with a property-wide transformation slated for completion in February. Reflagged as the Westin Beach Resort, Fort Lauderdale, the property will have a Heaven- ly Spa by Westin and a Shula’s on the Beach restaurant. The property has more than 32,000 sf of meeting space, including a 10,000-sf ballroom that can accommodate up to 900 people and a 6,300-sf outdoor terrace with Atlantic Ocean views. Other luxury properties that have opened in the past year in the city include the 166-room RitzCarlton, Fort Lauderdale, with 24,000 sf of meeting space, and the 589-room Fort Lauderdale Grande Hotel & Yacht Club, with 21,000 sf of meeting space. Those two properties opened in August and September, respectively. Planners Become Planters To help offset the carbon footprint of groups, the Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention & Visitors Bureau (GFLCVB) is joining forces with Broward County Parks. The GFLCVB will donate on behalf of the organization by planting trees in Broward Coun- ty parks for the Plan.It.Green program, and also as a thank-you to planners for submitting an RFP to the bureau. For meeting planners that stop at the GFLCVB booth at trade shows, a donation will be made on their behalf to help plant a tree in a Broward County park. For more information, go to H —Section written by Edward Schmidt, Jr. continued from page 22 it saves them from carrying around two binders for the conference. At other events, where the manuals are smaller or where they contain copies of statutes, participants have been less happy with this change, and many of them clearly would like us to return to the hard-copy manuals.” While recycling programs came up as the second-most popular greening method (46%), water conservation (26%) was frequently cited by respondents as something they’re taking part in. Said Yvette E. Remschel, CMP, business development and exhibits director at HR Southwest & Dallas HR, “For the first year, we did not have water bottles available for consumption. Instead, we had water coolers throughout the convention center and gave all attendees a water container. I think attendees appreciate the consciousness we were exhibiting in regards to the environment; we did not hear one complaint.” The biggest obstacles toward greening, according to 287 respondents, were lack of awareness (42%), lack of appropriate venues (37%), cost (29%), and “no need or demand” and “too time-consuming” (both 19%). The 8 percent who cited “other” gave reasons ranging from “attendee resistance” to “much ado about nothing. This is a fad and a drop in the bucket.” And, for the coming year, 182 respondents out 28 MeetingNews November 10, 2008 of 363 (50%) said they will only occasionally incorporate green elements into their programs. Another trend given short shrift by respondents was co-location of conferences and meetings; it was not done by 205 (59%) out of 347 respondents (although the 141 planners who did so tended to be experienced planners, aged 41 and above). The colocators cited benefits such as an enriched meeting program (62%), savings (50%), recruitment (20%), and revenues through sponsorships (16%). Association planners and planners under 30 particularly cited enriched programs from co-location (76% and 89%, respectively), while planners under 30 and planners between 41 and 50 said they benefitted in membership recruitment (44% and 27%, respectively). Among those who participated in this trend, 42 percent did so with another company within the same industry, 36 percent did so with a trade association, and 34 percent with another company in a related industry. FICPA’s Campbell, a co-locator, said, “To take advantage of certain economies of scale, we decided to work with the West Virginia Society of CPAs and hold our convention at the same time and location as their annual meeting next year. This allows for a win-win situation for all of our participants at the Greenbrier resort. For many of the continuingeducation and social programs, we were able to combine our resources and hold a joint event.” Among event types, conferences were the most frequently co-located (47%), followed by association meetings (42%), trade shows (28%), special events (22%), and training meetings (21%). Wendy Parsley, of New York City-based Quint Strategies, successfully co-located an association’s regional seminar with a larger industry conference in Shanghai. “Both events were a huge success, and both parties are open to co-locating again in the future.” However, Parsley would advise prospective co-locators to look at the fit. “If they are each big, four-day trade shows, it may be too much,” she said. “But, if the parties are a trade show and a small seminar, or two conferences, then it may be a better scenario for the prospective attendees.You have to consider how much time you are ultimately asking participants to be away from the office.” Said Dana Neill, CMP, director of member services for Washington, DC-based National Association of Wholesaler-Distributors, who does not colocate: “I will hold three events back-to-back to reduce staff travel costs. Any more than that becomes too much burden in preparation and fatigue on site.” H Contact Terri Hardin at

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Meeting News - November 10, 2008

Meeting News - November 10, 2008
MN Exclusive Research
%20%20%20%20%20Green & Social Responsibility: The Year that Was in Meetings
Incentive Special: Recovering from AIG
What's Up @
Letters to the Editor
Inside the Meetings Industry
South Africa Supplement
Newsmaker Q&A
People Making News
Hotels & Resorts
%20%20%20%20%20Starwood Hopes E-Portal is Small Meeting Utopia
%20%20%20%20%20Intercontinental O'Hare Puts Art at Forefront
Convention Centers
%20%20%20%20%20Dallas and Philadelphia Move on Their Projects
%20%20%20%20%20Jacksonville Markets to Medical, Cultural Groups
%20%20%20%20%20Jamaica's Rose Hall Area Blossoms with Resorts
%20%20%20%20%20EIBTM Puts Together an Ambitious Program
Transportation & Services
Meeting News South
Green Beat
Destination Insider
%20%20%20%20%20Fort Lauderdale
Incentive Report
MN Webcast Report
Ad Index
Live from the Forum

Meeting News - November 10, 2008