Cultural tourism and ballroom dance in South Florida will get an extra boost soon, courtesy of Read More »
On Friday March 22, we met the incomparable Thomas Steinbacher, CEO of Stradalli Cycle. This is Read More »
Cultural tourism and ballroom dance in South Florida will get an extra boost soon, courtesy of the State and one local business. VISIT FLORIDA, the state’s official public/private marketing arm for tourism, awarded a Small Business Partner marketing grant to Pompano Beach-based Beach Vacation Rentals, which is set to launch SouthFloridaDanceVacations.com on June 15, 2013.
“In our case, we will use the maximum $5,000 grant money and match it with our own dollars to help promote the huge availability of top-level ballroom and Latin dance in Pompano Beach and greater Fort Lauderdale,” said Beach Vacation Rentals president and CEO Elaine Fitzgerald, who believes this is a big, untapped niche market for tourists and business travelers. “We have a literal mecca of the finest dance venues and world champion instructors here, and we should promote it. Our area is perhaps second only to New York City with the quality and quantity of dance here. But New York City does not have a beach!”
Beach Vacation Rentals was selected from among a large number of public and private sector grant applicants during the state’s most competitive grant cycle to date. The funds will be used to help better position and market Pompano Beach and Greater Fort Lauderdale as an even more desirable destination.
“The purpose of these grants is to help local governments stretch their tourism marketing dollars in an effort to expand cultural, heritage, rural and nature tourism activities in Florida,” said Chris Thompson, VISIT FLORIDA’s immediate past president and CEO at the time the grant was awarded last year.
Fitzgerald, a dancer herself, is creating and marketing SouthFloridaDanceVacations.com to package her upscale beach-area apartments and cottages with the ultimate dance experience. Whether it’s traditional ballroom, Latin, Country Western, swing or Argentine Tango, she says visitors can have the best of all worlds. They can go sightseeing or to the beach or to business meetings in the morning, take private dance lessons in the afternoon, and choose from several social dances and group lessons each evening of their stay.
Visitors who book their stay at a Beach Vacation Rentals property will get discounts on private dance lessons and free admission to an evening social dance. If they choose to stay elsewhere, they still can use the website’s South Florida Social Dance Calendar and list of dance venues to plan their evenings out.
“In today’s business climate, I could not afford to spend $10-$20,000 to start this effort, but with the state’s help it will be a win-win for my small business, local dance instructors and venues, area restaurants, retailers and attractions, and the state,” said Fitzgerald. “I will take the time, effort and a lot of my own money to help promote a cultural activity here that has never been actively promoted, but one that has a lot of promise as a new niche tourist market.”
Beach Vacation Rentals owns and operates a collection of apartments and cottages at five award-winning Superior Small Lodgings in Pompano Beach. Tourists and business travelers can choose from fully outfitted studios, 1/1s and 2/2s for stays of three nights or longer. For more information, visit http://www.4rentbythebeach.com
Photo: Elaine Fitzgerald and her ballroom dance instructor Scott Lappin choreograph a waltz for the Goldcoast Ballroom Winter Showcase. Photo by Kathleen Mathiesen.