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Leadership North Broward: Tourism Day 2014!

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Tourism Day for the 2014 Leadership North Broward class was intense and eye-opening, as about 20 of the area’s newest business leaders learned all about one of Pompano Beach’s top priorities for the city’s future economic stability and prosperity.

The city has been on a roll for the last three to four years to improve itself through tourism. It wants to enjoy the extra tax base and economic boost as a leisure destination, and at the same time improve the quality of life here for local residents with upgraded public facilities and infrastructure that leads to private sector investments and improvements.

The Leadership class, spearheaded each year by the Greater Pompano Beach Chamber of Commerce, began the day at the Chamber’s monthly breakfast.  Then it was classroom time followed by a road trip, lead by the day’s facilitator Elaine Fitzgerald, President of Beach Vacation Rentals and member of the Economic Development Council’s Tourism Strategic Planning Team.

“We showed the class that Pompano Beach has all of the right ingredients to be a top, family-friendly destination, with the City and the business community working very well together toward new infrastructure to make it happen,” said Fitzgerald.  “The track record so far speaks for itself, with many new and exciting projects yet to come.”

This year’s leadership class boarded a John Knox Village bus to visit face to face with the movers and shakers who are helping to transform the city.  They travelled to the fishing pier to meet with Kevin Rickard, co-developer of the Pier project with several proposed new beach area restaurants, boutiques, and outdoor leisure areas.

They visited Jeff Torode, president of South Florida Diving Headquarters, who showed the newest watersport to hit the area, and told about the latest effort to sink a ship offshore to support diving and our artificial reef system.  The group moved on to the new Marriott Pompano Beach Resort & Spa, where GM Marco Fuentes told the group how occupancy has far exceeded the company’s expectations in just the first year of business.

After lunch, hosted by the Marriott, the group visited Bahama Beach Club to see an example of one of the area’s Superior Small Lodgings.  The Leadership group also met with Greg Martzoff, General manager of the city’s golf facility and new Greg Norman signature Pines Course.

The bus tour ended in Old Pompano where city engineer Horacio Danovich talked about how the city is restoring the original downtown into a quaint complex of restaurants, galleries and boutiques.  He showed plans for a public plaza at the corner of Atlantic and Flagler that will be an inviting entry to the restored old town area.  As a special treat and finale for the day, the group was invited in to see the just-completed Bailey Contemporary Arts building – a renovation of the original Bailey Hotel built in the 1920s. An open and free-to-the public art gallery occupies most of the first floor, while working artist lofts occupy most of the upstairs.

“By the end of the day, our Leadership North Broward class had a broader appreciation for the economic impact of tourism and the practical benefits to residents who live here,” said Chadia Ghanem, Chair of Leadership North Broward.  “We see how the efforts of the city and the business community working together are making a big impact on improving the quality of life here through tourism.”

For more information, please contact:

Elaine Fitzgerald, Tourism Day Facilitator (954) 471-6704
Chadia Ghanem, 2014 Leadership North Broward Co-Chair (954) 946-9730
Photos, below:
Group meets with Kevin Rickard, co-developer of the Pier project
Group meets with Jeff Torode, president of South Florida Diving Headquarters
Group meets with Marco Fuentes, General Manager of Marriott Pompano Beach Resort & Spa
Group meets with Greg Martzoff, General manager of the city’s golf facility and new Greg Norman signature Pines Course
Group meets with city engineer Horacio Danovitch in Old Pompano

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