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Portus Services LLC expanded its operation to Broward County and announced plans to invest more than $1 million in new technology and state-of-the-art cargo handling equipment. Naviera Master Line de Venezuela C.A. and SC Line began new shipping services to South America and Panama.
Work began on the Southport Turning Notch extension project. An 8.7-acre existing mangrove conservation easement will be replaced with a 16.5-acre upland enhancement of approximately 70,000 new mangroves, plants and seeds. The Southport Turning Notch project will lengthen the existing deep-water turn-around area for cargo ships, and allow for five new cargo berths. Included are several improvements to West Lake Park.
County Commissioners approved a 30-year lease and operating agreement with the Florida East Coast Railway LLC to develop an Intermodal Container Transfer Facility (ICTF) at the Port, which will allow for more efficient movement of freight via rail between South Florida and the southeast United States. The ICTF is expected to reduce truck congestion on interstate highways and roadways and reduce harmful air emissions. The facility will become operational in mid-2014.
Construction continued on the Eller Drive Overpass, a $42 million Florida Department of Transportation project. The overpass will carry vehicles entering the Port over two new rail tracks that will expand into six working tracks for a new rail yard at the Port.
The McIntosh Loop Road project will improve truck traffic within Southport, with expected completion in late 2013.
Like the Airport, Port Everglades is a self-funded Enterprise Fund of Broward County and does not rely on local tax dollars for its operation.
Tourism in Broward County reached a record-breaking 12 million visitors who spent more than $9.8 billion in 2012. Hotel tax collections surpassed previous records, with 34 consecutive months of visitor growth. There are more than 131,000 Broward hospitality industry employees. For every 85 visitors, one hospitality job is created.
More than 350 film permits were issued for an economic impact of $50 million and 33,600 full- and part-time jobs.
More than 1.2 million room nights were booked for 850 meetings and more than 300-plus sports groups with an economic impact of $2.7 billion.
The Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention & Visitors Bureau launched a new “HELLO SUNNY” campaign with a redesigned website and sunny.org mobile site. A new “Fork Lauderdale Dining App” provides visitors and residents with Greater Fort Lauderdale dining options at their fingertips.
The “Ambassador of Bliss” program, a one-stop shopping resource for wedding planners, was initiated to bring wedding business to Broward County. Creative initiatives are also underway to market our community for multicultural reunions and Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) visitation and conferences.
The BB&T Center is the preeminent sports and entertainment venue in Florida, with two million customers entering its doors each year. It is host to more than 200 events annually including Florida Panthers hockey. The BB&T Center annually ranks among the top 10 venues in the United States featuring performances and entertainment by top talent.