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Hotels of Fort Lauderdale

A hotel in Fort Lauderdale is an establishment that provides lodging paid on a short-term basis. Facilities provided may range from a basic bed and storage for clothing, to luxury features like en-suite bathrooms. Larger in Fort Lauderdale hotels may provide additional guest facilities such as a swimming pool, business centre, childcare, conference facilities and social function services. Hotel rooms in Fort Lauderdale are usually numbered (or named in some smaller hotels and B&Bs) to allow guests to identify their room. Some Fort Lauderdale hotels offer meals as part of a room and board arrangement. Hotel operations vary in size, function, and cost. Most Fort Lauderdale hotels and major hospitality companies that operate hotels in Fort Lauderdale have set widely accepted industry standards to classify hotel types. General categories include the following:

Upscale luxury hotels in Fort Lauderdale
An upscale full service hotel facility in Fort Lauderdale that offers luxury amenities, full service accommodations, on-site full service restaurant(s), and the highest level of personalized and professional service. Luxury Fort Lauderdale hotels are normally classified with at least a Four Diamond or Five Diamond status or a Four or Five Star rating depending on classification standards.

Full service hotels in Fort Lauderdale
Full service Fort Lauderdale hotels often contain upscale full-service facilities with a large volume of full service accommodations, on-site full service restaurant(s), and a variety of on-site amenities such as swimming pools, a health club, children's activities, ballrooms, on-site conference facilities, etc.

Historic inns and boutique hotels in Fort Lauderdale
Boutique hotels of Fort Lauderdale are smaller independent non-branded hotels that often contain upscale facilities of varying size in unique or intimate settings with full service accommodations. Fort Lauderdale boutique hotels are generally 100 rooms or less. Some historic inns and boutique hotels in Fort Lauderdale may be classified as luxury hotels.

Focused or select service hotels in Fort Lauderdale
Small to medium-sized hotel establishments that offer a limited amount of on-site amenities that only cater and market to a specific demographic of Fort Lauderdale travelers, such as the single business traveler. Most Fort Lauderdale focused or select service hotels may still offer full service accommodations but may lack leisure amenities such as an on-site restaurant or a swimming pool.

Economy and limited service hotels in Fort Lauderdale
Small to medium-sized Fort Lauderdale hotel establishments that offer a very limited amount of on-site amenities and often only offer basic accommodations with little to no services, these facilities normally only cater and market to a specific demographic of travelers, such as the budget-minded Fort Lauderdale traveler seeking a "no frills" accommodation. Limited service Fort Lauderdale hotels often lack an on-site restaurant but in return may offer a limited complimentary food and beverage amenity such as on-site continental breakfast service.

Guest houses and B&Bs in Fort Lauderdale
A bed and breakfast in Fort Lauderdale is a small lodging establishment that offers overnight accommodation and inclusive breakfast. Usually, Fort Lauderdale bed and breakfasts are private homes or family homes offering accommodations. The typical Fort Lauderdale B&B has between 4 and 11 rooms, with 6 being the average. Generally, guests are accommodated in private bedrooms with private bathrooms, or in a suite of rooms including an en suite bathroom. Some homes have private bedrooms with a bathroom which is shared with other guests. Breakfast is served in the bedroom, a dining room, or the host's kitchen. Often the owners of guest house themselves prepare the breakfast and clean the rooms.

Hostels in Fort Lauderdale
Fort Lauderdale hostels provide budget-oriented, sociable accommodation where guests can rent a bed, usually a bunk bed, in a dormitory and share a bathroom, lounge, and sometimes a kitchen. Rooms can be mixed or single-sex, although private rooms may also be available. Hostels are often cheaper for both the operator and occupants; many Fort Lauderdale hostels have long-term residents whom they employ as desk agents or housekeeping staff in exchange for experience or discounted accommodation.

Apartment hotels, extended stay hotels in Fort Lauderdale
Extended stay hotels are small to medium-sized Fort Lauderdale hotels that offer longer term full service accommodations compared to a traditional hotel. Extended stay hotels may offer non-traditional pricing methods such as a weekly rate that cater towards travelers in need of short-term accommodations for an extended period of time. Similar to limited and select service hotels, on-site amenities are normally limited and most extended stay hotels in Fort Lauderdale lack an on-site restaurant.

Timeshare and destination clubs in Fort Lauderdale
Fort Lauderdale timeshare and destination clubs are a form of property ownership also referred to as a vacation ownership involving the purchase and ownership of an individual unit of accommodation for seasonal usage during a specified period of time. Timeshare resorts in Fort Lauderdale often offer amenities similar that of a Full service hotel with on-site restaurant(s), swimming pools, recreation grounds, and other leisure-oriented amenities. Destination clubs of Fort Lauderdale on the other hand may offer more exclusive private accommodations such as private houses in a neighborhood-style setting.

Motels in Fort Lauderdale
A Fort Lauderdale motel is a small-sized low-rise lodging establishment similar to that of a limited service hotel, but with direct access to individual rooms from the car park. Common during the 1950s and 1960s, motels were often located adjacent to a major road, where they were built on inexpensive land at the edge of towns or along stretches of highways. They are still useful in less populated areas of Fort Lauderdale for driving travelers, but the more populated an area becomes the more hotels fill the need. Many of Fort Lauderdale motels which remain in operation have joined national franchise chains, rebranding themselves as hotels, inns or lodges.

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Fort Lauderdale, Florida
City of Fort Lauderdale
Downtown Fort Lauderdale
Downtown Fort Lauderdale
Flag of Fort Lauderdale, Florida
Official seal of Fort Lauderdale, Florida
Nickname(s): Venice of America
Map of Florida highlighting Fort Lauderdale.svg
U.S. Census Bureau map
U.S. Census Bureau map
Fort Lauderdale is located in Florida
Fort Lauderdale
Fort Lauderdale
Fort Lauderdale is located in the US
Fort Lauderdale
Fort Lauderdale
Location in Florida and the United States
Coordinates:  / 26.133; -80.150  / 26.133; -80.150
Country United States of America
State Florida
County Logo of Broward County, Florida.svg Broward
Established March 27, 1911
• Type Commission-Manager
• Mayor Jack Seiler (D)
• Vice Mayor Robert L. McKinzie
• Commissioners Bruce G. Roberts, Dean J. Trantalis, and Romney Rogers
• City Manager Lee R. Feldman
• City Clerk Arleen Gross
• City 36.31 sq mi (94.05 km)
• Land 34.62 sq mi (89.67 km)
• Water 1.69 sq mi (4.37 km) 9.87%
Elevation 9 ft (2.75 m)
Population (2010)
• City 165,521
• Estimate (2016) 178,752
• Density 5,162.81/sq mi (1,993.39/km)
• Metro 5,762,717 (US: 8th)
Time zone Eastern (EST) (UTC-5)
• Summer (DST) EDT (UTC-4)
ZIP codes 33301, 33304-33306, 33308-33309, 33312-33313, 33315-33316, 33334, 33394
Area code(s) 754, 954
FIPS code 12-24000
GNIS feature ID 0282693
Website www.fortlauderdale.gov

Fort Lauderdale /ˌfɔərt ˈlɔːdərdl/ (frequently abbreviated as Ft. Lauderdale) is a city in the U.S. state of Florida, 28 miles (45 km) north of Miami. It is the county seat of Broward County. As of the 2010 census, the city had a population of 165,521 in 2010.

It is a principal city of the Miami metropolitan area, which was home to an estimated 6,012,331 people in the 2015 census.

The city is a popular tourist destination, with an average year-round temperature of 75.5 °F (24.2 °C) and 3,000 hours of sunshine per year.

Greater Fort Lauderdale, encompassing all of Broward County, hosted 12 million visitors in 2012, including 2.8 million international visitors. In 2012, the county collected $43.9 million from the 5% hotel tax it charges, after hotels in the area recorded an occupancy rate for the year of 72.7 percent and an average daily rate of $114.48. The district has 561 hotels and motels comprising nearly 35,000 rooms. Forty-six cruise ships sailed from Port Everglades in 2012. Greater Fort Lauderdale has over 4,000 restaurants, 63 golf courses, 12 shopping malls, 16 museums, 132 nightclubs, 278 parkland campsites, and 100 marinas housing 45,000 resident yachts.

Fort Lauderdale is named after a series of forts built by the United States during the Second Seminole War. The forts took their name from Major William Lauderdale (1782–1838), younger brother of Lieutenant Colonel James Lauderdale. William Lauderdale was the commander of the detachment of soldiers who built the first fort. However, development of the city did not begin until 50 years after the forts were abandoned at the end of the conflict.

Three forts named "Fort Lauderdale" were constructed: the first was at the fork of the New River, the second was at Tarpon Bend on the New River between the present-day Colee Hammock and Rio Vista neighborhoods, and the third was near the site of the Bahia Mar Marina.

Fort Lauderdale, Florida: History

The New River in downtown Fort Lauderdale

The area in which the city of Fort Lauderdale would later be founded was inhabited for more than two thousand years by the Tequesta Indians. Contact with Spanish explorers in the 16th century proved disastrous for the Tequesta, as the Europeans unwittingly brought with them diseases, such as smallpox, to which the native populations possessed no resistance. For the Tequesta, disease, coupled with continuing conflict with their Calusa neighbors, contributed greatly to their decline over the next two centuries. By 1763, there were only a few Tequesta left in Florida, and most of them were evacuated to Cuba when the Spanish ceded Florida to the British in 1763, under the terms of the Treaty of Paris (1763), which ended the Seven Years' War. Although control of the area changed between Spain, United Kingdom, the United States, and the Confederate States of America, it remained largely undeveloped until the 20th century.

The Fort Lauderdale area was known as the "New River Settlement" before the 20th century. In the 1830s there were approximately 70 settlers living along the New River. William Cooley, the local Justice of the Peace, was a farmer and wrecker, who traded with the Seminole Indians. On January 6, 1836, while Cooley was leading an attempt to salvage a wrecked ship, a band of Seminoles attacked his farm, killing his wife and children, and the children's tutor. The other farms in the settlement were not attacked, but all the white residents in the area abandoned the settlement, fleeing first to the Cape Florida Lighthouse on Key Biscayne, and then to Key West.

The first United States stockade named Fort Lauderdale was built in 1838, and subsequently was a site of fighting during the Second Seminole War. The fort was abandoned in 1842, after the end of the war, and the area remained virtually unpopulated until the 1890s. It was not until Frank Stranahan arrived in the area in 1893 to operate a ferry across the New River, and the Florida East Coast Railroad's completion of a route through the area in 1896, that any organized development began. The city was incorporated in 1911, and in 1915 was designated the county seat of newly formed Broward County.

Fort Lauderdale's first major development began in the 1920s, during the Florida land boom of the 1920s. The 1926 Miami Hurricane and the Great Depression of the 1930s caused a great deal of economic dislocation. In July 1935, an African-American man named Rubin Stacy was accused of robbing a white woman at knife point. He was arrested and being transported to a Miami jail when police were run off the road by a mob. A group of 100 white men proceeded to hang Stacy from a tree near the scene of his alleged robbery. His body was riddled with some twenty bullets. The murder was subsequently used by the press in Nazi Germany to discredit US critiques of its own persecution of Jews, Communists, and Catholics.

When World War II began, Fort Lauderdale became a major US base, with a Naval Air Station to train pilots, radar operators, and fire control operators. A Coast Guard base at Port Everglades was also established.

On July 4, 1961 African Americans started a series of protests, wade-ins, at beaches that were off-limits to them, to protest "the failure of the county to build a road to the Negro beach". On July 11, 1962 a verdict by Ted Cabot went against the city's policy of racial segregation of public beaches.

Today, Fort Lauderdale is a major yachting center, one of the nation's largest tourist destinations, and the center of a metropolitan division with 1.8 million people.

Fort Lauderdale, Florida: Population size

After the war ended, service members returned to the area, spurring an enormous population explosion which dwarfed the 1920s boom. The 1960 Census counted 83,648 people in the city, about 230% of the 1950 figure. A 1967 report estimated that the city was approximately 85% developed, and the 1970 population figure was 139,590.

After 1970, as Fort Lauderdale became essentially built out, growth in the area shifted to suburbs to the west. As cities such as Coral Springs, Miramar, and Pembroke Pines experienced explosive growth, Fort Lauderdale's population stagnated, and the city actually shrank by almost 4,000 people between 1980, when the city had 153,279 people, and 1990, when the population was 149,377. A slight rebound brought the population back up to 152,397 at the 2000 census. Since 2000, Fort Lauderdale has gained slightly over 18,000 residents through annexation of seven neighborhoods in unincorporated Broward County.

Fort Lauderdale, Florida: Geography and climate

A1A, north of Sunrise Blvd

Fort Lauderdale, Florida: Location

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 38.6 square miles (99.9 km), 34.7 square miles (90.0 km) of which is land and 3.8 square miles (9.9 km) of which is water (9.87%). Fort Lauderdale is known for its extensive network of canals; there are 165 miles (266 km) of waterways within the city limits.

The city of Fort Lauderdale is adjacent to the Atlantic Ocean, includes 7 miles (11 km) of beaches, and borders the following municipalities:

On its east:
  • Lauderdale-by-the-Sea
  • Sea Ranch Lakes
On its south:
  • Hollywood
  • Dania Beach
On its southwest:
  • Davie
On its west:
  • Plantation
  • Lauderhill
  • Lauderdale Lakes
On its northwest:
  • North Lauderdale
  • Oakland Park
  • Tamarac
On its north:
  • Wilton Manors
  • Pompano Beach
Fort Lauderdale Beach
Fort Lauderdale Beach

The northwestern section of Fort Lauderdale is separate from the remainder of the city, connected only by the Cypress Creek Canal as it flows under I-95. This section of Fort Lauderdale borders the cities of Tamarac and Oakland Park on its south side. Oakland Park also borders Fort Lauderdale on the west side of its northeastern portion. The greater portion of Fort Lauderdale in the south is bordered, along its north side by Wilton Manors.

Off the coast of Fort Lauderdale is the Osborne Reef, an artificial reef made of discarded tires that has proven to be an ecological disaster. The dumping began in the 1960s, with the intent to provide habitat for fish while disposing of trash from the land. However, in the rugged and corrosive environment of the ocean, nylon straps used to secure the tires wore out, cables rusted, and tires broke free. The tires posed a particular threat after breaking free from their restraints. The tires then migrated shoreward and ran into a living reef tract, washed up on its slope and killed many things in their path. In recent years, thousands of tires have also washed up on nearby beaches, especially during hurricanes. Local authorities are now working to remove the 700,000 tires, in cooperation with the U.S. Army, Navy and Coast Guard.

Fort Lauderdale, Florida: Neighborhoods

Fort Lauderdale has an official program for designating and recognizing neighborhoods. Under the Neighborhood Organization Recognition Program, more than 60 distinct neighborhoods have received official recognition from the city. An additional 25–30 neighborhoods exist without official recognition, although the city's neighborhood map displays them as well.

Tarpon River Neighborhood in Fort Lauderdale, Florida
Tarpon River Neighborhood in Fort Lauderdale, Florida

Fort Lauderdale, Florida: Climate

Fort Lauderdale features a tropical rainforest climate (Köppen Af) with little seasonal variation in temperature. Average monthly temperatures are always above 65 °F (18.3 °C) and average monthly precipitation is above 2.39 inches (60.71 mm). This qualifies the city's climate as a tropical climate, and the city does not have a true dry season. While some rain does fall in winter, the majority of precipitation is received during the summer months (see climate chart below).

Summers from May through October are hot, humid, and wet with average high temperatures of 86–90 °F (30–32 °C) and lows of 71–76 °F (22–24 °C). During this period, more than half of summer days may bring afternoon or evening thunderstorms. The record high temperature of 100 °F (38 °C) was recorded on June 22, 2009.

Winters from November through April are warm and mostly dry with average high temperatures of 75–82 °F (24–28 °C) and lows of 59–67 °F (15–19 °C). However, the city experiences occasional cold fronts during this period, bringing high temperatures in the 60s °F (16-21 °C) and lows in the 40s °F (4-10 °C), lasting only for a day or so. Rare frosts occur every few decades. Only once in reported history have snow flurries been reported in the air or trace amounts on the ground – on January 19, 1977. During the dry season (winter), brush fires can be a concern in many years.

Annual average precipitation is 64.2 inches (1,630 mm), with most of it occurring during the wet season from May through October. However, rainfall occurs in all months, even during the drier months from November through April, mainly as short-lived heavy afternoon thunderstorms. Fort Lauderdale has an average of 143 rain days and 250 sunshine days annually. The hurricane season is between June 1 and November 30 with major hurricanes most likely to affect the city or state in September and October. The most recent storms to directly affect the city were Hurricane Katrina and Hurricane Wilma, both of which struck the city in 2005. Other direct hits were Hurricane Cleo in 1964, Hurricane King in 1950, and the 1947 Fort Lauderdale Hurricane.

Climate data for Fort Lauderdale, Florida (1981–2010 normals)
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °F (°C) 92
Average high °F (°C) 75.4
Daily mean °F (°C) 66.3
Average low °F (°C) 57.1
Record low °F (°C) 28
Average rainfall inches (mm) 2.62
Average rainy days (≥ 0.01 in) 8.3 7.8 8.7 7.3 10.3 16.9 16.4 17.5 18.5 13.5 10.5 8.8 144.7
Source: NOAA (extremes 1912–present)

Fort Lauderdale, Florida: Demographics

Historical population
Census Pop.
1900 91 -
1910 336 269.2%
1920 2,257 571.7%
1930 8,668 284.0%
1940 17,996 107.6%
1950 36,328 101.9%
1960 83,648 130.3%
1970 139,122 66.3%
1980 153,279 10.2%
1990 149,238 −2.6%
2000 152,397 2.1%
2010 165,521 8.6%
Est. 2016 178,752 8.0%
U.S. Decennial Census
2014 Estimate
Fort Lauderdale Demographics
2010 Census Fort Lauderdale Broward County Florida
Total population 165,521 1,748,066 18,801,310
Population, percent change, 2000 to 2010 +8.6% +7.7% +17.6%
Population density 4,761.1/sq mi 1,444.9/sq mi 350.6/sq mi
White or Caucasian (including White Hispanic) 62.6% 63.1% 75.0%
(Non-Hispanic White or Caucasian) 52.5% 43.5% 57.9%
Black or African-American 31.0% 26.7% 16.0%
Hispanic or Latino (of any race) 13.7% 25.1% 22.5%
Asian 1.5% 3.2% 2.4%
Native American or Native Alaskan 0.3% 0.3% 0.4%
Pacific Islander or Native Hawaiian 0.1% 0.1% 0.1%
Two or more races (Multiracial) 2.1% 2.9% 2.5%
Some Other Race 2.4% 3.7% 3.6%
Map of racial distribution in Fort Lauderdale, 2010 U.S. Census. Each dot is 25 people: White, Black, Asian, Hispanic or Other (yellow)

As of 2010, those of Hispanic or Latino ancestry accounted for 13.7% of Fort Lauderdale's population. Out of the 13.7%, 2.5% were Cuban, 2.3% Puerto Rican, 1.7% Mexican, 1.1% Colombian, 0.9% Guatemalan, 0.8% Salvadoran, 0.6% Honduran, and 0.6% were Peruvian.

As of 2010, those of African ancestry accounted for 31.0% of Fort Lauderdale's population, which includes African Americans. Out of the 31.0%, 10.0% were West Indian or Afro-Caribbean American (6.4% Haitian, 2.5% Jamaican, 0.4% Bahamian, 0.2% Other or Unspecified West Indian, 0.2% British West Indian, 0.1% Trinidadian and Tobagonian, 0.1% Barbadian), 0.6% were Black Hispanics, and 0.5% were Subsaharan African.

As of 2010, those of (non-Hispanic white) European ancestry accounted for 52.5% of Fort Lauderdale's population. Out of the 52.5%, 10.3% were Irish, 10.1% German, 8.1% Italian, 7.1% English, 3.0% Polish, 2.1% French, 1.9% Russian, 1.7% Scottish, 1.2% Scotch-Irish, 1.0% Dutch, 1.0% Swedish, 0.6% Greek, 0.6% Hungarian, 0.5% Norwegian, and 0.5% were French Canadian.

As of 2010, those of Asian ancestry accounted for 1.5% of Fort Lauderdale's population. Out of the 1.5%, 0.4% were Indian, 0.3% Filipino, 0.3% Other Asian, 0.2% Chinese, 0.1% Vietnamese, 0.1% Japanese, and 0.1% were Korean.

In 2010, 7.1% of the population considered themselves to be of only American ancestry (regardless of race or ethnicity.) 0.6% were of Arab ancestry, as of 2010.

As of 2010, there were 74,786 occupied households, while 19.7% were vacant. 17.7% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 30.4% were married couples living together, 12.3% have a female head of household with no husband present, and 52.4% were non-families. 39.4% of all households were made up of individuals and 11.1% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older (4.8% male and 6.3% female.) The average household size was 2.17 and the average family size was 3.00.

In 2010, the city population was spread out with 17.6% under the age of 18, 8.1% from 18 to 24, 28.4% from 25 to 44, 30.6% from 45 to 64, and 15.3% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 42.2 years. For every 100 females there were 111.8 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 113.1 males.

As of 2010, the median income for a household in the city was $49,818, and the median income for a family was $59,238. Males had a median income of $46,706 versus $37,324 for females. The per capita income for the city was $35,828. About 13.1% of families and 18.2% of the population were below the poverty line, including 30.3% of those under age 18 and 12.5% of those aged 65 or over.

In 2010, 21.3% of the city's population was foreign-born. Of foreign-born residents, 69.6% were born in Latin America and 15.3% were born in Europe, with smaller percentages from North America, Africa, Asia, and Oceania.

In 2000, Fort Lauderdale had the twenty-sixth highest percentage of Haitian residents in the US, at 6.9% of the city's population, and the 127th highest percentage of Cuban residents, at 1.7% of the city's residents.

Like South Florida in general, Fort Lauderdale has many residents who can speak languages other than English, although its proportion is lower than the county average. As of 2000, 75.63% of the population spoke only English at home, while 24.37% spoke other first languages. Speakers of Spanish were 9.43%, French Creole (mostly Haitian Creole) 7.52%, French 2.04%, Portuguese 1.02%, Italian 0.82%, and German at 0.80%.

The city, along with adjacent small cities Oakland Park and Wilton Manors, is known for its large LGBT community and has one of the highest ratios of gay men and lesbians, with gay men being more largely present, in the United States. The city is also known as a popular vacation spot for gays and lesbians, with many LGBT or LGBT-friendly hotels and guesthouses. Fort Lauderdale hosts the Stonewall Library & Archives, and in neighboring Wilton Manors there is a large LGBT community center, the Pride Center, and the World AIDS Museum and Educational Center.

Fort Lauderdale, Florida: Economy

City skyline, featuring Las Olas River House (center), 110 Tower (far right), and Bank of America Plaza (far left)
A yacht in Fort Lauderdale's harbor

Fort Lauderdale's economy has diversified over time. From the 1940s through the 1980s, the city was known as a spring break destination for college students. However, the college crowd has since dwindled, with the city now attracting wealthier tourists. Cruise ships and nautical recreation provide the basis for much of the revenue raised by tourism. There is a convention center located west of the beach and southeast of downtown, with 600,000 square feet (55,742 m) of space, including a 200,000-square-foot (18,581 m) main exhibit hall. Approximately 30% of the city's 10 million annual visitors attend conventions at the center.

The downtown area, especially around Las Olas Boulevard, first underwent redevelopment starting in 2002 and now hosts many new hotels and high-rise condominium developments. The downtown area is the largest in Broward County, although there are other cities in the county with commercial centers. Office buildings and highrises include Las Olas River House, Las Olas Grand, 110 Tower (formerly AutoNation Tower), Bank of America Plaza, One Financial Plaza, Broward Financial Center, One East Broward Boulevard, Barnett Bank Plaza, PNC Center, New River Center, One Corporate Center, SunTrust Centre, 101 Tower, and SouthTrust Tower.

The Fort Lauderdale metropolitan area foreclosures increased 127.4% from 2006 to 2007, or one filing per 48 households in the quarter. Fort Lauderdale ranks fourth in the list of top 10 metropolitan areas ranked by foreclosure filings per household for the third quarter of 2007.

Fort Lauderdale is a major manufacturing and maintenance center for yachts. The boating industry is responsible for over 109,000 jobs in the county. With its many canals, and proximity to the Bahamas and Caribbean, it is also a popular yachting vacation stop, and home port for 42,000 boats, and approximately 100 marinas and boatyards. Additionally, the annual Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show, the world's largest boat show, brings over 125,000 people to the city each year.

Companies based in the Fort Lauderdale area include AutoNation, Citrix Systems, DHL Express, Spirit Airlines, and National Beverage Corporation. The largest employers in the county are Tenet Healthcare, which employs 5,000 people; American Express, which employs 4,200; The Continental Group, which employs 3,900; Motorola, which employs 3,000, and Maxim Integrated Products, which employs 2,000.

Gulfstream International Airlines, a commuter airline, is headquartered in nearby Dania Beach. An Online Trading Academy center is also located in the city.

Fort Lauderdale was recently listed as 2017's third best city out of 150 U.S. cities by WalletHub for summer jobs, and the 24th best city to start a career in.

Fort Lauderdale, Florida: Government

Fort Lauderdale has a Commission-Manager form of government. City policy is set by a city commission of five elected members: the mayor and four district commission members. In 1998, the municipal code was amended to limit the mayoral term. The mayor of Fort Lauderdale now serves a three-year term and cannot serve more than three consecutive terms. The current mayor is John P. "Jack" Seiler. He succeeds the longest serving mayor, Jim Naugle, 1991-2009. Administrative functions are performed by a city manager, who is appointed by the city commission. Fort Lauderdale Fire-Rescue Department provides Fire and Emergency Medical Services.

Fort Lauderdale, Florida: Federal representation

The United States Postal Service operates post offices in Fort Lauderdale. The Fort Lauderdale Main Post Office is located at 1900 West Oakland Park Boulevard in the city of Oakland Park. Post offices within the city limits include Alridge, Colee, Coral Ridge, Gateway Station, Melrose Vista, and Southside Station.

Fort Lauderdale, Florida: Education

According to 2000 census data, 79.0% of the city's population aged 25 or older were high school graduates, slightly below the national figure of 80.4%. 27.9% held at least a baccalaureate, slightly higher than the national figure of 24.4%. Broward County Public Schools operates 23 public schools in Fort Lauderdale. 2007 Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test (FCAT) results for Fort Lauderdale's public schools were mixed; while ten (of sixteen) elementary schools and one (of four) middle schools received "A" or "B" grades, Sunland Park Elementary School and Arthur Ashe Middle School received failing grades. Boyd Anderson High School, which is located in Lauderdale Lakes but whose attendance zone includes part of Fort Lauderdale, also received a failing grade. None of the three failing schools have failed twice in a four-year period, thus triggering the "Opportunity Scholarship Program" school choice provisions of the Florida's education plan.

Nine institutions of higher learning have main or satellite campuses in the city:

  • Broward College BC (Willis Holcombe Downtown Center)
  • City College
  • Florida Atlantic University FAU (satellite campus)
  • Florida International University FIU (satellite campus)
  • Keiser University
  • Nova Southeastern University NSU (satellite campus)
  • The Art Institute of Fort Lauderdale
  • University of Phoenix (Cypress Creek Learning Center)
  • Jersey College

Additionally, the Davenport, Iowa-based Kaplan University's Corporate headquarters and an academic support center are located in the city.

Fort Lauderdale, Florida: Transportation

Interstate 95 as it passes through Fort Lauderdale. The city's skyline can be seen in the background.

Local bus transportation is provided by Broward County Transit (BCT), the county bus system. BCT provides for connections with the bus systems in other parts of the metropolitan area: Metrobus in Dade County and Palm Tran in Palm Beach County. Tri-Rail, a commuter rail system, connects the major cities and airports of South Florida. In November 2006, Broward County voters rejected a one-cent-per-hundred sales tax increase intended to fund transportation projects such as light rail and expansion of the bus system.

Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood International Airport

Four railroads serve Fort Lauderdale. Florida East Coast Railroad (FEC) and CSX Transportation are freight lines, Amtrak provides passenger service to other cities on the Atlantic coast via the Fort Lauderdale station, and Tri-Rail provides commuter service between Palm Beach County, Broward County (including two stations in Fort Lauderdale), and Miami-Dade County. All Aboard Florida is constructing a new station in downtown Fort Lauderdale for its Brightline rail service connecting Miami and Orlando, Florida.

The Wave (streetcar), a new 2.7-mile (4.3 km) electric streetcar system costing $125 million, is being planned for the downtown. Most of the construction funding will come from federal ($62.5 million), state ($37 million) and city taxpayers ($10.5 million), with approximately $15 million from assessments on properties located within the Downtown Development Authority. Broward County (BCT) has committed to operating the system for the first 10 years at an expected annual cost of $2 million, and has guaranteed funding to cover any shortfall in ridership revenues. The construction cost of $50 million per mile is considerably higher than other recently built streetcar projects, in part due to the challenges of building an electric transit system over the 3rd Avenue drawbridge.

Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport, near Dania Beach, Florida, is the city's main airport and is the fastest-growing major airport in the country. This is, in part, attributable to service by low-cost carriers such as Spirit Airlines, JetBlue Airways, Southwest Airlines and Virgin America, resulting in lower airfares than nearby Miami International Airport. Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood is an emerging international gateway for the Caribbean and Latin America. Miami International Airport and Palm Beach International Airport also serve the city.

Fort Lauderdale is home to Port Everglades, the nation's third busiest cruise port. It is Florida's deepest port, and is an integral petroleum receiving point. Fort Lauderdale is served by a regular international passenger ferry service to Freeport, Grand Bahama Island, Bahamas operated by Baleària Bahamas Express. Broward County is served by three major Interstate Highways (I-75, I-95, I-595) and U.S. Highways such as U.S. 1, US 27 and US 441. The interchange between I-95 and I-595/SR 862 is known as the Rainbow Interchange. It is also served by Florida's Turnpike and State Highway 869, also known as the Sawgrass Expressway.

Fort Lauderdale, Florida: Healthcare

Fort Lauderdale is served by Broward General Medical Center and Imperial Point Medical Center, which are operated by Broward Health, the third largest hospital consortium in the United States. Broward General is a 716-bed acute care facility which is designated as a Level I trauma center. It is also home to Chris Evert Children's Hospital and a Heart Center of Excellence. The hospital serves as a major training site for medical students from Nova Southeastern University's College of Osteopathic Medicine, as well as nursing and paramedic programs from throughout the area. Imperial Point Medical Center is a 204-bed facility with a hyperbaric medicine program. Holy Cross Hospital, a 571-bed hospital operated by the Sisters of Mercy, was named by HealthGrades as one of the 50 best hospitals in the country for 2007.

Fort Lauderdale, Florida: Media and culture

Fort Lauderdale, Florida: Media

Fort Lauderdale is served by English-language newspapers South Florida-Sun Sentinel and The Miami Herald, Spanish-language newspapers El Sentinel, El Nuevo Herald and an alternative newspaper New Times Broward-Palm Beach.

Fort Lauderdale, Florida: Culture

As is true of many parts of Florida, the city's population has a strong seasonal variation, as snowbirds from the northern United States, Canada, and Europe spend the winter and early spring in Florida. The city is also sometimes referred to as "Fort Liquordale" because of its beaches, bars, nightclubs, and history as a spring break location, back in the 1960s and 1970s, for tens of thousands of college students. However, the city has actively discouraged college students from visiting the area since the mid-1980s, passing strict laws aimed at preventing the mayhem that regularly occurred each year in the 1970s and 1980s. The city had an estimated 350,000 college visitors for spring break 1985; by 2006, that number had declined to about 10,000. Since the 1990s, Fort Lauderdale has increasingly become a location that caters to those seeking the resort lifestyle seasonally or year-round and is often a host city to many professional venues, concerts, and art shows.

Fort Lauderdale's arts and entertainment district, otherwise known as the Riverwalk Arts & Entertainment District, runs east-west along Las Olas Boulevard, from the beach to the heart of downtown. The district is anchored in the West by the Broward Center for the Performing Arts, and runs through the city to the intersection of Las Olas and A1A. This intersection is the "ground zero" of Fort Lauderdale Beach, and is the site of the Elbo Room bar featured in the 1960 film Where the Boys Are, which led in large measure to the city's former reputation as a spring break mecca. The city and its suburbs host over 4,100 restaurants and over 120 nightclubs, many of them in the arts and entertainment district. The city is also the setting for the 1986 movie Flight of the Navigator, and host of Langerado, an annual music festival. In 2013, the county welcomed about 1.3 million LGBT travelers who spent about $1.5 billion in area restaurants, hotels, attractions and shops, according to the Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention & Visitors Bureau.

Fort Lauderdale, Florida: Sports

Lockhart Stadium in Fort Lauderdale, is the current home of the Fort Lauderdale Strikers which play in the current incarnation of the North American Soccer League. It was previously the home of the original Fort Lauderdale Strikers, which played in the previous version of the North American Soccer League. The Miami Fusion of Major League Soccer played at this stadium from 1998 to 2001. The Florida Atlantic University Owls football team played its home games at Lockhart Stadium from 2003 through 2010.

Although Fort Lauderdale does not host any top division professional sports teams, the Florida Panthers of the National Hockey League play at BB&T Center in suburban Sunrise. Major League Baseball's Miami Marlins, the National Football League's Miami Dolphins and the Miami Heat of the National Basketball Association all play in neighboring Dade County.

The New York Yankees, Baltimore Orioles, and Kansas City Royals used to conduct spring training in the city at Fort Lauderdale Stadium, and NCAA Division I college sports teams of Florida International University and University of Miami play in Dade County. Florida Atlantic University's athletic programs are located in neighboring Palm Beach County.

Fort Lauderdale is also home to the Fort Lauderdale Aquatic Complex, which is located at the International Swimming Hall of Fame. It contains two 25-yard (23 m) by 50-meter competition pools, as well as one 20 by 25-yard (23 m) diving well. The complex is open to Fort Lauderdale residents, and has also been used in many different national and international competitions since its opening in 1965. 10 world records have been set there, from Catie Ball's 100 m breaststroke in 1966 to Michael Phelps' 400 m individual medley in 2002.

compLexity Gaming's Dota 2 squad is currently based in Fort Lauderdale.

Fort Lauderdale, Florida: Sites of interest

Stranahan House, the oldest building in Fort Lauderdale, originally built as a trading post

The International Swimming Hall of Fame is located on Fort Lauderdale beach, and houses a large aquatic complex as well as a museum, theater, and research library.

Hugh Taylor Birch State Park is a 180-acre (0.73 km) park along the beach, with nature trails, camping and picnicking areas, canoeing, and features the Terramar Visitor Center, with exhibits about the ecosystem of the park. Hugh Taylor Birch came to Florida in 1893. He purchased ocean-front property for about a dollar per acre, he eventually owned a 3.5-mile stretch of beachfront. The Bonnet House is a historic home in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, United States. Bonnet House's modern history began when Birch gave the Bonnet House property as a wedding gift to his daughter Helen and her husband, Chicago artist Frederic Clay Bartlett in 1919. The site was listed on the National Register of Historic places in 1984 and declared a historic landmark by the City of Fort Lauderdale in 2002.

Henry E. Kinney Tunnel on U.S. Route 1 is the only tunnel on a state road in the state of Florida. It was constructed in 1960, and its 864-foot (263 m) length travels underneath the New River and Las Olas Boulevard.

The Florida Everglades is one of the most popular sites of interest among visitors to Fort Lauderdale. There are numerous services available to bring visitors from Fort Lauderdale Beach to the Everglades. Just minutes from the beach is the Riverwalk Arts and Entertainment District in downtown Fort Lauderdale, home to cultural attractions, shops, parks and restaurants. Along Riverwalk, the brick-lined meandering promenade, discover the Broward Center for the Performing Arts, Museum of Discovery and Science with its AutoNation 3D IMAX Theater, Florida Grand Opera, Fort Lauderdale Historical Center, Stranahan House and the Museum of Art.

Las Olas Boulevard is a popular thoroughfare in downtown Fort Lauderdale that runs from Andrews Avenue in the Central Business District to A1A and Fort Lauderdale Beach. The boulevard is a popular attraction for locals and visitors, being ideally situated close to Fort Lauderdale beach, Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport and Port Everglades. It is considered to be South Florida's most architecturally unique, authentic, and eclectic shopping and dining district.

Fort Lauderdale harbor
Fort Lauderdale harbor

In addition to its museums, beaches, and nightlife, Fort Lauderdale is home to the Fort Lauderdale Swap Shop, a large indoor/outdoor flea market and the site of the world's largest drive-in movie theater, with 13 screens.

Fort Lauderdale, Florida: Historic structures

The following are images of some of the remaining historical structures in Fort Lauderdale. Some are listed in the National Register of Historic Places:

Fort Lauderdale, Florida
The Bonnet House was built in 1895 and is located at 900 Birch Road. In 1919, the owner, Hugh Taylor Birch, gave the property to his daughter Helen and artist Frederic Clay Bartlett as a wedding gift. The property was listed in the National Register of Historic Places on July 5, 1984; reference #84000832.
Entrance of the Bonnet House.
The Dr. Willard Van Orsdel King House was built in 1951 and is located at 1336 Seabreeze Boulevard. In February 21, 2006, it was listed in the National Register of Historic Places; reference #06000059.
The Stranahan House was built in 1901 and is located at 335 Southeast 6th. The lower floor of the house once served as a trading post and the upper floor as a community hall. The house also served as a general store and a bank. The owner of the house, Frank Stranahan, committed suicide by drowning in the New River in front of his home. The house was listed in the National Register of Historic Places on October 2, 1973, reference #73000569.
The Benjamin “Bugsy” Siegel House located in Fort Lauderdale, Florida along the riverside of New River. This was the residence of the infamous mobster known as Bugsy Seigel.
The Hyatt Regency Hotel was built in 1957 and is located 2301 SE 17th Street. The hotel was designed by Richard F. Humble a follower of Frank Lloyd Wright.

Fort Lauderdale, Florida: See also

  • List of people from Fort Lauderdale, Florida
  • List of museums in Fort Lauderdale, Florida
  • List of sister cities of Fort Lauderdale, Florida
  • List of tallest buildings in Fort Lauderdale
  • New River
  • Osborne Reef (Fort Lauderdale tire reef)

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