Boca Raton Bridge Hotel Invites Community To Enjoy A “Thanks For The Memories” Grand Finale Before Closing For Complete Transformation

Bridge Ideas2

Special “Guest Appreciation” Happy Hour, Dining and Room Offers To Make A Splash At The Iconic Waterfront Hotel To Run Through April 28th

In appreciation for their continued patronage and support during the past 37 years, the new ownership of the Boca Raton Bridge Hotel invites the greater Boca Raton community and past guests from near and far to enjoy a “Thanks For The Memories” grand finale before closing for complete transformation on April 28th. Running through April 27th, special “Guest Appreciation” happy hour, dining and guest room offers set to make a splash include:

• Special “Stay” Pricing-Guests that book the hotel’s best available rate for their first night stay will get a second night for only $19.76, in commemoration of the year that the hotel first opened on the Boca waterfront. This special rate is available April 14th through April 27th. The package is only available by calling the hotel directly at (561) 368-9500.

• “A Rollback” in Price of the famed Sunday Champagne Brunch at Carmen’s Restaurant at the Top of the Bridge—every Sunday in April, guests can enjoy a delicious spread of gourmet food and drink offerings for just $34.00 per person.

• “Double the pleasure” at WaterColors restaurant, the only open-to-the-public waterfront dining in Boca Raton, featuring half-price on all well brand drinks all day long, and 50% off appetizers every day from 4:00 p.m. to closing.

The Bridge Hotel remains one of Boca’s most notable, as new ownership reinvents it to be more relevant and exciting to meet the desires and needs of today’s discerning vacationers as well as social and business guests. Led by a seasoned team of hotel ownership, management, designers, and marketing consultants, the reinvention plans will reposition the hotel into a premier South Florida experience with its own distinctive signature for the destination. The design direction and inspiration for the aesthetic and structural reinvention of the Bridge Hotel was recently revealed at a special “Preview Reception” held in Carmen’s Top of the Bridge, showcasing the new designs and the breathtaking views of Lake Boca, the Intracoastal and Atlantic Ocean.

The complete transformation to a luxury four-star hotel status will include the introduction of entirely new hospitality and dining concepts, with plans to take optimal advantage of the property’s most distinctive assets: its prime location – on the Intracoastal Waterway and Lake Boca with direct access to Atlantic Ocean – and its breathtaking water views. The preliminary phase of the Bridge Hotel’s major “reinvention” was launched in November 2012 with the construction of the hotel’s new dock-to-dine “waterfront promenade” that flanks the property’s entire Lake Boca perimeter to expand hotel guest and community food and beverage enjoyment opportunities.

The Boca Raton Bridge Hotel, one of Palm Beach County’s boutique icon hotels with panoramic water views from every guest room, is located where the Intracoastal Waterway and Lake Boca Raton meet at 999 East Camino Real in Boca Raton. Hotel reservations are available until April 27th; visit or call (561) 368-9500. For dining updates at WaterColors or reservations for Carmen’s award-winning Sunday Champagne Brunch, call (561) 886-4570 or visit Reservations are open now and throughout the summer and fall for advanced booking of post “re-opening” private dining functions and holiday parties; for more information call Fran Bannon at (561) 368-9500 or email her at

For more information, visit

Boca Raton Bridge Hotel

Citing Concern For Guest And Employee Safety During Major Transformation Period, The Boca Raton Bridge Hotel To Close Beginning April 29th

Late Fall Re-Opening To Generate New and More Employment Opportunities

The Boca Raton Bridge Hotel, approved for a major transformation into luxury 4-star status, will close during renovation construction citing concerns for quality of guest comfort and service and the safety and health of employees and guests for the decision. According to Boca Raton Bridge Hotel General Manager Greg Kaylor, the hotel will close on April 29th, begin transformation in May, and remain closed until late fall upon completion of full renovation. The preliminary phase of the Bridge Hotel’s major “reinvention” was launched in November 2012 with the construction of the hotel’s new “waterfront promenade” that flanks the property’s entire Lake Boca perimeter.

The Bridge Hotel remains one of Boca’s most notable, operating as a traditional hotel, as new ownership repositions and reinvents it to be more relevant and exciting to meet the desires and needs of today’s discerning vacationers as well as social and business guests. Led by a seasoned team of designers and hospitality, operations, management and marketing consultants, the hotel is being completely transformed into a premier South Florida experience with its own newly positioned distinctive signature in the destination.

“Over the last five months, our designers, consultants, contractors, ownership and management team have developed very exciting plans for the future of this hotel,” Lane Hospitality Chief Operating Officer Wayne West shared with hotel associates at a briefing on March 1. “The scope of the plan is significant and the impacts of executing that plan are more comprehensive and integrated today than were originally contemplated. While we have explored many options relative to operating the hotel during the planned renovation period, we found that ceasing hotel operations for a period of time represents our best solution to renovating the physical structure without compromising our obligation to provide a safe and secure facility.”

Kaylor explained that it is not unusual for a boutique-sized hotel to close for a period of time when undergoing an extensive transformation such as what is planned for The Bridge Hotel that has long been in need of major structural and technical upgrading.

“The significant elevator and air-conditioning upgrading required to bring the hotel built in 1976 to current standards and the reorganization planned of public spaces during renovations would severely compromise our staff’s ability to service food and beverage in-room and restaurant operations as well as guest registration and housekeeping of guest accommodations,” explained Kaylor. “By closing for a period of time, and not working around each phase of the process, we are able to maintain a timeline in a safe environment to meet an anticipated late fall opening as Boca’s busy ‘season’ begins.”

For more information, please visit

Boca Raton Bridge Hotel Boca Raton Bridge Hotel Room_sm

The Frugal Traveler: Penny-pinching tips for visiting Florida’s Palm Beaches

The Palm Beaches represent one of the largest residential concentrations of wealth in the world. A popular destination for shopping celebrities, political fundraisers and bejeweled billionaires, Palm Beach and West Palm Beach make a vacation pairing most penny pinchers wouldn’t dream of adding to their itinerary. Believe it or not, bargains are abundant along this stretch of Florida coastline if one knows where to look. These inside tips will help put you on the proper travel track.
Arts: Cultural events are one of the most prevalent entertainment options here, and many of them are rather affordable. The Norton Museum of Art for example offers adult admission prices of $12, with rotating exhibits from around the world, including pieces from Africa, Asia and the Middle East to name a few. To get the best bang for your buck, visit on Thursday evenings when the venue’s weekly Art after Dark event takes place. Included with the price of admission, it’s a great value add-on that features performing arts, socializing, culinary treats and more. Similarly, the Kravis Center for Performing Arts boasts multiple theaters for a variety of acts, from Broadway plays to ballet groups.
Norton Museum


WEST PALM BEACH, FL (November 28, 2012) – The Palm Beach County Convention & Visitors Bureau (CVB) today presented “2013 Marketing & Sales Plan: Blueprint for a New Era,” to industry stakeholders at the Four Seasons Resort Palm Beach. CVB executives recounted the destination’s accomplishments for 2012 in sales and marketing, and highlighted key initiatives for 2013.

“2012 was an exciting and eventful year for Palm Beach County tourism, and for our industry at-large,” stated CVB President & CEO Jorge Pesquera. “Similarly to what we saw this year, we fully expect the innovations and initiatives we have planned for 2013 to help us surpass our ambitious goals, and keep us on a continued path to build brand awareness, increase visitation, and create more jobs that can never be outsourced.”

Successes from 2012 Fiscal Year include:

  • Hotel revenue per available room (RevPar) up 10 percent; marking 33 consecutive months of increases, a key benchmark for hoteliers.
  • A hotel occupancy rate up 3.4 percent; a positive trend for 32 out of the last 35 months.
    • An average daily room (ADR) rate for hotels up 6.4 percent; a positive trend for 27 out of the last 29 months.
    • Completion of the first comprehensive Economic Impact Study in more than five years, which revealed Palm Beach County’s five million annual visitors create a $5 billion economic impact and employ 45,000 residents.
    • Half a billion media impressions, through Public and Media Relations.
    • Across-the-board increases in online performance indicators, with a 59 percent increase in website visitation, 34 percent increase in hotel website referrals and an astounding 142 percent increase in video views in one year.
    • A successful multi-faceted Summer Campaign that resulted in eight percent growth in RevPar, five percent growth in occupancy, and three percent growth in ADR over the summer months (June – September).
    • The coordination of more than 100 sales events, including a record 18 destination reviews, with participation by top travel trade and meeting planners for each.
    • Strengthened destination awareness among top travel trade, media and potential media in key international markets, including Brazil, Colombia, Puerto Rico, and other key Latin American countries, as well as Germany, and the UK.
    • The successful execution of the first-ever, CVB-produced, large-scale consumer event, conceived in connection with the final presidential debate in Boca Raton and broadcasted globally through a strategic partnership with XBox LIVE, Neon Trees, the City of Boca Raton, and Rock the Vote, which was attended by more than 3,000 people and viewed live by approximately 500,000 XBox subscribers.

Following a review of 2012, several members of the CVB and its professional experts revealed the organization’s plan for both marketing and sales efforts in 2013.   A sampling of what’s expected for the next fiscal year includes:

  • Completion of the third and final phase of the brand development process, which will include the implementation of the new Brand identity, slated to launch in the summer of 2013, following the completion of the first two critical phases.
  • Fully implement regional marketing campaigns, highlighting hyper-local experiences offered in six of the destination’s 12 distinct tourism cities through digital content and customized promotional collateral –a progression of the VISIT CITY concept initiated in 2012.
  • Enhanced marketing support of top established and emerging destination events, based on a new, systemized approach to evaluate each event’s impact on visitation and awareness for Palm Beach County.
  • Significant product development focused on Culinary Tourism, including the potential of a strategic partnership with a nationally recognized culinary icon, the production of high-quality, multi-media content, and regional food and wine event partnerships.
  • Enriched in-county client experiences through greater frequency and quality destination reviews and site visits for meeting planners and other travel influencers.
  • The full adoption and usage of an enterprise-level Customer Relationship Management (CRM) technology to strengthen customer engagement with meeting planners and travel trade.
  • Deployment of multimedia, interactive digital sales tools to support messaging and enhance destination appeal.
  • Introduction of experience-focused Travel Itineraries, using recommendations by local celebrities, athletes, and well-known personalities valued as trusted authorities in key areas of interest, which will be promoted in tandem with the addition of a new Personalized Itinerary Builder tool for consumers on the CVB’s website.

Additionally, the CVB emphasized the importance of the tourism industry for Palm Beach County with a hypothetical example of how 10 percent more visitors would impact the local economy.  In that example, the CVB pointed out a modest 10 percent increase in visitation would result in:

  • A five and one-half percent increase in hotel occupancy
  • $550 million in additional visitor spending
  • $42 million additional hotel room inventory
  • 5,000 new jobs (that cannot be outsourced)
  • $82 million in additional state and local taxes
  • $2.1 million in additional bed tax revenues

CVB officials emphasized that, due to tourism’s impact, each Palm Beach County resident saves an average of $890 in property and other taxes per year, and Florida does not impose a state income tax on its workforce.

About Palm Beach County Convention and Visitors Bureau

The Palm Beach County Convention and Visitors Bureau is the official destination marketing organization for Palm Beach County, Fla., with a mission to increase visitation, deliver a one-of-a-kind visitor experience, and contribute to the overall economic development in Palm Beach County.  As a non-profit organization, the CVB develops marketing and sales strategies to support tourism, which, as one of Palm Beach County’s largest industries, generates an annual economic impact of $5 billion in the local economy, welcomes five million visitors a year, supports 45,000 industry jobs, and helps to ensure Florida remain a tax-free state.


Media Contact:   Carli Smith/Palm Beach County CVB,

Tourism News Blog:  Website Media Center:

1555 Palm Beach Lakes Boulevard, Suite 800, West Palm Beach, Florida  33401

561.233.3000    Fax 561.233.1036     Website:




Due to the National Weather Center’s forecasting of sustained winds from 35 to 40 miles per hour with wind gusts up to 60 miles per hour with intermittent rain on Friday, and in alignment with the Palm Beach County School District’s decision to close schools this afternoon and all day Friday, Downtown Boca announced today:

  • FRIDAY NIGHT opening night activities and entertainment (October 26th) for the 2nd Annual Meet Me On The Promenade two-night, one-day street fest in Downtown Boca have been cancelled for the safety of performers, participants, vendors and event-goers.
  • ALL SATURDAY DAY AND NIGHT live entertainment, family-friendly programming, Halloween Happenings! and “after parties” on October 27th WILL REMAIN AS PLANNED  from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.  When possible, entertainment and activities from Friday will be rescheduled to the Saturday line-up of festivities for a jam-packed day and night of Stroll, Shop, & Savor programming to include live entertainment, plenty of “friends and family” fun and staged “Fall For Downtown Boca” keepsake photo opportunities both inside a gigantic “walk in” commemorative globe and next to the Office Depot Tony Stewart NASCAR show car. There will be Family and Sports Zones, themed villages, a Doggie Depot, classic and antique car showcases, an artists and crafters expo, Cocktails-4-Charity “fund” and “fun” raising, dining specials, retail discounts, and much more. Saturday afternoon and evening schedule features memorable Halloween Happenings! including a costume contest for children and families, a pet costume showcase, shop-to-shop “trick or treating”, early family dining specials and “Happy Halloween Hours”, BeetleJuice’s Rock ‘N Roll Monster Revue and “after parties” at participating Downtown Boca pubs and clubs.


Just days after Monday’s history-making “Rock the Vote” concert and presidential debate watch party in Downtown Boca, the “next big thing” to be staged in Downtown Boca is the second annual “Meet Me On The Promenade”. The free street fest featuring the downtown destination’s best will be held now (due to weather conditions) only on Saturday, October 27th from 10:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. with Sanborn Square serving as the event hub (71 North Federal Highway).  On-going activities are scheduled along the Promenade and the areas that it connects such as Palmetto Park Road, N.E. First Avenue, Boca Raton Road, Mizner Park and more.

Free “jump on, jump off” trolley service, sponsored by Mizner Park and General Growth Properties, will make stops from 9:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m. on Saturday from the south end of Mizner Park to City Hall, Downtown Library, Boca Raton Museum of Art, and back again. There will be plenty of free parking, including VIB (Very Important Bicyclist) Parking on Saturday from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. sponsored and hosted at Comerica Bank at 1 South Federal Highway, corner of South Federal Highway and East Palmetto Park Road.

For more information on programming and entertainment and frequent updates, visit DowntownBoca.OrgLIKE” Downtown Boca on Facebook or follow @downtownboca on Twitter.


The Comfort Zone Spa now open at Palm Beach International Airport

The Comfort Zone Spa is officially open to passengers traveling to and through Palm Beach International Airport (PBI). Services include massages, manicures/pedicures, facials, waxing services, and spa foot massages. For more information, click here.


Palm Beach County, Fla (July 2, 2012)—  Palm Beach County Convention and Visitors Bureau (CVB) today announced it has promoted long-time employee Yvonne McGill to Senior Manager of Destination Services, after 12 years of service coordinating and managing the organization’s convention services and executive meetings.

In her new role, McGill will oversee the three-person Destination Services Department, which supports the Global Sales Team including Groups, Meetings and Convention Sales, and Leisure Travel Sales.  She will be responsible for customer relationship management and support services to the various territory Sales Directors at numerous delivery points, including client destination reviews, hotel site inspections and multi-hotel convention center group services, to name a few.

Yvonne has been a dedicated employee to the CVB and to Palm Beach County’s tourism industry for more than a decade, and I’m sure it comes as no surprise to anyone who has had the privilege to work with her that she’s received this well-deserved promotion within our Sales Team,” said Palm Beach County Convention and Visitors Bureau President and CEO Jorge Pesquera. “Yvonne has the very important job of overseeing the execution of our in-market events and activities throughout the county – a job we are confident she will accomplish with great success.”

In addition to her previous experience as the CVB’s Convention Services and Executive Meetings Manager, McGill oversaw the small meetings market, managing requests relevant to small group bookings of 100 or less in total room nights, including those for specialty markets such as military and family reunions, and wedding parties.

In her new position, McGill will report directly to the CVB’s Senior Vice President of Global Sales Doug McLain, and will report and track departmental goals to the CVB’s full executive team.  Her additional responsibilities will include spearheading the Destination Services team in its pre- and post- event assistance to Meeting Planners, facilitating provisions such as dining, entertainment, attractions, group event venues, and overseeing the booking process for attendees and sponsors.

Read more…

Downtown Boca “Rolled Out Welcome Mat” To Visitors Near And Far During 2012 National Travel & Tourism Week


As the host of the first stop in the Annual Travel Rally Road Trip Day throughout Palm Beach County that was navigated this week by Palm Beach County Convention & Visitors Bureau and United States Travel Association, Downtown Boca joined more than 100 destinations nationwide in celebration of the 2012 Travel & Tourism Week. The festivities were held  in Plaza Real At Mizner Park, the public  “park within the park” that has been designated one of the “Top Ten Great Public Spaces” in America by the American Planning Association. Literally “rolling out” a 10-foot by 8-foot welcome mat for visitors near and far, Downtown Boca businesses, city and county officials, and community, business and tourism leaders gathered to celebrate, showcase South County’s tourism assets, and rally for visitors. Spectators were “seeing red”, as participants wore red or their company shirts or uniforms to symbolize their hospitality spirit and tourism pride.

A fun, interactive and very “visual” showcase of major destination tourism drivers awaited guests, spotlighting the area’s world-class museums, dining, shopping, hotels and resorts, cultural and culinary festivals, sporting events, nightlife, concerts, and entertainment. There was informal modeling of “upcycled” couture fashion by designer Maria Dopozo that was created in the Boca Raton Museum of Art’s Fashion Illustration Class With Instructor Amy Berkowitz, a 17-foot x 17-foot inflatable driving range presented Allianz Championship, Florida Atlantic University mascot Owsley with football players, Boca Ballet Theatre black swan ballerina from the classic Swan Lake, costumed actors from FAU Festival Repertory Theatre, exhibit by Gumbo Limbo Nature Center, Boca Raton “pioneer” from the Boca Raton Children’s Museum, information on Lynn University’s hosting of the final presidential debate of the election year, Fred Astaire Dance Studio of Boca Raton instructors leading the official “Downtown Boca Bop” line dance and more. Visitors joined in the first official Travel Rally welcome photo as a large crowd of South County “cheerleaders” showed destination hospitality.

For more event information and to see City of Boca Raton Mayor Susan Whelchel remarks, visit

For more information on all there is to see and do in Downtown Boca, visit

County-Wide Special Seasonal Meeting Incentives to Meeting Planners

THE PALM BEACHES, Fla. (April 16, 2012) – The Palm Beach County Convention and Visitors Bureau (CVB), in coordination with the Palm Beach County Convention Center, today announced an Exclusive Seasonal Meetings Offer for meeting planners organizing conferences, conventions or tradeshows in the South Florida region, available May through September 2012, then again for the same timeframe in 2013.  The special offer includes free meeting and exhibit space at the 350,000-square-foot convention center and free wireless Internet for the duration of the event.  The Palm Beach County CVB is also offering the best available hotel rates in South Florida, in addition to discounted food and beverage packages. Free transportation to and from hotels and the convention center, and complimentary in-house marketing and public relations assistance will also be provided. Read more…

Palm Beach County Convention and Visitors Bureau Awarded Gold Service Award by Meetings & Conventions Magazine

The Palm Beach Convention and Visitors Bureau (CVB) has been awarded the prestigious 2011 Gold Service Award by Meetings & Conventions magazine. Selected by the publication’s 60,000 subscribers—some of the most discerning meeting and event planners in the country— the award recognizes the top Convention and Visitors Bureaus that demonstrate continued, superior dedication to meeting professionals.

This year, the readers of Meetings & Conventions awarded only 91 domestic and 16 international CVBs and tourism boards with the Gold Service Award distinction. Criteria for voting included professionalism of staff, support of hotels and site inspections, assistance with ground transportation planning, guidance on local attractions, and liaison with local vendors and services.

The Palm Beach CVB will be featured in Meetings & Conventions’ Gold Awards issue this November.


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