PALM BEACH COUNTY CONVENTION AND VISITORS BUREAU REPORTS POSITIVE TOURISM IMPACT & INDUSTRY DEVELOPM

01/28/2011
PALM BEACH COUNTY CONVENTION AND VISITORS BUREAU REPORTS POSITIVE
TOURISM IMPACT & INDUSTRY DEVELOPMENTS SPECIFIC SOUTH COUNTY
-Official Figures on Year-End Occupancy Growth and Revenue Also Reported during
the CVB's Second Presentation of its 2011 Marketing & Sales Plan for Palm Beach
County-
BOCA RATON, FL (Jan. 31, 2011) - The Palm Beach County Convention and Visitors Bureau (CVB)
presented its 2011 Marketing & Sales Plan to tourism and business leaders in the southern part of the
county today at the Boca Raton Resort & Club. In addition to marketing activities and events taking place
now or occurring this fiscal year, the CVB highlighted positive tourism trends and developments specific to
this region.
"The southern part of the county has led the area in economic recovery," stated Palm Beach County CVB
President and CEO Jorge Pesquera. "Specifically, the Boca Raton area gave the entire county the boost it
needed to end the year as the leading destination in year-to-date occupancy growth in the state of
Florida."
Overall, Palm Beach County experienced a nearly 10 percent increase in year-to-date (YTD) occupancy
compared to last year. North Palm Beach County to Lake Worth ended the year at 8.8 percent growth
and averaged with Boca Raton, which ended with a 10.5 percent increase, The Palm Beaches placed
number one in growth among all Florida destinations.
In addition to an upswing in occupancy, the county also saw nine months of improved bed tax this past
year. Roughly 34 percent of the entire room inventory in Palm Beach County is located within its
southern region. More than 5,500 rooms in 48 hotels are located in Boca Raton, Delray, and Boynton
Beach.
Southern Palm Beach County is also responsible for top-employment gains in the state of Florida. Led by
hospitality and retail positions in Boca Raton, Palm Beach County had the strongest job growth of any of
Florida's 22 metro areas, adding 6,900 jobs from Dec. 2009 to Dec. 2010 - more than twice the state's
growth rate.
"The appeal of Boca Raton and the entire South County is crucial to the economic recovery of the entire
county," stated Greater Boca Raton Chamber of Commerce President Troy M. McLellan, CCE. "Now,
business leaders from the local chambers of commerce will have the opportunity to align their efforts
with the CVB and play an even more integral role in promoting this area as an ideal destination - for
visitors, new residents and ultimately, new businesses."
In addition to a number of alluring amenities, the South County area attracts visitors with a wealth of
popular annual events which have national and international recognition, including the Delray International Tennis Championships, Allianz Championships, Boca Bacchanal, Delray Affair, and
Downtown Delray Beach Festival of the Arts, which all together draw tens of thousands of out-of-town
visitors to the area each year.
As communities throughout Florida and the entire United States are seeing little to no development,
southern Palm Beach County is experiencing significant revitalization in its downtown districts. In Boca
Raton, Plaza Real in the center of Mizner Park was recognized as one of the "Top 10 Great Public Spaces"
In America a few months ago by the American Planning Association, an honor it shares with renowned
public spaces such as Bryant Park in New York City and Rittenhouse Square in Philadelphia.
Currently, Mizner Park, its neighboring mixed-use village Royal Palm Place, and Sanborn Park are being
connected by an attractive brick-pavered pedestrian promenade to enhance the Downtown Boca
experience for those who live, work, play, and visit there, and, just last week, the entire parameter of
Downtown Boca was adorned with a colorful parade of branded street-pole banners touting a new
Downtown Boca icon and its new slogan "It's Happening" with variations on the theme to boast the
area's distinctive features i.e. It's Nightlife, It's Culture, It's Business, It's Historic, etc.. These efforts
define a stronger, more meaningful sense-of-place and create a more pedestrian-friendly environment for
everyone to enjoy the hundreds of shops, restaurants, galleries, cultural and entertainment venues,
residential choices, and public green spaces in Downtown Boca (www.downtownboca.org) and attract
more regional and national businesses to the area.
Delray Beach's downtown has also undergone a huge renaissance over the past decade with the addition
of fine-dining, boutiques and the four-star Seagate Resort & Spa, and is starting to draw national
attention. Once no more than a pass-through region of the county, Delray Beach is now thriving with art,
shopping, dining and entertainment. The downtown district alone boasts more than 100 restaurants and
was just featured in The New York Times Travel Section on Sunday, Jan. 16, 2011. Delray Beach's
Downtown Development Authority created a marketing campaign that brings together hundreds of area
merchants each month who collectively host events and promotions centered on a single theme, unifying
the downtown district and, again instilling that "sense of place" for visitors and residents alike.
"Palm Beach County - and especially Delray Beach - is an excellent location for business, and where
families can come to recharge," stated Michael Malone, CCE, president of the Greater Delray Beach
Chamber of Commerce. "We enjoy and encourage guests to visit and live in this little touch of paradise."
Greater Boynton Beach is the county's gateway to the region's natural ecology to the west, Arthur R.
Marshall-Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge Nature Preserve, which, at 221 square miles, is the most
robust part of the Everglades. Just offshore in Boynton Beach exist what many regard as some of the
most exciting underwater exploration sites in the world, featuring unusually a lush landscape alive with a
variety of marine life. Recent beatification projects, marina improvements and new cultural and retail
developments will complement the ecotourism experience and overall quality of life for area
residents. Renaissance Commons, Boynton's new dining and night-life area, and projects such as the
newly- renovated amphitheater near the SchoolHouse Children's Museum, new landscaping and art
installations along Seacrest Blvd, and soon, the addition of a new eco-friendly Wal-Mart on South Federal
together bring new opportunity for increased visitation to Boynton Beach.
"If you have not been to the Boynton Beach area in the past few years, please visit us and see the ‘New
Boynton Beach' from the Intracoastal to the Everglades," said President and CEO of the Greater Boynton
Beach Chamber of Commerce Glenn Jergensen.
About Palm Beach County Convention and Visitors Bureau
The Palm Beach County Convention and Visitors Bureau (CVB) is the official destination marketing
organization for Palm Beach County, Fla. Tourism is among Palm Beach County's major industries generating a direct annual economic impact of $2.8 billion in the local economy, producing $23 million
dollars in bed-tax revenue and lodging sales of approximately $623 million. More information on the CVB
and visiting The Palm Beaches is available at www.PalmBeachFL.com
_______________________________________________________________________________
Media Contacts:
Carli Smith/Palm Beach County CVB
csmith@palmbeachfl.com/561-233-3030
Maria Hayworth/Hayworth Creative PR
maria@hayworthcreative.com/386-677-7000
1555 Palm Beach Lakes Boulevard, Suite 800, West Palm Beach, Florida 33401
561.233.3000 FAX 561.233.3009
WEBSITE MEDIA CENTER: palmbeachfl.com