|By Arlene Satchell, Sun
SentinelMcClatchy-Tribune Regional News
April 03, 2013--Pompano Beach is gearing up to welcome the newest asset in its tourism marketing arsenal -- the 219-room Fort Lauderdale Marriott Pompano Beach Oceanfront scheduled to open July 1.
The oceanfront resort is the first hotel to break ground in Pompano in a decade, according co-owner and manager Urgo Hotels, a Maryland-based operator, developer and owner of upscale hotels.
"Pompano Beach is ripe for a boutique-style beachfront hotel with upscale amenities and services," Urgo Hotels Principal and Chief Investment Officer Kevin Urgo said recently. "There is very little in the way of oceanfront product in this market, so we feel certain that it will help drive vacation travelers to the area."
The Pompano resort is one of several new hotel offerings that are rising or expected to open in South Florida between 2013 and 2014.
Located at 1200 N. Ocean Blvd, the Pompano Marriott's rooms will have private balconies and views of the Atlantic, and it will offer more than 8,000-square-feet of meeting and function space. It'll also boast multiple pools, a rooftop terrace for special events and McCoy's Oceanfront, an upscale seafood restaurant.
"Marriott is a great addition to Pompano Beach and a terrific choice for our visitors," Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention & Visitors Bureau President Nicki E. Grossman said.
To bolster its efforts to attract more tourists, Pompano Beach, which has been busy redeveloping its beach area, recently hired its first-ever tourism marketing manager -- Lidia Gorzelany, a 25-year industry veteran.
This was a need officials had been discussing for "quite some time," spokeswoman Sandra King said Tuesday.
One of Gorzelany's first hotel tours was of the Pompano Marriott, said King.
The hotel conducts about 3-5 tours weekly with prospective clients that include wedding groups, Director of Sales Susan Aichele said on Tuesday during a hard hat walk-through of the under-construction resort.
"We've got a good chunk [of business] on the books for 2013 and we're already filling the first and second quarter of 2014 with weddings," said Aichele.
The hotel also is getting inquiries for pre-cruise stays. Florida resident rates July 1 through August 17 are expected to start at $149 per room per night double occupancy, based on availability.
Farther north, hotel operator and management group Ocean Properties Ltd. recently opened a new luxury cottage complex -- Villas by the Sea -- on the corner of A1A and Atlantic Avenue, adjacent to its Delray Beach Marriott.
The luxury complex has a private pool and consists of eight ocean-view or garden-view one-, two- and three-bedroom cottages. Amenities include kitchenettes, personal concierge and grocery shopping services, and a complimentary breakfast basket delivered daily.
"Villas by the Sea is bringing Delray Beach accommodation options to a new level of luxury," said Rick Konsavage, OPL's regional director of operations in a statement announcing the opening. "The villas are ideal for discriminating guests seeking privacy, and for high-end groups and corporate retreats."
In Coconut Creek, another hotel project is starting to take shape.
The ground-breaking for the 105-room Hampton Inn & Suites is set to take place April 23 at the hotel site at the northeast corner State Road 7 and the Sawgrass Expressway, a spokesperson for Miami-based developer Morlin Hospitality Group said Tuesday.
The roughly $13 million project is expected to open in March 2014 and will cater to travelers visiting the Seminole Casino Coconut Creek as well as area businesses.
In Hollywood, progress on the $138 million Jimmy Buffett-themed Margaritaville Hollywood Beach Resort near Johnson Street and the Broadwalk is slow going, and the project is likely to miss a city-imposed April 10 deadline for construction permits and submission of a detailed financing plan.
Developer Lon Tabatchnick is expected to ask for a 60-day deadline extension Wednesday at a special City Hall meeting, and give an update on the 350-room, 17-story project, according to city officials.
On Monday, the new 97-room boutique Pestana South Beach Art Deco hotel will open at 1835 James Ave., on the site of the former Hotel Milejan. The hotel is being billed as the first Portuguese hotel in the U.S.
"This is our first investment in this market, and Miami is a natural starting point because it is a gateway for Europe and South America where our brand is quite strong," said Jose Roquette, Pestana Group's development director for North America, in a statement.
Staff writer Susannah Bryan contributed to this report.
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