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Boca Raton: A City in the Pink
Renegade Architect's Vision for Resort Playground Blossoms into City's Lifestyle
Contact: Chuck Smith (561) 447-3370
BOCA RATON, FLORIDA: "I am the Greatest Resort in the World, I am Boca Raton...," said Addison Mizner. With these immortal words this eccentric architect introduced his fantasy of the ideal hotel playground in 1926, now the Boca Raton Resort & Club. Today, Mizner's vision has grown beyond the pink palace which originated as the Cloister Inn, and now represents the philosophy and lifestyle of the entire city of Boca Raton.
Also about Boca Raton Resort & Club
|The Resort's Rich History|
|Boca's Capital Improvement Plans|
|Landscaping at the Boca Raton Resort & Club|
|The Resort's Marketing to Locals, International guests and Families|
You can see Mizner's dream fulfilled wherever you go throughout the city. Boca, as the locals like to call it, is more than just a town -- it's a way of living. "Quality of life" originally attracted Mizner to this area and continues to be one of the main enticements today. Boca Raton represents a "new Florida," a contemporary, international area where prosperous families live in active country club communities; seasonal residents build multi-million dollar, second homes; and global businesses headquarter their companies. Boca Raton combines resort escape with urban renewal to create a unique culture and style that can only be called "very Boca."
The Name of the City Means What?
Contrary to popular belief, the name Boca Raton has nothing to do with the mouth of the rat. Boca de Ratones was a term originated by Spanish explorers for the waterways in and around Miami's Biscayne Bay in the early 1800s. During this time, the appellation was mistakenly applied by mapmakers to an area slightly northward to what is now present-day Boca. In 1924 Mizner officially shortened the name from the lengthy Spanish moniker to just "Boca Raton."
People in Boca Raton like to play as hard as they work and the area lends itself well to an active, healthy lifestyle. On any given day, visitors and residents, enjoy recreation in the Florida sunshine -- whether they are driving the fairways, perfecting their serve-and-volley, sailing the Intracoastal Waterway, rollerblading and bicycling along the coastal highway, or just cruising the Atlantic Ocean in a luxury motor yacht. The city of Boca Raton offers five miles of sandy coastline, over two dozen golf courses and hundreds of tennis courts.
It seems like everyone in Boca belongs to at least one private club, with the grand dame being the exclusive Premier Club of the Boca Raton Resort & Club. Membership in the Premier Club entitles its members to all the amenities and privileges of the acclaimed Resort and Club including golf, tennis, marina, watersports, croquet and over 400 social activities per month.
For the passive sports enthusiast, Boca Raton is conveniently located near the stadiums for all of South Florida's professional sports teams including the Miami Dolphins, Florida Marlins, Miami Heat and the Florida Panthers. During baseball's Spring Training, the area is home to the Atlanta Braves, Montreal Expos and the New York Yankees.
Boca Raton is also host to the "Sport of Kings" -- polo. At the Royal Palm Polo Sports Club, tournaments are held each Sunday, January through April, and every other Sunday, June through October. In March, the sport's richest purse is decided here during the $100,000 International Gold Cup. Polo's international world headquarters is located in nearby Wellington at the Palm Beach Polo & Country Club. Prince Charles usually makes a point of playing here when he's visiting, and it's also a great place to celebrity-watch.
Dining and Nightlife
People in Boca love to dine out. In fact, some real estate agents comment on how often they sell homes with ovens that have never been used. Some of the city's finest dining establishments can be found in and around the Boca Raton Resort & Club. Renowned restaurateur, Nick Nickolas, operates two of the Resort and Club's finer dining spots, Nick's Fishmarket and Top of the Tower -The Italian Restaurant. At Nick's Fishmarket, expect an excellent range of fresh seafood and impeccable service. Top of the Tower has equally impressive service with amazing panoramic views and splendid Italian fare. Just blocks away from the Resort and Club is La Vielle Maison, Florida's only Five-Star restaurant. Situated in an old Florida home, the restaurant has a warm, comfortable feel and serves French cuisine with innovative interpretations.
The place "to see and be seen" is definitely Mizner Park. Designed to resemble a European village with brick walkways, fountains and wooden benches, this shopping/residential complex is where to go to capture a true Boca experience. Women, dressed in Chanel from head-to-toe, chat on cellular phones; while men, with their hair slicked-back into ponytails, cruise by in convertible sports cars. Here, it's not what or who you know, but how you show. Dining in Mizner Park follows suit, with the ultra-trendy Baci, Bistro L'Europe and Max's Grill being the in places to go. Ask for a table outside, this affords the best people-watching views. After dinner, check out Liberties Bookstore for late-night coffee and desserts, as well as a great selection of books and magazines. They actually provide couches to relax and read. Everything here stays open late, so try a little shopping to work off that dinner.
In addition to the aforementioned restaurants, Boca Raton and the South Florida region is home to some of the world's finest dining establishments ranging in price and style. One of the hottest new trends in food is Floribbean cuisine, and no one does it better than Oliver Saucy of Darryl and Oliver's Cafe Maxx, in nearby Pompano Beach. Also, don't miss out on trying fresh Florida Stone Crabs, if they are in season -- a local favorite.
Shop Till You Drop
Boca Raton and the surrounding area is a shopper's paradise. Topping the list of Boca's shopping meccas is Town Center Mall with Bloomingdale's, Saks Fifth Avenue and 178 other retail distractions. In downtown Boca, try Mizner Park and the Royal Palm Plaza. Their collections of unique, upscale boutiques sell an excellent mix of comfortable resort clothing.
Just 35 minutes to the north is Palm Beach with its world-famous Worth Avenue, often called the Rodeo Drive of Florida. Traveling southward from Boca Raton, venture west to one of the world's largest outlet malls, Sawgrass Mills, over 2 miles long with 250 stores.
Growing Business Community
Boca Raton enjoys a thriving corporate sector and is a significant force behind Palm Beach County's economic development. Boca's special combination of quality of life, attractive tax structure, well-educated work force and community spirit have inspired several top companies to relocate to the area. The forefather of this influx of corporations was International Business Machines. IBM moved to Boca in 1969, and over the past 25 years has helped pave the way for other businesses to follow. Some of the major firms which now call Boca Raton home include:
To assist in this economic development and still maintain Boca Raton's quality of life, a group of community leaders recently formed an usual marriage of business and education -- Greater Boca Raton Vision 2002. This organization encourages the exchange of ideas to build shared, long-range goals with regard to Boca Raton's education system, community development, controlled growth, economic development and public affairs... in short, a future for the city that can be guided rather than accommodated.
The Arts, Culture and Society
Through the dedication of community leaders, Boca Raton has made huge cultural leaps over the past ten years. Joseph Ferrrer, president/CEO of the Boca Pops orchestra was recently quoted in Palm Beach Illustrated magazine as saying, "Boca has a small-town charm but a big-city mentality regarding the arts." Public areas are decorated with works of art, and throughout the year, downtown Boca Raton hosts complimentary concerts and regional theater groups. Residents show a real interest in the arts and this is reflected in its growth and development.
Scheduled to open in early 1996, is the International Museum of Cartoon Art. Conceived by Mort Walker, the man behind such memorable comic characters as Beetle Bailey and Hi and Lois, this interactive museum will feature displays of comics, animation, sports cartoons and advertising in its 25 galleries. The Boca Museum of Art is slated to open its new location in late 1995. This four-acre Museum Center complex will house fine arts, crafts and photography galleries; an art school, a theater; and an automobile museum. At its current location, Boca Museum visitors can view Picasso's "Nude Figures on the Beach," part of the permanent Mayers Collection of modern art.
The area's three major performing arts centers are easily accessible from Boca Raton placing an impressive selection of first-rate theater in close proximity. Thirty minutes to the north of Boca is the Raymond F. Kravis Center for the Performing Arts, while equidistance to the south is the Broward Center for the Performing Arts. Travel only an hour south of Boca Raton to Miami Beach and attend feature performances at the Jackie Gleason Theater of the Performing Arts Each of these theaters offers a complete annual calendar with events ranging from ballet, world -renowned orchestras and the opera to Broadway musicals and comedy.
The people of Boca Raton love to socialize and charity functions enable its citizens to do so on behalf of worthy causes. In the height of the winter season, a fundraising event takes place practically every day in Boca in the form of luncheons, black-tie galas or sporting events. Some of the most notable benefits are held at the prestigious Boca Raton Resort & Club including the Red Cross Ball, the Historical Society Benefit, and the Chris Evert Pro-Celebrity Tennis Tournament's Black-tie Gala.
In addition to the aforementioned attractions, the South Florida area offers a broad selection of activities for the entire family to enjoy. From tours of historic homes (Flagler Museum, Vizcaya), Japanese gardens (Morikami Museum) and wildlife adventures (Everglades Airboat Rides, Lion Country Safari, Dreher Park Zoo, Miami Zoo and the Miami Seaquarium), South Florida provides the perfect backdrop to a variety of daytrips. Even Disney World and Universal Studios are only a three-hour drive from Boca Raton. The concierge team can provide a wealth of information on area excursions, so don 't be shy about tapping their resources.
Boca Raton Statistics
Location: Southern tip of Palm Beach County on Florida's Gold Coast. Easily accessible from Palm Beach International Airport (28 miles to the north), the Fort Lauderdale International Airport (24 miles to the south), and the Miami International Airport (45 miles to the south).
Average Annual Temperature: 74 Degrees
Median Household Income: $54,920
Average Household Size: 2.50
Average Housing Costs: $175,000
Average Age: 43.1