Driving America - Fort Lauderdale Florida USA
- Starting Point: https://goo.gl/maps/bWBRUExoaqk
- Fort Lauderdale (frequently abbreviated as Ft. Lauderdale) is a city in the U.S. state of Florida, 28 miles (45 km) north of Miami.
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 which takes in all of Broward County hosted 12 million visitors in 2012, including 2.8 million international visitors. The city and county in 2012 collected $43.9 million from the 5% bed 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 at Tarpon Bend on the New River between the Colee Hammock and Rio Vista neighborhoods, and the third near the site of the Bahia Mar Marina.
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 m2) of space, including a 200,000-square-foot (18,581 m2) 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 high-rises 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.
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.