Tourism leaders urge All Aboard’s Brightline to delay Okeechobee road closure

Palm Beach County tourism leaders are urging All Aboard Florida’s Brightline rail service to delay its planned closure of Okeechobee Boulevard, saying the project could impact business at the nearby convention center. 2_rails__de__chemin_de__fer1_

All Aboard’s rail work is set to close Okeechobee Boulevard at the Florida East Coast Railway tracks for four days in May. At the same time, more than 1,400 guests staying at hotels scattered across West Palm Beach are expected to descend on the convention center for a large convention.

The county’s Tourist Development Council voted Thursday to send a letter to All Aboard and city officials urging them to delay the work, which is scheduled to start Friday, May 13 at 8 p.m. and end Tuesday, May 17, at 6 p.m.

Jorge Pesquera, president and CEO of Discover The Palm Beaches, the county’s official tourism marketing organization, said tourism officials are working to bring the same convention group back to the area in future years. The road work, he said, could hinder those efforts.

“They are looking at us for a second booking,” he said. “We are working very hard to get them to stay. The experience this time around is critical for us.”