Boat show saw record crowds before wet weekend

The Palm Beach International Boat Show saw record crowds during its first two days, before wet weather caused attendance to fall, organizers said Wednesday.

Shoppers and browsers stroll through the International Boat Show on March 19, 2016. (Meghan McCarthy / Palm Beach Daily News)
Shoppers and browsers stroll through the International Boat Show on March 19, 2016. (Meghan McCarthy / Palm Beach Daily News)

The four-day boat show, in its 31st year, wrapped up on Sunday, offering more than 1,000 vessels, the largest number ever exhibited at the annual event.

Attendance during the first two days of the show —  Thursday, March 17 and Friday, March 18 — was up 28 percent over last year, organizers said.

But wet weather on Saturday and Sunday caused attendance to drop from 2015 levels, organizers said.

Meanwhile, the number of boats on display increased in all size categories, both in water and on land, organizers said.

The number of boats in water was up eight percent, with the 100-foot and larger category up 31 percent over 2015. Boats 80 to 100 feet in size saw an increase of 32 percent, organizers said.

“This show is now ranked among the largest boat and yacht shows in the nation and continues to grow across all size categories,” said Efrem “Skip” Zimbalist III, president of Show Management, the company that manages and produces the Palm Beach International Boat Show. “Record crowds on Thursday and Friday got the show off to a great start, and despite the rain over the weekend, exhibitor feedback was very positive about the show’s appeal to qualified buyers.”

Organizers expanded this year’s event to include a new pier within Palm Harbor Marina. The new space adds 30 slips capable of accommodating yachts up to 280 feet.

Organizers also added valet parking service to the show’s northern entrance, a change they gave guests easier access to some of the largest yachts on display.

“Despite traffic not being as strong due to weather, I think it was an excellent show for us,” said Chris Callahan, sales and charter broker with Moran Yacht & Ship. “For pedigree boats like the ones we had in the show, we don’t need a massive amount of traffic; just the right traffic. We had some great clients come in to visit our boats, so I think when all is said and done, this will be a great show for us.”

The show featured more than $1.5 billion worth of yachts, boats and accessories, organizers said.

 

PB Outlets to host race car display this weekend

A group of race cars will be on display on Sunday at the Palm Beach Outlets.

The “Cars & Coffee” showing is part of a monthly gathering at the open air outlet mall.

Here are the details:

The Formula One-style steering wheel contains many of the controls that would otherwise clutter up the dashboard, including the 'manetto' performance control switch (lower right), the start button (lower left) and up/down shift buttons (right under your thunbs). Not readily visible in the photo is a row of red LEDs across the top of the wheel's rim that flash as you get close to the RPM limit of the engine… just like the Ferrari race cars.
The Formula One-style steering wheel contains many of the controls that would otherwise clutter up the dashboard, including the ‘manetto’ performance control switch (lower right), the start button (lower left) and up/down shift buttons (right under your thunbs). Not readily visible in the photo is a row of red LEDs across the top of the wheel’s rim that flash as you get close to the RPM limit of the engine… just like the Ferrari race cars.

Who/What: A monthly gathering of South Florida’s finest automobiles presented by Art of Speed Auto Events, LLC, which attracts auto enthusiasts from all over south and central Florida who come to view a massive diversity of exotic, custom and classic vehicles. March is “Race Car Month” and will feature all types of race cars.

All makes and models are welcome to attend this free family-friendly event. Cost is $2 per vehicle to display in the show field and free to spectators.

When: Sun., March 20, from 9 a.m. to noon

Where: In the northwest and north lot of Palm Beach Outlets, 1751 Palm Beach Lakes Boulevard, West Palm Beach

Cost: Free

Public information: Call organizer John Zeilinga at (561) 756-3063 or Palm Beach Outlets at (561) 515-4400. Websites: www.carsandcoffeepb.com  and www.palmbeachoutlets.com.

Convention center hotel receives award from Hilton

Hilton West Palm Beach — the long-awaited hotel that opened earlier this year next to Palm Beach County’s convention center — has received an award from the national hotel brand for its marketing campaign.

A view of the Palm Deck at the grand opening of the Hilton hotel that is connected to the Palm Beach County Convention Center was held in West Palm Beach, Florida on January 29, 2016. (Allen Eyestone / The Palm Beach Post)
A view of the Palm Deck at the grand opening of the Hilton hotel that is connected to the Palm Beach County Convention Center was held in West Palm Beach, Florida on January 29, 2016. (Allen Eyestone / The Palm Beach Post)

The 400-room hotel received a 2015 Hilton Hotels & Resorts Brand Award for the Best Launch Marketing Campaign.

This annual recognition celebrates the accomplishments by Hilton hotels and individuals around the world.

“We are extremely honored to receive this award,” said John Parkinson, general manager, Hilton West Palm Beach. “It’s a true testament to the team and culture that we have built in a short amount of time and this award truly embodies the spirit of our property. This is just a preview for what is to come.”

The convention center may also play host to a Hillary Clinton primary party Tuesday night, with the Democratic candidate’s team saying she’ll be watching the vote at the venue.

Hilton West Palm Beach welcomed its first guests in January, marking the end of a decade long effort to build a hotel within walking distance of the convention center’s banquet halls and meeting rooms.

Science Center to break ground today on new golf course

The South Florida Science Center and Aquarium in West Palm Beach will break ground this morning on a new 18-hole mini-golf course that was designed by Gary Nicklaus and Jim Fazio, sons of two local icons of the golf course industry.

Photo by Peter W. Cross Nights at the Museum's Sea-fari will include a squid dissection and clam lab, sand art and beach bubble crafts Friday at the South Florida Science Center and Aquarium. Above, Andrew Nieves of Lake Worth pretends to hold his breath for the camera while inside the pop-up aquarium.
Photo by Peter W. Cross
The South Florida Science Center and Aquarium. Above, Andrew Nieves of Lake Worth pretends to hold his breath for the camera while inside the pop-up aquarium.

The Conservation Course, which is set to open this spring, will be used for putting clinics and tournaments, and to teach kids the elementary principles of force, motion and angles.

Officials with the non-profit center said the course was designed with science in mind, adding that each hole “will be named and associated with a plant or animal species indigenous to the Everglades habitat.”

The science center is also expected to debut for a new eight-acre outdoor campus, which will the mini-golf course and science-themed trail. The “Florida Forever Trail” will connects 25 new hands-on science exhibits, an outdoor pavilion and run-through fountain.

The science center received a $250,000 grant from the The Batchelor Foundation to help pay for the outdoor project.

Lew Crampton, science center CEO, has helped lead an aggressive campaign the past four years to boost the center’s size, programs and ability to host blockbuster traveling exhibits A new $4.9 million east wing — with a 4,000-square-foot traveling exhibit space, an 8,000-gallon fresh and saltwater aquarium and more — opened in June 2013.

Last month, the science center said it plans to open a satellite location for youth camps, classes and other special events in Jupiter’s Downtown Abacoa.

Recent exhibits, including Dinosaurs Around the World, which is on display through April 16, have broken attendance records, Crampton said.

“We have done our homework and established that there is a need for more science and related programs in our community, so we are excited to share our continued plans for the future growth,” Crampton said.

The science center, which was created by the Junior League of the Palm Beaches in 1961, is set to celebrate its 55th birthday this year.

“Just like many 55-year-olds you hadn’t seen since they were tiny, our original residents would never recognize our Science Center today,” Crampton said. “And our future has never been brighter.”

This store is opening today at Palm Beach Outlets

Soma, a woman’s lingerie, loungewear and beauty products retailer, is opening a new store today at Palm Beach Outlets in West Palm Beach.Soma_Intimates_Medium

The boutique will offer free, expert bra fittings, the company said in a news release announcing the store’s opening.

“The right bra can change your world in an instant,” says Laurie Van Brunt, Soma’s Brand President. “About 80% of women are wearing the wrong size bra, affecting their comfort and confidence.” The new Palm Beach Outlets Soma boutique offers
free, expert bra fittings anytime in an intimate environment with the warmest personal service.

he Palm Beach Outlets glows at night,l , February 11, 2014, in West Palm Beach, as the opening nears. (Greg Lovett/The Palm Beach Post)
he Palm Beach Outlets glows at night,l , February 11, 2014, in West Palm Beach, as the opening nears. (Greg Lovett/The Palm Beach Post)

The company will hold a “grand opening event” at the Palm Beach Outlets store on March 4.  According to the news release, there will be ” giveaways throughout the day plus special discounts at the boutique.”

RELATED: PB Outlets celebrates second year

“Soma carries 43 bra sizes from 32A-44G, with full coverage, demi, push up, strapless, wireless, unlined, nursing, post-surgical, and more for a complete intimate wardrobe,” the news release said. “Innovations include bras with side slimming and 3-zone support; everyday shaping panties that make panty lines vanish, swimwear with bra cup slimming support, and soft, cooling sleepwear.”

Job fair planned next week at Marriott in West Palm Beach

Job seekers will get a chance to meet with over 30 employers at a career fair planned Feb. 16 at the Marriott in West Palm Beach.

 application from Roxanna Rosales, right, of the Check Cashing Store, at a job fair sponsored by JOB News at the Marriott in West Palm Beach in 2012. The event was attended by around 2,500 people looking for employment. (File photo/The Palm Beach Post)
application from Roxanna Rosales, right, of the Check Cashing Store, at a job fair sponsored by JOB News at the Marriott in West Palm Beach in 2012. The event was attended by around 2,500 people looking for employment. (File photo/The Palm Beach Post)

The event runs from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Marriott at 1001 Okeechobee Boulevard, located just east of Interstate 95. According to organizer jobnewsusa.com, more than 1,200 positions will be available.

The event is Sponsored by Simple Health, El Dorado Furniture, HCR Manor Care, The Check Cashing Store, FirstService Residential and Colonial Life.

For more information call 954-252-6640

Provision exempting All Aboard from regulation on liquor sales dropped from bill

A provision that would have exempted All Aboard Florida from state rules regulating the hours of sale of beer, wine and liquor at its Brightline train stations was removed Thursday from a sweeping bill that would overhaul the state’s alcoholic beverage laws. 2_rails__de__chemin_de__fer1_

Before sending the bill (SB 698) to the senate floor, The Senate’s Fiscal Policy Committee on Thursday removed a provision that would have exempted railroad transit stations from state rules that prohibit the sale of alcoholic beverages between midnight and 7 a.m.

Sen. Rob Bradley, R-Fleming Island, who proposed the legislation, told the committee that the provision would have given operators of railroad transit stations an unfair advantage.

“As the bill has gone through the process it has come to our attention…that the bill without this amendment would give a competitive advantage to those licenses or those activities allowed at the railroad transit stations which certainly is not the intent,” Bradley told the committee Thursday. “We would intend those railroad transit stations to comply with all local ordinances and other restrictions that anyone else would be required to do.”

The bill creates a special alcoholic beverage license for railroad transit systems. The special category would not be subject to quota restrictions that limit the number of alcoholic beverage licenses in each county.

Among its other changes, the bill would streamline how theme parks and their resorts account for the large quantity of beer sold at their properties. Instead of tallying new deposits and credits every time a distributor drops off a load of kegs, theme parks would be allowed to reconcile payments on an annual basis.

The bill also would change the way cruise lines pay beverage and tobacco taxes. Under the proposal, taxes would be calculated based on a ship’s capacity rather than the volume of alcohol or tobacco sold at port.

The legislation would also allow the state’s Division of Alcoholic Beverages and Tobacco to issue temporary alcoholic beverage permits to cities, towns and counties.

This Palm Beach County resort was named one of the best in the U.S.

The Breakers has earned one of the top spots on U.S. News & World Report’s annual list of the “50 Best Hotels” in the United States.

The Breakers Palm Beach (Courtesy of The Breakers Palm Beach)
The Breakers Palm Beach
(Courtesy of The Breakers Palm Beach)

The Palm Beach resort was the only Palm Beach County hotel to make the 2016 list.  It took the 39th spot this year.

U.S. News ranked 1,775 hotels based on reviews and other ratings.

Among the other Florida hotels to make the cut this year: The Mandarin Oriental in Miami ranked 46th on the list; the Acqualina Resort & Spa in Sunny Isles took the 44th spot; and the Four Seasons Resort Orlando at Walt Disney World Resort won 34th place.

 

 

See where Harbor Freight opened its new Palm Beach County store

Harbor Freight, a national discount tool and equipment retailer,  has opened a new store along Okeechobee Boulevard just west of Interstate 95 in West Palm Beach.

(Photo by Craig Jones/Getty Images)
(Photo by Craig Jones/Getty Images)

The store, at 2497 Okeechobee Boulevard, is located in the Westward Shopping Center.

The Westward Shopping Center lost three large tenants — Old Navy, Sports Authority and PetSmart — when the Marketplace area at Palm Beach Outlets opened in late 2014. The 300,000-square-foot Marketplace at the Outlets houses roughly 20 stores, most of which will are national chains and big box retailers, including the recently opened Whole Foods.

Harbor Freight is located in space once occupied by Old Navy.

Last year, Burlington, a national off-price retailer, opened a 55,000-square-foot store at the Westward Shopping Center, filing space vacated by other retailers.

PBC commissioners approve incentive package to boost convention center business

Palm Beach County commissioners on Tuesday approved a $300,000 incentive package designed to help boost business at the convention center in downtown West Palm Beach and the hotels that surround it.

Construction continues on the Hilton West Palm Beach next to the Palm Beach County Convention Center on September 14, 2015. (Richard Graulich / The Palm Beach Post)
(Richard Graulich / The Palm Beach Post)

The package appeared on the commission’s consent agenda, where it was bunched with other items that can be approved together without discussion.

The incentive money will be used to reimburse convention, tradeshow and meeting planners for certain expenses, if they agree to hold their event at the county’s convention center in downtown West Palm Beach.

The move comes as the Hilton prepares to open its long-awaited hotel next to Palm Beach County’s convention center.

The 12-story, 400-room Hilton West Palm Beach, which has a walkway linking it to the convention center on Okeechobee Boulevard, is set to welcome its first guests on Friday.

The convention center opened in 2003 but has struggled without a connected hotel to house conference attendees.

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