CityPlace Macy’s will be site of mural as RH set to open gallery

The shuttered Macy’s at CityPlace in West Palm Beach will have a new look in December: A mural covering the exterior of the entire building.

The mural will closely follow the November opening of the new Restoration Hardware gallery just south of the shopping and dining center, in the Okeechobee Boulevard median.

The Macy’s art installation was described in a recent Wall Street Journal magazine article.  Visual artist Michael Craig Martin will transform the former department store space, which closed earlier this year, into his largest mural to date, according to Ken Himmel,  president of Related Urban, the mixed-use unit of New York-based Related Cos., which built CityPlace.

In addition, sound designer Stephen Vitiello will create a sound installation “that will live in and around the detritus left behind” by brands that once called the space home, according to the article.

If it sounds a bit like the “Derelicte” fashion campaign imagined by the character Mugatu in the movie Zoolander, Himmel said there’s a method to this experiment.

“It’s all about driving different kinds of traffic to a project,”  Himmel told the Journal. “Mixed-use retail developments centered on cultural offerings are outperforming every other type of retail offering by a longshot.”

In other words, art and culture are cool, and they help stores sell things.

Meanwhile, an invitation-only opening is set to Restoration Hardware’s new West Palm Beach store on Saturday, Nov. 18. The opening will feature socialites such as Georgina Bloomberg, Lourdes Fanjul and Ariana Rockefeller. Golf great Greg Norman and wife, Kirsten, also are slated to attend.

A bellini bar, cavier bar, mojito bar, gourmet bites by RH’s café, plus a DJ, are part of the festivities.

At a time when retailers (see Macy’s) are shuttering their brick-and-mortar stores, Restoration Gallery is going in the opposite direction, opening grand galleries dubbed RH in selected locations.

The RH invitation describes the four-story, 80,000-square-foot furniture store as a gallery that “blurs the line between residential and retail, indoors and outdoors, home and hospitality.”

The gallery features a skylit rooftop restaurant with French antique black-and-white marble floors. In addition to interior furniture collections, including those for babies and teens, the gallery also has a rooftop “park” showcasing the store’s collection of outdoor furniture.

 

 

When E.F. Hutton called, restaurateur listened

Hutton Seafood & Raw Bar opening later this month in Northwood

There’s a new restaurant opening soon in West Palm Beach’s Northwood section.  The restaurant is called Hutton. The restaurant owner’s name is Tim.

But Timothy Hutton, the actor, is nowhere near this eatery.

Instead, owner Tim Klinefelter drew inspiration elsewhere.

Before delving into that story, however, it’s important to understand what Klinefelter was not going to name it: Klinefelter.

“I would never name a restaurant that,” he said, laughing.

Restaurant names should convey something about the place, be simple to remember and yet somehow, memorable.

Spouses or family members are easy names to turn to for a restaurant moniker. But many restaurateurs privately admit they default to naming their restaurants after their pets (Henry’s restaurant, named after a King Charles spaniel in suburban Delray Beach), or just inventing a word (Bolay, with locations in Wellington, Boca Raton and Palm Beach Gardens.)

Klinefelter wanted to go in a different direction.

He thought of his time spent on Palm Beach during the past two years. It’s a place he visited and then grew to love after giving notice to his employer/partner in Charleston, S.C. After 10 years, Klinefelter left his job at Pearlz Oyster Bar, where he was general manager and operating partner.

Klinfelter said he needed a break. He described Pearlz as “insanely busy,” where every seat is filled within 15 minutes of opening.

In Florida, Klinefelter said he was inspired by the elegance of Palm Beach. And he wanted to acknowledge its rising profile, thanks to President Donald Trump. Trump owns Mar-a-Lago, the ocean-to-lake estate built by Marjorie Merriweather Post and her husband, financier E.F. Hutton, who co-founded a brokerage bearing his name.

So…Hutton.

“The name is synonymous and historic with Palm Beach,” Klinefelter said. Plus, he added, “It’s crisp.”

Look for fresh seafood items with an occasional hint of Klinefelter’s longtime career spent around Low Country cuisine: Sautéed shrimp with creole gravy and hoe cakes, or crayfish beignets, for example.

Shrimp and hoe cakes

Klinefelter said he’s taken care to design the space to be both elegant and inviting. He’s angling to attract not only Northwood neighbors but also Palm Beachers who might be inclined to drive over the new Flagler MemorialBridge, avoid downtown’s traffic and instead zip up Flagler Drive to dine.

Hutton Seafood & Raw Bar, at 407 Northwood Road, is slated to open Aug. 22.

Hutton artwork by Robert Shelton

Wellington theater to offer FREE kids movies this summer

Paragon Theaters at the Mall at Wellington Green will offer FREE kids movies this summer.

The movies are Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays at 10 a.m. and are available on a first come, first serve basis. The promotion begins on on June 13 and runs through August.

RELATED: New, luxury Wellington movie theater holds grand opening at mall

Movies include: Storks, Boxtrolls, Secret Life of Pets, Sing, Paranorman, The Lego Movie, Kubo, Pirates! Band of Misfits, and Curious George.

Here is the complete schedule:

 

 

With Baywatch release, tourism leaders tout Palm Beach County’s best beaches

Several scenes from the new Baywatch movie were filmed at beaches in southern Palm Beach County, and local tourism officials are hoping to use the film’s release to convince out-of-town travelers the area is the “ultimate beach destination.”

In a public relations push launched one-day after the movie’s release, county tourism officials touted 10 of the county’s top beach spots, including South Inlet Park, where portions of the Baywatch reboot were filmed.

Zac Efron and Dwayne Johnson, who star in the new Baywatch movie

RELATED: ‘BAYWATCH’ MOVIE BEING FILMED IN SOUTH COUNTY

“As a prime filming location for the Baywatch film, The Palm Beaches, Florida paves the way as the ultimate beach destination, with several scenes filmed at the luxurious Boca Raton Resort & Club and South County Inlet Park,” Discover The Palm Beaches, the county’s tourism marketing arm, wrote in its public relations pitch.

The push comes as marketers turn away from more traditional forms of tourism advertising, as more travelers turn to social media for help with travel decisions.

Meanwhile, state lawmakers have slash funding for Visit Florida, the state’s tourism marketing arm. With less money to market the state as a tourism hot spot, destination marketing organizations across Florida are looking for new and innovative ways to stay at the top of travelers’ minds.

RELATED: How social media influencer sells Palm Beach County tourism

Some tourism leaders argue movies like “Baywatch” can be used to help influence travelers’ decisions.

Take Netflix’s dramatic series “Bloodline,” which is credited for inspiring at least 30,000 overnight trips to the Florida Keys in 2015. Those out-of-town visitors spent more than $65 million during their stay, according to a marketing study commissioned by Monroe County.

South Inlet Park was used for filming part of the new Baywatch movie in Boca Raton on May 19, 2017. (Richard Graulich / The Palm Beach Post)

With Baywatch, film crews closed the parking lot at South Inlet Park last year to film scenes for the movie —  a motion picture based on the popular 1990s television show.

The movie stars Zac Efron and Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, and is directed by Seth Gordon.

Paramount Pictures split filming for the movie between South Florida and Georgia, where lawmakers offer large tax incentives to entice production companies to come to their state.

Florida lawmakers killed a similar tax incentive program last year.

That isn’t stopping Palm Beach County tourism officials from trying to capitalize on Baywatch’s release.

“From the fabulous glistening waters of Lake Worth Pier to the infinite stretches of golden sand along Delray Beach, here are 10 of The Palm Beaches’ 47 miles of beaches, proving the destination as the ultimate beach getaway,” Discover said in its marketing effort. “Keep your eyes peeled for lifeguards at the ready!”

The Boca Inlet and South Inlet Park were used for filming part of the new Baywatch movie in Boca Raton on May 19, 2017. (Richard Graulich / The Palm Beach Post)

Here is Discover’s complete beach list:

South Inlet Park – Boca Raton, Fla

Used as a key filming location, The South County Inlet Park, as seen in Baywatch’s opening scene, is certainly not to be missed. With a beautiful array of aquatic life and interesting underwater rock formations, this is a great snorkelling spot. The beach has a small and intimate feel, allowing guests to fish from the shoreline or the jetty. Water sport enthusiasts are also free to take a break from jumping the waves in inlet, by picking a good, soft spot of sand.

Delray Beach, Fla.

Classed as Florida’s village by the Sea, Delray Beach is a place infused with style, cultural goings on and places to find serenity. Enjoy strolls along the inviting sidewalks, gourmet restaurants, friendly bistros, and outdoor cafes with boutiques, gift shops, and performing art centres for a vibrant streetscape.

Lake Worth Pier – Lake Worth, Fla

Here you can stand atop the Atlantic Ocean on one of the most breath-taking piers in The Palm Beaches to watch the sunrise. If you are an early riser, enjoy breakfast at Benny’s On the Beach and watch the surfers or beachgoers.

Carlin Park – Jupiter, Fla.

In the northernmost region of The Palm Beaches, discover the wonderful beachfront park with volleyball, tennis, softball and even bocce ball in Jupiter’s Carlin Park. Run or walk the exercise course that features multiple unique training stations. After, grab a bite to eat at Duke’s Lazy Loggerhead Café, a quaint dinner nestled along the beach.

Juno Beach Park – Juno Beach, Fla. 

Say hello to the most beautiful sunrise spot in Juno Beach. Experience the beautiful orange glow dipping behind the waves as its sets over The Palm Beaches iconic pier. Juno Beach is also one of the most densely nested beaches in the world for sea turtles. If you’re looking to spot one, stop by the Loggerhead Marinelife Center, which is dedicated to rehabilitating injured sea turtles.

Riviera Municipal Beach – Riviera Beach, Fla.

Discover a beach with a splash of activity, such as hiking and bike paths. This is the perfect spot for those who enjoy a gentle jog in the warm breeze. Delight yourselves in the seven miles of sparkling golden sandy beach.

Phil Foster Park – Riviera Beach, Fla.

Experience the world-famous waters in Phil Foster Park, most notably recognized for its abundance of marine life and the Underwater Snorkel Trail. This is a premier spot for scuba divers and beginner snorkelers alike. Giant starfish and brightly-coloured tropical fish populate the waters, making a stunning underwater show.

Palm Beach Municipal Beach- Palm Beach, Fla.

Big and beautiful with spectacular vistas of the Atlantic Ocean, Palm Beach Municipal Beach is a sight to behold. Sit by the promenade and enjoy the fantastic views, or enjoy a nice walk along the stretch of pristine sand.

Coral Cove Park – Tequesta, Fla.

One of the more northern beaches in the county and one that cannot be missed. If you enjoy a quieter beach but still want the benefits of great snorkelling, shelling and paddle boarding, this is the place. Also, enjoy the limestone rock formations that make for great photos

Boynton Beach, Fla.

Boynton’s beachfront beauty is a must see. Known as America’s Gateway, dividing the heart of the Florida Everglades and the Gulf Stream, beach lovers can enjoy a warm, relaxing sea breeze infused with “Old Floridian” charm.

 

 

Memorial Day Sales: Here’s where you’ll find the deepest discounts

If you are planning to shop the Memorial Day sales this weekend, you may want to consider these tips before you hit the stores.

The deal-hunting website FatWallet.com has put together a list of recommendations on what to buy, and what to skip this Memorial Day.

RELATED: New food tour in Delray Beach offers taste of Atlantic Avenue

The website says you can expect to save big on summer travel,  clothing and mattresses. But the site’s deal hunters suggest waiting to purchase other big-ticket items like laptops and power tools.

Here is FatWallet.com’s complete list of recommendations:

Summer Clothing – BUY

Roughly 34 percent of Memorial Day shoppers buy clothes and another 21 percent buy shoes. Expect dozens of site-wide discounts from top retailers, including 20-50 percent  off shorts, tanks, sandals and swimwear, swarm the best deals of the weekend.

Mattresses – BUY

Traditionally, there is no better time to buy a mattress, or mattress sets, than during Memorial Day sales when all specialty sleep, furniture and department store retailers offer their biggest savings and brand selection of the year.

Laptops – WAIT

There are always one-off sales for laptops, especially older models. While a healthy 12 percent of shoppers will look for deals on electronics during Memorial Day sales, the best time to buy a new laptop is during Back to School sales in July, or on Black Friday when selection and prices on MacBooks, touchscreen laptops and 2-in-1 hybrid tablet/laptops can drop as much as 50 percent.

Patio Furniture / Grills – BUY and WAIT 

Spring discounting on patio furniture and grills hit its peak during Memorial Day weekend. Prices go back up in June until summer clearance in the fall when these items are cheapest, but are also ready for storage.

Lawn & Garden Supplies – BUY

As annual retail sales eclipse $6 billion, May brings sweeping spring sales on lawn and gardening supplies that ramp up to Memorial Day. Holiday deals offer some of the best seasonal discounts on mulch, soil, plant food, fertilizers, pesticides and grass seed.

Power Tools – WAIT

A recent survey reports Father’s Day is the best time to buy tools, and 1 in 10 buy them as gifts for dads. Although some tool deals in May offer good savings, especially for outdoor power equipment, waiting until June offers a better over-all selection of savings options that can rival Black Friday tool deals.

Summer Travel – BUY 

While only 11 percent name Memorial Day as the best time for summer travel, the holiday signals urgency for securing summer vacation bookings. Online travel sites like Expedia, Priceline, Orbitz and hotels.com compete to feature their best offers on airfare and hotel deals, cruise deals and car rental coupons for Memorial Day shoppers.

Need a job? This chain is hiring more than 400 in Palm Beach County; Treasure Coast

McDonald’s locations across Palm Beach County and the Treasure Coast will hire more than 400 workers this summer as part of a statewide initiative to boost customer service at its restaurants.

Ed Cameron (left) places an order with the assistance of McDonald’s employee Woonecy Jean-Pierre (right) at a kiosk at McDonald’s on Palm Beach Lakes Boulevard in West Palm Beach Thursday, February 16, 2017. (Bruce R. Bennett / The Palm Beach Post)

The push comes as McDonald’s works to modernize its restaurants, with digital self-order kiosks, table service, and side-by-side drive-thrus.

RELATED: Fast food faster: McDonald’s also woos customers with ordering kiosks 

On June 7 and 8, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., participating local McDonald’s restaurants will host “Open Doors hiring days, “with on-site interviews.  Those interested can also go online to  https://restaurantjobs.mcdonalds.com/ to apply or learn more.

“With all the investments we’ve recently made in McDonald’s, we recognize great people bring it alive for our guests,” said Jason Cornet, who owns and operates 3 McDonald’s restaurants in Palm Beach County.

RELATED: Looking for work? Brightline begins hiring for passenger train service 

The hiring event runs through June 15. Positions include crew members, shift managers, kitchen managers, guest service managers, and people managers.

In all, the company’s restaurants plan to hire 5,000 people across the state.

 

 

Silver Airways starts non-stop service between PBIA and Key West

Silver Airways today will begin offering non-stop service between Palm Beach International Airport and Key West.

Silver will offer one flight per day, five days a week — Thursdays through Mondays.

MORE: PBIA looks to re-establish non-stop flight to Los Angeles

(Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

Silver operates a fleet of  34-seat Saab 340B Plus turboprop aircraft. The company announced this spring that it planned to launch the new Key West service, initially offering promotional fares of up to 50 percent off to help entice travelers to fly the route.

RELATED: Record number of tourists visit PBC; did Ballpark help?

On Thursday, Silver’s website listed one-way flights from PBIA to Key West for as low as $89, depending on the departure date.

The company also plans to offer one-stop service between Palm Beach International and Tallahassee.

“The addition of non-stop service to Key West and same plane Tallahassee service gives our passengers the ease and convenience of PBI and great, new destinations.  We are excited to expand our partnership with Silver Airways and happy to offer more options for our travelers,” said Bruce Pelly, director of Airports for Palm Beach County.

Silver Airways also operates daily service from PBIA to Tampa and the Bahamas:  Bimini, Nassau and Marsh Harbour.

 

Check out these staycation steals for summer

With the school year almost over, local tourism leaders are promoting a handful of deals for Palm Beach County residents looking for summer staycation.

Discover The Palm Beaches, Palm Beach County’s official tourism marketing arm, has put together a list of deals for both locals and out-of-town residents.

Eau Palm Beach Resort & Spa (photo provided)

RELATED: How Palm Beach County intends to create an endless tourist season

“Summer specials make our legendary luxury experiences an exceptional value for travelers,” said Jorge Pesquera, Discover’s president and CEO. “That makes summer one of the best times for families to discover all The Palm Beaches have to offer.”

Several area hotels are offering a free night for those who plan to stay for multiple days, according to Discover. Here’s the agency’s official list:

MORE :Tourists continue to visit Florida in record numbers

The following hotels and resorts are offering free-night promotions, with a free extra night added to a stay at regular rates. Details pertaining to each offer are as follows:

Photo credit: Best Western Palm Beach Lakes Inn

Best Western Palm Beach Lakes Inn — West Palm Beach
A part of West Palm Beach’s history for 45 years, this classic Florida hotel has hosted Elvis and Marilyn Monroe. Recently renovated, it features a tropical pool and courtyard, gazebo, waterfall, and meditation garden.

Summer Drive Special: Stay three nights, and the fourth night is free. Available through September 30, 2017. To book, call 561-683-8810, ext. 452.
The Brazilian Court Hotel — Palm Beach
Just steps from Worth Avenue and the Atlantic Ocean, the Brazilian Court is a historic landmark infused throughout with Roaring ’20s glamour. Guests can savor the cuisine of internationally acclaimed chef Daniel Boulud at Café Boulud, enjoy pampering at the world-renowned Frederic Fekkai Salon & Spa, or relax by the secluded, palm-fringed pool.

One More Night: Stay two nights, and the third night is free, or stay three nights, and the fourth night is free. Available through September 30, 2017. To book, call 561-655-7740.

The Breakers — Palm Beach

The Breakers’ Tapestry Bar. Palm Beach Post photo by Meghan McCarthy.

Ready to revel in the sunshine? Once you stay, you’ll understand. And once you start saving, you’ll want to stay longer. Founded on the sands of Palm Beach in 1896, The Breakers is known for its gracious staff and seaside glamour. Amenities geared to families include a 6,100-square-foot Family Entertainment Center and interactive playground, Camp Breakers for kids ages 3-12, poolside bungalows for daytime rental, and a roster of daily activities designed for guests of all ages. While here, guests also receive complimentary daily benefits-including free daily breakfast, kids’ menu meals for ages 12 and under, unlimited golf, and more. (Applicable to guests booked at prevailing rack rates.  Not available to groups).

Stay Longer and Save More: Sixth night free when you stay six consecutive nights in a Premium Guest Room category or higher. Available May 1 – October 31, 2017 (some restrictions may apply). Use promotion code SUMMER6 to enjoy this special offer. To book, visit http://www.thebreakers.com.
The Chesterfield Palm Beach — Palm Beach

The pool at the Chesterfield (photo provided)

A striking building in the Palm Beach historical district, the luxurious four-diamond Chesterfield Palm Beach exudes old-world charm. While adults enjoy traditional English afternoon tea, children are treated to their own robes and slippers, board games, coloring books and beach toys.

3 Nights for the Price of 2: Stay two nights, and the third night is free. Choose from a junior suite or master suite. Available through December 20, 2017.  To book, call 561-659-5800 or 800-243-7871.

Delray Sands Resort — Highland Beach
Nestled between Boca Raton and Delray Beach, Delray Sands combines the intimacy of a boutique hotel with resort-style amenities in an oceanfront setting. Families will appreciate the separate children’s pool and proximity to Palm Beach’s top attractions, including shopping and entertainment at Mizner Park and Delray’s Morikami Museum and Japanese Gardens.

Have an Extra Night on the Beach: Stay two nights, and the third night is free. Available through December 18, 2017. To book, call 866-943-0950.

Eau Palm Beach Resort & Spa — Manalapan

Eau Spa (Provided)

At the Forbes five-star Eau Palm Beach Resort & Spa, situated on seven acres of oceanfront with lush tropical gardens, a family concierge will help plan activities tailor-made to please all generations, including programs geared to kids and teens.

Stay More and Save: Stay three nights in an ocean view room or higher, and the fourth night is free. Available through June 30, 2018. To book, call 800-328-0170.
Four Seasons Resort Palm Beach — Palm Beach
Guests at this five-star, five-diamond resort situated on an expansive beach enjoy 180-degree views of the Atlantic Ocean from the family-friendly outdoor pool. A complimentary ‘Kids For All Seasons’ program includes daily activities such as sandcastle making, shell finding, nature walks, arts and crafts, music and movies.

Stay Longer – Fourth Night Free: Stay three nights, and the fourth night is free. Available through September 30, 2017. To book, call 561-582-2800.

Hawthorn Suites by Wyndham West Palm Beach — West Palm Beach
Rooms at this family-friendly hotel, which is convenient to I-95 and steps from the new Palm Beach Outlets, include separate kitchen areas with full-size refrigerators and dishwashers. Guests can enjoy a heated outdoor pool and a free bike-share program.

Fourth Night Free: Stay three nights, and the fourth night is free. Available through September 30, 2017. To book, call 561-472-7000, ext. 723.
Hilton Boca Raton Suites — Boca Raton
Set in a peaceful lakeside complex, Hilton Boca Raton Suites is within easy reach of some of the area’s best shopping, dining, golf and beaches. Families will enjoy the all-suites layout and outdoor heated pool.

Fourth Night Free: Stay three nights, and the fourth night is free. Daily breakfast and complimentary cocktails during manager’s reception. Available through December 17, 2017. To book, call 561-483-3600.

Hilton Singer Island Oceanfront — Singer Island
Set on a 4-mile stretch of sandy beach, Hilton Singer Island Oceanfront is minutes from the area’s shopping, dining and recreational activities. The little ones will love the children’s pool and activity program.

Another Day in Paradise: Stay three nights, and the fourth night is free. Available through September 1, 2017. To book, call 561-848-3888.

Holiday Inn Palm Beach Airport — West Palm Beach
Guest rooms at the recently renovated Holiday Inn Palm Beach Airport feature beach-inspired décor, spacious work areas and complimentary high-speed Wi-Fi. Guests enjoy a fitness center, outdoor pool, and easy access to Palm Beach International Airport, just 2 miles away.

Hot Summer Special: Stay three nights, and the fourth night is free. Available through September 30, 2017. To book, call 561-659-3880, ext. 7109.

Jupiter Beach Resort & Spa — Jupiter
In addition to its tropical beachfront location, Jupiter Beach Resort & Spa is the home of two award-winning restaurants, an oceanfront pool, waterfall hot tub and state-of-the-art fitness center. Family-friendly activities range from basketball and tennis to movie nights to Sea Turtle Walks with local experts.

Jupiter Jaunt:  Stay two nights, and the third night is free. Available through September 30, 2017. To book, call 877-389-0571.

PGA National Resort & Spa —Palm Beach Gardens
This AAA four-diamond resort not only holds a distinguished 28-year legacy of professional tournament play including the Ryder Cup and PGA Championship but also offers guests a spa, health and racquet club and an outstanding array of gourmet dining experiences.

Third Night Free: Stay two nights, and the third night is free. Available through October 13, 2017. To book, call 800-863-2819.

The Seagate Hotel & Spa — Delray Beach
This boutique hotel’s many amenities include a private country club with 18 holes of golf and nine tennis courts, and a private beach club with oceanside pool. Kids can take advantage of a variety of activities such as surf camp, movie night on the beach, and arts and crafts.

Have a Free Night in Downtown Delray Beach: Stay three nights, and the fourth night is free. Available June 1 through September 30, 2017. To book, call 877-577-3242.

Tideline Ocean Resort & Spa — Palm Beach
Between the Atlantic Ocean and palatial Palm Beach mansions, the Tideline presents oceanfront views with a contemporary twist. In guest rooms and suites, rich woods and dark plantation shutters create an exotic, tropical vibe, while resort amenities include a pool with a cascading waterfall, a spa, a fitness center and a chef-driven restaurant that opens onto the beach.

Third Night Free: Stay two nights, and the third night is free. Available through August 31, 2017. To book, call 561-540-6440.

Wyndham Grand Jupiter At Harbourside Place — Jupiter
Edging Jupiter’s Intracoastal Waterway, the Wyndham Grand Jupiter at Harbourside Place is surrounded by distinctive dining, shopping, and entertainment. After a refreshing night’s sleep in plush, signature bedding, guests can enjoy a swim in the sparkling rooftop pool, then lounge poolside with a hand-crafted cocktail, while soaking up the views and gentle breezes.

Fourth Night Free: Stay three nights, and the fourth night is free. Available through December 23, 2017. To book, call 561-273-6600.

JUST IN: See inside All Aboard’s Brightline station in West Palm Beach

All Aboard Florida’s Brightline on Tuesday unveiled the inside of its first passenger train station at a private event in West Palm Beach.

Ticketing counter at Brightline’s station in West Palm Beach (Photo: Jennifer Sorentrue/The Palm Beach Post)

The station, located just north of CityPlace, is nearing completion. Crews are in the process of finishing the building’s interior, including the food and beverage kiosk, check in and lounge areas.

Brightline plans to begin initial service between West Palm Beach and Miami this summer.

MORE: Why is Brightline testing its train in this state park?

View from the security area at Brightline’s West Palm Beach station. (Photo: Jennifer Sorentrue/The Palm Beach Post)

Brightline had said it would start “pre-season” service between West Palm Beach and Fort Lauderdale in late July. Service between West Palm Beach and Miami was expected to begin in August.

But Brightline CEO Dave Howard said Tuesday that the company likely won’t launch service until late this summer.

A grand opening that was set to be held in September, is now set for the fall, company officials said.

MORE: Tri-Rail to start service between Palm Beach County and Brightline’s Miami station late this year

Ticket prices have not been released.

Four of the company’s trains have arrived at Brightline’s rail facility near 15th Street in West Palm Beach. Brightline’s 5th train is expected to be shipped from California in mid-June.

Smart turnstiles at Brightline’s West Palm Beach station. (Photo: Jennifer Sorentrue/The Palm Beach Post)

Eventually, Brightline plans to expand service north to Orlando.

Construction on the company’s West Palm Beach-to-Orlando leg has not yet begun. Brightline officials have said the project will take at least two years to complete.

Tourists continue to visit Florida in record numbers

A record-breaking 31.1 million tourists visited Florida during the first quarter of 2017, an increase of 2.5 percent over 2016’s level, Gov. Rick Scott announced on Monday.

The record growth isn’t limited to the state’s tourism hot spots — like Orlando and Miami.

Palm Beach County has also seen its hotel occupancy climb this year.  During the first quarter of 2017, the countywide occupancy rate stood at 83.9 percent, up about 1 percent over last year’s level, tourism officials said.

(Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

Despite the record growth, Scott continued to warn that cuts to the state’s tourism marketing budget threaten the industry and could cost jobs throughout the state.

The legislature last week approved an $83 billion budget that sets aside $25 million for the state’s tourism marketing agency, Visit Florida — a $50 million cut from the agency’s 2016 spending plan. Scott has not yet signed the budget.

MORE: Palm Beach County sees rise in tourism-related spending

“This historic number would not have been possible without the significant funding we have invested in Visit Florida over the past few years,” Scott said. “It is disappointing that the Florida Legislature made a shortsighted decision to jeopardize the growth of our tourism industry and the 1.4 million jobs that rely on it by cutting funding to Visit Florida by 67 percent.”

RELATED: How Palm Beach County intends to create an endless tourist season

Given the potential cuts, Palm Beach County tourism officials have said they will look for more ways to partner with industry businesses, attractions and local government groups to showcase the area as an international vacation and meetings destination.

Tourism is one of the county’s largest industries, contributing more than $7 billion to the local economy. Since 2010, the number of tourists who travel to the county has grown by 65 percent.

A record-breaking 7.4 million visitors came here in 2016, a 5.8 increase over 2015’s level. It marked the eighth consecutive year of tourism growth in the county.

But after years of growth, the county’s industry is showing some signs of slowing.

Although tourism tax collections are up about 2.6 percent for the budget year, the county had projected 3.5 percent growth this year.