Bahia Mar on Fort Lauderdale beach is getting a shot of youth. The 42-year-old resort, which is the home of the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show, is in the middle of a $7 million dollar refurbishing.
A part of that is the relaunching of the hotel’s Waves Rooftop Pool Bar and Grill with a new menu, new craft cocktail drinks and new extended hours. The redesign of the hotel is in two phases, with this being the first part.
“So actually what we’ve done recently is we’ve put in about $7-$7 1/2 million dollars in the Bahia Mar to freshen it up,” developer Jimmy Tate says. “Brand-new rooms, hallways, the entire entertainment area is brand-new, the lobby, the ballroom, the breakout rooms — completely freshened up, really a world-class, event-venue space.
“That’s a short-term situation,” he continues. “Because our ultimate goal is to develop the entire property with a brand-new, 256-room hotel, residential components around the property, a beautiful boardwalk that goes around the entire marina and ends at the marina village, which is going to have a bunch of kiosk-style … properties where you can get food and drinks … and read a paper and sit outside and enjoy the weather, have a prevailing wind from the ocean hit you.”
Tate adds that he plans to add three or four restaurants on the 39-acre property, some with ocean views while others will offer a view of the bay. There also will be commercial and office space, according to Tate, who is a co-owner of Bahia Mar and CEO of Tate Capital. This summer, it was announced that the Boat Show, which brings in more than $850 million annually to Fort Lauderdale, will remain at Bahia Mar through 2050.
“We’re very pleased to announce that we just signed a new extension to the Boat Show for another 30 years, which brings now the total to 34 years, including this year,” Tate says. “And that was great because now we’ve been able to work in a collaborative effort as a partnership instead of two sides butting heads. So our plan actually involves an entire new boat-show venue, which will be world-class. And the goal is to bring the quality of this show up to the Monaco [Yacht] Show, but still keep our size and presence on the beach. So, again, we want to be able to have a fun, relaxed, Fort Lauderdale feel, to keep that old Florida style and energy here. But we want to elevate the level of the show so it’s easier to get around, better understood. And the quality of the show and everything, once you get in … will be ticked up a few notches. I think the crowd will be pleased. Very pleased.”