Palm Beach education leaders assess 2020-21 academic year

Palm Beach education leaders assess 2020-21 academic year

By: Felipe Rivas

2 min read July  2020Forced to switch from in person learning to remote instruction seemingly overnight, Palm Beach education leaders are now planning the reopening of county campuses as the 2020-21 academic year nears its August start date. The reopening of public schools has been a contentious topic among parents, policymakers and educators, all of whom have different visions for the reopening process. 

The Palm Beach County School Board convened on Wednesday to discuss what the reopening of county public schools could look like under the coronavirus landscape. The Palm Beach County School Board is likely to approve its reopening plans, which will feature a mixture of distance education and a phased reopening process, according to the Sun Sentinel. With this approach, the youngest of each grade category will be among the first students to return to the classroom, along with those students with special needs. This would include students in pre-K, kindergarten, first grade, sixth grade and ninth grade, the paper reported.     

Further complicating the difficult reopening process, many teachers and parents fear that opening campuses would not be safe given the recent spikes in cases and Florida’s standing as the epicenter of coronavirus cases worldwide. Florida has reported 301,810 cases of the virus and 4,521 deaths as of Wednesday, according to the Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Dashboard. 

Not everyone is on board with strictly online classes, either. Some Palm Beach County parents gathered in front of the Palm Beach County School District’s headquarters on Monday to protest school officials’ decision to bar students from campuses and deliver only online classes at the start of the new school year. Among the parents’ chief concerns are the needs of students with disabilities, or those struggling with the online learning environment, and the needs of parents who have to choose between working or taking care of their children, the Palm Beach Post reported. 

According to the Palm Beach County School Board’s agenda, Palm Beach County Public School Superintendent Donald Fennoy is recommending “starting the school year with distance learning for all students and allowing for a phased return to brick and mortar in-person instruction when county health conditions permit.”

At the university level, institutions like Florida Atlantic University are also likely to begin the school year with an emphasis on remote learning while enforcing mask measures and strict social distancing rules for students and staff present on campus. Florida Atlantic University President John Kelly announced in late June that the university’s fall 2020 reopening plans were approved by the State University System of Florida Board of Governors. The school’s 25-page plan features the requirement of face coverings, with most classes remaining online, including classes with more than 50 students and all graduate-level courses, according to the university. Classrooms are to remain at 25 percent capacity and faculty, staff, and students will be required to observe social distancing measures while in the classroom.

Each of the state’s 12 public universities was required to file such a plan. School leaders still have to submit their reopening plans to the Florida Department of Education for final approval by July 31, 2020.

For more information, visit: 

https://fau.edu/

https://www.palmbeachschools.org/

Pharmacies Going the Extra Mile in Philadelphia

Pharmacies Going the Extra Mile in Philadelphia

By: Sara Warden

2 min read February 2020 — According to research from the University of Texas, 13-27% of ER visits in the United States could be managed in physician offices, clinics, and urgent care centers, generating $4.4 billion in annual savings for the health system. As the population grows and hospitals become saturated, Philadelphia’s private sector innovation is helping to lift the burden.

Last month, pharmacy giant CVS launched 13 HealthHUBs across Philadelphia and South Jersey, with the goal of offering patients a broader range of health services than are normally available in pharmacies. “The purpose of this model is to put patients at the center of their care,” said Anthony Riccardo, regional director for CVS Pharmacy, at the launch of the Folsom HealthHUB in the Delaware County branch. “Customers tell us they want local access to convenient, personalized and integrated healthcare. Our HealthHUB locations do just that — helping to elevate the store into a community-based healthcare destination.”

CVS leverages its impressive countrywide coverage on the front lines to bring additional services to the community, decreasing the probability that symptoms will worsen and lessening the burden on secondary healthcare providers. The services provided range from counseling patients with chronic conditions, to smoking cessation plans and health screenings, with a focus on addressing potential problems before they arise.

The company is not the only business in the private sector that sees the potential pharmacies can contribute to the healthcare sector. Last month, Philadelphia also welcomed Medly Pharmacy, a company that is tackling inefficiencies in pharmacy operations through an app and service platform that simplifies the process of filling a prescription.

Although the main draw of the store is its online platform, the company’s co-founder, Chirag Kulkarni, recognizes the need to also have a physical store established in the city. “I can say 99% of our customers have never walked into our pharmacy,” he said in an interview with Philadelphia Business Journal. “But it’s critical from a brand perspective to have a pharmacy a person can go into if they wanted. There is a level of trust in medicine, and with a pharmacy having that brick and mortar location brings legitimacy.”

So why are these companies attracted to Philadelphia? For Medly, the city has proximity to its key markets in New York and New Jersey and a similar level of population density, making it a logical choice for expansion. The median age in Philadelphia is also 34.3, and with a younger population also comes the desire for new technological advances to make everyday life more convenient. “Our research found that from a geographic viewpoint, Philadelphia is very similar to where we operate now in that it has high concentrations of population in certain areas,” he said. “We also saw a strong need for something like what we offer.”

 

To learn more, visit:

https://www.utexas.edu/

https://www.cvs.com.html

https://www.medlypharmacy.com/

 

South Florida’s Top Five Events for the Holiday Season

South Florida’s Top Five Events for the Holiday Season

By: Sara Warden

 

2 min read December 2019 — South Floridians may not expect a white Christmas, but there are still a plethora of entertainment options to get the kids into the holiday spirit. From Enchanted Forests to visits from Santa, there is plenty for all ages going on across the Miami, Palm Beach and Greater Fort Lauderdale areas. Capital Analytics counts down the top events in the run up to the big day!

1. Christmas with the Chimps at Lion Country Safari

If you’re an animal lover, this is the place to be on Thursday, Dec. 19. For one day only, starting at 10.30am, guests at the Lion Country Safari park in Palm Beach will be able to leave their cars and watch as the chimps open Santa’s gifts. Entry is $39 for adults and $30 for children, and under twos go free!

Find out more here

2. Winterland at Pinto’s Farm

Located at 14890 SW 216 St, this farm park promises a huge range of activities, including holiday treats, face painting, a petting zoo, pony rides, hay rides and paddle boats. Why not venture into the enchanting illuminated forest and meet Santa Claus, Nix the Snowman and Sprinkle the Gingerbread cookie.

Find out more here.

3. “A Christmas Story: The Musical” at Broward Center for the Performing Arts

Brought to you from the songwriting team behind Tony-award-winning Dear Evan Hansen and La La Land, this show promises to be a festive treat for the ears. The show is based on the 1983 movie A Christmas Story, following protagonist Ralphie’s pursuit of his dream Christmas gift. Showings continue throughout the festive season and tickets are priced at $49-65, with discounts available for teachers and students.

Find out more here.

4. Santa’s Enchanted Forest at Tropical Park

With over 100 rides, shows and attractions, Santa’s Enchanted Forest is sure to spread the Christmas cheer. Running from the end of October until Jan. 5, the fun takes place at 7900 SW 40th Street and promises 3 million lights and a 92-inch Christmas tree, all within an amusement park. Tickets start at $28.60 for children and seniors.

Find out more here.

5. Brightline for The Polar Express train rides

Across selected dates from mid-November until Dec. 29, families can take the one-hour Polar Express train on the brand new Brightline route. Singing, dancing, cookies and hot chocolate are guaranteed to keep both the kids and adults happy before Santa climbs on board to hand out some Christmas gifts to the girls and boys on the nice list. Prices start from $55 for an adult and $50 for a child.

Find out more here

South Florida’s Top Five Events for the Holiday Season

South Florida’s Top Five Events for the Holiday Season

By: Sara Warden

2 min read December 2019 — South Floridians may not expect a white Christmas, but there are still a plethora of entertainment options to get the kids into the holiday spirit. From Enchanted Forests to visits from Santa, there is plenty for all ages going on across the Miami, Palm Beach and Greater Fort Lauderdale areas. Capital Analytics counts down the top events in the run up to the big day!

 

 

 1. Christmas with the Chimps at Lion Country Safari

If you’re an animal lover, this is the place to be on Thursday, Dec. 19. For one day only, starting at 10.30am, guests at the Lion Country Safari park in Palm Beach will be able to leave their cars and watch as the chimps open Santa’s gifts. Entry is $39 for adults and $30 for children, and under twos go free!

Find out more here

2. Winterland at Pinto’s Farm

Located at 14890 SW 216 St, this farm park promises a huge range of activities, including holiday treats, face painting, a petting zoo, pony rides, hay rides and paddle boats. Why not venture into the enchanting illuminated forest and meet Santa Claus, Nix the Snowman and Sprinkle the Gingerbread cookie.

Find out more here.

3. “A Christmas Story: The Musical” at Broward Center for the Performing Arts

Brought to you from the songwriting team behind Tony-award-winning Dear Evan Hansen and La La Land, this show promises to be a festive treat for the ears. The show is based on the 1983 movie A Christmas Story, following protagonist Ralphie’s pursuit of his dream Christmas gift. Showings continue throughout the festive season and tickets are priced at $49-65, with discounts available for teachers and students.

Find out more here.

4. Santa’s Enchanted Forest at Tropical Park

With over 100 rides, shows and attractions, Santa’s Enchanted Forest is sure to spread the Christmas cheer. Running from the end of October until Jan. 5, the fun takes place at 7900 SW 40th Street and promises 3 million lights and a 92-inch Christmas tree, all within an amusement park. Tickets start at $28.60 for children and seniors.

Find out more here.

5. Brightline for The Polar Express train rides

Across selected dates from mid-November until Dec. 29, families can take the one-hour Polar Express train on the brand new Brightline route. Singing, dancing, cookies and hot chocolate are guaranteed to keep both the kids and adults happy before Santa climbs on board to hand out some Christmas gifts to the girls and boys on the nice list. Prices start from $55 for an adult and $50 for a child.

Find out more here

 

All Aboard! Seminole Hard Rock Winterfest Boat Parade Ready to Set Sail

All Aboard! Seminole Hard Rock Winterfest Boat Parade Ready to Set Sail

By: Max Crampton-Thomas

2 min read December 2019 — The annual Seminole Hard Rock Winterfest Boat Parade is just around the corner, and event organizers are adding the finishing touches to “The Greatest Show on H2O.” That’s no understatement, with an estimated economic impact of $50 million and 1 million live spectators, plus online and TV streams. “There is nothing like the Seminole Hard Rock Winterfest Boat Parade in the entire world,” said Lisa Scott-Founds, the event’s President and CEO.

 

Taking place on Dec. 14, the show – the seventh-largest one-day spectator event in the country – is not to be missed. “Private boats to the giant showboats and corporate megayachts will be adorned with hundreds of thousands of lights, music, entertainment, decorations, celebrities, musical groups, beauty queens and many other exciting entries,” the event’s website promises. Think the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, but on water.

According to Scott-Founds, as a nonprofit organization, organizers are constantly innovating to think of new ways to make the event stand out without breaking the bank. “We always want to integrate the newest technology into our event, like the use of holograms, which we hope is a real possibility for this year,” she said. “We are always asking people, ‘What is something that you’ve never seen us do before?’ We take their suggestion, develop a budget to execute the idea and bring it to our board and possible sponsors to help with underwriting the “new wow factor idea.”

This year, the 12-mile parade route will begin at Stranahan House and will sail eastward into Fort Lauderdale to the Intracoastal Waterway, and ending at Lake Santa Barbara in Pompano Beach. It costs a minimum of $35 to enter a boat with no advertising, while the heftiest sponsorship package comes in at a cool $65,000. Spectators can also purchase a ticket to the Grandstand Viewing Area inside the Hugh Taylor Birch State Park with prices starting at $25 for children 10 and under.

The economic bump in the county’s coffers comes at a good time, says Scott-Founds. “The beginning of December is a little slower for tourism, as opposed to other months when tourism in South Florida sees a boom, so we feel a responsibility to bring people into the region and put heads in beds,” she says.

For the event, it seems that all stakeholders in the area come together to enhance the experience for visitors. “Our success is due to collaboration with organizations like our Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention and Visitors Bureau and working with area hotels,” says Scott-Founds. “Tourists should experience a Winterfest weekend, a show at the Broward Center for the Performing Arts, eat at our restaurants and immerse themselves in our community. There is just so much to do in Fort Lauderdale, and in Broward County for that matter.”

To learn more, visit:

https://winterfestparade.com/

Can Demand Meet Supply?

Can Demand Meet Supply?

By: Max Crampton-Thomas

2 min read November 2019 — 4,500. That is the number of new hotel rooms expected to come online between now and 2024. This additional inventory will be on top of the 34,000 existing rooms already available in Broward County. New hotel developments and renovations like the opening of the Conrad Fort Lauderdale Beach, the $1.5 billion expansion of the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino and the upcoming addition of the Omni Hotel & Resorts as part of the massive expansion happening at the Greater Fort Lauderdale/Broward County Convention Center, are all contributing factors to this significant increase in hotel room supply. The question now is whether demand in Broward County will match this increase in supply?

 

To begin to answer this question, it is important to understand how the hospitality sector in Broward has evolved over the years. Invest: spoke with Heiko Dobrikow, the general manager for one of the oldest and most successful hotels in the county: the Riverside Hotel located on Las Olas Boulevard. He discussed how the transformation of the sector was the result of deliberate action from past leaders. “Going back to the 1980s, we were the spring break capital of the world. The leadership then, the mayor and the business community, got together to make the city a little bit more upscale. Suddenly, the mom-and-pop hotels that we had on the beach became the Ritz Carlton, the Marriott, the Atlantic, and now we have a Four Seasons coming. Those are monumental changes. It speaks much to the change in the business environment that has transpired in Fort Lauderdale,” said Dobrikow.

Year after year the tourism sector in Broward County has hit record highs, which is a direct reflection of the over $3 billion dollars spent in capital improvements to the Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport in an effort to increase passenger traffic. All of this has had the biggest impact on investment and development within the hospitality sector. Dobrikow discussed the direct correlation between the growth of the airport and the hospitality industry. “We see growth mainly via the airport. In the last 12 months, the airport received 36.6 million customers, a growth of 5.6%. Of that traffic, 27.7 million were domestic customers. International passenger growth was almost 9%. It has been a tremendous driver for us. It gives investors looking to build hotels in Fort Lauderdale comfort knowing that there is more growth coming. We have a pipeline of about 45 new hotels in Broward County.”

The growing influx of tourists into the county, and the expected arrival of fans to world-renowned events like the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show and the coming Super Bowl LIV, indicate that demand will in fact meet the new supply of hotels rooms. But increased supply also means increased competition for the already established hotels that could ultimately lead to a significant decrease in rates across the board. Although this bodes well for consumers, it does not for hotels in the county. A potential economic downturn is another cloud on the horizon. The key for hotels is having the ability to adapt to a changing landscape within hospitality. “In the next year, I think our occupancy levels will remain flat, and the hotels will be very competitive in terms of rates in Broward County. Some of the hurricanes affected us, but we have recovered. Demand growth could be about 8-8.5%. We see an economic slowdown in the near future, and I am convinced that 2021 will be a slower year for us, with a dip in occupancy. We are planning a room renovation for that year, knowing that it is going to be a slower time,” Dobrikow told Invest:. 

While all indicators point to enough demand in the current market for an increased supply of hotel rooms, it will be something to keep a close eye on as we enter 2020 and beyond. 

To learn more about our interviewee, visit:

https://www.riversidehotel.com/

A Show 60 Years in the Making

A Show 60 Years in the Making

By Max Crampton-Thomas

 2 min read October 2019 — Oct. 30 to Nov. 3 are probably the most important couple of days for the city of Fort Lauderdale and for Broward County. Over the course of these five days, the city opens its doors to over 110,000 boating enthusiasts from around the world representing over 50 countries, all here for the purpose of attending the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show. While this event is always a highlight for the year, this year has special meaning: it’s the 60th anniversary for the Boat Show.

The success and longevity of the event comes as no surprise as Fort Lauderdale has been dubbed the “Yachting Capital of the World” with its economic roots deeply cemented in the marine industry. This event is not just a chance for visitors to see these boats up close and personal; it serves primarily as a platform for yacht brokers and various other exhibitors to showcase their marine products and services. 

The economic benefits to the region brought on by a boat transaction cannot be understated, and were highlighted by Paul Flannery, executive director for the International Yacht Brokers Association, when he spoke to Invest:. “A boat is an economic engine for the community. When a boat comes to a community, 10% of the value of that boat is injected into the local economy on a yearly basis. When there is a transaction involving a boat, an additional 13% of the value of that boat is injected into the local economy in the first year after the sale,” Flannery explained. He continued: “When a person wants to sell their boat, then we need to make sure they know that there is no better place to do business than South Florida, the yachting capital of the world. The impact of that boat sale happening in South Florida benefits the local economy through the yacht broker and marina owner, as well as all the people engaged in that transaction.”

The show this year will not only feature the debut of the show’s largest megayacht, Madsummer, it will also include the 2nd Annual Sunset Soiree and Yacht Chef Competition, a superyacht village and a mansion yacht. Perhaps most unique about this year’s event is the FLIBS 4 Bahamas initiative that will be in support of the Bahamas relief efforts in the Abacos and Grand Bahama, two of the islands devastated by Hurricane Dorian. The proceeds from both the raffle of a Pioneer Sportfish 180 and the Yacht Chef Competition will be going directly to charities working on hurricane relief for the islands.

With more than $4 billion worth of product on display at the Boat Show, the event has not only become a staple for the South Florida community, but the global marine community as well. The event is owned by the Marine Industries Association of South Florida, whose CEO and President Phil Purcell perfectly summarized to Invest: just how important the Boat Show is to the region. “We are the refit and repair capital of the world, the yachting capital of the world. When you think of Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show’s impact on the state of Florida, it generates an $857 million economic impact, with 110,000 visitors from 52 countries around the globe. Keep in mind that $100 million a day changes hands in sales during the five days of the show. The marine industry has an economic value to Broward County of $8.9 billion.”

To learn more about our interviewees, visit:

https://www.flibs.com/en/home.html

https://www.miasf.org/

https://iyba.yachts/