FLORIDA’S LEADING BUSINESS COALITION CELEBRATES COURT RULING AGAINST MIAMI BEACH MINIMUM WAGE ORDINANCE

TALLAHASSEE, FL – Three leading business organizations celebrate today’s ruling by the 11th Circuit Court in Miami-Dade County invalidating the wage ordinance recently adopted by the City of Miami Beach. The Florida Retail Federation, Florida Restaurant & Lodging Association and Florida Chamber of Commerce filed the suit against the ordinance proposing to raise the minimum wage in spite of a state preemption, because it was not valid under section 218.077 F.S. which preempts local minimum wages. The suit was filed by Charles Caulkins of the South Florida law firm Fisher Philips LLC.

“This is great news for Florida retailers and the entire business community, as this ruling does not place an additional mandate on local businesses by requiring Miami Beach business owners to provide wages above what the state has previously established in law,” said R. Scott Shalley, FRF President & CEO. “We thank our coalition partners for their commitment to protecting businesses, and we look forward to doing our part to protect our members and ensure that Florida remains a great location to start and grow a business.”

“We applaud this ruling which preserves the strength of Florida’s tourism-based economy and substantiates our belief that local governments shouldn’t dictate the relationship between an employer and employee. This is a significant win for Florida’s hospitality industry and the 1.4 million employees the tourism industry supports. We hope this ruling will serve as a guiding beacon for the entire nation to follow in limiting regulatory overreach by local governments,” said Carol Dover, President and CEO, Florida Restaurant and Lodging Association.

“The Florida Chamber of Commerce is focused on creating good jobs and opportunities, and today’s ruling will help ensure that a patchwork of government wage regulations and mandates doesn’t harm job seekers and small businesses from greater opportunities toward prosperity,” said Mark Wilson, President and CEO of the Florida Chamber of Commerce.

The City of Miami Beach recently passed a city ordinance to raise the minimum wage to $10.31/hour starting January 1, 2018, and increase it $1.00/year until it reaches $13.31 in 2021. FRF and its coalition partners argued that the ordinance disregarded a state statute which established the State of Florida will determine one consistent minimum wage for the entire state. This state statute allows for local government entities to adopt ordinances to exceed this wage for those working or contracting with the local government.

Wellington Weekend to Feature Nashville Songwriters Concert and Emeril’s Florida Season 5 Episode Preview

(Tallahassee, FL.) – As part of the Great Florida Events program, the Florida Restaurant and Lodging Association (FRLA), in partnership with VISIT FLORIDA, is thrilled to present a “Wellington Weekend” on March 18-19, 2017. This event is held in conjunction with the 38th annual Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF) at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center (PBIEC). Located in Wellington, Florida, the PBIEC is one of the most recognizable equestrian sporting venues in the United States today. The largest and longest-running equestrian circuit in the world, WEF awards over $9 million in prize money and hosts more than 70 different divisions for competitors of every level in the hunter, jumper and equitation disciplines.

This exquisite equestrian weekend will include acoustic concert performances by Nashville Songwriters Hall of Famer Aaron Barker and hit Nashville songwriter Danny Myrick at the International Polo Club (IPC) Pavilion. These nationally-renowned songwriters will perform on Sunday, March 19th during the Grand Prix from 1:30 to 3:00 PM at the International Polo Club on the stadium side. Advanced tickets to the Sunday Brunch and Polo Match at the Pavilion may be purchased here.

The weekend’s festivities will also feature an exclusive preview of an Emeril’s Florida Season 5 Episode featuring Chef Emeril Lagasse and Mark Bellissimo at White Horse Fashion Cuisine. The first preview will occur on Saturday evening at 7:00 PM at the WEF before the $130,000 Horseware® Ireland Grand Prix CSI 3*. The second opportunity to watch this special preview will be on Sunday, March 19th between 1:30PM to 3:30PM at the IPC Pavilion.

FRLA and VISIT FLORIDA proudly serve as sponsors of the Gladiator Polo® League presented by the U.S. Polo Association. Gladiator Polo® is the newest extreme sport and was created by IPC. The fast-action 7-game series takes place in an arena at The Coliseum at Equestrian Village.

Click here for a schedule of upcoming Great Florida Events.

Electric Cars Spark Partnership With Florida’s Hospitality Industry 

(Tallahassee, Fla.) – As part of the Florida Restaurant & Lodging Association’s (FRLA) ongoing commitment to sustainability, the organization announced today that it has partnered with Drive Electric Orlando (DEO) and Enterprise Rent A Car to help support and bring attention to America’s largest fleet of rental electric vehicles: Drive Electric Orlando.

“Drive Electric Orlando is a great example of how Florida’s hospitality industry is taking a leadership role in cutting edge areas such as sustainability and green travel,” said Carol Dover, President and CEO of the FRLA. “By giving the millions of visitors that come to Orlando each year the opportunity to try out an electric car in a fun, casual setting, the hospitality industry is helping to speed up the adoption of EV technology nationwide.  We’re excited to help bring attention to this unique initiative and make visitors and business travelers aware of another one-of-a-kind experience they can have while visiting Orlando.  We hope to see EV rentals eventually be available statewide.”

Drive Electric Orlando is a groundbreaking partnership between Orlando rental car agencies, hotels, and tourist attractions designed to offer vacationers and business travelers an exciting and convenient opportunity to use an eco-friendly car during their next trip.

As part of the partnership FRLA will promote the utilization of DEO’s electric rental cars amongst their 10,000 member restaurants and hotels across the state, and provide their members with “ride and drive” opportunities to try out electric cars at official events. The partnership between Drive Electric Orlando and the FRLA will also help bring attention across the state to the work being done by the hospitality industry to protect the environment and give customers more sustainable choices when they travel.

A number of FRLA members are key supporters of the Drive Electric Orlando program, offering EV renters special perks; everything from preferred parking spaces to free EV charging.  A full description of all the “plug in perks” that renters get with Drive Electric Orlando may be found here.

FRLA Welcomes New Chairman and Executive Committee

(Tallahassee, Fla.) – The Florida Restaurant and Lodging Association (FRLA) is thrilled to announce their new 2017 Chairman of the Board and 2017 Executive Committee for the current calendar year. Beginning on January 1, Don Fox, Chief Executive Officer for Firehouse of America, LLC, will serve as FRLA’s 2017 Chairman of the Board. Fox will preside over the FRLA, one of the state’s largest trade associations, representing more than 10,000 members in the hospitality industry.

Fox is Chief Executive Officer of Firehouse of America, LLC, in which he leads the strategic growth of Firehouse Subs, one of America’s leading fast casual restaurant brands. Under his leadership, the brand has grown to more than 1,040 restaurants in 44 states, Puerto Rico and Canada, and is recognized as one of the best franchises in the country. Fox sits on various boards of influence in the restaurant community, and is a respected speaker, commentator, and published author. He was recognized by Nation’s Restaurant News as 2011’s Operator of the Year. In 2013, he received the prestigious Silver Plate Award from the International Food Manufacturers Association (IFMA), was recognized by FastCasual.com as the No.1 Executive in the fast-casual restaurant community, and received the National Restaurant Association’s Advocacy Leadership Award.

“Don Fox is a proven leader, with decades of restaurant experience and tremendous passion for the hospitality industry. FRLA is truly fortunate to welcome such a distinguished trailblazer to lead our association through 2017. With Chairman Fox at the helm, and our extremely proficient 2017 Executive Committee, I am confident Florida’s hospitality industry will overcome diverse challenges and enjoy numerous achievements in the year ahead,” said Carol Dover, President and CEO, Florida Restaurant and Lodging Association.

“I am so humbled for the opportunity serve as the Chairman of Florida’s premier non-profit hospitality trade association and excited to collaborate with several accomplished industry peers. My priority focus for the year is to motivate members of our association, and operators in the restaurant community, to concentrate on their team members and employees who really make the industry run. My overall goal will be to protect the industry from burdensome government regulations and to preserve Florida’s competitive edge as the leading destination for more than 106 million visitors,” said Don Fox, CEO of Firehouse of America, LLC and 2017 FRLA Chairman of the Board.

FRLA congratulates the following 2017 Executive Board Members:

2017 FRLA Executive Committee
Don Fox Chairman Firehouse of America, LLC, Jacksonville
Kevin Speidel Vice Chair Hilton Worldwide, Fort Lauderdale
Chau Nguyen Secretary-Treasurer Kobe Japanese Steakhouse, Orlando
Olivia Hoblit Director 2016-17 Seaside Amelia Inn, Amelia Island
Alan Palmieri Director 2017-18 Marlow’s Tavern, Orlando
Sheldon Suga Director 2017-18 Hawk’s Cay Resort, Duck Key
Lino Maldonado Immediate Past Chair Wyndham Vacation Rentals, Fort Walton Beach

 

Learn more about the 2017 FRLA Executive Committee here.

FRLA Honors First Responders and Celebrates Florida’s Hospitality Industry Stars at Awards Ceremony

(Orlando, Fla.) – The Florida Restaurant and Lodging Association (FRLA) honored local first responders who risked their lives to protect and serve during the Pulse tragedy, and recognized the restaurants, employees and guests statewide who supported Dine Out for Orlando United and raised more than $800,000 for the OneOrlando Fund. Speakers at the Hospitality Stars of the Industry Installation and Awards Gala included: Florida Governor Rick Scott, Attorney General Pam Bondi, Orange County Sheriff Jerry Demings and City of Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer and Chef Emeril Lagasse. State Senator Aaron Bean served as the emcee for the evening.

During the event, which took place at the Hyatt Regency Orlando, on Wednesday, September 28, 2016, FRLA celebrated the stars of Florida’s hospitality industry. FRLA announced its 2017 Executive Committee and unveiled its 2016 Hall of Fame along with other industry award winners. A live auction at the conclusion of the event raised $9,800 for the FRLA Educational Foundation.

Don Fox, Chief Executive Officer for Firehouse of America, LLC, was named FRLA’s 2017 Chairman of the Board. Fox will preside over the FRLA, one of the state’s largest trade associations, representing more than 10,000 members in the hospitality industry.

FRLA congratulates its newly elected executive board and Hall of Fame award winners.

 

2017 FRLA Executive Committee:
Don Fox Chairman Firehouse of America, LLC, Jacksonville
Kevin Speidel Vice Chair Hilton Worldwide, Fort Lauderdale
Chau Nguyen Secretary-Treasurer Kobe Japanese Steakhouse, Orlando
Olivia Hoblit Director 2016-17 Seaside Amelia Inn, Fernandina Beach
Alan Palmieri Director 2017-18 Marlow’s Tavern, Orlando
Sheldon Suga Director 2017-18 Hawk’s Cay Resort, Duck Key
Lino Maldonado Immediate Past Chair Wyndham Vacation Rentals, Fort Walton Beach

 

In addition, Hall of Fame Awards were given to individuals who have attained career distinctions of the highest level and were recognized for distinguished service to their industry, community, charitable organizations and family. The 2016 Hall of Fame is as follows:

2016 Restaurateur of the Year: Manuel “Manny” Garcia III, Davgar Restaurants Inc., Orlando The Garcia family has been steeped in the food and restaurant industry for many years. Beginning with his Burger King franchise, the successful restaurateur went on to introduce a number of new dining concepts to Central Florida including Pebbles Restaurants, Harvey’s Bistro and Manuel’s on the 28th Restaurant, and more recently in The Villages, City Fire American Oven & Bar and a tavern called Honest John’s Whiskey and Provisions. Garcia will once again break new ground with the mid-December grand opening of Wahlburgers, a casual burger restaurant founded by brothers Mark, Donnie, and Paul Wahlberg.

2016 Hotelier of the Year: Julian MacQueen, Innisfree Hotels, Pensacola Julian MacQueen’s hospitality career began five decades ago with a summer job as a busboy at a resort in Destin, Florida. He founded Innisfree Hotels in 1985, leaving a position as the Executive Vice President of Family Inns of America for the uncertainty of entrepreneurship. Since then, his company has grown from a single-property operation to one of the largest hotel companies in the southern United States, with more than 2,500 rooms owned and managed, 1,300 employees and revenues of $125 million.

2016 Supplier of the Year: Island Oasis Island Oasis has been a loyal FRLA allied member, exhibitor and sponsor for more than 15 years. They are one of the longest standing sponsors at our annual NRA/FRLA Bob Leonard Golf Classic, graciously serving their finest drink selections for our members to sample. Island Oasis also sponsors and participates at several chapter golf tournaments and events around the state. Tim Burks, National Accounts and Regional Sales Manager – Florida / Gulf Coast serves on the Allied Member Council and accepted this award on behalf of Island Oasis.

At the event, FRLA also announced annual award categories to recognize exceptional service throughout the state: Restaurant General Manager of the Year, Hotel General Manager of the Year, Restaurant Employee of the Year, Hotel Employee of the Year and Chef of the Year. Nominees and winners were chosen by a panel of independent industry judges.

Restaurant General Manager of the Year

Jim Garris, General Manager, Columbia Restaurant, Ybor City *WINNER

Clayton Green, General Manager, Another Broken Egg Cafe, Sandestin

Lindsey Smith, Senior Restaurant Manager, Orlando World Center Marriott

Hotel General Manager of the Year

Eduardo Fernandez, General Manager, Sonesta Fort Lauderdale Beach *WINNER – TIE

Rey Martinez, Resort Manager, Hyatt Coconut Plantation Resort, Bonita Springs

Tom Williamson, General Manager, Hampton Inn Cocoa Beach/Cape Canaveral *WINNER – TIE

Restaurant Employee of the Year

Lenny Jacobs, Kitchen Manager, Another Broken Egg Cafe, Sandestin

Stacey Landis, Bartender, Applebee’s, Venice *WINNER – TIE

Miranda Steele, Chef’s Office Coordinator, Orlando World Center Marriott *WINNER – TIE

Hotel Employee of the Year

Maria Colon, Executive Assistant, Hard Rock Hotel at Universal Orlando

Santiago Navarro, Assistant Front Office Manager, Sonesta Fort Lauderdale Beach *WINNER

Juan Rivera, Banquet Captain, Jupiter Beach Resort & Spa

Chef of the Year

Geraldo Bayona, Corporate Chef, Columbia Restaurant, Ybor City *WINNER

Tuong (Hirano) Ly, District Head Chef, Kobe Japanese Steakhouse, Altamonte Springs

James Routhier, Executive Banquet Chef, Orlando World Center Marriott

FRLA Educational Foundation Student of the Year

Tyler Chaffin, The Academy of Culinary Arts at Belleview High School, Ocala

Jose Murillo, Inlet Grove Community High School, Riviera Beach

Sofia Slimak, Mainland High School, Daytona Beach *WINNER

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Gov. Scott: Florida Hits All-Time Record High for Tourism

MYERS, Fla. –  Governor Rick Scott announced Florida set another record in tourism by welcoming the highest amount of visitors of any six months in the state’s history with 57.4 million visitors. This record amount represents a 4.3 percent increase over the year. In the second quarter of 2016, 27.3 million visitors came to the state, an increase of 3.1 percent over the year. The average number of direct travel-related jobs in quarter two of 2016 was also a record high, with 1,255,200 Floridians employed in the tourism industry – up 4.3 percent over the year.

Governor Scott said, “Today, I am proud to announce that Florida has continued our record breaking success and welcomed the most visitors in Florida’s history over the first six months of the year. It’s exciting that we are starting the first half of 2016 off with back to back record quarters which puts us on pace to reach our goal of 115 million tourists this year and $100 billion in visitor spending by 2020. In Florida, the health and safety of our visitors is a top priority and we look forward to welcoming even more visitors to the Sunshine State this year.”

VISIT FLORIDA estimates that 23.6 million domestic visitors traveled to Florida in the second quarter of 2016, which is a 4.6 percent increase over the same period last year.

Will Seccombe, President and CEO of VISIT FLORIDA said “The Florida tourism industry has a tremendous amount of momentum because every month we have millions of new visitors who are experiencing the best tourism product on earth and returning home to share their Florida memories with friends and family.”

Tourism and recreation taxable sales for Florida increased 6.1 percent year over year for January through April 2016 (last reported month).  For quarter two of 2016, the average daily room rate (ADR) rose 1.4 percent and the demand in rooms sold grew 1.1 percent.

William D. Talbert, III, CDME, Chair of the VISIT FLORIDA Board of Directors said “The success of Florida tourism is directly attributable to the strong alignment between VISIT FLORIDA and our tourism industry partners, and their continued investment in strengthening the state’s incredible tourism product.”

To view additional Florida visitor data, please go to the Research page on VISIT FLORIDA’s media website.

*Preliminary estimates are issued 45 days after the end of each calendar quarter. Final estimates are released when final data are received for all estimates in the report.

 

Florida’s Hospitality Industry Raises More than $800,000 for Victims of Orlando Tragedy

(Orlando, Fla.) The Florida Restaurant and Lodging Association (FRLA) is honored to announce that the hospitality industry raised more than $800,000 to support the victims of the recent tragedy in Orlando. The funds were collected during Dine Out for Orlando United, a fundraising event led by the FRLA in partnership with VISIT FLORIDA, that took place on June 30, 2016. Nearly 1,500 restaurant locations across the state participated and their contributions were submitted directly to the OneOrlando Fund.

During the event, guests dined at participating restaurants and made direct donations. Restaurateurs donated a percentage of their daily receipts, from 10 percent to 100 percent, to the Fund. Employees worked a shift, volunteered their time, or donated a portion of their tips. Businesses raised awareness by promoting, organizing or donating directly to the OneOrlando Fund. Local establishments reported lines out the door throughout the day, specifically for the Dine Out for Orlando United effort.

“I am in awe of our friends, family and colleagues in hospitality, who offered their help and hearts to ensure our Sunshine State remains strong,” said Carol Dover, President and CEO of the Florida Restaurant and Lodging Association. “Thank you to Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer and Florida Governor Rick Scott for dining with us on Thursday, and their steadfast support of Dine Out for Orlando United. We are incredibly proud to take part in Orlando’s healing, grateful for those who contributed to this effort and are continuing to pray for the victims, their families and our community.”

As a number of restaurants continue to report their contributions in the coming weeks, the final donation amount is expected to grow. The OneOrlando Fund is a project of Strengthen Orlando, Inc., a 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation created for the purpose of supporting and starting projects to strength the Orlando community. Funds received into the OneOrlando Fund are directly distributed to victims’ families and survivors in an open, transparent and fair manner.

Please visit the following links to access photos, a recap video and a list of participating restaurants.

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About the Florida Restaurant and Lodging Association
FRLA is Florida’s premier non-profit hospitality industry trade association. Our mission is to ‘Protect, Educate and Promote’ Florida’s $82 billion hospitality industry which represents 23% of Florida’s economy and more than 1.1 million employees – making it the state’s number one industry. We offer regulatory compliance and food safety training needs (RCS and SafeStaff®); industry developed career-building high school programs (FRLAEF); sponsor the only event in Florida exclusively serving the restaurant and foodservice industry (FR&L Show, September 27-29, 2016 in Orlando); and we safeguard the needs of the hospitality industry by providing legislative advocacy. We represent and serve more than 10,000 independent and household name members, suppliers, and theme parks. For more information, go to www.FRLA.org and find us on Twitter @FRLAnews, Facebook and YouTube.

World-Renowned Hospitality Leaders Share Industry Insights at FRLA’s Marketing + Operations Summit

(Boca Raton, Fla.) The Florida Restaurant and Lodging Association (FRLA) is proud to present its annual Marketing + Operations Summit, scheduled for Wednesday, July 27 and Thursday, July 28 at the Boca Raton Resort & Club. The two-day event is designed to spotlight hospitality industry leaders who have instituted best practices in their own companies and introduce new business trends to increase sales and customer satisfaction. Featured presenters from Technomic, BRAND USA,The Ritz-Carlton, The Biltmore Hotel, Bloomin’ Brands, World of Beer, Fontainebleau and Smith & Wollensky will share marketing and operation tips and techniques on how to manage your restaurant or hotel more effectively.

“This is a unique opportunity for our colleagues in hospitality to engage with powerful industry leaders, learn innovative techniques and interact with creative suppliers. This Marketing + Operations Summit is a must-attend event, designed to help businesses keep their finger on the pulse of what’s hot in hospitality,” said Carol Dover, President and CEO of the Florida Restaurant and Lodging Association.

For a full schedule of events, including speaker bios, please click here. Media is invited to attend portions of the two-day event and asked to contact FRLA Communications and Marketing Director, Elizabeth Ray at ERay@FRLA.org or 813-469-3311 for confirmation.

WHEN:
Wednesday, July 27, 2016
*Registration opens at 11:00 AM
11:30 AM – 12:00 PM     Welcome
12:00 – 12:45 PM            General Session: Kelly Frailey Covato, Client Partner-Global Marketing Solutions, Facebook
1:00 – 2:15 PM                 Keynote: Scott Stratten, President of Un-Marketing
2:30 – 5:15 PM                 Breakout Educational Sessions

Thursday, July 28, 2016
8:15 – 9:30 AM                Breakout Educational Sessions
9:30 – 10:30 AM              Keynote: Don Yaeger, Business Leadership Coach
11:00 – 11:45 AM             Breakout Educational Sessions
1:00 – 2:00 PM                Keynote: John Moore, Branding Expert from Starbucks + Whole Foods

WHERE:
Boca Raton Resort & Club
501 E Camino Real
Boca Raton, FL 33432
561-447-3000

COST:
Pre-Registration: $189
At The Door: $199
Ticket price includes welcome reception, breakfast, dinner and lunch. Hotel accomodations not included. Seating is limited.

For registration and additional information, please visit: http://frla.org/event/summit/. To see photos from last year’s event please click here or to view a video, click here. Additionally, be sure to follow this event live on social media by searching for #FRLASummit.

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About the Florida Restaurant and Lodging Association
FRLA is Florida’s premier non-profit hospitality industry trade association. Our mission is to ‘Protect, Educate and Promote’ Florida’s $82 billion hospitality industry which represents 23% of Florida’s economy and more than 1.1 million employees – making it the state’s number one industry. We offer regulatory compliance and food safety training needs (RCS and SafeStaff®); industry developed career-building high school programs (FRLAEF); sponsor the only event in Florida exclusively serving the restaurant and foodservice industry (FR&L Show, September 27-29, 2016 in Orlando); and we safeguard the needs of the hospitality industry by providing legislative advocacy. We represent and serve more than 10,000 independent and household name members, suppliers, and theme parks. For more information, go to www.FRLA.org and find us on Twitter @FRLAnews, Facebook and YouTube.

Florida’s Hospitality Industry Hosts Statewide Dine Out for Orlando United to Support Victims, Families and Community

(Orlando, Fla.) – To help victims and their families in the aftermath of the shooting in Orlando, Florida’s hospitality industry is offering its support by hosting a statewide community event on Thursday, June 30, 2016. Led by the Florida Restaurant and Lodging Association in partnership with VISIT FLORIDA, the fundraiser, “Dine Out for Orlando United,” will be a day for Florida restaurants, their employees and guests to make a difference in the lives of those affected by the tragedy. All proceeds raised will be donated to the OneOrlando Fund, which is designed to provide a way to respond to the needs of the local community, now and in the time to come.

“Our hearts and prayers are with the victims and their families. As an industry, we want to continue to rally around them by offering our support, time and resources. Pulse is a member of the FRLA, a part of our hospitality family and we are proud to lend support. We encourage all Floridians and visitors to participate in this Dine Out to help the entire Orlando community,” said Carol Dover, president and CEO of the Florida Restaurant and Lodging Association.

“The Florida tourism industry stands united as a community. This is a wonderful way for restaurants and Floridians statewide to come together in solidarity with the Orlando community and make a difference,” said Will Seccombe, president and CEO at VISIT FLORIDA.

“We are grateful for the support and leadership of Florida’s hospitality industry as we continue to work together to help the victims of this tragedy. We want to encourage everybody to dine out on June 30 to help raise money for the families of the victims,” said Buddy Dyer, Mayor of Orlando.

During the event, guests across the state are encouraged to dine at a participating restaurant and/or choose to make a direct donation. Employees can work a shift, choose to volunteer their time or donate a portion of tips. Businesses can join our list of participants and help us promote, organize and/or donate.

To participate, restaurants can:

  • Donate a portion of total sales
  • Collect donations received from guests and staff
  • Donate a portion of total profits
  • Make a donation for every sale of a specific item
  • Identify a set donation amount

Media is asked to contact FRLA Communications Director, Elizabeth Ray at eray@frla.org. For restaurants interested in participating in the event, please contact Dan Murphy at dmurphy@frla.org. More information, along with a growing list of participating restaurants, will be available online at http://frla.org/dine-out-orlando/.

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About OneOrlando Fund
Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer announced the formation of the OneOrlando Fund. The purpose of the Fund is to provide a way to help respond to the needs of our community, now and in the time to come, after the effects of the Pulse tragedy. The distribution of the funds will be administered by the Central Florida Foundation. The Foundation serves as the region’s community foundation and is home to more than 400 charitable funds. For information regarding the OneOrlando Fund or to make a wire transfer, please contact info@oneorlando.org.

About the Florida Restaurant and Lodging Association
FRLA is Florida’s premier non-profit hospitality industry trade association. Our mission is to ‘Protect, Educate and Promote’ Florida’s $82 billion hospitality industry which represents 23% of Florida’s economy and more than 1.1 million employees – making it the state’s number one industry. We offer regulatory compliance and food safety training needs (RCS and SafeStaff®); industry developed career-building high school programs (FRLAEF); sponsor the only event in Florida exclusively serving the restaurant and foodservice industry (FR&L Show, September 27-29, 2016 in Orlando); and we safeguard the needs of the hospitality industry by providing legislative advocacy. We represent and serve more than 10,000 independent and household name members, suppliers, and theme parks. For more information, go to www.FRLA.org and find us on Twitter @FRLAnews, Facebook and YouTube

MIAMI REPORT REVEALS $76 MILLION OF AIRBNB REVENUE IN MIAMI CAME FROM OPERATORS LISTING MULTIPLE UNITS FOR RENT

The American Hotel & Lodging Association (AH&LA) today released a new study that provides a detailed analysis of the rise in commercial activity taking place in Miami on Airbnb, one of the most trafficked short-term rental websites. The study was conducted by John O’Neill, MAI, ISHC, Ph.D., professor of hospitality management and director of the Center for Hospitality Real Estate Strategy in the School of Hospitality Management at Penn State University, and examined activity on Airbnb between October 2014 and September 2015.

The report shows that among the 14 markets studied, Miami has the highest percentage of multi-unit operators on Airbnb and full-time operators, those renting units out full-time.

Key findings:

  • Full-time operators – those who listed their unit(s) for rent more than 360 days per year – accounted for more than $47 million or nearly 40% of Airbnb’s revenue in the Miami area, a higher percentage than in any of the other cities studied.
  • Three-quarters (76%) – of Airbnb’s revenue in the Miami metropolitan area (more than $93 million) came from the nearly 30% of operators who listed their unit(s) for rent for more than 180 days per year.
  • Almost two-thirds (62%, the highest percentage of the 14 cities studied) of Airbnb’s revenue in the Miami region – more than $76 million came from operators who listed multiple units for rent. 
  • The five Miami-area ZIP codes with the most properties listed on Airbnb accounted for more than $79 million, or 65% of Airbnb’s revenue in the Miami metropolitan area.

“As in many popular tourist destinations across the country, commercial landlords here in Miami are using short-term rental platforms like Airbnb to operate illegal hotel businesses that dodge taxes and duck rules and regulations that were put in place to protect our guests and the communities where we operate,” said Stefano Frittella, owner of the Pelican Hotel in Miami. “Furthermore, by driving up the cost of rent in the Miami area, illegal hotel operators on Airbnb are exacerbating the housing crisis that is hurting so many working families in Miami, making it harder to live and work in our communities.”

“These illegal businesses are not only disrupting Miami’s communities, but they are undermining one of the most important sectors of our economy. Florida’s hotel and lodging industry is an important segment of the state’s economy, employing more than 160,000 residents and generating $5.4 billion annually in state, local and federal taxes,” said Carol Dover, President & CEO of the Florida Restaurant and Lodging Association. “Illegal operators on Airbnb are threatening the business climate that Miami has worked so hard to develop. If Airbnb wants to be a legal player in the lodging industry, they should have to follow the same basic rules as everyone else in order to ensure fairness, respect communities, and protect consumers.”

“Unregulated hotels operated in residential properties are disruptive to communities and pose serious safety concerns for guests, for communities and for neighborhoods,” said AH&LA President and Chief Executive Officer Katherine Lugar. “In Miami, as in cities around the country, we have seen that Airbnb is unwilling to be transparent with its data and be a partner in creating safe environments for its users and the communities in which it operates. And now we know why: a growing portion of Airbnb’s revenue comes from commercial landlords using the platform to operate unregulated and often illegal lodging businesses. This problem is particularly acute in Miami, where – more than in any of the 14 cities studied – multi-unit and full-time operators drive Airbnb’s revenue. Policymakers in Miami, in Florida and across the country should act to ensure a fair travel marketplace by closing the illegal hotel loophole.”

Miami is the fourth of 14 cities profiled in a series of reports that comprise a second phase of an analysis into the commercial activity being transacted on Airbnb’s platform. The initial analysis (“From Air Mattresses to Unregulated Business: An Analysis of the Other Side of Airbnb”) was released in January 2016.

The full report is available for download on the AH&LA website at www.ahla.com.