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  • Writer's pictureDowntownFTL

Las Olas Rising

April 9, 2024

Downtown Fort Lauderdale is proud to be home to Las Olas Boulevard, Broward’s most iconic street and one of the top pedestrian-oriented shopping and dining destinations our region has to offer. The Boulevard has evolved over recent years into a must visit destination for anyone looking to experience the best of Fort Lauderdale.

The Boulevard's Evolution

Charlie Ladd, DDA Board Chair and Founder of Barron Real Estate, has worked to bring popular restaurants and lifestyle brands to the Boulevard such as Louie Bossi, Planta, Lululemon, YETI, and Warby Parker. Earl's Kitchen + Bar will be joining this list soon. The Whitfield will soon rise, bringing a five-star ultra-luxury hotel to Las Olas.

Ladd attributes Las Olas' success to Downtown Fort Lauderdale's evolution into an in-demand residential hub with a growing population and evolving visitor base in search of a range of authentic experiences and high-quality dining options.

"True organically born successful pedestrian streets are rare in and of themselves. Las Olas has become all the more special because besides serving the nearby beachfront with over 6,000 hotel rooms and a cruise port with over 4 million annual visitors it also is the only venue serving Broward County with a population of 2 million residents. Throw in over 25,000 new downtown residents and the Boulevard has become a rare jewel indeed, said Ladd."

By The Numbers

While many iconic retail destinations throughout the country have struggled to recover to pre-pandemic levels, Las Olas continues to thrive. The Boulevard hosts about 5 million visitors per year, about 600,000 more guests than 2019 and a 30% increase since 2017.

Las Olas is an essential part of our visitor experience and is the heart of the downtown experience for locals. Half of frequent visits to Las Olas come from DowntownFTL and its surrounding neighborhoods, demonstrating that the Boulevard is our city's main street. "The character of the street and the businesses on the street have elevated as our city has grown with a plethora of highly educated higher income residents," added Ladd.

Las Olas is also a strong attraction for all of Broward County and the South Florida region with 38% of all frequent visits coming from between 5 and 30 miles away. This represents regional visits from places as far south as Miami or as far north as Delray Beach.

With Las Olas Boulevard as a critical component of our city's success, it is essential to invest in the street to ensure it remains attractive for visitors seeking to experience our city's most iconic retail and dining destination.


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