Greater Fort Lauderdale Goes in for Multicultural Travelers
Greater Fort Lauderdale has taken another important step to further its goal of attracting a growing number of multicultural travelers. The American Tennis & Education Foundation (ATEF) announced the establishment of a new facility in Miramar, the Florida Regional Park.
The ambitious plan will create a new facility to serve as a corporate headquarters, house the ATA Tennis Hall of Fame and, perhaps most importantly, provide a national tennis training facility for promising young players.
The fundraising goal for the project is $14.5 million. The capital will enable the completion of: a 20,000-square-foot Black Tennis Hall of Fame, the ATA/ATEF headquarters, a center court with seating for 3,000, more than 20 auxiliary courts, a clubhouse, locker rooms, treatment areas and fitness center; and a $13 million, 125-room hotel for athletes, families and visitors.
The ATA National Championship, sited in Greater Fort Lauderdale for the past six years, will move to the new facility when it opens for business. Groundbreaking is expected in 2019.
The concept for the enterprise is that the long history of black tennis players, going back to Althea Gibson and Arthur Ashe, will be consolidated in a central location. The ultimate goal is to help “make tennis look like America,” with more support for minority youths.
Contributions will be made by the Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), with technical and marketing support from the United States Tennis Association as well media resources from Black Enterprise Magazine and Black Meetings & Tourism Magazine.
The reach of the project is broad, extending into the Caribbean. When fully realized, the ATEF/ATA Complex will reconnect HBCUs to tennis-playing youth in the hope that the players can seek college tennis scholarships.
Through conferences and training opportunities, the Complex can be the hub of tennis vacations and thus present a new opportunity for travel agents to promote travel to the Greater Fort Lauderdale region.
The ATA was founded in 1916 in Washington, D.C., with 10,000 members, 200 affiliated tennis clubs and thousands of supporters around the U.S. The ATEF is the non-profit philanthropic arm of the ATA.
Source: Travel Market Report