Greater Fort Lauderdale, considered the Venice of America, is where 300 miles of inland waterways and canals wind through palatial estates, citrus groves, and exotic Everglades. But life is more than a beach in Greater Fort Lauderdale. It's home to festivals and fairs, waterways and fairways, pari-mutuels and para-sailing, cowboys and Indians, and sports of all sorts. The Greater Fort Lauderdale/Broward County Convention Center, located in Port Everglades, is less than one mile from the newly revitalized Fort Lauderdale beach and less than two miles from the Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood International Airport. Water taxis link the Convention Center to a wide selection of waterfront hotels, dining spots, and the $52 million Broward Center for the Performing Arts, which is located along the banks of the New River in downtown Fort Lauderdale. The Gold Coast Florida destination is both a burgeoning metropolis and a meeting paradise for the next millennium.

FAST FACTS Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention and Visitors Bureau 1850 Eller Drive, Suite 303 Fort Lauderdale, FL 33316 Phone: (954) 765-4661, (800) 356-1662 Fax: (954) 765-4467

Web: President: Nicki E. Grossman Vice President of Sales: Maureen Lupo

Location and Transportation:Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood International Airport is located three miles from downtown Fort Lauderdale. Airlines serving the airport include American, United, Delta, US Airways, Southwest, and Air Canada.

Hotels and Meeting Venues:There are 550 hotels in the area, with a total of more than 28,000 guest rooms. Total tax on hotel rooms is 11 percent. The Greater Fort Lauderdale/Broward County Convention Center has 150,000 square feet of exhibit space and 28 meeting rooms.

Recreation:Activities include golf, tennis, swimming, boating, scuba diving, and all water sports. The area's professional teams include the Florida Panthers (hockey) and Marlins (baseball), and the Miami Dolphins (football), Heat (basketball), and Fusion (soccer).

Climate:Average temperatures in winter run from 77 degrees high to 57 low; spring, 86 degrees high, 61 low; summer, 91 degrees high, 70 low; and fall, 89 degrees high, 64 low.

Seasons: December through April is peak season. May through November is value season, excluding June and September, which are the low season months.