Dania Beach wants its name back on the Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport sign….The City Commission passed a resolution Tuesday night asking the Broward County Commission to add the city’s name on signs used to identify the airport.
“It’s important to our tourism industry,” Dania Beach Commissioner Anne Castro said. “We need to work for this.” — Miami Hurled
Here I am in Hollywood for over 20 years, 2 blocks from the Dania Beach border, and until this moment I am not aware that Dania Beach has a tourist industry. So I call Dania Beach civic activist Lena Anthill for clarification.
“I guess it depends on your definition,” she tells me. “Anybody who lives outside the city coming to Dania could be considered tourists.”
Hmm. That would include the zillions of commuters who zip through on Federal Highway from one end to the other without stopping — some of them — for red lights. Besides, most of those so-called tourists are locals. “Commuters” might be a more appropriate term.
“Well, okay, but then there are the thousands who visit Dania Jai-Alai and go to the beach.”
Thousands? That’s generous. The only time Dania Jai-Alai gets thousands of people is when they host the marine flea market. As for the beach, it’s about 2 blocks north to south, and thanks to the Port Everglades expansion years ago, it disappears at high tide. And again, these aren’t tourists. They’re either full-time or part-time locals. Whatever else they are, they’re not airport customers.
“Well, even if they don’t stay here, tourists from Hollywood and Ft Lauderdale visit Dania Beach for the shopping, restaurants, and cultural sites.”
You’re fantasizing, Lena. Shopping? What, they can’t find a Publix or a CVS close by their motel? As for culture, unless you count the IGFA Fishing Hall of Fame, the pickings are pretty thin. Even the hookers are kind of scarce these days.
“Well, okay. You can belittle Dania Beach all you like, but we hit bottom about 5 years ago and things are changing. This move with the airport is our city trying to get ahead of the curve. You’re here 20 years now — you wait and see what happens after 20 more.” She giggles and hangs up.
In 20 more years if see anything it will be looking up from the depths of hell. Which is only slightly south of Dania Beach.
I don’t give a damn if they change the name of the airport, which, for the record, is “Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood International Airport,” abbreviated FLL. Nobody cares. I’d worry if the name change meant they had to redesign the place to match the surrounding area, which might mean installing plywood on the store windows in the concourse, and leveling whole terminals into stony rubble. But that won’t happen, either.
I guess seeking tourist dollars makes sense, but so does creating a place where the full-time residents want to work and shop and spend their time. So far, the so-called improvements I see in Dania Beach are mostly on traffic flow — quick in, quick out. Which not only helps the street-level prostitution industry, it sounds like it.
Politicians at work.