On Fort Lauderdale’s Riverfront, Las Olas Boulevard brings groups a dockside shopping and dining experience that can be customized to each group’s personal interests. Whether you wish to sip some bubbly while watching models strut their stuff down a runway at Zola Keller or other high-end boutiques, or prefer some frozen fun inside the strip’s newest ice restaurant, Cynthia Malin with ME Productions can create the perfect day event for your group. We spoke to her about a few options, all infused with some spicy South Florida flavor.
Prevue: What is first on the list for groups spending the day at Las Olas?
CM: Normally, groups are greeted at their hotel by one of our staff and pending their mode of transportation we either escort them to their yacht, water taxi, limo or bus. They’ll then arrive to Las Olas for the day.
What’s a water taxi?
Greater Fort Lauderdale is known as the Venice of America and it’s a whole ‘nother city from the water. That’s just another mode of transportation to get around the city. There are cars, buses and your feet, but some people like to do it by water. The water taxi is similar to a regular taxi and it’s really great for groups, especially ones that aren’t from around this area that get a great shopping tour and also get a great tour of the city.
A yacht ride sounds amazing. What kind of events can take place on board?
There are some groups who wish to be wined and dined and we can definitely do that for them. One option is a champagne brunch as they cruise down the Intracoastal in their yacht. Then they arrive at Las Olas and spend the day there.
What do groups do once they arrive?
Some groups like the idea of having a fake paparazzi. You have people dressed up like media, taking pictures with cameras and asking for autographs as they step out of their yacht or limo.
The day depends on what the group has planned, whether it’s shopping or dining or both. One option is going to Carroll’s Jewelers and having a gemologist there to give them a little bit of history and class on gems.
They can also do a dine-around or a scavenger hunt. With the scavenger hunt they have to look for different things while they’re shopping. Each group is unique and we try to tailor it to exactly what it is that they want.
How’s the shopping there?
Las Olas has such a wide variety of shopping. It’s great to go find a gown for that evening function you have or just a trendy outfit for a party you’ve got coming up.
Another thing we’ve done in the past is a little mini fashion show. If there’s a group that really likes that or that’s what their market is then we will have a little bit of a fashion show and they can learn a little bit about fashions and trends and see the latest styles. It’ll make them feel like they’ve gotten caught up on the latest.
A lot of the shops in Las Olas are willing to work with you and champagne and hors d’oeuvres are always great add-ons. They’re more than willing to work with you on specific requests, as well.
What about the men?
Well there are shops in the area for men, too, and believe it or not there are a lot of men who are good sports about it. If not, they can go hang out in the restaurants while the ladies are shopping.
What kinds of restaurants are in the area?
Las Olas offers a little bit of everything from the gourmet to a cup of coffee and a danish. I’m so excited because from what I hear they’re opening up an ice restaurant and I believe the name of it is Tundra. It’s going to be focused on different ice-sculpting themes so that will probably be the newest craze for visiting groups.