Becoming Boca

One of the great things about South Florida is the dozens of unique cities and communities that help give it a sense of place. 

This month we feature Boca Raton as part of our Hot Spots for Business series. I’d been wanting to do an in-depth dive about the Boca Raton Resort & Club, so the timing worked out perfect for our cover story.

What’s cool is how it has a deep sense of history going back to founder Addison Mizner, but also has some of the most chic modern hotel rooms thanks to all the major upgrades that have happened.

I spent the better part of one extremely pleasant spring day day getting a tour from the croquet court to the health club, from the original Cloister Inn building to the marina and from the FlowRider to the Beach Club. Trust me when I say I’m ready anytime to check in for a few days of R&R.

President Rick Hayduk was a great interview. He has a firm grasp on strategy and a great eye for detail – down to spotting a piece of trash blown into the bushes by the wind.

The cover story delves into all the changes that have happened at the club and what’s ahead with a sale expected later this year. It will be interesting to see what happens.

If you are not that familiar with Boca Raton in general, our Hot Spots section should serve as a quick guide to get you up to speed. Boca has a very unique mix when it comes to major corporations, education, health care, tourism, retail, urban renaissance and country club lifestyle.

Going south, SFBW had two great events on back to back nights in the Miami area.

First up was our CEO Connect with commercial real estate giant Tere Blanca being interviewed by City Year’s Saif Ishoof. City Year is doing a great job of getting the business community involved in public schools. Business leaders like Blanca are doing more than expressing worries about the quality of our public schools, they are doing a lot to create progresss.

Second up was our panel discussion about the potential for doing business in Cuba. It was great to see a panel and an audience that was open to discussing the issues given how sensitive the subject is in the Miami area.

My takeaway is just how far we are from even contemplating doing business with Cuba beyond the agricultural and telecommunications sectors, which currently have more latitude to do business.

First, we would have to see an end to the embargo, which we can expect to be a hot issue in the presidential race. Second, our panelists outlined the infrastructure challenges that will be daunting to doing business throughout the island. For example, building resorts on the island will be attractive given the hundreds of miles of shoreline, but how will you get vacationers there?

We have a report on brew pubs, which have emerged as one of the hottest trends in South Florida. One things for certain: These are businesses I can happily support. ?

       Kevin Gale

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