PORT EVERGLADES, Fla. – As healthcare workers begin receiving the first round of the COVID-19 vaccines in South Florida, the cruise industry is preparing to welcome travelers once again.
Cruise lines are continuing to get ready, and one of South Florida’s busy ports is getting a major makeover.
Construction continued Monday inside the brand-new Herron Garage at Port Everglades. A state-of-the-art people mover is also coming into shape, built to serve passengers in terminals two and four.
The $120 million project includes touchless parking management systems and solar panels.
“We’ve done everything we can to accelerate while business is down and times are a little bit slower,” said Port Everglades CEO Jonathan Daniels. “You don’t see the congestion. You don’t see people moving through.”
Daniels is hoping the renovations will be completed once sailing resumes; the COVID-19 pandemic shut down the industry in early March.
“For us, it’s extremely devastating,” he said.
At Port Everglades, cruising related revenues are down about $60 million. It employs around 13,000 people, 6,000 of which have lost their jobs.
Of those 6,000 people, 4,500 work in the cruise industry.
“We’re prepared for the return of cruising certainly infrastructure wise,” Daniels said.