Broward uses $140M in COVID funds to build hotel

Broward County officials allocated about $140 million in COVID-relief funds to build a new Convention Center hotel.

BROWARD COUNTY, Fla. – Broward County commissioners allocated about $140 million — in federal relief funds related to the coronavirus pandemic — to build a new 29-story luxury hotel.

The funds for the 800-room hotel come from the $350 billion American Rescue Plan, also known as the COVID-19 Stimulus Package.

Officials view it as an investment in the Greater Fort Lauderdale Broward County Convention Center even though it is in no way related to public health.

Related story: Pandemic relief money spent on hotel, ballpark, ski slopes

The hotel was among the projects the Associated Press identified as “spending disasters” because of “permissive” Treasury Department rules.

Liz Bourgeois, a spokeswoman for the Treasury Department, told The Associated Press the funds are meant to help local governments to “recover from financial distress” and “achieve their own strategies for restoring jobs.”

About the Author:

Michael Putney came to Local 10 in 1989 to become senior political reporter and host of "This Week In South Florida with Michael Putney." He is Local 10's senior political reporter.