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.”