September 19, 2012

Thousands Celebrated At Downtown Boca’s Friday Night Live! “Brazilian Beat” Brazil’s Independence Day Festivities

Spirited “Dancin’ In The Street” Program Featured Zumba Showcase, Capoeira Dancers, Carnival Dancers And Drummers, Performances By Batuke Samba Funk, Rose Max, And More

About 10,000 South Florida residents and visitors, from all Miami to the Treasure Coast, flocked to Downtown Boca, “where Boca and Brazil planned to meet to celebrate the Brazilian Beat” as the destination presented this month’s Friday Night LIVE! salute to Brazil’s Independence Day with free, open-to-the-public festivities.

Event-goers of all ages were dancin’ in the streets, enjoying the live Brazilian music and entertainment, including award-winning singer Rose Max and fan-favorite Batuke Samba Funk. The packed spirited schedule also featured Capoeira dancers, Carnival drummers and dancers, a Zumba demonstration, DJ Fred, shopping, dining, art, fashion and more. The popular Gourmet Truck Expo with café seating, Potions in Motion and Baja Café with Leblon served up Brazilian favorites as participating businesses extended hours for exploring and enjoying the destination, from Mizner Park to Royal Palm Place, including the signature collection of shops and boutiques, restaurants and galleries.

Downtown Boca and the City of Boca Raton hosted the festivities in partnership with the Consulate General of Brazil in Miami, the Palm Beach County Convention & Visitors Bureau, Friday Night LIVE! series presenting sponsor JM Lexus, Banco do Brasil as the evening’s Official Programming Sponsor, plus the Rotary Club of West Boca Raton, Leblon, Café Brasil 88.9 FM, Boca Tribune, Gazeta Brazilian News and Acontece Magazine. During the evening, Boca Raton Mayor Susan Whelchel alongside Deputy Mayor Susan Haynie and Community Redevelopment Agency Chair and Council Member Constance Scott welcomed Ambassador Helio Victor Ramos, Consulate General of Brazil in Miami and presented him with the key to the City of Boca Raton and a proclamation. Following remarks from the Ambassador, both the Star-Spangled Banner and the Brazilian National Anthem were played.

Batuke Samba Funk, a unique collective of musicians from Brazil and Miami, then took the stage to perform the classic samba/soul sound originating in Rio de Janiero in the late 1960s. The group combined the percussive grooves of Brazilian samba with the funk rhythms of American legends like James Brown and Earth, Wind & Fire. Batuke Samba Funk was founded in 2008 by bassist extraordinaire Diogo Olivera and features a revolving cast of the very finest musicians playing guitars, bass, drums, vocals and Afro-Brazilian percussion. As a signature element of the show, the band erupted into a samba jam session using traditional Brazilian drums as well as recycled objects such as cans, buckets and scrap metal to create a joyous carnival atmosphere.

Rose Max, “South Florida’s favorite Brazilian singer,” followed Batuke Samba Funk with her mesmerizing guitarist Ramatis Moraes. They “fired up” the streetside dance floor with authentic, classic samba music inspired by the nightclubs of Rio de Janiero accompanied by a pulsating band and a lively percussion section. Max’s talent and performance has earned her several Miami New Times “Best of” awards as well as three Brazilian International Press Awards.

For the full photo gallery from the evening and updates on other Downtown Boca news and upcoming events such as the free, family-friendly Meet Me On The Promenade: Downtown Boca two-night, one-day street fest with plenty of Halloween Happenings! programming on October 26th and 27th, visit www.DowntownBoca.Org often, become of a Facebook fan at or call 561-367-7070.

Popular Free Street-Filling “Meet Me On The Promenade” Two-Night, One-Day Fest Featuring Downtown Boca’s Best Returns With An Abundance Of New Programming And Halloween Happenings October 26-27, 2012

Stroll-able, Bike-able, Shop-able, and Dine-able, Event Stages, Plenty Of “Friends & Family” Fun With VIB (Very Important Bike) Parking,
Family and Sports Zones, Themed Villages, Halloween Costume Contests,
Shop-to-Shop Trick-Or-Treating, 
BeetleJuice’s Rock ‘N Roll Monster Revue,
Staged Keepsake Photo Opportunities, And More

BOCA RATON, FL (September 10, 2012)— Following the recent spirited Friday Night LIVE! Brazilian Beat festivities hosted by Downtown Boca that drew 10,000 to celebrate Brazil’s Independence Day, Downtown Boca ramps up for its second annual Meet Me On The Promenade free two-night, one-day street-filling community fest set for Friday, October 26th from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. and Saturday, October 27th from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.

Complete with street-filling live entertainment, great shopping and dining specials, family activities, staged keepsake photo opportunities (including next to the Office Depot Tony Stewart NASCAR shoe car), and more, this year’s event will have a festive Halloween twist with a Downtown Boca Halloween costume contest, shop-to-shop “trick or treating”, Happy Halloween Hours and early family dining specials, and a BEETLEJUICE’S Rock ‘N Roll Monster Revue. Through a fun “Stroll, Shop & Savor” self-tour, event-goers will get plenty of opportunity to explore and enjoy the eclectic live-work-play-stay features of Boca's new generation Downtown for all generations via event programming designed for discovering all there is to see and do along the Promenade and the areas that it connects such as Palmetto Park Road, N.E. First Avenue, Boca Raton Road, Mizner Park and Royal Palm Place.

Throughout the fest, there will be an on-going schedule of live entertainment; family-friendly interactive programming and festivities; cultural, wellness and nonprofit showcases; sports and games programming; an artists and crafters expo; a Boca Chamber Village; restaurant food tastings, demos and special Promenade weekend menus; trunk shows; art gallery shows; guided and self-walking tours of Historic Downtown Boca; “chances to win”, staged commemorative photo opportunities and more.

Participating shops and restaurants will be extending their hours into the late evening with ‘after parties’ held at Downtown Boca clubs and pubs. Event-goers will find plenty of free parking with complimentary trolley pick up and drop off to these locations during event hours, as well as the Comerica VIB (Very Important Bike) Parking Center at the bank’s Downtown Boca branch (where East Palmetto Park Road meets Federal Highway) from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday.

Friday night will feature live “Glee-full” entertainment and live bands, introduction of official Boca Downtowner signature cocktails, and a staged “Fall For Downtown Boca” keepsake photo op for event goers inside a gigantic “walk in” commemorative globe. The evening festivities will kick off with the attendees joining in the official Downtown Boca Bop line dance led by the Fred Astaire Dance Studio in Boca Raton that choreographed and debuted the popular dance at last year’s inaugural Meet Me On The Promenade event. Saturday morning starts early with the American Cancer Society’s 11th Annual Making Strides Against Breast Cancer Walk that begins at the Mizner Park Amphitheater and routes walkers through Downtown Boca along Palmetto Park Road to AIA and back. Meet Me On The Promenade programming throughout the Downtown immediately follows the ACS Walk, with mid-afternoon excitement of a Halloween Happenings! festivities running into the night with after parties at area clubs and pubs.

“This year’s enjoyable event will be even more walk-able, stroll-able, shop-able, dine-able and now bike-able, as Downtown Boca collaborates with the American Cancer Society, area businesses, programming partners, sponsors and area nonprofits to make this a community fest with Halloween Happenings! to long remember,” said Boca Raton Community Redevelopment Agency Chair and City Council Member Constance Scott. “We encourage everyone to come early, stay late…where something for everyone awaits.”

According to City of Boca Raton Downtown Manager Ruby Childers, a “Stroll, Shop & Savor” Downtown Boca self-guided tour program will help attendees  navigate easily through Downtown Boca's community assets: dining, shopping, fashion, culture, family fun, living, and nightlife and all the Meet Me On The Promenade scheduled activities and programming, entertainment, retail and dining discounts, and giveaway offerings. Participating retailers and restaurants will remain open late, and trolleys will run continually during Meet Me On The Promenade activities. Showcasing the eclectic live-work-play-stay features of Boca's new generation Downtown for all generations, Meet Me On The Promenade event programming is designed for discovering all there is to see and do along the Promenade.

“Meet Me On The Promenade returns as the perfect example of successful public/private partnership engagement as is hosted by the Boca Raton Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA); developed and implemented by the City's branding and marketing consultants; produced by City staff; supported by the connectivity, participation and collaboration of Downtown Boca businesses and completely underwritten by community stakeholders and partners who understand the important impact a vibrant Downtown community has on lifestyle and economic benefits for an entire community and destination,” said  CRA Chair and City Council Member Constance Scott. She added that more than 14,000 event-goers filled the streets of the Promenade during the inaugural event, driving new business to the participating retailers, salons, spas, boutiques, restaurants, galleries and more.

Meet Me On The Promenade Sponsors and Partners to date include Office Depot; Office Depot Foundation; Multi Image Group; AVR Depot; Sun-Sentinel; Forum Publishing Group; Mizner Park/General Growth Properties; Allianz Championship; Coldwell Banker; Lesser, Lesser, Landy & Smith, PLLC; Kaye Communications, Inc.; Comerica Bank; RAM, Nestler Poletto Sotheby’s International Realty; Art Attack!; Potions In Motion; Gourmet Truck Expo; the American Cancer Society; Florida Panthers; Boca Raton Children’s Museum; Florida Atlantic University Charles E. Schmidt College of Medicine; several public and private schools including Olympic Heights High School, Grandview Preparatory School, Saint Andrews School; Spirit of Giving Network; Junior League of Boca Raton; Boca Raton Museum of Art; Boca Raton History Museum;  Greater Boca Raton Chamber of Commerce; Palm Beach County Convention & Visitors Bureau; Penn-Florida; Tucci’s Pizza; Royal Palm Place; nonprofit organizations, and media including South Florida Parenting, Boca Raton Forum, West Boca Forum, Coral Springs Forum, Delray Forum, City Link, Boca Piquant, Boca Raton Tribune; The Coastal Star; South Florida Sunrise,; and more.

"There are still plenty of ways to 'be a part of it, in the heart of it'," noted Boca Raton Downtown Manager Ruby Childers. "Great sponsorship and programming partnership opportunities are still available and encouraged. This event provides Downtown businesses, nonprofit organizations, schools and universities, and business friends of Downtown Boca the ability to share their missions, products and services with thousands while showing their support of Downtown Boca."

To become a programming partner, visit; register as an exhibitor, visit, or to become a sponsor, contact Jon A. Kaye at Kaye Communications, Inc., Downtown Boca’s official branding and marketing firm, at, 561-392-5166-office, or 561-756-3097.

For updates on Meet Me On The Promenade and other Downtown Boca events, visit often, become of a Facebook fan at or call 561-367-7070.


*click to enlarge

September 04, 2012

AWH Partners, LLC In Partnership with The Lane Organization, LLC Announces Purchase and Redevelopment of Waterfront Boca Raton Bridge Hotel

Winston Harton Holdings, LLC and August Group Ventures, LLC in Partnership with The Lane Organization, LLC Acquire the Boutique Hotel and Plan A Multimillion-Dollar Reinvention

AWH Partners, LLC (AWH) -- a joint venture of Winston Harton Holdings, LLC (WHH) and August Group Ventures, LLC (AGV) -- in partnership with The Lane Organization, LLC today announced the acquisition and planned reinvention of the Boca Raton Bridge Hotel, the waterfront boutique hotel renowned for its ideal location on the Intracoastal Waterway, panoramic water views from every guest room, and offering the only on-the-water public restaurant dining in Boca Raton. The transaction price was not disclosed.

According to AWH Principal Russ Flicker, the Bridge Hotel will remain one of Boca’s most notable, continuing to operate as a traditional hotel, yet repositioned and transformed to be more relevant and exciting to meet the desires and needs of today’s discerning vacationers as well as social and business guests. The redevelopment plan includes entirely new hospitality and dining concepts, expanded waterfront amenities, as well as a new dock flanking the property’s entire Lake Boca perimeter so that diners and hotel guests will soon have the option to arrive by boat. Extensive renovations of guestrooms, restaurants and public spaces will begin in spring 2013.

“We are very excited to add the Bridge Hotel to our collection of repositioned luxury hotel properties,” noted Flicker, who along with many of the principals and senior management of the joint venture and partnership has a long respected history of successful hotel and residential development in South Florida, and in Boca Raton specifically. “Our past experience in Boca Raton was extremely positive; we are passionate about the market and its assets, and very much look forward to our seasoned team of designers and consultants completely transforming the hotel into a premier South Florida experience with its own newly positioned distinctive signature in the destination.”

AWH Principal Chad Cooley reported that Lane Hospitality (unrelated to The Lane Organization) has been awarded the hotel management contract to guide the reinvention of The Bridge Hotel to a 4-Star position leveraging the firm’s seasoned expertise and deep experience in renovating, repositioning and operating first-class independent hotels and resorts. For the Bridge Hotel transformation, Lane Hospitality brings more than 30 successful years experience managing hotels and resorts, including both unique independents and leading brands such as Hilton, Marriott, InterContinental Hotels Group and others. Lane Hospitality President & CEO Bill DeForrest is a member of the InterContinental Hotel Owners’ Association Board of Directors and Lane Hospitality’s entire executive team is involved with brand and statewide hotel associations.

“The Bridge Hotel property complements our operational and repositioning experience with independent hotels and resorts,” noted DeForrest. “Working with the ownership team we will, ensure a successful repositioning that will benefit the greater Boca Raton community and local tourism industry as well as deliver a profitable return to its ownership. We challenge our hotels to strive for excellence and rely on our leadership team of professionals to ensure an impeccable guest experience at each property we manage.”

The seasoned team of AGV and WHH bring extensive experience in hospitality investment, development and management. The team formed AWH Partners to pursue hospitality investments requiring capital infusions and/or repositioning.

“Our partnership’s mandate is to identify and acquire outstanding assets in key locations that require operational and physical repositioning to achieve their highest and best use,” added Flicker. “For us, acquiring the Bridge was ideal. Not only is the property an established community icon in an enviable locale with a longtime history serving as the locals’ favorite ‘guesthouse’ for visiting friends, family, and colleagues, it affords our partnership the opportunity to return to South Florida to expand our presence and add yet another ‘hotel repositioning success story’ to our burgeoning portfolio.”


About AWH Partners, LLC
AWH Partners, LLC, a joint venture between August Group Ventures, LLC and Winston Harton Holdings, LLC, offers an experienced institutional investment and management platform with dedicated capital. For more information, visit

About August Group Ventures, LLC
August Group Ventures is a privately held real estate investment, development and management firm founded in 2009 by New York-based Related Companies veteran Chad Cooley to pursue opportunities in the ailing hospitality market.  August Group owns and manages hotels around the United States and seeks opportunities to invest in and manage assets requiring capital, repositioning and turn-around expertise. For more information, visit

About Winston Harton Holdings, LLC
Winston Harton Holdings, LLC (WHH) was established by Russell Flicker and Jonathan Rosenfeld to acquire distressed, value-added and operationally intensive real estate assets through equity and debt. Its principals have extensive experience and complementary skill sets in the real estate sector, including acquisitions (private transactions and public securities), capital markets and asset management and asset repositioning. WHH will partner with both traditional institutional capital as well as private pools of capital to pursue transactions ranging from $10 - $250 mm.  For more information, visit

About The Lane Organization LLC
The Lane Organization LLC (“Lane Organization”) was founded by Clifford P. Lane and his son Matthew in 2011. Focusing on luxury hotels, the Lane Organization enters into cities to reposition assets and team up with management firms who can assimilate to their locations while standing out amongst the competition. The Lane Organization emphasizes building strong partnerships while maintaining the company’s core ideas, beliefs, and values to ensure the success of all of its properties. For more information please visit

About Lane Hospitality
Lane Hospitality offers expertise in all facets of hospitality management and is committed to preserving, protecting and enhancing the value of hotel real estate. For more information, visit

AWH Principal Russ Flicker