The Other Surprising Hollywood: How This Beautiful Beach Getaway Can Make You Smile

The Other Surprising Hollywood: How This Beautiful Beach Getaway Can Make You Smile

Approximately 2,725 miles from California’s glamorous celebrity-rich Hollywood, a beautiful Florida beach getaway also named Hollywood stretches open its inviting arms. And what a welcoming hug it gives. Near Miami, Miami Beach and Fort Lauderdale—all of which have their own unique hotspot pleasures and treasures—this Hollywood haven on the Atlantic Ocean exudes a more relaxed, intimate vibe that appeals to families, couples and singles who desire a quieter space and pace to recharge.

Hollywood pinned on a map of USA

Especially enticing are Hollywood’s arts and culture scenes, as well as foodie finds. Discover neighborhoods filled with 1920s architecture and streets shaded with grand rows of regal Royal Palms. Here, fun reasons to make a splash in this under-the-radar star.

Hollywood Beach Bonanza. Stroll the bright-idea, exercise-encouraging Broadwalk. Kick off your shoes and wiggle freed toes into the 2.5-mile-long, cashmere-soft sandy shore. Gaze at the vast ocean-scape and wide-yonder sky.

Hollywood Beach, Florida
A Shore Thing: Elegant street markers line the stone-paved Hollywood Beach Broadwalk—an engaging … [+]Getty

On the horizon, note moving ships and swooping birds. Meander its length, dotted with more than 50 eateries and 30 shops. Every day, there are scheduled activities (many of them free)—live music, kite-flying, classes: yoga, dance, meditation. It’s a stylish yet laid-back seaside escape in which to let your hair down and lift your spirits up.

Laura Manske Contributor Travel , Forbes Magazine
Oct 29, 2019, 02:39pm

See the Vision for Hollywood Beach – Community Meeting

See the Vision for Hollywood Beach – Community Meeting

See the Vision for Hollywood Beach-

• Undergrounding of Utilities
• A1A Proposed Enhancements
• North Segment Pedestrian Crossings

Wednesday, October 23 / 7:30 pm

Hollywood Beach Culture and Community Center
1301 S. Ocean Drive, Hollywood, FL 33079

For more Information Contact Sarita Shamah at

Phone: 954-924-2980

Hurricane Dorian:  Be Prepared

Hurricane Dorian: Be Prepared

Hollywood’s Mayor Encourages Residents to Monitor and Prepare for Hurricane Dorian

City of Hollywood Emergency Management staff and public safety personnel are monitoring the track and development of Hurricane Dorian and Hollywood Mayor Josh Levy is encouraging residents to review their hurricane plans and make sure they are prepared for the potential of severe weather and possible hurricane conditions.

Heavy rains are expected to occur over portions of the Bahamas, Florida and elsewhere in the southeastern United States later this week and into early next week. The risk of dangerous storm surge and hurricane-force winds is increasing along the east coast of Florida, although it is still too soon for forecasters to determine precisely where these hazards will occur.

Residents are encouraged to continue monitoring this storm and should ensure they have a hurricane plan in place and not focus on the forecast track of Dorian’s center.

“The latest forecast from the National Hurricane Center has Dorian developing into a Major Category 3 hurricane over the next several days as it draws closer to Florida. It’s important that residents prepare, but not panic,” says Mayor Levy.

Residents are encouraged to use this time to finalize their personal hurricane preparations:

• Gather your hurricane supplies now if you have not already done so. You should have three days’ worth of supplies, such as non-perishable food and water, for each person in your household.
• Residents should refrain from cutting trees or doing additional landscaping projects until after this storm passes. Solid/commingled and recyclable materials should be properly secured in a safe, sheltered location.
• Make plans to secure any outdoor items that could be blown around in the storm. Bring them indoors or otherwise secure them as the storm approaches.

The City of Hollywood does not have sandbags for distribution. Residents are encouraged to visit the City of Hollywood’s website at www.hollywood for hurricane preparation tips and information regarding where to purchase sandbags and other hurricane supplies.

Before, during and after a storm important information will be posted on the City’s website at Opens a New Window. , shared via CodeRED Alerts, through NotifyMe “News and Announcements” email and text messages and on the City’s social media sites on Facebook and Twitter. Receive the latest emergency updates and information by signing up today. Please bookmark, follow, like and subscribe to the City’s various information sources to be in the know.

Emergency Website: Opens a New Window.  
Twitter: @cohgov
Facebook: @CityOfHollywoodFL
YouTube: hollywoodflch78
CodeRED: Opens a New Window.

Please stay tuned to local radio and television broadcasts for further details of the storm movement and impact to our area.Additional Info…

Nick’s Bar on Hollywood Beach aims for September reopening

Nick’s Bar on Hollywood Beach aims for September reopening

The last cold beers and rum runners were served over a year ago. When will the next ones flow at Nick’s Bar and Grill on Hollywood Beach?

Late September, longtime owner Bob Ferro says. Maybe. He hopes.

Renovations began last August on the 40-year-old institution on the Hollywood Broadwalk.

“I try not to get aggravated, but the wait is killing me,” Ferro says.

What was supposed to be a three-month freshening turned into a gutting and rebuilding, one that keeps bringing unexpected delays and hurdles.

The latest setback: the new roof has a leak. It has to be resealed and patched around some rooftop flanges. Then there are the contractors who say they’re going to show up and don’t.

“Same old s—,” Ferro says.

He sat along the Broadwalk wall Monday, unlit cigar in his hand, talking about how he had to cancel his usual August vacation to the races in Saratoga Springs, N.Y., because of the ongoing work.

Every targeted reopening date has turned to dust: last November, then spring, then June. On Monday, another round of electrical inspections were supposed to be done. Then the rooftop patching. The inside walls still need to be finished, followed by installation of kitchen and bar equipment and furnishings.

Nick’s Bar and Grill in 2014. (Mike Stocker / Sun Sentinel)

Initial work last summer revealed major termite damage and rot from salt water. A near complete tear-down ensued.

The building, at the corner of Minnesota Street and the Broadwalk, dates to the 1940s, when it started as a hot dog stand. It was converted to a bar and restaurant in the late 1970s by a Canadian owner named Nick. Bob Ferro and his brother Carl kept the original name when they bought the restaurant in 1980 after moving from Boston.

Popular with tourists and locals for its cold beers and icy rum runners dispatched through open windows, Nick’s is known for laid-back, Old Florida charm that fits perfectly with beach breezes and summer torpor. Nick’s has been used for scenes in numerous movies including 1981’s “Body Heat” and 2008’s “Marley and Me.”

The restaurant was known for New England-style seafood such as lobsters, chowder and steamed clams. Nick’s will feature a similar menu and vibe when it reopens, Ferro says, along with its late-night bar scene.

Nick’s Bar and Grill on Hollywood Beach in 2007. (Rhonda Vanover / Sun Sentinel file photo)

Michael Mayo South Florida Sun Sentinel Columnist

Dim those bright lights or face $1,000 a day in fines on Hollywood beach

Dim those bright lights or face $1,000 a day in fines on Hollywood beach

dim lights for sea turtles article
The bright lights coming from businesses along Hollywood’s Broadwalk might cause confused sea turtle hatchlings to turn toward the shops rather than the sea, city officials say. Florio’s of Little Italy got a warning on Tuesday to dim the lights. (Michael Laughlin / South Florida Sun Sentinel/South Florida Sun Sentinel)

Bright lights might lead people to your door, but they could also land you a hefty $1,000-a-day fine if you own a home, cafe, condo or business along Hollywood’s oceanfront.

That’s because Hollywood is launching a crackdown on every home and business that’s breaking the city’s turtle lighting laws.

By instinct, baby sea turtles follow the moon to the sea. But one bright light from land can send them crawling the wrong way.

Disoriented hatchlings can wind up in nearby parking lots and roads, where they can be crushed by cars, preyed on by birds or dry up in the harsh morning sun. Hatchlings already have terrible odds: Only one in 1,000 survive to adulthood.

In 2000, Broward County required all cities along the coast to pass laws requiring turtle-friendly lighting during nesting season from March through October.

Hollywood was the last city to do so, finally passing a law in 2011 that applied only to new construction. Existing buildings were not required to dim their lights until 2015.

Four years later, some have yet to do so.

John Weitzner, a code enforcement officer assigned to the beach, aims to change that.

Over the next four weeks, he’ll spend every workday patrolling the beach at night to hunt for lighting lawbreakers from the Dania Beach line all the way to Hallandale Beach.

Other coastal cities say they’re already keeping a close eye on the glow that comes from restaurants and shops along their beaches.

So far this year, Deerfield Beach has issued 25 warnings to businesses that have violated its turtle lighting rules.

Two code officers walk the beach three times a month during nesting season to address any violations, said city spokesman David Hunt.

“As far as fines go, we have not had a case go before the magistrate yet,” Hunt said. “Our philosophy is more about education than fines. All of the warnings issued this year were quickly addressed.”

In Fort Lauderdale, code officers do inspections twice a week to make sure shops and other buildings along the beach are following the city’s turtle-lighting laws, said city spokesman Matt Little.

Code officers have given three warning citations and one $150-a-day fine so far this year, Little said.

Pompano Beach officials do checks every month, says city spokeswoman Sandra King.

Fines can be up to $1,000 a day for first-time violations. That can rise to $5,000 a day for repeat violations.

And the fines can go as high as $15,000 per violation if the code enforcement board or special magistrate finds the violation to be irreparable or irreversible.

In 1986, Boca Raton became one of the first municipalities in the state to approve a lighting ordinance designed to protect nesting sea turtles.

That ordinance has been used as a model for other cities, including Deerfield and Pompano.

During nesting season, the stretch of A1A north and south of Spanish River Boulevard relies on LED markers while overhead streetlights go dark to help reduce sky glow.

Boca Raton monitors its beach regularly and had a few violations last year, says city spokeswoman Chrissy Gibson. Those who fail to comply can face fines of $1,000 a day, she said.

In Hollywood, Weitzner says he’s expecting to have a busy month.

So far, he’s cited two Broadwalk establishments near Garfield Street — Florio’s of Little Italy and the Shirtery souvenir shop next door — for having lights too bright for turtle season. Each owner has 10 days to dim the lights or face fines of $1,000 a day

“They’re not the only ones,” Weitzner said. “This is going to be enforced strictly now. It has been on the books [for years] and people know it’s out there.”

He already has his eyes on another target, an ice cream shop with neon lights that cast a bright glow along the Broadwalk.

Hollywood’s crackdown was sparked by a concerned resident who sounded the alarm on social media.

Madison Jane Pollard, 23, found hatchlings wandering along the Broadwalk on Sunday night near Florio’s shortly before 11 p.m.

“I saw a turtle on the Broadwalk heading west,” she said. “I look up and see Florio’s and I see their spotlight.”

The next day, she called city and county officials and blasted the news on Facebook in a post shared more than 130 times.

By Tuesday, Weitzner had cited Florio’s and the neighboring souvenir shop and was already rearranging his hours so he could scout for illegal lights.

At least one business owner is already making the required changes.

Florio’s co-owner Giuseppe Viscito says he has dimmed the lights and will no longer use a bright projector light outside the restaurant.

“We had six lights and left four on” during turtle nesting season, he said. “Now we are down to two, so it’s even darker. We talked to code

four years go and they told us to lower the lights, so we did. And now they told us to lower them more, so we did.”

To report a turtle lighting problem on Hollywood beach, call 786-202-3957.

If you find disoriented hatchlings going the wrong way, you can call one of three numbers: Sea Turtle Oversight Protection’s 24-hour hatchling emergency hotline at 954-404-0025; Broward’s sea turtle hotline at 954-328-0580; or the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission at 888-404-FWCC, or text *FWC from your cellphone.

It’s about time, says Richard WhiteCloud, director of Sea Turtle Oversight Protection, a group that deploys volunteers to rescue disoriented hatchlings.

“Hollywood is pretty much the bastard child when it comes to enforcing the lighting ordinance,” WhiteCloud said. “Florio’s is one of 100 incidents. Turtles disorient all the time down in Hollywood.”
By Susannah Bryan
South Florida Sun Sentinel | Jul 26, 2019 | 7:00 AM | HOLLYWOOD

2019 SUNsational Service Award Winners

2019 SUNsational Service Award Winners

Hollywood businesses scored 3 of the 11 SUNsational Service Awards presented this year by the Fort Lauderdale Convention and Visitors Bureau. That’s the most of any area in the county and shows that Hollywood is a leader in service! More than 130 people were nominated for providing exceptional guest experiences across all sectors of the tourism industry. Take a look at these three amazing staff members from T.Y. Park, Margaritaville Hollywood Beach Resort and Water Taxi who love their jobs and enjoy serving the guests who come to our community. Congratulations to them and the businesses they represent for a job well done!

See all the Greater Fort Lauderdale SUNsational Service Award Winners here:

Click on the Winners below to watch their videos.

Sebastian Serna, TY park

Sebastian Serna, Maintenance Worker, T.Y.

On January 5, 2019, Sebastian was visiting shelters at T.Y. Park to empty trash when he noticed something was wrong with a patron. He asked her if she was choking. She was unable to verbally respond, and her friends and family said she was choking. Sebastian immediately stood her up and began performing the Heimlich Maneuver. She vomited and spit the food she was choking on out. She was okay following the incident. Sebastian’s quick action helped saved the lady, as the family and friends did not know what to do.

Joadis Boza, server

Joadis Boza, Server at Landshark Bar & Grill at Margaritaville Hollywood Beach Resort

With her magical smile and aura of positivity, Joadis of Landshark Bar & Grill at Margaritaville Hollywood Beach Resort embodies SUNsational Service. She has been recognized for her expert execution of the 10-5 rule (eye contact and a verbal greeting). She impressed a potential client doing a site visit so much, that the client wrote an email to the resort’s general manager, calling out her amazing experience with Joadis. Here’s a snippet of that letter: “Our server Jo was the most friendly, grounded, smart, effervescent, outgoing and outright good at what she does server I ever had. Her desire to be helpful and to make sure there were no complaints come out loud and clear.”

David Farr

David Farr, Crew at Water Taxi

In November 2018, the Water Taxi’s Margaritaville Express boat was about a mile north of the Hollywood stop in the Intracoastal Waterway. The mate, David Farr, heard shouts from the starboard side of the boat. He called to the captain, who immediately throttled back and slowed the boat. A disoriented man had fallen off his kayak and was struggling with the tide. David asked if he needed the lifebuoy, which he declined. The mate then placed the buoy close by in case it was needed later. With the boat still idling and drifting alongside, David deployed the rescue platform and clambered down to the water level. David reached the gentleman’s hand and got him onto the boat. He also helped retrieve the kayak.

They’re like Uber but free: New electric shuttles popping up all over South Florida

They’re like Uber but free: New electric shuttles popping up all over South Florida

Passengers at the beach on Arizona Street inquire about the new electric vehicle shuttle now available in Hollywood. The Sun Shuttle, operated by Circuit, is available for free in downtown Hollywood, on Hollywood Beach and along Federal Highway. To catch a ride, passengers can download the Ride Circuit app, wave down a driver, or go to a designated pick up location. (Mike Stocker / Sun Sentinel)

You may have heard that in life there are no free rides. Forget about that. In a growing number of South Florida cities, you really can ride for free.

So you’ll have to forego air conditioning, the ride won’t last more than five or 10 minutes, and you won’t exceed 35 mph. But you can take comfort in knowing you are helping to reduce fossil fuel emissions. Tipping the driver is optional.

Partnering with local governments and private advertisers, several companies are building fleets of low-speed street-legal six-seat electric shuttles to ferry the permanently or temporarily car-less over short distances within congested urban zones.

Pedestrians in busy sections of Fort Lauderdale, Palm Beach and West Palm Beach can use smartphone apps to summon rides from two growing services: Freebee, in the middle of a pilot program in a square-mile section of downtown Fort Lauderdale, and Circuit (formerly The Free Ride), which serves Fort Lauderdale’s beachfront resort area and last week began shuttling tourists and commuters in the core area of Hollywood.

Both companies also serve communities in Miami-Dade, while Circuit operates in West Palm Beach, the Town of Palm Beach and Gardens Mall in Palm Beach Gardens.

Another company, Swoop, operates exclusively in Miami Beach, with vehicles advertising various lifestyle brands as Spanx, Glam Squad, European Wax Center and Coterie.

The services typically operate within densely populated areas no larger than a square mile on streets with speed limits no higher than 35 mph.

As South Florida developers have no choice but to turn away from sprawl and focus instead on building high-rise, mixed-use, “live-work-play” communities, founders of the eco-friendly electric fleets say that — by providing access to train and bus stations — they’re helping residents realize the dream of living without a car.

Circuit loops downtown Hollywood to the beachside

Circuit was founded in The Hamptons, a string of seaside resort communities on Long Island, New York, in 2011 when co-founders Alex Esposito and James Mirras discovered that consumer product brands would fund the entire cost of operation for the opportunity to advertise to the area’s affluent residents.

The company then replicated the concept on the Jersey Shore; in Austin, Texas; and in such popular California beach communities as Santa Monica, Long Beach, Venice, San Diego and Marina del Ray, among other destinations.

“The initial concept was using ad dollars to get people from crowded urban areas to the beach,” Esposito said in an interview. Then as the company started working closely with San Diego in 2016, “we realized our simple beach shuttle concept had great applications in congested urban areas.”

Despite targeting affluent enclaves, the services are used by anyone needing access to and from the companies’ service areas — bartenders who take the train, office workers going to lunch, high-rise condo residents heading to dinner or a show. Unlike fixed route services like trains and buses, the companies’ electric vehicles come to their clients, pick them up and drop them off at their destinations.

Hollywood’s partnership with Circuit began when the city solicited bids to replace its Hollywood Trolley, which will be shut down by June 30. Circuit agreed to run six cars daily — and up to 10 during the busiest parts of the season — within three zones: the city’s beachside, Federal Highway business district and downtown. Shuttles will also run between downtown and the beachside via Hollywood Boulevard.

The city wanted a service that would be free to riders, said Joanne Hussey. the city’s communications manager.

“Riders can use their app to ask them to come and get them. We really liked that. They didn’t have to go to a trolley stop and wait. We had feedback from people saying, ‘When I go to the trolley stop, I don’t know when it’s going to be there.’ We also liked that this uses electric vehicles.” That fit in the city’s goal to be as “green” as possible, she added.

Users can hail rides by downloading a smartphone app called Ride Circuit, or, if they see one of the vehicles approaching, simply hail it as one would hail a cab, Hussey said. The city is calling its service Sun Shuttle.

Hollywood’s contract with Circuit calls for the city to spend up to $884,351 annually, but that can be reduced by an agreement that pays the city half of any money generated by Circuit’s sale of advertising in and on the vehicles.

Freebee juggles three business models

Jason Spiegel, a University of Miami grad who started Freebee in 2011 with fellow Hurricane alum Kris Kimball, said his company can make money giving away free rides by pursuing three business models:

One model calls for cities to fund the entire operation as if it was their own.

Under the second, the city pays a contracted rate that gets reduced as advertising is sold. Prior to its current deal with Freebee, Coral Gables agreed to pay $300,000 a year and saw that amount reduced to $110,000 after Baptist Health came on board as sole sponsor. But when the contract came up for renewal, Coral Gables decided it didn’t want outside advertising and agreed to pay $486,000 to expand from three to five vehicles and keep its service self-branded, Spiegel said.

Under the third model, ad revenues fund the entire operation. Riders are greeted with ads not only wrapped around the outside of the vehicles, but inside and on mounted tablets. Often drivers pass out product samples provided by the advertisers. Riders can take selfies with the tablets, send them to their friends and even listen to their requested music, Spiegel said.

Freebee is funding the three-month pilot program in downtown Fort Lauderdale solely with ad revenue, Spiegel said. Beer maker Corona had an exclusive contract during the first month and rum giant Bacardi is sponsoring the final two months, he said.

The company is negotiating terms of a longer-term deal that could include more service areas, more vehicles and expanded hours if the city agrees to contribute financially, Spiegel said.

Hours of operation vary among the services and zones. In Fort Lauderdale, Freebee operates until 6 p.m. Monday through Thursday, until 9 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and until 2 p.m. on Sunday.

Circuit operates in Hollywood from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday.

Spiegel said he’s not concerned about competition from Circuit, which beat Freebee to the Fort Lauderdale market with its own fully ad-supported service that operates on the beachside, downtown area and Las Olas Boulevard.

He says there’s plenty of business to go around, even if Freebee achieves its goal of expanding to other areas of Fort Lauderdale, including the beachside and Cypress Creek Road business district.

Founded in 2013, Freebee employs about 75 full time workers in South Florida, Spiegel said, adding, “That should be over 100 over the next few months.”

Circuit, founded in 2011, employs 32 in South Florida — not all of them full-time — and 140 nationwide, according to Circuit partner Jason Bagley.

Ron Hurtibise South Florida Sun Sentinel

Free to paddle board wherever you want, almost? Hollywood gives it a go

Free to paddle board wherever you want, almost? Hollywood gives it a go

Cat Uden, a Hollywood activist and chairwoman of the local Surfrider chapter, says Hollywood’s paddle boarding rules are among the strictest rules in the region. But that’s about to change. (Courtesy/Cat Uden)

For plenty of South Florida beaches, paddleboarders are just another part of the seascape.

Not Hollywood, where you’re more likely to see a pretty umbrella in the sand than a swift paddleboarder in the ocean.

Paddlers say that’s because Hollywood is known for having strict rules when it comes to their sport.

That’s about to change.

Paddlers, led by Surfrider champ Cat Uden, have complained for years about those tough rules. Now, after months of negotiations, Hollywood is embarking on a six-month pilot program that will give paddlers a little more breathing room.

The new rules kick in March 23.

“I just hope it’s a success,” said Bruce Wilkie, who oversees Hollywood’s 68 lifeguards. “We just hope a lot more people come to the beach and use it for recreation.”

For years, Hollywood has required paddlers and kayakers to stay 300 yards from shore once they’re out on the water, forcing them into the same channels traversed by boaters. The new rules will allow them to paddle 100 yards from shore, helping prevent potentially dangerous collisions.

Paddlers have also been required to use two narrow launch zones, leaving most of the beach off limits.

Under the pilot program, paddlers will be able to launch anywhere along the 4.5-mile beach as along as it’s before 10 a.m. The same rule applies if it’s after 6 p.m. when it’s daylight saving time and after 4:30 p.m. when it’s not.

Paddlers can still do their thing between the hours of 10 a.m. and 6 p.m., but they’ll have to enter the water and come ashore at one of four launch zones.

Two of those zones are new and will be marked by orange buoys to help act as guides for kayakers and stand-up paddlers, Wilkie said. Those zones will be at Hollywood Boulevard on the south end of the beach and at Sherman Street, near the Positano condo at Sheridan Street.

“We want to give these channels a trial period to see if they’re used or not,” Wilkie said. “If word gets out, maybe people will show up and use them.”

The two current launch zones are being rebranded as recreation areas and will be open to paddleboarders, kayakers, surfers and skim boarders.

The north recreation zone will go from Douglas Street north to Dania Beach Boulevard. The south recreation zone runs from Georgia Street to Eucalyptus Terrace.

It’s too soon to say whether the new rules will transform Hollywood into a paddling mecca, Commissioner Kevin Biederman said.

“I think we just had to have a trial period to see how things go with some relaxed rules, so that the paddling experience can be more convenient on Hollywood beach,” he said.

After the pilot program, commissioners will have to vote on the new rules before they can become permanent.

The changes won’t come free.

Hollywood plans to spend around $73,000 on 30 orange launch buoys, lifeguard equipment and 29 white buoys to mark the line where boaters aren’t supposed to cross.

The boating buoys are not part of the pilot program, but are needed to help make the beach safer, Wilkie said.

“Practically every beach but Hollywood has them: Hallandale, Fort Lauderdale, Pompano, Miami Beach, Deerfield,” Wilkie said. “We do get boats trying to come in close to pick up a friend or family member. The buoys won’t stop that, but they may cut back on it a little.”

They will be 4 feet high and placed 150 yards offshore in front of all 28 lifeguard towers along the beach. They will cost $38,000 and likely won’t arrive until September.

The orange launch zone buoys will cost $2,250 and might be in place as soon as April.

Some beachgoers are already worried about the prospect of buoys marring the natural beauty of the beach.

That includes Heather Schueler, who has lived at the beach for 20 years and been paddling for eight.

“Hollywood beach is one of the last beaches to remain quiet, natural and not overcrowded,” she said. “I would hate to see the natural beauty be destroyed by man-placed buoys in our ocean.”

Uden says she doesn’t think the buoys or extra launch zones are necessary.

“There’s no reason to create a channel for us,” she said. “We’re not like Jet Skis. No sense in spending money on all of these buoys that we don’t need.”

by: Susannah BryanContact Reporter
South Florida Sun Sentinel

Boca Raton company buying back plastic straws in exchange for eco-friendly alternative

Boca Raton company buying back plastic straws in exchange for eco-friendly alternative

Robert Stillman, founder and CEO of FarFromBoring Promotional Products in Boca Raton, will begin buying back plastic straws as well as selling paper straws as an alternative to plastic. (File photo)

As more municipalities and businesses move away from plastic straws, one company that already offers an alternative is offering to buy them back.

FarFromBoring Hospitality is offering to swap out local establishments’ current stocks of up to 20,000 plastic straws. The company founded an alternative paper straw called rhino straws, which it says is eco-friendly and reasonably priced. It’s also offering 15 percent off any paper straws it purchases in March.

“Americans use more 500 million plastic straws every day,” said Robert Stillman, CEO of FarFromBoring Promotions, FarFromBoring Hospitality’s parent company. “These pollute our oceans and are ingested by sea birds, turtles and other marine life. Many counties across the state of Florida have enacted a ban on plastic straws entirely.”

The Boca Raton company was started last November as more cities, counties and individual businesses and chains decided to decrease or effectively ban the use of plastic straws. It also offers cocktail and coffee stirrers and customizable designs.

Fort Lauderdale, Delray Beach, Coral Gables, Miami Beach and Hallandale Beach are among the municipalities that have voted to ban plastic straws, citing plastic pollution in the oceans and beaches, as well as the harm they cause birds and marine animals that accidentally ingest them.

Most cities still allow restaurants and bars to carry plastic straws, but require them to be given only when asked by customers. Straws will also still remain in hospitals, nursing facilities, schools and other places where people may have specific medical needs that necessitate their use.

“We know many vendors have current stock and don’t want to lose the money by throwing their plastic straws out,” Stillman said. “We hope our offer to purchase their stock helps them to move quickly in an effort to preserve what we are losing. Plus, we will also pick up the straws and dispose of them in an eco-friendly manner.”

With every case of paper straws sold, FarFromBoring Promotions will be making a donation to Trees for the Future, a Maryland-based nonprofit organization that plants trees in deforested regions around the world.

“Before we brought our paper straws to market in South Florida, there was very little product availability,” Stillman said. “What little inventory was available felt like cardboard and dissolved too quickly in drinks. Finally, the price point for these inferior-quality straws was far too much for restaurants to spend on a one-time use consumable.”

By: Austen Erblat Contact Reporter
South Florida Community News

Sea Turtle Nesting Season is underway on our beaches.

Sea Turtle Nesting Season is underway on our beaches.

From March through October these creatures will return to their home beaches to lay eggs. Hollywood residents and beach visitors can help sea turtles during the nesting season by keeping beaches clean, being aware of nesting sites and reducing artificial lighting near beaches that can distract and confuse mothers and hatchlings. Sea turtle hatchlings use light and reflections from the moon to find their way to the water at night. Artificial lighting discourages adult females from nesting on the beach.