The Dania Beach Hurricane may be demolished

Last month Boomers in Dania Beach, Florida closed their wooden roller coaster known as the Dania Beach Hurricane. The ride could be seen from Interstate 95 just south of Ft. Lauderdale. It could also be seen from the Ft. Lauderdale airport as I found out a few years ago. I thought I was seeing a mirage when I landed there for a connecting flight as I wasn’t aware of the coaster at the time.

While details around the ride’s closing have been scarce, a Sun Sentinel article points to the high cost of maintaining a wooden roller coaster in a warm humid climate. The article stated:

“The high cost of maintenance and insurance, plus low ridership as the ride became rough,” likely contributed to the Dania Beach coaster shutdown on April 26, Doppelt said. “I’d say they couldn’t afford to redo it.”

The company that owns the coaster has cited “business reasons” for the closure, but did not offer details.

When news first broke that the park had closed the Hurricane, enthusiasts hoped that another park would buy the ride. Now it appears that there’s a good chance that the area landmark may soon be no more. According to Screamscape, the Dania Beach Hurricane may be scheduled for demolition as soon as June. Meanwhile, roller coaster enthusiasts at ThemeParkReview and CoasterBuzz have shared their love for the ride. If it is demolished, it sounds like it will be missed.

Virgin America launches SFO/LAX to Ft. Lauderdale!

Greetings from 35,000 ft! Right now, we’re onboard Virgin America’s inaugural flight from San Francisco to Ft Lauderdale, which touches down in the Sunshine State at 3:30 PM.

Today’s expansion marks the tenth destination for Virgin America and the first connection from the Golden State to the Gold Coast. In celebration, Virgin America has brought along a handful of winners from their “Stay Golden America” competition, and will be donating $1 to budding entrepreneurs for every tweet containing the tag #HelpVirginUnite.


This afternoon, there will be a tarmac reception from Richard Branson and CEO of Virgin America, David Cush. The event will conclude with a launch party hosted at the W Ft. Lauderdale – where Gadling will be posting full event coverage and getting the down-low on Virgin America’s expansion plans.

Be sure to track our feed for updates, photos, exclusive interviews, and reviews of the entire Virgin America experience.

Update: Check out our full coverage of the event – Article / Photos & Exclusive Video

Virgin America announces service to Fort Lauderdale!

Florida, your time has come. This morning, Travel & Leisure’s favorite domestic carrier announced that it was commencing service to Ft. Lauderdale, FL later this year. Beginning November 18, the beach city will offer two flights daily to Los Angeles and San Francisco respectively, with connections onward to Seattle, Orange County, San Diego and Vegas.

Logistically, expansion into Florida marks the first foray out of the “Northeast to West Coast” formula that has prevailed for so long — but it suits Virgin America‘s style well. Ft Lauderdale is one of the trendiest, most active cities in the south, a perfect compliment to VA’s model.

Further competition in the saturated south Florida market will also be good for travelers. As Virgin tries to woo away passengers from the legacy carriers in the area, prices will surely drop and promotion will be heavy in the area.

Tickets are already available on starting at $99 one way. All aircraft are fitted with seatback entertainment, wifi and the legendary mood-lighting. Let the competition begin!

Travel to convention cities to find a bargain

Yesterday Tom pointed out cities like Palm Springs and Tuscon have shown a jump in travelers and offer travel deals to keep visitors coming.

In a Travel Briefs in the Dispatch, I read about more cities with vacation deals. Because there has been a drop in conventions, cities that partly rely on business travel as a revenue source are worth checking out for discounts. Vacation deals could be had in Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas, Miami, New York, New Orleans, and Washington D.C. among others. Some of them have been covered in our budget travel series. If Miami interests you, not much further north you’ll find deals in Ft. Lauderdale. The photo was taken at the convention center in Phoenix. Look there too.

The message seems to be that, although the economy may have huge downsides right now, if you have a hankering to travel, there are many places that will be thrilled to have you and will offer you enticements to head their way.

Adventure travel in southern Florida

If you’re looking for the sort of travel that gets your heart pumping a bit and you feel as if you’re whole body is engaged in your vacation experience, look to Florida. That’s the idea behind the on-line and print publication South Florida Adventures.

Whether you like to take to the water or are a dry land type person–or want to combine both, the round-up of the publication’s10 top stories of the year is an excellent place to start searching out ideas for adventurous travel. Here are eight of the stories that are specifically travel related. The other two are profile pieces.

Each of these sound quite worthy of combining into an adventure travel week where you could easily combine them into one vacation. I’d say you’d end up with a unique perspective of this part of Florida as a result.

[from Travel Briefs in Columbus Dispatch]