ATC 2011 Mobile Workshops

Posted on: May 16th, 2011 by Laurie Thompson

As has become tradition, NADO’s ATC takes attendees out of the hotel to various locations in and around the conference city to learn about economic and community development projects and initiatives first hand. Known as Mobile Workshops, these events have become a conference mainstay.Over the years since our first Mobile Workshop to the Grand Rounds National Scenic Byway in Minneapolis in 2003, we have conducted 36 Mobile Workshops during ATCs since then.

In addition to learning about the economic impact of National Scenic Byways in four states, attendees have learned about the decision-making process for determing distribution center (and a Starbucks roasting plant)locations, the economic importance of reclaiming brownfields, the process and partnerships required for successful sustainable development communities, the inner workings of emergency operations centers, the secrets of successful entrepreneurs, the relationship between cultural activities and the local economy, and the importance of downtown revitalization projects.  Workshops have included buses and vans, boats and ferries and, always, good walking shoes and a thirst for learning.

In keeping with our tradition to take the learning to the streets (and, sometimes, the water), this year we are planning on six Mobile Workshops!  Staff has completed its mad dash to put the final touches on each Mobile Workshop and we are pleased to announce the schedule:

Balancing Ecology and the Economy – A Case Study of the Everglades: Florida’s Everglades were designated a national park in 1947, at the same time canals were being constructed across South Florida to divert water from this slow moving river to support urban growth centers and agriculture. The third largest national park in the lower 48, the Everglades National Park (EVER) was dedicated for its biologic diversity rather than is visual appeal. EVER is the largest subtropical wilderness in the United States, and is home to rare and endangered species. Workshop attendees will learn about the on-going struggle to balance the ecology and the environment with development.

Adjacent land use concerns, coupled with the expected impacts of climate change (causing riding sea levels), prompted the creation of the Research Natural Area, a 46 square mile ecological preserve and sanctuary for species affected by fishing in the Gulf of Mexico. This workshop will include lunch and refreshments on board the bus. Limited to 50 attendees. Saturday, October 8. 9 am – 5 pm. $50.  STILL ROOM!  REGISTER NOW!

Coral Reef Madness: Balancing Coral Reef Protection in a Tourism Based Economy: Sail aboard the M.V. “Key Largo Princess” and view the exciting, beautiful, underwater world of John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park, the only undersea park in the United States. 70-foot long, this glass bottom boat comfortably seats 129 passengers and has viewing windows large enough for everyone to observe the reef simultaneously. The skipper will take you to the reefs where you will see a panoramic view of life under water on a reef. An abundance of sea fans, sea plumes and hundreds of fish (of all sizes and colors) will be on parade. Learn how the reef system is being maintained and preserved and showcased as part of Florida’s tourism industry. Limited to 50 attendees. Saturday, October 8. 9 am – 5 pm. $50. Nearing capacity…hurry and register to reserve your spot!

Location, Location, Location: Incorporated in 2003, the City of Doral sits on 15,000 acres in the backyard of Miami International Airport. Taking its name from the Doral Hotel and Country Club and golf course, the former swampland is now home to 36,000 residents and was named “Best City in Florida for Business Start-ups” by BusinessWeek. Attendees will meet with the city planning department and learn about the city’s approach to green master planning and its strategy for transitioning into a viable city. With household median incomes of $80,000, 56 companies hiring more than 10 new employees each in 2010, Fortune 500 companies and government agencies, a financial district with 54 banks, 48 thriving hotels, the city has big plans for its future. Limited to 25 attendees. Sunday, October 9. 12 – 3:30 pm. $25.  Still room to register!

Eclectic South Beach: Head out the hotel door for a guided walking tour of Ocean Drive, the heart of South Beach’s Art Deco district. Versace’s mansion, funky boutiques and lively eateries are just a part of the District’s 800+ restored buildings. Discover the history behind the colorfully vibrant buildings while learning about the different types of architecture found in the unique beachfront community (dissuading the notion that all Art Deco is the same). Be prepared: wear comfortable shoes and your best sunscreen! CLOSED.  Monday, October 10, 2:45 – 4:45 pm. $25.

Gateway of the Americas: ATC attendees will have a chance to go behind the scene to learn about the international operations at the Port of Miami. With a total economic impact closing in on $17 billion annually, 2010 revenues that exceeded $101 million, and a total of 176,000 jobs generated, the Port has a significant impact on the global economy. Known as the “Cargo gateway of America”, the Port also boasts robust cruise ship activity with over 4.1 million passengers going boarding or disembarking cruise ships in 2009. The cargo side of the port provides services to over 25 of the world’s leading cargo lines that ship to 250 ports in more than 100 countries. The cruise business has prompted a massive Capital Investment Program, with two ultra-modern terminals up and running. And, the pending completion of the Panama Expansion Project will add another 30,000 jobs and no doubt help secure its position as the number 2 economic engine in the region. Attendees will learn about Port daily operations and how it is preparing for the expected changes resulting from larger container ships passing through the Canal. Limited to 50 attendees. Monday, October 10, 1:45 – 4:15 pm. $25.  Still a few seats left…register soon!

Little Havana: Known as a center for social, cultural and political activity, Little Havana is a part of Miami that must be experienced. Over one million Cubans call Miami their home; and many of them came to Miami after leaving Cuba under Fidel Castro’s control. This walking tour will bring attendees to the heart of Little Havana, where they can experience the culture first hand. A guide will talk about the many monuments that honor fallen heroes, introduce you to the aromatic Cuban coffee and cigars, and bring you to the doorstep of Miami’s Cuban community. Tour will include lunch at a locally owned Cuban restaurant. Closed. Tuesday, October 11, 10 am – 1 pm. $25.

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