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A popular tourist destination, Fort Lauderdale is located in the state of Florida. There are over 165,521 people living here and part of its appeal to tourists is the fantastic weather the city offers. The temperature remains 75.5F or 24.2C on average and the metropolitan area receives 3,000 hours of sunshine a year.
Tourism is such a big part of the economy here that in the year 2012 alone, the city hosted over 12 million visitors. More than 2.8 million of these were foreign visitors. The city tries to collect part of this tourism revenue from the 5% bed tax it charges the hotels that cater to these tourists. The hotel beds are occupied on average at 72.7% and the daily rate the tourists are charged for staying in the city is an average of $114.48. This meant that the city authorities collected upwards of $43.9 million from its 560 local hotels in the year 2012.
The economy in the city, which was named after one of the many forts constructed in the United States during the Second Seminole War, has expanded greatly. There are now over 100 marinas with more than 45,000 yachts, 278 parland campsites, 132 nightclubs and over 4,000 restaurants.
This city was named after a fort, which itself was named after Major William Lauderdale. Will Lauderdale, James Lauderdale’s younger sibling, was a commander of the detachment that helped build the original fort in the area.
It would be another 50 years or so after the war had ended and the fort was abandoned for the city to start forming around the derelict structure.
Before the area was turned into a city, the whole region was occupied by the Tequesta Indians who were inhabitants here for well over 1,000 years. In the 16th century, the Spanish explorers arrived in the area and brought with them new diseases such as small pox. Because the locals had no time to develop immunity to such diseases, they died off. Also, an ongoing war with a rival tribe called Calusa led to the complete demise of this Native American tribe.
Most of the remaining Tequesta abandoned the area and fled to Cuba by the year 1763. This was the year the Treaty of Paris was signed, and the area was transferred from Spanish control to British authorities. The treaty was signed in 1763 and marked the end of the Seven Years’ War in the area. Later both the United States and Confederate States of America fought to gain control over the area, but much of it would remain underdeveloped till the start of the 20th century.
Before the 20th century, the whole region was called the ‘New River Settlement’. Only about 70 people lived at the New River site.
An attack on a settlers house by the local Seminole tribe, which resulted in the death of a local trader’s wife, children and children’s tutor, sent the white residents fleeing. The settlers moved to the Key West, Key Biscayne and Cape Florida Lighthouse during this period of fear.
After the fort was built in the year 1838, the site was used as a stockade for the Second Seminole War and then was abandoned and left untouched following the end of the war in the year 1842.
The entire area remained unpopulated till the end of the century, but with the formation of a new company, the area was revived. Florida East Coast Railroad started operations here after the ferry service was started across the New River in 1893 by a man named Frank Stranahan. It would take almost four years for the route to be completed and for the operations to begin properly.
Broward County named the place its town seat in 1915, shortly after the city was incorporated in the year 1896. The land boom in the state of Florida during the 1920’s started a major surge in the redevelopment efforts in the region.
The city would face a lot of hurdles towards progress following the years of the great depression in the 1930’s as well as a Miami Hurricane in 1926. It was a naval base during the Second World War.
Growth spurts after the boom of the 1920’s were plenty and they have turned the region into an economic hub and a well renowned tourist hotspot. There are many marinas which add to the major yachting center’s appeal for visitors to Fort Lauderdale.
This has added greatly to the local wealth, although median income for a family remains at $46,175 in the city. Males have a median income of $34,478 and females had $27,230. On a per capita basis the income varies but the median is stated as $27,800.