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Hello there, Islanders.

The rumors bubbling around town about a new hotel coming to Five Points came to a head with an information session hosted by the development company -- keep reading to see their proposal. What do you think?

Plus, check out the second edition of our Meet Your Neighbor brief. We need your nominations to feature more people from the Island City!

Have a wonderful week,

Christiana Lilly, Editor


Community Briefed On Wilton Manors Hotel Proposal

By John Hayden

Rendering courtesy Wilton Hotel & Pool Club.

The lack of a hotel in the city of Wilton Manors has been a point of discussion for years. Now the city is getting a look at what could be.

On July 12, the new owners of the lot where the Kelis funeral home sits on Dixie Highway, just south of Five Points, unveiled their plans for a hotel. Plans for the Wilton Hotel & Pool Club were on display during CANA’s (Central Area Neighborhood Association) regular meeting at Hagen Park. A standing room only crowd heard from the developer, who laid out plans for a 123-room hotel (100 standard rooms and 23 suites). 

 “The goal was not to be so small as to compete with Air B&Bs and places of that sort, and not too big,” Mark Ellert, the head of the development company, said. He says the goal is to create a place that sets itself apart while being an accessible part of the community. “I didn’t want any of these ‘dumb it down’ limited service/select service hotels.” 

Current plans call for an amenities deck with a five-star pool as the centerpiece. Ellert says he wants something resembling the romantic vibe of the Raleigh Hotel in Miami Beach.

Read more at OutSFL.


Wilton Manors Budget Ballooning to $52 Million

During a special budget meeting on July 11, city commissioners were given an overview of expenses facing the city. Many cost increases are the same faced by average households.

No Major ‘Shovel Ready’ Projects in Wilton Manors

High-profile projects that could reshape the look and vibe of the city remain in limbo. Here is a look at some of the major developments that are at some stage of consideration.


Open Door Policy at Hamburger Mary’s

If you pass by Hamburger Mary’s, you may catch a glimpse of their drag performers entertaining the crowd. That’s because the chain is standing up to Gov. Ron DeSantis and opening its doors for the world to see.

Weekly Events

TODAY: Men's Yoga

Join Yoga with Jeffrey at Peak Fitness in Wilton Manors for an all-men's yoga flow. 

WED: Front Runners & Walkers

The running group will be meeting at Holiday Park at 6:45 p.m., starting with a pre- and post-running stretch demonstration by Dr. Joshua Connor.

THURS: Equality Park After Dark

It's the third Thursday of the month, which means that the Pride Center at Equality Park is transformed into a vendor market fit with food trucks, live music, and locally made arts and crafts. 

FRI: Dive In Movie Night

Watch "Minion: Rise of Gru" while taking a dip in the pool at the Houston Sworn Pool in Pompano Beach.

SAT: AirOtic

A breath-taking cabaret show that heads to the rafters at Hunters with aerial dancers, acrobats and burlesque performers.  

SUN: Paddleboard Yoga

Try your asanas atop a paddleboard on the Middle River with instructor, Brynlee. 

Job Opportunities

Administrative Assistant -- Wilton Manors

Rosen Fine Art is in search of an administrative assistant who can conduct calls for artists, send press releases, set up automated social media posts, keep up the website, and other tasks. 

Staffing Coordinator -- Wilton Manors

A staffing coordinator is needed at Wilton Manors Health and Rehabilitation Center to ensure adequate and appropriate staffing of the nursing department to meet the needs of the residents.

Meet Your Neighbor

Claudia Castillo

Claudia Castillo is an artist and the owner of Claudia Castillo ART studio in Wilton Manors. She exhibits her own work as well as those of other artists. She has also exhibited her work in countries such as Italy, the Netherlands, Switzerland and Spain. 

Castillo is the chair of the Wilton Drive Improvement District and is involved with several other organizations, including the Greater Fort Lauderdale LGBT Chamber of Commerce, Wilton Manors Business Association, and Equality Florida. She has been involved with several local initiatives such as turning the street parking meters along Wilton Drive into art pieces and championing the efforts to create the Rainbow Bridge along the Drive. 

The gallery owner is from Bogota, Colombia and moved to the U.S. in 1999. She opened the doors to her art studio in 2017. 

In her free time, Castillo enjoys painting, going to the beach, and learning. She enjoys traveling with her wife, Neyda, and visiting their two daughters in Washington, D.C. 

“Though my journey has not been an easy one, I strive each day to be loving, give back and I am very grateful for my life, my family and all the blessings that I have been given,” Castillo said. “I welcome everyone to stop by Claudia Castillo ART studio to say hello and enjoy the art treasures we have."

Have a neighbor we should feature? Is it you? Email your nomination to

Mike's Deal

We got the inside scoop on savings -- for your first online print order at The UPS Store, use code THANKS15 for 15% off.

You can thank us later.


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