Art Basel shuns reduced space offer
Written by Nina Lincoff on June 4, 2014
As Miami Beach moves forward toward its Miami Beach Convention Center renovation for 2016-2018, major conventions and shows have already said they can’t work within the city’s parameters.
IDEA, a textile show, and Cruise Shipping have already decided to leave the Miami Beach Convention Center. Art Basel is not willing to work with the two-hall maximum offer and is looking to preserve its four-hall show. eMerge Americas, which held its first event this year, is also in talks to see if it can stay.
The Miami International Boat Show is discussing its long-term future with center staff and plans to announce in July where the show will be held from 2016 onward, said Bob Balsam, center general manager.
Loss of those big shows will cut into hotels and retail during construction. However, the Miami International Auto Show has said it will condense to two halls during the work, Mr. Balsam said during an advisory board meeting Tuesday.
To finish renovations and construction within the city’s 36-month timeframe, the center will be partially closed during 2016-2018 to allow construction on half of the four-hall building at a time while keeping two halls open for use.
An idea of installing a tent to add space during construction, floated at a city commission meeting this year, is not likely to happen, convention center staff said. The tent would cost at least $15 million, and probably much more because the center would need it for two or more years.
Even without a tent, the center’s calendar is relatively booked for the construction period. The center will simply be operating as a two-hall site.
“Our clients have been incredible,” Mr. Balsam said. “I’ve really been impressed with how many clients have said [they still] want to work with us.”