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Front Page » Government » Miami Beach convention center hotel plan delayed

Miami Beach convention center hotel plan delayed

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Written by on May 16, 2017

Miami Beach convention center hotel plan delayed

Miami Beach won’t be told how to develop a headquarters convention hotel until June or later, more than a year after commissioners appointed a seven-member study team that was expected to wrap up Monday.
The Blue Ribbon Steering Committee did outline nine action points, including the site, a straw ballot to gauge perception and the aim that the hotel’s architect be renowned, but in the end it decided to review the action points one last time and reconvene after Memorial Day for a twelfth session.
“We spent a year vetting this, heard from tons of experts. I would like to see us now or in the next month make a recommendation,” said Commissioner Ricky Arriola, the chair. “This is way too important for our community and there is too much interest in seeing something done.”
The committee first met May 9, 2016, after only 54% of voters backed a hotel two months earlier – short of the needed 60%.
The committee has vetted concerns. Traffic was one, so the panel got an independent traffic study that said a hotel at the Miami Beach Convention Center, which now is being enlarged, would change the customer base from day trippers at trade shows to long-term stays for conventions.
The target site is where the Jackie Gleason theater sits. A new theater with modern amenities would preserve the history.
Commissioner Kristen Rosen Gonzalez, panel vice chair, initially voted against a hotel but switched after all the meetings.
“I’m going to vote yes on it, I’m going to support it,” she said Monday. “I have sat here for a year and I would like to move forward. I know how it works now.”
After a year, Mr. Arriola is ready to compile everything and close up shop.
“I would like to see us now or in the next month make a recommendation, whatever it is. I don’t care. I want to end this committee,” he said. “We do have the ingredients for a winning recommendation in front of us.”

2 Responses to Miami Beach convention center hotel plan delayed

  1. DC Copeland Reply

    May 17, 2017 at 12:41 pm

    Here’s an idea, and I don’t need no stinkin’ Blue Ribbon Steering Committee for it either: Save the city hundreds of millions of dollars by getting Disney to build and operate the hotel– provided they connect it to BayLink via one of their monorails. Make them include some hotel workforce housing too for the overworked and underappreciated– and paid– housekeepers who keep the whole hospitality industry afloat.

    • concerned citizen Reply

      May 17, 2017 at 4:20 pm

      It would be interesting to find out how much all the consultants have made over the past decade “working to get this done”. If it was a penny less than $10MM – it would be surprising!

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