State Scouting For Location For Miamis World Economic Forum
Written by Paola Iuspa on June 7, 2001
By Paola Iuspa
State officials will entertain offers from any Miami-Dade County hotel interested in hosting hundreds of world leaders when they meet here.
Hugh Simon, undersecretary of state for international affairs, said as Florida prepares for Miami’s first World Economic Forum, officials hope hotels will offer meeting facilities and room availability. He said proposals will be passed to forum organizers to choose a hotel.
"The idea is out there," Mr. Simon said. "If any hotel is interested, they can call us and we will explain how the forum operates."
The World Economic Forum – based in Davos, Switzerland – is a nonprofit group of business and political leaders.
"An event like that could bring from 300 to 600 people," said Gil Katzman, regional director for Best Hotels and Resorts at the Inter-Continental Miami.
A similar meeting in February attracted 600 to Mexico.
Mr. Katzman said his hotel wants to host the forum and is awaiting instructions from planners. He said the Inter-Continental, site of negotiations to create a free trade agreement, has enough space.
"The Biltmore Hotel in Coral Gables and the Ritz Carlton Hotel in Key Biscayne have also shown interest in hosting the event," Mr. Simon said.
Originally set for October at the Biltmore, the site has become open to the hotel with the most appropriate accommodations. Last month, the event was delayed, probably until spring.
The meeting will focus on a trade agreement involving every nation in the Western Hemisphere but Cuba. Forum planners are waiting until Congress acts on the Free Trade Area of the Americas to hold that meeting.Details: (305) 476-4841.