Written by Miami Today on June 28, 2001
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WEIGHING MIAMI: A vice president of Dallas-based Meeting Professionals International, which bills itself as the world’s largest association of meeting professionals with more than 18,000 members, said his group is evaluating Miami as a possible site for a world education congress in 2005. Mavie McHale, speaking for the Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau, said the congress would have an immediate $3 million economic impact on the area. Meeting Professionals, she said, is also looking at Montreal, Boston and Pittsburgh and is expected to announce its choice next month.
FILLING BEDS: Greater Miami’s hotels topped the nation with an average occupancy of 78.3% for the first third of this year, says Bill Talbert, CEO of the Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau. The average daily room rate of $88 was ranked 4th in the US. Occupancy was down three-tenths of a percentage point compared to the same period in 2000.
WATCHING THE STORE: KPMG, which has audited the Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau for 10 years, will keep on doing so. The bureau requested proposals from other auditors, said Treasurer Elizabeth Hicks, a principal with Korn Ferry International, but the finance committee decided to retain KPMG.
CONVENTIONAL WISDOM: CSL, a Minneapolis firm, has an $86,500 contract from the Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau to study the adequacy of convention space in the region. The firm did similar studies for Fort Lauderdale, Los Angeles, Denver, Houston, New Orleans, Kansas City, Washington, DC, and others. If the study shows need, the bureau may seek to tap county convention development tax receipts to fill the gap.
BUSINESS EXPO: More than 200 businesses are to display their goods and services today (6/28) at the 10th annual Greater Miami & the Beaches Business Exposition and Luncheon in Hall D of the Miami Beach Convention Center. Lunch speaker is Janet Reno, former US attorney general. The expo, from 2-6 p.m., is $5; lunch, at noon, is $25. Details: (305) 672-1270.
TELECOM ENGINEERS: Miami-Dade Community College announced its School of Design Technology is starting an associate in science degree in telecommunications engineering with a $550,000 grant from the Florida Department of Education. Plans call for the M-DCC school to offer an associated post-secondary adult vocation program and five intermediate and post-secondary certificates. Details: (305) 237-0620.
BOUTIQUE BOUQUET: Cole Haan, Lalique, Roberto Cavalli, Valentino, Yves St. Laurent, Fendi, Ferre Jeans, Gant, Francesca Romana and Paul & Shark are to open new boutiques this fall in the Bal Harbour Shops, 9700 Collins Ave., said Enid Rosenthal, media representative for the upscale shopping center. In other developments at the mall, Ms. Rosenthal said, Louis Vuitton will expand from 1,800 to 4,400 square feet, Hermes is going from 720 to 4,400 square feet, Charles Jourdan from 1,400 to 2,700 and Pratesi, formerly operating in 800 square feet is now to use 1,200. Also, Ms. Rosenthal said, tenants St. John and Chanel are due for renovations, new tenants are Piaget and Van Cleef & Arpels and newly opened designer boutiques are MaxMara, Marina Rinaldi, Stephane Kelian and Alfred Dunhill.
FISHY BUSINESS: The International Game Fish Association announced this week that it will hold a new fishing tournament for youths in Miami on July 21 at the Miami Beach Marina. The competition is open to persons 16 and under. The association holds its 5th annual Junior Angler Tournament Oct. 13 in Dania. Cost for the Miami meet is $25. Details: (954) 927-2628 or igfa.org.
DESIGNER MEALS: The Miami Design Preservation League is offering a four-part "Sunday Movie Classics & Dinner" program starting at 7 p.m. July 7 in the Park Central Hotel, 640 Ocean Drive, with the screening of Hole in the Head, a film starring Frank Sinatra and Edward G. Robinson. The idea is to showcase legendary hotels, say organizers, in addition to having "an elegant dinner of classic cuisine." Prizes go to the best movie-theme costume. Reservations required. Cost is $40 a session – the series is to continue Aug. 26, Sept. 23 and Oct. 7. Details: (305) 672-2014.
SEA SHOW: The World Trade Center Miami is holding next year for the first time a Sea Cargo Americas International Exhibition & Conference May 13-17 to network and promote Miami’s port and an Americas Property Market & Investment show on a date to be determined, said Charlotte Gallogly, president.
WATSON DEADLINE: The new deadline to submit proposals for the construction of a mega yacht marina in the northern quadrant of Watson Island is July 16. The proposal must include a marina and mixed-use buildings with water related uses. City of Miami commissioners plan a special workshop on the project Sept. 4 & 7. Details (305) 416-1400.
TRADE MISSION: The Central America-US Chamber of Commerce is holding a trade mission to El Salvador and Honduras. Registration fees are $850; 750 for members, excluding hotel and travel expenses. The fee will cover breakfast briefings at US embassies, match-making appointments, luncheon presentations and resource information packages. The region, say organizers, needs machinery and mechanical appliances, transportation equipment, consumer products, chemical and mineral products and plastic and rubber. The US Department of Commerce, Enterprise Florida and the Trade Mission Center of the Americas are co-sponsors. Details: (305) 569-9113.
WATSON TEAM: Officials at Miami Children’s Museum say they have created a team to organize the expansion of the museum’s planned move to Watson Island. AMS Planning &Research is developing the museum’s business and strategic plan. Rafael Peruyera, with Peruyera & Associates, will be project manager for the construction of the $13.5 million project, which was designed by Arquitectonica. Lee H. Skolnick Architecture & Design Partnership is leading development of exhibitions and interpretive components for the new museum, said Richard Lampen, executive vice president of New Valley Corp. and new president of the museum’s board. Construction of a 55,000-square-foot building is expected to start early next year and take 18 months. Details (305) 373-5439.