Greater Miami Chamber Heads North For Next Goals Meet
Written by Jaime Levy on December 20, 2001
By Jaime Levy
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As local hotels continue to ache for tourists, the Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce is – at least for a few days – taking its business elsewhere.
From May 31-June 1, the chamber plans to hold its annual goals conference at the historic Breakers resort in Palm Beach.
Scheduled several months ago, the conference was, according to chamber officials, booked with Miami-Dade’s northward neighbors to foster regionalism – a notion that seems to have lost some steam as the recent squabbling over whether Delta Airlines will leave Coral Gables for Broward is making headlines.
"At the time, we decided that regionalism was the thing to do," said Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce President and CEO William Cullom. "At the time we made the decision, Miami was enjoying the highest occupancy rate and room rate in America. After we signed the contract, we’re going to honor it."
Mr. Cullom said the weekend jaunt to Palm Beach would mark the first time in 10 years that the chamber has held its conference outside of Miami-Dade County.
Last year, the event was held at the Doral Golf Resort & Spa, 4400 NW 87th Ave., and attracted 1,400 delegates, with several hundred staying overnight, said chamber spokeswoman Rachel Bernard.
So far, Ms. Bernard said, some chamber members have asked why the event will not be held locally, considering Miami-Dade’s dragging tourism industry.
"That’s been a concern, but as we’re tying it into our regional issues, they’re a little less surprised," she said.
Mr. Cullom said the event’s distance from home might encourage more participants to stay overnight – a prospect that he said would "bring people closer together."
"In the following years," Mr. Cullom said, "we’ve signed contracts to be back in Dade."