Written by Miami Today on December 3, 2009
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READY FOR TAKEOFF: Miami-Dade is set to issue aviation bonds that, with interest, total nearly $2 billion. Commissioners Tuesday with no discussion approved issuing up to $600 million in aviation revenue bonds and $247.5 million in "double-barreled" bonds, with combined principal and interest totaling about $1.9 billion by 2041. They’re to refund outstanding commercial paper notes and back projects such as north terminal development and a peoplemover to the airport. Through the $600 million sale, the county plans to tap a national stimulus initiative that lets local governments issue taxable bonds and get a federal subsidy. And using the "double-barreled" approach on the other bonds — securing them by both aviation revenues and the county’s full credit and taxing power — is meant to directly trim interest.
BONDS BACKUP: Miami-Dade County non ad-valorem revenues serve as a backup for bonds for the Miami-Dade County Fair & Exposition, a private, not-for-profit organization. Commissioners agreed in 1995 to issue $12 million in special revenue bonds on the fair’s behalf. Outstanding principal today is about $5.4 million. The commission Tuesday agreed to a loan restructuring that also reaffirms the county would pay if the fair couldn’t. Even if the commission hadn’t OK’d the new structure, the county would still be the backup because of the 15-year-old deal. Commissioner Javier Souto was surprised by the arrangement. "In case they go down, we go down," he said, adding later that "we are bailing out a private business here now."
KEEP ON BURNIN’: USA Network has renewed Miami-based television series Burn Notice for a fourth season. The series is on hiatus right now, with nine episodes of the third season airing this summer and the final seven set to air starting in January, according to the Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau. The show, one of the most popular on USA, has been touted by Miami-Dade film officials for filming — and therefore keeping its economic impact — local. Series work has been based in the City of Miami’s Coconut Grove Convention Center.
NATIONALLY RANKED: From January through October, Miami ranked fourth in average daily room rate at $140.01, fifth in revenue per available room (RevPar) at $90.71 and eighth in occupancy at 64.8% among the top 25 markets in the country, according to Smith Travel Research. Still, the destination suffered with room rates down 13.1%, RevPar down 22% and occupancy down 10.3%. But Miami wasn’t along — none of the top five markets saw growth in any category.