FYI Miami: February 4, 2016
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EXTENDING CAB LIFE: County commissioners unanimously approved legislation Tuesday to extend the retirement date of taxis scheduled to come off the road Dec. 31, 2015, for two added years. For five consecutive years, the commission has spared older cabs from requirements they be taken off the road after eight years, leaving taxis to operate that some officials have said are unsafe and could deter tourists. During prior discussions by the commission and in committee, commissioners supported the ordinance, in some cases because they understand the competition the cab drivers are facing from alternative ride services, while others said the industry must eventually be brought up to current technology. Juan Zapata said he’d vote for longer cab life once assured there won’t be safety issues with those that are two years older than the former ceiling. Transit Department Director Alive Bravo said the cabs will still be inspected quarterly.
FLYING HIGHER: Miami International Airport added 3 million passengers to reach a new high of 44.3 million last year, final audited figures show, an 8.3% one-year gain. Domestic passengers rose 11% to 23.1 million while international traffic grew 5.5% to 21.2 million. Cargo was flat at 2.17 million tons.
HOTELS GET STRONGER: Miami-Dade ranked third in the nation in December in average daily hotel room rate, revenue per available room and hotel occupancy among the top 25 US markets, according to Smith Travel Research. The average daily room rate for the month was $240.77, up 3.6% from the prior December. Revenue per available room was $184.90, up 1.9%, and average daily occupancy was 76.8%, down 1.6% from the prior December. Over the same period the number of hotel rooms in the market grew from 50,020 to 52,787, a 3.5% increase in supply, as more than 32,000 rooms were sold during the month than in the prior December.
BIG WHEELS FROM CHINA: A subsidiary of one of China’s top 500 manufacturers, Shantui Construction Machinery Co. Ltd., has leased a 4,950-square-foot retail site at 5201 NW 77th Ave. for three years. Shantui America Corp. leased the site from MCS Investment Group LLC. Shantui, founded in 1980 and one of the world’s top 50 makers of construction equipment, specializes in bulldozers, road and concrete machinery and industrial vehicles. Robert Eckstein of NAI Miami represented Shantui in the deal.