FYI Miami: April 28, 2016
Below are some of the FYIs in this week’s edition. The entire content of this week’s FYIs and Insider sections is available by subscription only. To subscribe click here.
HOTELS HOLD LINE: Hotel rooms sold in Miami-Dade increased in March 4.3% from the prior March, to 1,383,625, according to the Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau, which pointed out that the gain had absorbed the 3.6% year-over-year increase in number of rooms available as new hotels opened. Miami-Dade now has 52,564 rooms. During the March-to-March period, however, revenue per available room did dip 1% to $213.07, and the average daily room rate also fell, down 1.7% to $150.93.
BUY IT, DON’T BUILD IT: The county’s Department of Transit and Public Works says buying remanufactured bus engines that average 167,910 miles before they fail is a better bet for Miami-Dade’s 846-bus fleet than rebuilding the engines in a county facility, since rebuilt engines average only 106,187 miles to failure. Commissioners Barbara Jordan and Daniella Levine Cava via a resolution had directed the mayor’s office to look at bringing major overhaul services back in house. The mayor reported this month that in-house startup of rebuilding engines would cost more than $1 million, plus $944,000 in added labor costs per year. Remanufactured engines also come with guarantees, the report said. The report is on the commission agenda for action on Tuesday.
ASIA FREIGHTER SERVICE: Lone Star Express, a new shipping service, will make weekly calls at PortMiami starting May 2, using vessels that can carry 4,500 to 5,000 20-foot equivalent units of containerized cargo. The ships will go to five Chinese ports and, in the US, Houston and Mobile in addition to Miami. They will also call in Korea and Panama. Lone Star Express is run by the 2M Alliance, comprised of Maersk Line and Mediterranean Shipping Co.
SOME LIKE IT HOT, NOT: City-owned Manuel Artime Theater in the heart of East Little Havana now has functioning air conditioning after an emergency procurement of parts and labor approved by Miami’s city manager last October. Commissioners on April 14 retroactively approved the selection of DebonAir Mechanical to supply an A/C compressor, fan motor and minor replacement parts for the 839-seat theater at 900 SW First St. In October 2015 a heating, ventilation and air conditioning compressor failed. To avoid scheduling delays for school recitals, holiday plays and other events, a $28,142 emergency procurement was authorized, the resolution reads. Theater patrons had complained of the heat.