FYI Miami: September 29, 2016
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ROOM RATES, OCCUPANCY DIP: Revenue per available Miami-Dade hotel room fell 3.3% in the first eight months of this year, from $160.24 last year to $155.01, according to the Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau, The average daily occupancy fell 1.3%, from 79.7% to 78.7%, while the average daily room rate fell 2%, from $200.96 to $196.92. The numbeAr of total rooms sold in the eight months rose 2.6% to more than 10.1 million, but the supply of rooms in the market rose faster, by 4.4%, as new hotels opened, raising the total number to 53,467, the bureau said.
VIOLENT CRIMES FALL: Violent crimes fell 7.23% in areas under Miami-Dade Police Department jurisdiction for the first eight months of the calendar year, police reported. Non-violent crimes in the area fell 5.09%, the report said. The 55 homicides in the eight-month period matched last year’s total for the same period. The only violent crimes that increased were rape, up 14.4% with 286 total cases reported. The crime figures do not include areas patrolled by city police departments.
IMPROVE LICENSE PLATE LAW: County commissioners last week unanimously urged the Legislature to clarify state law to permit vehicle license plate frames to partially cover non-essential features of a plate if they don’t obscure the alphanumeric designation and registration decal. Former Marine Jose “Pepe” Diaz, who chairs the Miami-Dade Military Affairs Board, sponsored the resolution. A little-known Florida law now makes it illegal to obstruct “any feature or detail on the license plate,” and a Miami-Dade resident reportedly was recently ticketed for his “Wounded Warrior Project” plate cover. The plate frame partially covered the words “The Sunshine State,” but all essential information, including license plate number and registration sticker, was completely visible. Mr. Diaz said law must be clarified so well-meaning citizens who want to help a good cause don’t get hurt unnecessarily.
TOLL ROAD REBATES: The Miami-Dade Expressway Authority will mail checks by December averaging $100 to almost 60,000 users of its five toll roads in a cash-back dividend, Executive Director Javier Rodriguez announced Tuesday. It’s the authority’s second year of the program, totaling $5.5 million in rebates. The rebates lower the average daily toll rate from 70 cents to 50 cents per State Road 836 mainline gantry. More than 112,000 SunPass users registered for the program in an enrollment period that ended in March, but not all spent the minimum $100 in the 12 months ended June 30 on the authority’s roadways.