FYI Miami: January 26, 2017
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MORE VISITORS, MORE HOTELS: The Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau broke news at Mayor Carlos Giménez’s State of the County address last week, reporting a 2% increase in visitors for 2016. “We sold more rooms than ever and built more, too, which support a lot of jobs,” said Rolando Aedo, bureau chief marketing officer and executive vice president. Speaking to the Trade and Tourism Committee Jan. 19, standing in for bureau President and CEO William D. Talbert III, Mr. Aedo said this success was despite the Zika scare, problems in Brazil and strength of the dollar. Looking to 2017, Mr. Aedo said 14 more hotels will come online, adding more than 2,000 rooms. Mr. Talbert was attending the US Conferences of Mayors, which Miami will host in June, “a tradition to be there and promote” Miami. Commissioner Rebeca Sosa, chairing the meeting, said when she officially becomes committee head next month she will excuse bureau officials from reports unless there’s something new.
FLYING HIGHER: Miami International Airport set a record in 2016 by serving nearly 44.6 million travelers, up 234,000. It was the seventh consecutive year of passenger growth. The airport broke its 2015 record for annual freight traffic, too, up .37% to 2.18 million tons, the Miami-Dade Aviation Department said. Annual passenger traffic grew 0.53%. While travel between Miami and Brazil alone – the airport’s top international market – fell 600,000 passengers in 2016, increases in other countries and domestically kept the airport on an upward trend. Domestic passengers rose 0.26% to 23.2 million, while international traffic grew .82% to nearly 21.4 million.
SHUT IT DOWN: Miami city commissioners have passed a resolution by Francis Suarez urging the Florida Legislature to ban the red light camera program in its entirety, as proposed by Sen. Frank Artiles and Rep. Brian Avila. Their bills propose to repeal the Mark Wandall Traffic Safety Act, removing the authorization of cities such as Miami to install and use red light cameras. “I have always advocated against red light cameras,” Mr. Suarez said. Citing the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles 2015 Red Light Camera Report, he said car crashes have actually increased at intersections with red light cameras.
GAS PRICE DIPS: Miami retail gasoline prices fell 2.2 cents a gallon in the week ended Sunday to average $2.42 per gallon, according to GasBuddy price-tracking service. That left local prices averaging 44.2 cents per gallon higher than a year earlier and 4.2 cents a gallon higher than a month earlier. National prices were lower, averaging $2.30 a gallon.