New welcome mat on Miami Beach’s Lincoln Road
Uniformed hospitality ambassadors the Lincoln Road Business Improvement District hired through the firm Block by Block have been helping visitors to the street for the past two months.
“The project is going extremely well. Everyone is having a great time and really understands what hospitality means, and for that we could not be more pleased,” said Angela Grether, recruitment manager for Block by Block.
The ambassadors on Lincoln Road are Miami locals, hired and trained through Block by Block. “We’re looking for more of an attitude than a skill set,” Ms. Grether said.
The team is one full-time operations manager, four full-time ambassadors and two part-time ambassadors. Each ambassador is assigned four blocks along Lincoln Road between Washington Avenue and Alton Road, and they add one or two extra ambassadors for events or busy weekends.
The ambassadors provide directions and event information, take photos of visitors and help out in any way they can. “They also complement existing city services by helping pick up debris before the city can do a more thorough cleaning and serve as eyes and ears in case of an emergency,” said Ivannia Van Arman, executive director of the Lincoln Road Business Improvement District.
Ms. Grether says “the ambassadors on Lincoln Road are honest, good people and we have received countless letters and calls about how appreciative the community is.”
The improvement district’s $400,000 yearly contract with Block by Block is renewed every six months. Block by Block says it has a 96% retention rate and has active contracts in 89 cities.
Of the four community ambassador programs in the Miami area, three are through Block by Block. The fourth is a locally sponsored program by the City of Miami’s Omni Community Redevelopment Agency with a $50,000 grant for one year, hiring five women from the Chapman Partnership and trained through Camillus House to clean the streets and provide general maintenance.
“Miami gets a bad rap for poor customer service, but on Lincoln Road, we meet with tenants to constantly stress the importance of every person who visits,” Ms. Arman said. “The project is going really well, and we’re happy with Block by Block’s service.”
The hospitality improvement program is just one of improvement district’s efforts to “make Lincoln Road the best it can be,” Ms. Arman said. “We are committed to bringing back events that used to happen along Lincoln Road and making them bigger and better.”
In 2015, building owners along Lincoln road came together and voted to tax themselves to create the improvement district to better the overall experience of tourists and residents. The program is in place for ten years and sponsors events and activities along Lincoln Road.