Visitors Industry Wants Evaluation Of Countys Convention Space Needs
By John P. Hernandez
With an eye toward use of the county’s Convention Development Tax revenues, the Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau is talking with several firms about assessing the county’s needs for convention space.
"This is a project that has never been done before," said Bill Talbert, bureau president and CEO. "The idea behind the study will be to find out exactly what our needs are in Miami as far as convention space goes and act accordingly."
The bureau has budgeted $100,000 for the study, with a green light from its executive committee. The study is to be completed by October.
"We have no preconceived notions about what we are going to find or what we are not going to find with this study," Mr. Talbert said. "What we are going to do is take a look at our three existing main convention centers – Miami Beach, Coconut Grove and the Knight Center – and see what our market needs are from there."
The genesis of the study, said bureau Chairman Adolfo Henriques, was widespread dissatisfaction with the county’s convention facilities expressed several years ago after a convention of bank operations executives.
The bureau’s executive committee wants to assess the quality of convention facilities and adequacy of size now, Mr. Henriques said, before all Convention Development Tax receipts are pledged to other projects. Those taxes, he said, are collected on hotel rooms and some meals to be used for convention development.
More than 30 projects have already lined up to use those tax receipts, including a baseball stadium, science museum, art museum and historical museum. Allocation of the tax revenues is on hold until September.