MVB Big Idea Award Goes To Jorge Gonzalez & Richard Steinberg!
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We believe in the power of the "Ether-Net," getting ideas "out there" through the Internet. MVB is basically built around that concept of actively using the Internet as an electronic gadfly to lobby ideas and opinions. Positive feedback on these efforts happen when we see MLB insisting on a downtown Miami baseball stadium (hopefully our chosen site) and now through a little tidbit found deep inside today's Miami Herald's Business Monday section. Miami Beach City Manager Jorge Gonzalez suggested to a meeting of the Miami Beach Chamber of Commerce that the city put the $55 million set aside by a county bond fund to refurbish the Convention Center toward subsidizing building a new hotel instead. This "Big Idea" was "ridiculed by tourism trade groups backing the renovations." The next day at a City Hall meeting, Commissioner Richard Steinberg backed Gonzalez up and "warned against dismissing it so quickly."
The article reminds us that the Loews and Royal Palm hotels were built on public oceanfront and with government loans. So the idea isn't that revolutionary, but it does remind us of our own Big Idea-- getting Disney to build a hotel or hotels on the beach and the mainland in exchange for public land, a port on Watson Island for their cruise ships, and a Disney partnered BayLink. Disney is currently looking to build "stand alone" hotels. With the right inducements from a handful of visionaries (and $55 million isn't something to sneeze at), perhaps someday we'll see Disney hotels anchoring both ends of a Disney BayLink. The Mouse gets what it wants and the people of Dade County get what they need. Of course the biggest hurdle here is getting enough elected officials from the Beach to embrace the Disney BayLink to make it reality, but every big idea has to start somewhere.
For those wondering about Bob Enzyte, MVB's official award giver, please note that Bob officiated at the ceremony at Churchill's Pub in Little Haiti in a black Speedo, socks, and shoes. At first we were leery about letting him attend the ceremony like that until he explained it was a symbolic gesture toward honoring "those Beachites." Yes, it wasn't the prettiest thing to see and, yes, he silenced all background chatter at Churchill's when he rose to speak at the dais, but it sure beats the alternative and more jail time.