Thursday , 2 October 2014
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Letter from the Chair

As a business man or woman, we have one clear requirement that I have always worked hard at…listening. If we want our business to succeed, we have to listen to our customers. It’s the same in any relationship. What happens if we ignore our customers? We lose them. And if we lose our customers, we are out of business. I know…this is all very basic business 101. But it is usually the simple things in life that are the most important.

Our great city of Miami Beach is extremely complex with many customers. We have our local residents and businesses who are our cities customers with many concerns that are voiced on a daily basis. But unlike most cities, we have an enormous base of temporary customers, tourists. Some of the tourists are here for a day, others for a week, and some for a month or longer. And our tourists stay in our hotels, dine in our restaurants, shop in our stores and provide for a substantial part of our cities budget by paying the tourist tax. This more tourists that stay and play in our city, the more tourist tax is paid providing more funds to the city to enhance our parks, green spaces and other public amenities.

We are blessed to have a giant economic engine to draw tourists to our city, our Miami Beach convention center. But everyone knows that it is old and seriously in need of improvement. And as a city, we have heard from our customers that it is time. It is time torenovate the convention center, build a convention center hotel and establish a functional and vibrant convention center district that will attract the top tier conventions that we want and need. These top conventions bring great people from all over the world to stay and play in our city and support our economy

It took us a long time to get here, but we listened! We listened to the voice of our residents in the vote last summer to increase the tourist tax so that we could improve the convention center. We listened the voices of our conventioneers who told us for years that they love Miami Beach and want to have their conventions here. Those conventioneers told us that we must improve the center and add a convention center hotel if we wanted them to come back. The city commission has selected our partner, Tishman ACE to renovate the convention center and build the adjacent hotel.

As Chairman of our Miami Beach Chamber of Commerce, I am proud of our city commission and administration for seeing the future and moving our great city of Miami Beach forward. It is the right time for our city and it is the right project for our city.

At your service,

AAL

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