Cities that hope to attract meetings and conventions business understand that having modern, world-class convention facilities is imperative to success. And combining those facilities with upscale hotels next door draws in groups and events.
Miami had a $1 billion plan to redevelop its fledgling convention center. The project, which included 52 acres of meeting facilities, parks, retail, restaurants, and a headquarters hotel, was supposed to be completed by development team South Beach ACE. In July of last year, OMA was awarded the design contract for the major project, that included an 800-room hotel on top of the newly designed convention center.
But according to this article from the Miami Herald, Mayor Philip Levine and city commissioners have called off the master redevelopment project. Instead, the city will issue a new bid for just the renovation of the city-owned convention center and scout possible locations for the development of a nearby hotel. However, both projects will be pursued separately.
According to the article, commissioner Jonah Wolfson, funded in part by the Fontainebleau, led a campaign against the size and price of the ACE convention center project.
Most tourism officials in Miami agree that a convention center hotel is essential to luring in new visitors, and say that meeting planners have been asking for a lodging facility located adjacent to the center for some time. Bill Talbert, head of the Greater Miami Convention and Visitors Bureau told the Miami Herald, “The need for a headquarter hotel—that comes from the meeting planners. All of our competitors have an adjacent headquarter hotel.”
Read more about the squashed billion-dollar project over on the Miami Herald.