Illegal Miami Beach Hotel And Art Show Leads To Arrest

MIAMI BEACH ( – A scheduled art fair at the Sadigo Court Hotel has led to the arrest of the hotel owner and spawned more questions than answers.

CBS4 was first told that around 5 p.m. Friday, the doors were going to open for the Pool Art Fair 2011. But, Miami Beach Police and city officials shut down the event and the hotel.

“Drove from New York; it’s not like we can say, ‘Okay, we’re going to another hotel’,” said artist Leopold Vazquez. “We’re on the street right now.”

“I have to start driving back, cause it’s Art Basel week and there are no hotels,” said Marina Reiter.

That’s just the beginning of the story though.

According to the Miami Beach officials, the event was shut down because the event organizers didn’t have a special events permit.

In addition, according to Miami Beach officials, the owners are operating the Sadigo Court Hotel illegally and have no permit for the building to be a hotel.

The city has been issuing a cease and desist order for the hotel since September 23rd. But, according to city officials, every time the red note is put on the door; the hotel takes it down and keeps operating.

That led to the hotel’s owner, Rod Eisenberg, being arrested Friday night for obstructing the cease and desist order.

CBS4’s Gio Benitez learned that the artists who were taking part in the art fair paid thousands of dollars directly to the event organizer and have not been given any of their money back yet.

“We’ve all paid money in advance, for the venue, and now it’s like everyone’s going to be out of money,” said artist Sandy Van Iderstine, who flew in from Canada.

Another Canadian, Richard Fogarty, said artists paid $3,000 to get a spot in the fair.

The event’s organizer, Thierry Alet, said he’s going to be liable and responsible for all of the money.

“We will work it out with every artists and on a case-by-case basis and see how we can accommodate or somehow make it up to the artist, or course,” said Alet.

Still, the artists are not buying the fact that no one knew what was going on.

“That’s something that he should have known,” said Tony Peralta who drove in from New York. “He should have known about the violations. And I guess the hotel should have shared.”

  • J.c. Gonzalez

    One more blacked eye for our city! Would have the execution of this order on Monday have made a difference “NO!” – But yet 100s of people are leaving Miami with a bad taste in their mouth. We the people have no option but to take back our government! Please demand the immediate dismissal of whoever is responsible for executing this order!

    • Suz

      please demand the immediate dismissal of this owner and hotel for not replying to the cease and desist order. This is not supposed to be a banana repulic.

      • Sky Jamaica

        Is not about us turning into a banana republic –BUT! – Sensitivity, IQ, Competence should be key fundamental trademarks of a city official executing and order like this – As stated there is no change on the outcome, noting to lose if the order would have been executed on Monday – Take the owner to Jail, confiscate the property etc. but don’t take it out on hundreds of visitors to our city and if you do make such drastic measures one most make sure you have a plan in place to house this people. Especially when this are people who paid for services in our City! You must be a union employee if you don’t see the impact this has on our city!

  • deborah

    I can host 10 artists and their work at the Ivory Tower Exhibit in the Miami Marquis

  • Deborah Shelton Tynes

    I can host 10 artists and their work at the Ivory Tower Exhibit in the Miami Marquis

  • Phillip H George

    I’m truly sorry to hear about the event being closed!
    Marina Reiter drove for two days out of New York City to reach Beautiful Miami; yesterday was a 800 mile drive for this young lady, now she out in the world facing another long drive out of Miami.
    “Southern Hospitality needed for all the Artist; some may be on the streets around the Sadigo Hotel,being the place was closed, they have nowhere to sleep, and I hope the police will take notice.”
    Thank you Channel 4 News, WELL DONE!

    • ADMIN

      Philip…it was the police and the city who shut the event down; we simply reported it. Do you think we turned them in? If the guy’s event was illegal, and the hotel was illegal, the city did the right thing. No permit means no safety inspection. What if the hotel had a fire and guests died? Then, you’d be blasting the city for not acting sooner. Everyone feels bad for the guests displaced, but what was the city supposed to do?

      • Phillip H George


  • Thierry Alet artist & founder pool art fair


    I am happy to hear that. Leslie Lyons is now at Fountain. Verge Art fair has offered 2 rooms but logistical is a drai. Please contact me as soon as you can at 347 604 22.71

  • Vonnie

    I feel deep empathy for all the artist who gave time, money and energy to this event at this hotel only to find out that their hard work and talents would go unrecognized…I also had a daughter exhibiting at this hotel that had flown in From Europe to what she was expecting to be her first art show..not only is she out the money but it was a considerable expense for her to undertake. I sincerely hope that the hotel makes good on their promise to reimburse ALL the artist. Thank you for others who opened up their rooms and hearts to those in need.

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