By David Sutta

MIAMI (CBS4) – As the finishing touches are being put on the grand opening of Art Basel on Miami Beach, across the way art is already on display and selling.

Design Miami features one of kind furniture. This year it’s moved out of the Design District to the convention center parking lot. But don’t mistake the location for street pricing. Already sold in the first few hours of the show a cabinet for $60,000. One booth over there’s a bright couch sold for $130,000.

It’s makes you wonder what happened to the recession? Miami beach hotels are booked solid as more than 40,000 people are expected to tour Art Basel and satellite fairs. A third of the audience will be from out of the country.

Zesty Myers owns the R 20th Century gallery in New York. He describe the Miami event as the melting pot for the art world.

“It’s really the meeting grounds of South America and Europe put together,” said Myers.

Galleries from around the world have spent big money to at the Miami staple. Surprisingly selling art is a bonus. The goal is to meet collectors.

“This fair starts today but it ends in 365 days for us. Who’s going to come to New York that I’ve met here. Or who’s going to send their friend.” Myers explained.

Gallery owner Cristina Grajales agreed. “Just to have access to that is incredible.”

Art Basel, Miami is now in its sixth year. It appears to have become the place to be, the new Superbowl of the art world.

“People usually perceive Miami as a party area. And now people are actually taking Miami more seriously.” art lover John Bevard told us as he looked at all the furniture.

For those of you who don’t have a $130,000 to spend on furniture. There are free things to do at Art Basel, like the installation on 21st street and Collins on Miami Beach. Each night they will feature art from a different city around the world.


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