MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Before the streets are packed with people for Art Basel, logistics needs some loving.
The first major step was getting Alton Road up and running for the art extravaganza.
Alton Road was closed for more than a year to alleviate flooding issues. But now a portion has been opened in both directions, from 8th to 17th, eight months ahead of schedule. Just in time for the rush.
Residents and business owners said they welcome the reopening of the road.
Starting Thursday, Art Basel takes place at the Miami Beach Convention Center. However, there are satellite venues in Wynwood, Midtown, Downtown, Mid-Beach and North Beach. Together they make up Art Week Miami, and give residents everywhere a chance to take in the masterpieces.
Each location will have transportation systems to help ferry around attendees.
Miami and Miami Beach are offering a free trolley service from Wednesday to Sunday.
Two shuttles run east to west from Miami Beach to Midtown and Wynwood. Plus another four shuttles will run north to south from the convention center to stops up and down the beach.
In the Design District, a free shuttle is ready for businesses. And in some spots, valet parking can be found as cheap as $3.
The Venetian Causeway project got pushed back to start after this week. That means the tolls on the bridge will be sure to cash in on the traffic.
When Basel started in 2002, there were six large art galleries in the Miami/Miami Beach area. Now there are about 130.
A thousand other galleries are registered to come in town, which means new businesses are trying to open just in time.
“It is the right time, cause the city has a feeling that is like no other time in Miami,” said Laurie Lynn Stark, owner of Chrome Heart.
Chrome Heart is new to the Design District. Its grand opening is Wednesday.
Craig Robins the head of Dacra, which has overseen the design districts development, said about a dozen high end stores are opening in the Design District the week of Art Basel.
Including Hublot, bringing in Olympian Usain Bolt, Piaget, Bulgari and the list goes on.
Restaurants, shops and hotels – some up to a thousand dollars a night – said they are ready for guests Basel brings.
So yes, the logistics are an art unto themselves.
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