MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Like many others, Coconut Grove’s Vizcaya Museum and Gardens, the crown jewel of Miami attractions is also hurting from the coronavirus pandemic.
Vizcaya had to implement salary cuts and reduced working hours. Gone are the revenue-producing photo shoots, 90-100 annual corporate events, weddings, and attendance is a quarter of what it should be.
The impressive house and gardens were built in the early 20th century by industrial executive James Deering.
Joel Hoffman, Executive Director of Vizcaya Museum & Gardens says, “Vizcaya closed down in mid-march but opened the gardens in early May and reopened portions of the main house back in the first week of June.”
Vizcaya’s main house is laced with priceless works of art and period antiques, as the classic winter home of the gilded age’s rich and famous.
“We typically see 300,000 visitors each year and closing in the middle of the peak season was a big financial hit for us,” said Hoffman.
That represents a hit to the tune of $3 million out of a $12 million annual budget for the estate.
“In addition, in the coming year, we have already canceled our fundraising event,” said Hoffman.
Miami-Dade County owns the property, including the art and antique collections.
It rovides $2.5 million a year for operational costs. The non-profit operators come up with the rest, so in other words, a COVID 19 relief fundraiser.
“We are really looking to our friends, supporters, and community, in general, to help us reach our goal to raise a million dollars to continue protecting and preserving Vizcaya,” said Hoffman.
Vizcaya did receive a $1.1 million Paycheck Protection loan and a $190,000 Cares Act grant, but it still a long way to go for it to recover from the pandemic.