MIAMI BEACH (CBSMiami) – One man who knows a thing or two about Miami Beach and its brand is Bill Talbert, the President and CEO of The Miami Convention and Visitors Bureau. He spoke with CBS4’s Marybel Rodriguez about the chaos on South Beach and its possible long term effects.
Marybel: “As someone focused on Miami’s tourism needs what do you think when you see what’s happening on South Beach?”READ MORE: Arrest Made After Social Media Threat Targets Marjory Stoneman Douglas High
Bill Talbert: “The issue on Miami Beach now, it’s 10 blocks long and four blocks wide of 90 blocks. So its compact area which by the way, all 90 blocks are open all day long. It’s just in the evening when things happen.”
Marybel: “Several days ago, Miami Beach Mayor Dan Gelber said this chaos isn’t worth the revenue. What do you think about that?”READ MORE: CBS4 Exclusive: Support Beams At Dadeland Mall Parking Garage Alarms Shoppers
Bill Talbert: “One of the things that happened this year, no one could have expected this volume of folks. And what has happened for a year, all of us including these kids, have been sequestered in some place, in a house, in a dorm, they could not get out and just now people can start to travel. I think some of that is pent up demand for travel and by the way Miami Beach is such a popular place. If you look at the arrests now, it’s 51% of the arrests were from outside the state. In the past, during this time, it was kind of regional arrests.”
Marybel: “Miami Beach is such a beautiful place unfortunately it is getting terrible publicity out of all this. What’s the long term damage to its reputation as a tourist destination?”MORE NEWS: Florida Farmers Grapple With Transportation Problems
Bill Talbert: “I don’t’ think there’s any long term damage. I would be concerned if this happened every weekend 52 weeks out of the year. This is Spring Break, maybe during Memorial Day, but for the balance of the year it’s the great. Miami Beach that we all know without those younger large crowds. The brand is so strong, one of the top brands in the world, and I don’t think the brand is going to suffer from this. There are some issues we have to deal with but long term business is coming back, tourists are coming back, we just have to work through this.”