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Miami Yacht Show cruising across bay from Miami Beach

Written by John Charles Robbins on November 6, 2018

Producers plan to move the Miami Yacht Show from Miami Beach to the City of Miami’s Omni area beginning in 2019.

Yachting Promotions Inc. is asking the city for a revocable license to stage the annual yacht show offshore of the former Miami Herald site, between the MacArthur and Venetian causeways. The city commission may decide on the temporary license next week.

Spencer Crowley, an attorney representing Yachting Promotions, shared company plans to move the yacht show with the Miami River Commission on Monday, seeking support from a body that has the marine industry as a top priority.

After 30 years at Indian Creek waterway in Miami Beach, the plan is to move to Miami. The river commission voted unanimously to recommend the city approve the license.

The resolution says the Miami Yacht Show “directly benefits businesses located on the Miami River, including large-scale boatyards as well as smaller component stores.”

At the high-profile site, the city owns about 18 acres of submerged lands, while Resorts World Miami LLC owns the upland property.

The yacht show has an agreement with Resorts World to use part of the upland in tandem with Art Wynwood at 1 Herald Plaza at 14th Street. The yacht show is held in February, when another company stages the Miami International Boat Show on Virginia Key.

Mr. Crowley said the show has outgrown Miami Beach, noting that the size and quantity of yachts has led to the new location.

The waterway of Biscayne Bay, framed by Downtown Miami, is a deep water port and well suited to become the new home for the show, he said.

Vessels are typically 80 feet long, with some extending more than 150 feet, he said.

The site, adjacent to the Omni Metromover Station and a hub for public transit buses and trolleys, offers yacht show patrons an “easy way to get there,” he said.

Mr. Crowley said they are working through steps necessary for approval of the location. The Miami-Dade County Department of Environmental Resources Management approved a permit in October, he said.

The show producers are to meet with the governor and his cabinet in December and are optimistic of state approval, he said. The US Army Corps of Engineers must OK the move as well.

The relocation must be evaluated by considering environmental impacts related to everything from manatees to seagrass and coral.

While the revocable license is temporary, Mr. Crowley indicated that after staging a successful 2019 show the producers may talk to the city to seek something “more permanent.”

The yacht show substantially impacts the local economy, with an estimated $486 million economic output generated by this year’s show, according to a recent study.

“It’s like having a Super Bowl every single year in Miami,” said Mr. Crowley.

Genting Group purchased the former newspaper site in 2011 for $236 million. It also purchased surrounding sites and announced plans for Resorts World Miami, a $3 billion luxury casino with multiple towers, stores and more. Without winning state approval for a casino, the plan was scaled back to two residential towers, a hotel and retail, but nothing has been built.

Resorts World does have a 2016 proposal to build a 50-slip marina there.

This article was written by John Charles Robbins, and published on Miami Today online.

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