A longtime Miami resident and hotelier warned the spring break destination’s brand has been “damaged beyond recognition” in recent years as chaos and crime threatens to derail tourism in the once-lively city.
Mitch Novick, who owns the Sherbrooke All Suites Hotel, joined “Fox & Friends First” to discuss how spiraling crime and curfews have impacted business owners who capitalize on the area’s renowned nightlife.
He claimed this is the fourth year in a row business owners have battled curfews, which have been implemented as a result of spiraling violence.
MIAMI BEACH CAN END LIQUOR SALES IN AREA AT 2 A.M. INSTEAD OF 5 A.M.
“The Miami Beach brand has been damaged beyond recognition for the last decade,” Novick told Ashley Strohmier and Todd Piro Monday. “As someone who’s been in the hotel business for over 30 years, my guests, who I’ve known the generations of their family, have told me in recent years they’re no longer coming back here.”
“They’re going to seek out alternative vacation destinations, but I’m optimistic that things will change,” he continued.
Novick’s comments come after the city implemented another curfew for spring breakers after two people died in recent overnight shootings.
Although the Miami Beach curfew was only implemented through Monday morning, officials are likely to impose another next weekend in an effort to prevent unruly crowd gatherings, according to Mayor Dan Gelber, D.
The curfew didn’t apply to city residents, anyone traveling to or from work, or first responders engaging in emergency services.
GEORGIA COLLEGE STUDENT ON LIFE SUPPORT WITH BRAIN BLEED AFTER SPRING BREAK TRIP TO MEXICO
Gelber issued a statement in response to the bloody weekend in a YouTube video posted on Sunday. “The volume of people in our city, the unruly nature of too many, and the presence of guns has created a peril that cannot go unchecked,” he said.
But Novick argued even though Gelber wants to reverse the dangerous trend that has monopolized spring break in recent years, he has been “ineffective” in keeping the city safe.
“He’s been saying the same thing for since he’s been in office,” Novick said. “I believe him, but he’s been ineffective in making any changes, and a lot of it has to do with campaign donations.”
“His colleagues and himself have taken so much money from the nightlife industry, which again, is the reason why nothing has changed,” he continued.
Gelber pushed back on Novick’s criticism during an appearance on “America’s Newsroom,” Monday, arguing the city has been forced to “endure” the madness associated with spring break, but it is not something the city is “seeking” out.
“We have tried every possible approach to either get rid of spring break to try to organize some of the people that are here,” Gelber said. “Tens of thousands of people come here every single night, maybe more, and we don’t ask for them. Sometimes we try to program so that they’re just not in a huge block party, which ultimately happens.”
“At the end of the day, we cannot balance public safety with business,” he continued. “I’m sorry to say that, but it’s just true. If people are getting shot on the street, then we’re going to act, and that’s just the way it is.”
He noted the curfews act as a “tender” to curb violence, and the implementation is the “best” the city can do in order to take action.
Novick detailed how the recent crime on city streets has damaged his ability to do business, explaining how his primarily international clientele has often left the location early because they have “nothing to do.”
He also noted how the chaos is “highly disruptive” not only to his business, but his neighbors’ businesses as well.
“Why does the city continue to provide a carnival-like circus on the street with multiple stages blasting music?” Novick questioned. “The city embraces this spring break atmosphere, and I’ve been appearing before the mayor and commission for about a decade now, telling them not to throw millions upon millions of taxpayer dollars at the police, but to address the incompatible and problematic open air entertainment zoning that is found along Ocean Drive that just a handful of businesses exploit with their own blasting music and dance performances on the public right of way.”
“That is the crux of our problems down here,” he continued.
Source: Fox News