MIAMI BEACH, Fla. – South Beach may be getting a makeover.
That’s the plan, according to Miami Beach Mayor Dan Gelber, who announced Wednesday that he will set out to replace the iconic entertainment district with an “Art Deco Cultural District” where alcohol sales will cut off at midnight at most places to reduce crime and debauchery.
“The current entertainment district has become too difficult and costly to police and, equally important, too inconsistent with our brand. And it’s too special and iconic a place to be so badly underperforming,” Gelber said.
The mayor talked through his vision in an 8-minute YouTube video and noted that the city’s commission will discuss the plans further next week.
Gelber said the entertainment district has become “a victim of its success” and grown to resemble “a beachfront Bourbon Street” where visitors come and behave in ways they never would at home. His proposal would cut off alcohol sales at midnight but allow certain businesses to apply for conditional permission to extend that later if they meet certain requirements.
Miami Beach put in an 8 p.m. curfew for parts of the entertainment district this past weekend to prevent gatherings that could propel the spread of COVID-19.
In his video, Gelber acknowledged the timing of pushing for such significant change during these abnormal times.
“This is precisely the right time. We cannot continue to kick this can down the road,” he said. “When we emerge from this pandemic — and we will emerge — we should have a different kind of South Beach. A better one. Just as vibrant and iconic, but also cultural and safe. A South Beach for everyone.”
See more details on the mayor’s proposal below:
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