MIAMI BEACH, Fla. – Miami Beach’s sun, surf and sand brand has changed. Miami Beach Mayor Dan Gelber said that over the last few decades, Ocean Drive has grown to resemble a beachfront Bourbon Street.
Amid the coronavirus pandemic’s impact on the hospitality industry, Gelber said it was time to change that. He discussed this during a virtual commission meeting on Wednesday.
“All night hard-drinking and too much misbehavior ... too many people go to do what they would never do in their hometown,” Gelber said.
The mandates to promote social distancing during the pandemic have forced the shutdown of nightclubs and bars. There is also an 8 p.m. curfew.
Gelber and some of the commissioners want to transform the entertainment district into a cultural district. They are considering enforcing the change with a zoning overhaul, a midnight last-call for alcohol, and an oversight committee.
“And not just do what we have been doing, which are a lot of one-off things that don’t address the issue,” said Ricky Arriola, a Miami Beach commissioner.