MIAMI BEACH, Fla. – The Miami International Boat Show is returning to Miami Beach in 2022, which will stimulate the local economy, but also draw hundreds of thousands of people to a city still recovering from rowdy tourists who caused chaos during spring break and Memorial Day weekend.
The four-day event is officially happening over President’s Day weekend in 2022, and it’s expected to draw around 100,000 people from all over the world.
“It’s going to bring hundreds of thousands of people here,” says Miami Beach Mayor Dan Gelber. “Folks that are going to be staying in our hotel rooms, spending our money in our shops and restaurants.”
“We’ve always been a city that’s an art and culture destination, a convention destination — that’s who we have always been and who we must be,” added the Mayor.
However, residents and business owners say chaotic behavior, such as a video captured on camera early Thursday morning, show how some visitors misbehave when they travel to Miami Beach and South Beach.
“It sounded like a mob scene, I’m sure it was, on Ocean and 9th,” says Mitch Novick, owner of the Sherbrooke Hotel on South Beach. He’s been a vocal critic of conditions in South Beach, and even shared a video with Local 10 of an unruly scene police say ended with two arrests—all because two people were openly smoking and transporting marijuana and refused to comply with officers orders to hand it over. According to police, the two arrests were, in fact, of people from out-of-state.
“It is every night,” says Novick. “It’s every day. Just standing here with you now you can feel at any second craziness could break out.”
However, Mayor Gelber says the hope and purpose of programmed events such as the Miami International Boat Show is to attract visitors who want to take advantage of all there is to do in Miami Beach—not openly break the law.
“If you’re going to act out, if you’re going to break our rules, we are going to arrest you,” added Gelber in a statement to the public. “Or, we’re going to tell you we don’t want you here.”