Miami Beach mayor wants city to be more than just a party town

Miami Beach Mayor Dan Gelber wants a change of culture on South Beach.

MIAMI BEACH, Fla. – Miami Beach Mayor Dan Gelber wants a change of culture on South Beach.

“We need to get rid of our entertainment-only district. We are not the Miami Beach of 20 or 30 years ago when we needed to only have all-night parties in order to attract people here,” he said.

Gelber points to the modern-day beach which has become a mecca of culture with events such as Art Basel and the South Beach Food & Wine Festival.

“Instead of just bars all night long that we have boutique offices, commercial, residential, galleries, shops because I think that’s the destination we should be,” Gelber said.

However, the city has lost part of the battle, since the courts have struck down efforts by the city to roll back alcohol sales to 2 a.m. twice.

Mango’s Tropical Cafe owner David Wallack says we should learn from the past and not repeat it.

“Miami Beach is for the young people. We’re not for the dead ones. Let Palm Beach have the dead ones,” Wallack said, quoting Carl Fisher, one of the city’s founders.

Wallack says entertainment has always been the cure for economic slumps on the beach and he’s urging the city to identify responsible operations while setting higher standards for businesses.

The city is expected to meet on Wednesday, April 6 to discuss the ban on alcohol sales past 2 a.m. once again.

About the Authors:

In January 2017, Hatzel Vela became the first local television journalist in the country to move to Cuba and cover the island from the inside. During his time living and working in Cuba, he covered some of the most significant stories in a post-Fidel Castro Cuba.