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Sunday, August 16, 2015

Coconut Grove tourism

Interesting story in Miami Today called Coconut Grove Tourism Rebounds by Carla Vianna. Manny Gonzelez, BID director, Marshall Steingold from the Arts Festival and Sylvano Bignon of Greenstreet were interviewed.

You can see the article here.


For linking to this one story, just click on the time it was posted & just this story will open for sharing - only through social media. Not copying and pasting.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Love the positive tone of the Miami Today article. Totally agree with the increase of new restaurants in the Grove improving the quality of life for all. Hope we get more quality retail and entertainment venues.

August 16, 2015 7:17 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The journalist that wrote this Miami Today column “Coconut Grove tourism rebounds” ( little understanding of Coconut Grove. She must have briefly walked through the Village for the first time, didn’t take note of the many vacant shops or probably conducted the interview via phone or e-mail. This column is a “Puff Piece” for the BID and Chamber. Don’t know if Miami Today was compensated for this as an “Advertorial” but they should have been. Some quotes.

Anecdotally, there’s no shortage of tourists stepping off the big red bus touring through Coconut Grove. There’s also no shortage of visitors dining at the Grove’s restaurants, shopping at its stores, staying at its hotels and attending its events, locals say.
FACT: The Big Red Bus does drop off quite a few tourists in front of Cocowalk and are cordially greeted by Grove Ambassadors stationed at the one functioning Information Shack. It’s unfortunate that they often arrive before 10 am and discover there are few shops or restaurants open. I have also been informed that Cocowalk discourages them from using their bathroom facilities.

The Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau sees Coconut Grove as one of Miami’s key tourist destinations.
FACT: Coconut Grove is often promoted as a unique historical destination. But little remains of our history, other than then the Barnacle, Woman’s Club and the Grove Playhouse which has been boarded up since 2006 and may soon be just another memory.

Coconut Grove is Miami’s oldest tourist magnet, and its Business Improvement District, a City of Miami board made up of local property owners and merchants, is dedicated to preserving and enhancing its commercial core.
FACT: Coconut Grove was established in 1919. It would probably still be a unique historical community like that of Cape Cod or Martha’s Vineyard if it had not been annexed by the City of Miami in 1925. The BID was created to asses taxes from Grove Village business operators water plants, collect litter, hire Ambassadors and provide a bit more security that that the City of Miami has failed to deliver.

“The Grove suffered the same downturn in business six years ago that I think everyone did in Miami,” said Marshall Steingold, past chairman of the Coconut Grove Arts Festival’s board of directors and current chair of its marketing committee. “But we’ve been coming back so strong.”
FACT: The Grove was indeed a desirable destination, when it was special village before Cocowalk, Mayfair, chain stores, chain restaurants,offices and the demolition of such treasures as The Country Store, Cafe Europa, The Hungary Sailor and Taurus Steakhouse. We had wonderful art galleries, art fairs and other events that were open to the public, not gated or charging a fee.

Vacant storefronts and restaurants are not as common as they once were, Mr. Steingold said. “There are some vacant spots, and there are some vacant spots in every area of Miami,” he said.
But in the 30 years he’s known the Grove, he said, there are more dining options, and diversity in restaurants, than he’s ever seen.
FACT: A many commercial properties are now managed by just a few companies. They have increased the rents so high that few if any local businesses can afford them. Not even a national chain like Johnny Rockets was willing to pay $185 per sq. ft. for the location on Grand and McFarland. That location has been vacant for a year. In fact there are dozens of vacant shops at this time. Coconut Grove seems to have more vacancies and higher business turnover than Gables, South Miami, Miami Beach, Midtown or even Wynwood.

“The Grove is on an upward trend,” Mr. Aedo said, naming new Miami-born spots such as Panther Coffee and Michael Schwartz’s soon-to-come Harry’s Pizzeria.
FACT: Yes we are pleased that Panther Coffee and Harry Pizzeria are here. But even a luxury condo developer has expressed great concern with the Grove's commercial management companies of their lack of bringing more quality businesses here.

August 16, 2015 7:40 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The neighborhood’s entertainment scene, including CocoWalk, Barnacle Historic State Park and a lengthy list of unique events, continues to attract tourists year-round. Events including the Bed Race and the King Mango Strut offer locals and tourists authentic Grove experiences, Mr. Aedo said.
FACT: The King Mango Strut lost it Mojo when the COUP D'ETAT took place to remove its last remaining founder Glenn Terry.

“Tourists want authenticity,” he said. “They want an organic experience.”
FACT: Yes, tourists want authenticity and uniqueness, otherwise they may as well remain home. Coconut Grove used to be authentic and unique, but we continue to do our best to become yet another boring suburb of Miami. It’s tough to have authenticity with two Starbucks, mediocre shops and mostly midcore and overprice restaurant. There is actual one restaurant that promotes “Fast Sandwiches" and not “Good Sandwiches” or "Unique Sandwiches”.

The Business Improvement District has partnered with the visitors bureau to launch a digital marketing campaign, in which the neighborhood is promoted on travel websites.
FACT: I suspect that the BID receives fewer views on their web site than the Coconut Grove Grapevine.

Coconut Grove, specifically including CocoWalk and the Mayfair Hotel & Spa, ranked No. 8 in the top ten most visited Miami-Dade attractions by overnight visitors in 2014, according to surveys taken by the visitors bureau.
Last year, about 1 in every 5 overnight visitors stopped by the neighborhood.
Mr. Bignon, owner of GreenStreet Café, said the red buses carrying their mixture of tourists around have helped boost his patronage.
FACT: The Grove has four successful and desirable restaurants which include GreenStree, Jaguar, Peacock Garden and Le Bushon. There are more than that just on Giralda in Carol Gables while the parking is more abundant and less expensive.

CocoWalk is ranked within the top three most-requested destinations via the bus’s city loop, said sales and marketing manager Felipe Gonzalez. Last year, 120,000 passengers rode the open-top buses.
FACT: Cocowalk, Mayfair and Home Depot all aided in the Groves demise.

August 16, 2015 7:44 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

cocowalk and the mayfair were doing extremely well when there were clubs in both locations and people were aloud to cruise at night.EXTREMELY WELL!!!!!!!!!! What created the demise of the grove was a bunch of old farts who didnt want to hear a little loud music on the weekends and complained so much that more and more cops were everywhere scaring the people away.and then they raised the rents so high on club owners that who the fuck would want to be in that area.those same cool hippy people from back in the day that are old now are the ones who created the demise.not cocowalk or mayfair.

Haywood Jablomi

August 16, 2015 9:04 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good Gosh, Anon's 7:40 & 7:44. Your comments make sense after one takes a slow walk about the Grove, looks around, and ask ones self if you would bring a date, or your family or a few friends into our Grove for even some hopefully slight or cherished memory or special photo. I've been here since 1965; it's my home, but I do not frame my home in the Grove to the Grove's commercial success! Yet, I would prefer all Grove Businesses thrived. My new Grove business has a Coconut Grove, FL 33133 address, which I specifically noted with pride, which I hope will help and assist with our new image. Jobie Steppe

August 16, 2015 9:09 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Is Mr. Marshall Steingold the same gentleman that was dismissed from the BID a few years ago over the Billboard on US1 and SW 27 Ave? I seem to recall hearing about an incident where the BID was discussing the exorbitant monthly advertising cost for that Billboard. It was reported to be twice the cost of others that where nearby. It was then also reluctantly revealed that the company that leased the rights to that Billboard and rented it to the BID was associated with Mr. Steingold. That concealed conflict of interest was enough to shame him and remove him from the BID, but apparently not permanently.

August 18, 2015 10:14 AM  

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