Letter from the Chair

Recently, Miami Beach voters approved a 1% tourist tax increase, specifically in the form of a resort tax. This is a small enough increase to have minimal impact on our tourists, yet accumulated, will greatly contribute to the improvement of our community. The initiative is anticipated to bring in over $9 million annually, which will be used exclusively for funding the planned improvements and ongoing upkeep of the Miami Beach Convention Center.

In my 17 year history with the Chamber, this is certainly among my proudest moments for the organization. In the beginning we faced many challenges, naysayers and warnings that such a proposal would never pass. It was collaboration that allowed us to override these initial sentiments – our members not only worked with each other, but branched outside the chamber to other impacting organizations and community leaders to build upon its strength. Many thanks to the Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau, Miami Beach Visitors and Convention Authority, Miami Beach Hotel Association, Miami Beach Latin Chamber of Commerce and the Miami-Dade Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce for their partnership and support in making this happen.

Because of everyone’s hard work, we can move forward in the development of transforming the Convention Center into a state-of-the-art facility representative of our city’s international influence and appeal. The Convention Center is already home to some of the world’s most renowned events – Art Basel Miami Beach, Miami Beach International Fashion Week, Miami Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week, Miami Boat Show, ArteAmericas, as well as major meetings and expos hosted by elite institutions across key industries – all of which bring additional cache to our sunny paradise. As the region’s third largest economic force (just behind the airport and seaport), fulfillment of the neces-sary renovations and expansion are critical to enhancing our offerings, fulfilling our mission to provide for our citizens and attract new tourists with a viable and vibrant community. I would like to give another huge thank you to our supporters and to those who worked so diligently on the Chamber’s behalf. This is an important first step, and we still have a long way to go in the implementation of the new tax and realizing our vision for the Miami Beach Convention Center. However, our teamwork and actionable passion assure me that we’ll only continue our journey to success

At your service,

Jason Loeb

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