Miami Beach Hopes To Capitalize On COVID Curfew Elimination, Increased Travel Demand

Florida News

MIAMI (CBSMiami) – With more people getting vaccinated, the county curfew being eliminated and travel demand growing, there’s a lot of new hope for better months ahead.

Over in Miami Beach, a quieter scene played out Wednesday night. Fewer people were on the streets and at restaurants, which is a far cry from two weeks ago.

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“Recently, it’s been nonchalant, everybody been chilling. Nothing crazy, but I was here on spring break and they had to bring out rubber bullets,” said “Adrian.”

But there’s renewed hope with a Miami-Dade Mayor Daniella Levine Cava announcing a canceled curfew beginning April 12.

Municipalities still have the authority to supersede the mayor’s order. But the beach is eager to get back to business.

“Our manager felt we were close enough to the end of it that he could provide some relief given there’s still a midnight curfew. So it was supposed to end this weekend regardless, and that the police department felt we were in a much better place than we were a month ago,” said Miami Beach Mayor Dan Gelber.

And so moving forward, Mayor Gelber said the entertainment district is back. Still operating at 50%, restaurants and bars are eager to extend hours.

“I think it will open the economy. Because the restaurant will work more hours and benefit from more tourists here,” said Facundo Lopez with The Restaurant.

Visitors who saw the chaos of weeks ago heard the crush of crowds have slowed to a trickle.

Tourists like Vionel Gimenez, who is visiting from Venezuela, took a chance to visit South Beach as a family destination.

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The curfew, short hours and the pandemic have been catastrophic for some businesses like Gelato Go.

Luigi Coppolino saw a 75% reduction in business, but is starting to recuperate.

Lifting the curfew offers a sense of relief.

“Finally! Finally! Believe me, because it was a nightmare,” he said.

He also operates an Italian restaurant in a hotel.

Hotel management decided to use the pandemic to renovate, his restaurant included.

“For this reason, we stay closed for another couple of months and remodel everything and then we reopen it’s better for everybody,” he said.

This past spring break, and the pandemic, has certainly afforded Miami Beach and its administration a learning experience – one that can change the future.

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“I think we’re able to deal with these types of crowds. Every year we assume we have to continue do something about it. I think we should have acted earlier about it this year,” said Mayor Gelber.

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