Item Coversheet



TO: Finance and Economic Resiliency Committee Members

Raul J. Aguila, Interim City Manager

DATE: December 18, 2020



On October 2, 2020, the City issued a Request for Letters of Information (RFLI) to the three companies that are part of the City of Miami Beach pool of  event organizers (IDEKO, Swarm, and Tom Bercu Productions), and asked them to submit proposals on how they could help the City conceive, develop and implement a programmatic strategy and  activation for the  City during Spring Break 2021; specifically for  the month of March 2021. Programming would be for  Lummus Park and the beachfront areas.


The proposers were told that the City is looking for unique, innovative, imaginative and big ideas that will engage our residents and tourists  during our Spring Break season. No idea was too big, or too “out there”; the City wished  to encourage as many ideas as possible, to see which is the right fit for the City.


The mission was to develop a great concept that the City could build upon. The goal is to change the narrative of  Spring Break in Miami Beach, especially in March, which is the most intensive Spring Break. The companies were told that Miami Beach is a world-class city, with unparalleled cultural offerings, and the City would like to expand on those offerings to bring an original, big, programming vision to the City during an otherwise high-volume time period, in an attempt to drive tourism and increase hotel room occupancy, while reducing traffic impact,  and creating a new look and feel for Miami Beach during that time. Likewise, the aim is to put cultural offerings at the forefront of who and what Miami Beach, and especially the new Art Deco Cultural District, is.


On October 19, 2020, three (3) proposals were received and, on October 26, 2020, a review committee, including Parks & Recreation, Police, Communications, Tourism & Culture and the City Manager's Office, reviewed all of the proposals and selected Tom Bercu Productions' ("Tom Bercu") A Marvelous March in Miami Beach as the most appealing proposal for March 2021.


Tom Bercu, has a wealth of experience with event of this size and scope. Though known to Miami Beach for doing the Winter Party and Miami Beach Pride, the company has done a number of large multi-day events in San Francisco, Los Angeles, and Las Vegas. Their proposal envisions diverse programming that includes culinary experiences, music and performances, sustainability activations, wellness and a number of other fun and exciting elements that should appeal to all.


With COVID-19 impacting the college/university schedules and half of the  student populations still  studying virtually, it is unknown how many (or when) of the number of "Spring Breakers" are expected to visit the City in 2021. Accordingly, we will have programming that will expect the same numbers of students/visitors as 2019, but we will be installing COVID-19 mitigation plans. In addition, the programming will be flexible to accommodate and adjust for various audiences.


The proposed location would be directly on the beach, and in the Lummus Park area, between 7th Street and 11th Streets. The proposal envisions four long weekend programmings, from March 4 - March 28.


Programming will take place, at a minimum, every Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, with a focus on engaging crowds of 1000+ during our high impact times (3pm – 10pm) on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays. No programming will be approved before 10:00 AM or after 10 PM on any day.


Programming may include sellable tickets attached to them, so the City can monitor anticipated attendance numbers (and explore  whether tickets can be packaged with City hotel rooms), and mitigate traffic issues by having guests stay within walking distance of the site.


The Administration has fully briefed Spectra, the City's sponsorship consultants, to assist with the funding of the activation, that could be approximately $1.5m to produce, including projected City services (such as $62k for Parks and Recreation). No funding source for the proposed programming has been identified at this time.


City departments (including Police, Parks and Communications and Marketing) have been meeting with Tom Bercu team to flush out a flexible concept and budget, together with the COVID-19 and sustainability measures.


The Administration would like to move forward with implementing the Tom Bercu Production plan in collaboration with the Parks & Recreation, Police, Communication departments as well as other relevant City departments to ensure the City can produce programming that is engaging, safe, responsive to and responsible for our residents and visitors. In the interest of time, the Administration would recommend a budget of $1.5m to produce these events, with the expectation that a percentage of the budget may be offset by sponsorships acquired by the Spectra Group. We request that a funding source be identified concurrent with the review of the proposed program.


The Administration seeks direction and recommendation today as to (1) moving forward with the proposed programming for March 2021; and (2) identifying a funding source to cover the cost of the programming and related City services. If the Committee provides the aforestated direction and recommendation, we will proceed to bring this item to the full City Commission at the January 13, 2021, City Commission meeting, for its consideration.

Applicable Area

South Beach
Is this a "Residents Right to Know" item, pursuant to City Code Section 2-14? Does this item utilize G.O. Bond Funds?
No No 

Strategic Connection

Prosperity - Balance residents' quality of life with tourism and special events.
March 2021 PresentationOther
March 2021 BudgetOther
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