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The Noff Does Not Approve of Two Weekends of Ultra

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Postby pod on 07 Jan 2013 22:41

Re: The Noff Does Not Approve of Two Weekends of Ultra

The only thing I ever hear is people saying "Wow I can hear Ultra from here..." kind of a non-committal statement via social media. Club Legend knows where to look up noise complaints.

I'm rather immune to noise per se, but I don't care for the traffic impact of that or any other large-scale event. I get angry during Heat Games even and just remember to go around.

Then again I get tweaked when there's one car in front of me at 4 AM on the highway.
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Postby pod on 07 Jan 2013 22:56

Re: The Noff Does Not Approve of Two Weekends of Ultra

Now all the "ravers" are getting tweaked and saying the City doesn't support dance music. Um, maybe so, but I think the City has made a helluva lot of allowances for the scene in general, allowing it to flourish as much as it has here. Our clubs close at 5 AM, or in the case of Space, whenever the hell it wants to, and even the 5 AM law isn't enforced on a regular basis, with various venues (we know who they are) staying open past 5 AM despite their mandated closing time.

Frankly, if it starts to result in a decrease in the overall quality of life for the area, then Ultra either needs to just keep it at it's current level of 3 days at x capacity or find other more roomier environs to throw it in. Festivals have moved locales before. EDC moved from LA to Vegas and became the most successful dance music festival in the Western Hemisphere because of it. Ultra could move to Broward or to the Glades and suffer little ill effects, it's that big of a machine. They only need the dates, which they could easily get. Don't forget, Ultra depends on DJs being here anyways for Conference.

And there isn't a huge WMC/Ultra crowd crossover anymore. The club crowd doesn't really go to Ultra, and the Ultra crowd generally doesn't go to the clubs. At most Space events during WMC you see dedicated Space people and not so many people looking like they came from Ultra. Ultra's crowd saves and scrapes for their tickets as it is, they aren't going to spend another $100 to go to Space, or $300 or whatever they charge at LIV during WMC.

So yeah, Ultra should just sit tight and make the millions they already do in Bayfront over three days, or they should consider moving the festival to a less-constrained area nearby.
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Postby pod on 07 Jan 2013 23:12

Re: The Noff Does Not Approve of Two Weekends of Ultra ... /69791.pdf

Yeah, the Noff wants to play hardball.
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Postby diabloargentino on 08 Jan 2013 00:35

Re: The Noff Does Not Approve of Two Weekends of Ultra

am i the only one who thinks this is a stunt to get people to buy more weekend 1 tickets?
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Postby pod on 08 Jan 2013 01:00

Re: The Noff Does Not Approve of Two Weekends of Ultra

diabloargentino wrote:am i the only one who thinks this is a stunt to get people to buy more weekend 1 tickets?

If it is a stunt it would very unethical and most likely illegal. If it were so it wouldn't surprise me since this is Miami, but I don't see Sarnoff playing along with a rave and pissing off his core constituents.

But oh what a story if it were that way...
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Postby trogers on 08 Jan 2013 01:03

Re: The Noff Does Not Approve of Two Weekends of Ultra

the kids stared one of those non-effective petitions - ... e_petition

out of curiosity has a petition on ever made a difference?
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Postby pod on 08 Jan 2013 01:10

Re: The Noff Does Not Approve of Two Weekends of Ultra

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Postby The Honky Tonk Man on 08 Jan 2013 12:12

Re: The Noff Does Not Approve of Two Weekends of Ultra

I don't think the Noff has the votes... He lost this resolution 3 to 1.

These are the cliff notes of the meeting.

District 2-
Commissioner Marc
David Sarnoff
12-01385 Legislation.pdf

Bayside Marina Boat tour operator complaining....

Ultra is huge, but you're going
to close down Biscayne Boulevard for two weekends on north bound. Well, people aren't going
to come down and ride the boats when they can't get down there to get parking and that there's a
couple hundred thousand people in the street. The Heat games. Love the Heat, season ticket
holder for many years -- was. And what happens when the Heat game is, they -- the parking
goes up, which is great 'cause that's revenue for the City, but it's also revenue out of our pocket
because it does affect us. Again, they'll come down, fill up the parking, raise the rate to $30.
Nobody comes to ride the boats when that happens. So it does -- those things that are great for
the City and we're thrilled to have them, we already pay a cost for. I wanted to also let you
realize that this is a tourist-based business

The Noff

Vice Chair Sarnoff: I brought this back because a tug-of-war downtown over Biscayne
Boulevard is destined to intensify unless we redefine the future of Miami's central lifeline. The
Ultra Music Festival aims to halt northbound boulevard traffic for 79 consecutive hours, two
weekends in a row. No federal highway is geared to act in a single 15-stretch block as the
driveway that feeds downtown, a string of new condos, Bayfront Park, American Airlines Arena,
Bayside Marketplace, global seaport that carries both freight and the nation's total largest cruise
passengers, together with two vast Adrienne Arsht performance halls. The Florida East Coast
Railway will reactivate service into Port Miami, halting daily traffic for approximately two trains
before closings a day. Downtown has suddenly become both a youth and active residential
center and a 24-hour nightlife has blossomed, all using Biscayne Boulevard to make entry and
exit. The problem: there's just one Biscayne Boulevard, and it's not only a federal highway that's
also downtown's lifeline; it's an increasing clogged artery. You don't need a cardiologist to tell
you that so much traffic being pushed into its main artery, Miami is heading for a heart attack .
New condos arose downtown not alone caused the problems, but taken together, there's a critical
traffic mass. Downtown is already hurting. As offices age and become harder to reach,
downtown becomes relatively less attractive for office tenants, forcing people onto Biscayne
Boulevard. Now, yesterday I received a traffic analysis for a hearing today. And Mr. Manager, I
can't believe you would hold this back from me for a meeting today.

Brian May representing UMF
Brian May: Mr. Chairman, members of the Commission, Commissioner Sarnoff. First of all,
Brian May, representing Ultra Music Fest. I guess I should start by saying, we certainly had
testimony at your meeting here about a month ago with regard to a number of issues that were --
you know, that dealt with some of the disruptions that do occur of an event this size. I think we
should all just be mindful, this is an event that generates -- you know, on one weekend, it will
bring in about 160,000 people to the community, and it does have its challenges. It does have its
disruptions, but it also has a tremendous economic benefit. And we have heard testimony over
and over again from downtown restaurants, businesses, clubs that it's something that they all --
quite frankly, we had testimony at the DDA that this was their best weekend of the year. So there
are benefits to the event. It is the largest single event of its kind on the planet. It is a huge draw
and a huge branding issue for Miami across the globe, particularly with a younger set of tourists
and visitors. But that being said, it does present it [sic] challenges, right. It's a huge event.
There's a lot that goes on. There's a lot that goes into it. And we heard issues of trash removal,
of making sure that the crowds are under control, pedestrian ingress and egress to the event;
obviously, the traffic flow, which quite frankly, this year we believe this traffic plan, which is a draft, okay, which has been also distributed to most of the downtown constituents that have
registered complaints about it -- and I'm going to just give you a list of folks that we have met
with in between your last meeting and this meeting. We did meet with the Miami Center. We met
with the Hotel InterContinental, with 50 Biscayne, with Vizcayne, with 900 Biscayne, 200 South
Biscayne, Bayside Marketplace, 100 Biscayne; and we have had discussions with the Miami
Heat, as well as the Port of Miami, and as well as the Miami Parking Authority. All of their
issues really boil down to, but for the traffic and the noise, a coordinated effort between the
festival and the constituents downtown to bring on more manpower, more police power, and
really, more resources to deal with the disruptions, and we think we can do that and we think we
can do it well. We have met with the InterContinental and specifically talked through a number
of the issues surrounding the World Baseball Classic that takes place on the proposed first
weekend. Their issues are -- largely relate to the port-o-johns that were basically up against
them last year. We have -- working on alternative plan to try to move the great majority of those.
They also had significant issues with the ingress and egress of bus traffic coming in and out of
the InterContinental. We've assured them that we will provide them all the resources from an
off-duty police and a traffic standpoint to deal with that. We've also dealt with the Miami Center
on all of those very same issues. We have ongoing conversations with Bayside to actually try to
incorporate them more into the festival. Actually, try to provide them some programming so that
they can enjoy more of the benefits from the crowd. But at the end of the day, the traffic plan is
really why we're here today because what we seek is, at the very least, a conditional approval
from this Commission for us to move forward and pursue the draft traffic plan that we have
before you, which in essence, does take the southbound lanes from Northeast 4th Street all the
way down to 1st Street -- actually, 2nd Street and makes them one-way going north. Last year
those -- that southbound lane was two-way traffic, so people going north who were trying to
make a left into downtown were basically clogging up traffic, backing it up all the way around
over by Epic and into that area. This traffic plan creates much more lane and flow going
forward -- going north in the southbound lanes and actually will, for instance, allow the bus
traffic coming out of -- for the World Baseball Classic to come out of the InterContinental, head
north, okay, and actually be able to utilize those streets going east and west to get over to the
stadium. So we're going to work through that with the InterContinental, with the Miami Center
to make sure that they have -- especially the Miami Center -- proper ingress and egress as it
relates to both Fridays during the event weekends. In essence, what this traffic plan does, it
creates much more of a loop, much more flow, much more capacity to move people in one
direction or the other, which really wasn't there last year. And with that, I'm happy to answer
any questions. But again, what we would like today -- to see is a -- is an approval, even if that is
conditioned upon the police department sign-off and the Manager's sign-off, which we would
have to have anyway before going to FDOT (Florida Department of Transportation) for the
permit to close the northbound lanes, and also conditioned upon working with our neighbors
and our constituents downtown to get -- to make sure that everybody's on board, which again, we
had to do last year. In order to get that permit, it was a requirement, so it will be this year.
Last edited by The Honky Tonk Man on 08 Jan 2013 12:33, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby The Honky Tonk Man on 08 Jan 2013 12:21

Re: The Noff Does Not Approve of Two Weekends of Ultra

Commissioner Carollo:

With that said, I attended a DDA meeting
that you had with regards to Ultra. And obviously, I was here at the last Commission meeting
when the people came forward to speak up whether in favor or against Ultra. Actually, I was
surprised. I actually thought there was more -- there was going to be more of a outcry. There
was basically three, possibly four, individuals or persons that represented, you know, buildings
that stated that this would affect them. Out of those three or four, it appear like all of them, with
the exception of one, could make some type of accommodation or come to -- or could come to
some agreement with Ultra. My first question, Mr. May, have you reached out to those three or
four people? I don't have their names right here, but I could go to my office and --

Mr. May: Absolutely, yes.

Commissioner Carollo: As a matter of fact, I see our executive director, and if he could come --
please come forward, I want to make sure, because that was not what --

Tim Schmand:

Tim Schmand, Bayfront Park, 301 North Biscayne Boulevard, Miami, Florida.
In my conversations with the producers of the events, they have warranted to me that certain
parts of the park will be opened on the days that events are not taking place: the children's area,
places for people to walk their dogs, and of course, nearest to my heart, a place to do yoga. So
Ray? So we have a commitment that it won't be closed for a month.

Commissioner Carollo:
And then I want to speak about the financial impact it will have to our
City. Last year there was an impact study done. Mr. May, if you could please come up, please.
Last year there was an impact study done on the impact of the Ultra. Is that correct?

Mr. May: Yes.
Commissioner Carollo: Do you recall what was the number or what was the report stated as
impact to the area?

Mr. May:
Is that $79 million was the overall number

The Noff chimes back in..
Vice Chair Sarnoff: Just a little bit of rebuttal. Financial impact, I would suggest to you it is
displacement and not enhancement because you have a significant event happening on that time
frame. Matter of fact, 98 percent of the InterContinental is booked by the World Baseball
Classic, so it isn't like you're enhancing. In regard to traffic, I'll give you my personal
experience, 'cause I wanted to see how it went last year. So as I'm coming up I-95 to go to the
Marquis, after an hour and a half of trying to get through downtown, I gave up and went home.
So if that's acceptable level of traffic, as a participant in that traffic, I'd have to tell you, I don't
think that works. And I'm not going to five-day rule this because I don't believe in the five-day
rule, honestly, but that's okay. You've proved it worked great once. So I'm not going to five-day
rule this. I'm just going to say to you all, you've been very, very lucky in Ultra. I happen to have
an office in the Miami Center. We average about 30 people a day either urinating, defecating, or
throwing up in our building, in the traffic garage. It's all captured on video. If you want to see
it, we have it for you. I surmise that they're going to somehow get somebody to clean that up and
that'll be paid and that satisfies somehow. About 70 to 80 percent of these kids are on some sort
of mind-altering drug. You've been very, very lucky. You put two of these weekends together in a
row; I don't think you're going to be so lucky, but that's for each Commissioner's conscience. If
money's that important to you, you'll vote the way you're going to vote.
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Postby The Honky Tonk Man on 08 Jan 2013 12:25

Re: The Noff Does Not Approve of Two Weekends of Ultra

Commissioner Carollo:

He politely tells the Noff to go fuck himself, it's not his district and it puts Miami on the map.

The Noff chimes back in..
Vice Chair Sarnoff: Effectively, here's what happens, Commissioner -- Mr. Chair. The Miami
Center closes two Fridays, so businesses that are still expected to pay rent have now two days
they have got to close their offices. You might say that's no big deal. Tell that to the businesses.
Two Hundred Biscayne will effectively close. Again, you might say what's the big deal? It's just
two days. Tell that to the businesses. Those are the two most effective office buildings. Tibor
Hollo's building will be significantly impacted. What Michael Lewis is saying is really true in a
manner of speaking. These are slightly older buildings that are majestic in their own way
because they were built at a time when probably building costs were a little bit less, but they're a
little bit aged and, in comparison to Brickell, they're not quite deriving the rents that Brickell
does. If you give people another reason to say you know what, I'm not going to deal with Ultra,
I'm not going to deal with this second weekend, I'm not -- I'm being asked to be shut down two
days by the City of Miami. Those two buildings are going to suffer. And what's going to happen
is the $31 a square foot they think they're worth is going to go down to $25 a square foot. And
you might say that's business development in Miami. But is that the way you want your city to
develop? And I'm from New Orleans, and I'm familiar with the Jazz Festival and I'm also
familiar with Mardi Gras. But the Jazz Festival occurs on the fairgrounds of New Orleans, a
solid, probably seven miles from downtown New Orleans, very -- you know, everybody goes
there. Jimmy Morales is a huge fan of it. Ray Aberdeen, sometimes we see each other there.
And it's a great place to sort of let loose. I don't deny that these events don't have a certain
place, and I don't deny one man's Jazz Fest should be another man's Ultra, but they don't occur
downtown. And the other thing I'd say to you is, if it's Mardi Gras -- and that does occur, on
occasion, downtown -- that parade lasts an hour, an hour and a half. So you're really putting
Miami in a place where very few cities are willing to tread. I hear Mr. May. Mr. May is what I
call the best presenter of any person I've ever met. Anything that seems to be a problem seems to
be a solution. He's very good at that. Money seems to solve everyone's problem. It will solve
the problems of the big office buildings, but it won't solve the problems for the renters. And what
seems like an easy solution today -- when somebody goes to renew their lease, says to
themselves, you know, I couldn't take depositions that day, I didn't go to the office that day, you
know -- And I'm not going to say these are mop-and-pop businesses. Shutts and Bowen is not a
mom-and-pop business. The offices in my -- there are a few, but there are some substantial law
firms in there. There's some substantial accounting firms in there. But I think their rights are
just as -- I think their rights are the same as anyone else, and they will close those two Fridays.
So last year they closed one Friday. To me, it's a balancing act. I balanced and I certainly don't
disturb Ultra coming in because I thought it was just about the tipping point but not quite . Now
you come and you say two weekends. All right, I think you've tipped; just me. Next weekend --
next year it'll be, let's do the month. Well, in that case, you know, you've changed the complexion
of downtown. Look, I know what I have to do as the district Commissioner. Commissioner
Carollo pretty well depicted the DDA board meeting. Jose Goyanes will tell you right here, right
now at Tres, it is the two -- what will be the best weekend of my life. I suspect it will be the best
two weekends of my life. And I completely understand that. Maybe La Epoca will say this is
great. Maybe they won't 'cause La Epoca -- depending upon the crowd and the ruliness [sic],
it'll depend. I just say to you that I think a weekend is adequate. I think a weekend we can all
live with. It's the second weekend that I believe you start at the tipping point, and one man's
tipping point is another man's acceptable. I completely understand that.
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