May 1, 2004
In the midst of palm-tree lined streets, purple bougainvillea and pink hibiscus, 15-plus miles of white-sand beaches, and temperatures that average 75 degrees year-round, 112,000-plus employees run Miami’s leisure and hospitality engine. In a year, more than 10.5 million domestic and international visitors come to Greater Miami and the Beaches, spending $18.5 billion. For Cy Prince, however, this laid-back tropical destination is home — the place where he works and plays.
“You can’t beat South Florida. It’s an outdoorsman’s paradise,” says the vice president and general manager of South Florida Interconnect for Comcast Spotlight. Prince relocated in 1988. “There’s an energy down here, particularly in South Beach. It’s like Los Angeles east. It’s a scene. When clients come here they want to experience it.” And according to Prince, here is where you start.
AROUND TOWN :
Spacious balconies at the Mandarin Oriental, Miami on Brickell Key, a 44-acre island near the financial district, overlook Biscayne Bay. “It’s extremely high-end. Sultans have stayed in the presidential suites.” It’s 10 minutes to South Beach via the Brickell Key Bridge or a water taxi and near Miami’s downtown business center. (500 Brickell Key Dr.; 305-913-8383)
The Delano, named after Franklin D. Roosevelt, is in South Beach (SoBe). The rooms tend to be small. “Larger rooms are in the bungalows by the pool.” There is also a full-service business center. (1685 Collins Ave.; 954-252-3416)
Prince suggests Cuban cuisine at Lario’s on the Beach, owned by Gloria Estefan and her husband Emilio. The live Cuban band that plays on the weekend adds to the “loud, bustling, and busy vibe.” (820 Ocean Dr.; 305-532-9577)
“When I take clients out, I want to go somewhere I can have a conversation with them. Joia, an upscale, sophisticated Italian restaurant, is great for a quiet meeting.” (150 Ocean Dr.; 305-674-8871)
Tantra appeals to the senses: fresh cut grass, Middle Eastern dÃ©cor, sensual music, and jasmine-scented candles. Not necessarily a place for a business meeting, “the cuisine includes Pacific oysters, sweet soy-grilled eel, and lobster wontons.” (1445 Pennsylvania Ave.; 305-672-4765)
“The best way from the airport is by limousine, car service, or cab. The Supershuttle is also an option. On SoBe, rental cars are an inconvenience because parking is limited.”
“The SkyBar Miami Beach is a place to see and be seen. If you don’t know anyone you may have a hard time getting in. It’s a velvet-rope environment where you’re waiting to get picked. Check with your hotel concierge. They can get you tickets for events and get your name put on lists.” (1901 Collins Ave.; 877-640-9500)
“Jade is a jazz and neo-soul lounge where they play really good live, organic music. There’s also a poetry lounge for spoken word performances.” (1766 Bay Rd.; 305-695-0000)
The Doral Golf Resort & Spa offers more than 100 different luxurious spa treatments as well as a state-of-the-art fitness center. (4400 N.W. 87th Ave.; 305-717-6303)