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Does Lebron + Miami = More Tourism Dollars?

July 12, 2010 By: Kirk Cassels

Being neither ESPN nor Sports Illustrated, we've been doing our best to avoid engaging in the saturation of conversation about Lebron James' decision to move to Miami. But then we read a projection at the Miami Herald that said the NBA all-star's presence in the Florida city could generate $500 to $600 million to the region.

Sure enough, that number encapsulates the real estate dollars from the houses Lebron and Chris Bosh will buy, as well as retail for #23 in Miami Heat colors, among other things. But we're interested in the travel angle, and how agents can take advantage.

Some properties already benefited form the news. According to the Herald, James booked 25 rooms at the W Hotel in South Beach during the decision. Meanwhile the Fontainebleau Resort received inquiries for packages with Heat tickets, as well as calls from agents about throwing events at the resort's cabanas and restaurants and nightclubs. Are these the best places to look to book for fans?

The restaurant Prime 112 has notably been a favorite spot for Dwyane Wade sightings. In fact he celebrated Lebron's announcement there that Thursday night. So which hotels are closest to this restaurant?  South Beach Marriott, The Prime Hotel, the Hilton Bentley Miami/South Beach, Century Hotel South Beach, The Mercury South Beach and The Savoy are all within steps, in case you were interested.

In the end, this is great news for Miami— which follows the big news from May that international visitors to greater Miami area and the beaches generated a record $11 billion in economic impact in 2009.

Have any of your clients already expressed interest in traveling to the region in the wake of the announcement? If so, let us know. We want to hear from you.

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