South Floridians owe beat freaks and frat boys a drink.
Fueled almost entirely by Red Bull, Molly, and (presumably) a little bit of cocaine, sunburned college students from the Midwest, foreign ravers, and Ultra Music Festival organizers rallied to resurrect South Florida's economy in March.
According to a new study by Smith Travel Research (via Miami Herald), Miami-Dade hotels were booked to 89.1-percent capacity through the month of March, up 4 percent from 2012. And the average daily hotel room rate was $238.12 last month, up 14.4 percent.
Betsy Hotel general manger Jeff Lehman suggests that a myriad of EDM-related events, spring break, and inclement winter weather played a role.
"It was a perfect storm of both events and factors," Lehman tells the Herald. "The rest of the country was suffering through horrible weather and South Florida's weather was just perfect."
So perfect, in fact, that the South Beach boutique hotel operated at nearly 100 occupancy for the better part of March.
But like many businesses, The Betsy was simply feeding off of Ultra Music Festival's $79-million fiscal pie.
We Believe Local Journalism is Critical to the Life of a City
Engaging with our readers is essential to Miami New Times's mission. Make a financial contribution or sign up for a newsletter, and help us keep telling Miami's stories with no paywalls.
Support Our Journalism
Last year, Washington Economics Group found that UMF generates nearly $80 million annually for Miami-Dade County. The study found that about 60 percent of the estimated 165,000 attendees each year spend money on lodging, food and transportation to the festival.
"We see ourselves as partners in the economic prosperity for Miami-Dade County and hope to continue and expand our contribution to the magic that makes our area unique," UMF organizer Russell Faibisch said in October. "We always knew from the huge crowds that we draw that we had a major impact on our local economy, but we did not realize it was this huge."