Coral Gables takes its image seriously. The city once battled Orlando for the rights to the nickname "the City Beautiful" and this past summer sued Instagram and Facebook to uncover the identity of whoever is running a handful of social media accounts critical of the affluent town.
So when an Illinois-based mall company filed to federally trademark "Miracle Mile Shops," Coral Gables had to fight. During today's commission meeting, City Attorney Craig Leen will urge commissioners to take action to protect the city's rights to the term "Miracle Mile."
"To me, Miracle Mile is a street," he tells New Times. "It's obviously a familiar street in Coral Gables, and there are other Miracle Miles in the United States, but I was concerned that anyone would potentially try to limit our ability to use the term."
City commissioners declared the portion of Coral Way between Douglas and Le Jeune Roads "Miracle Mile" in 1947. Since then, the phrase has become synonymous locally with the tree-lined strip of shops (and, lately, seemingly never-ending construction projects). Though Leen says there was talk of obtaining a trademark, the city never went through with it.
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Others have applied to trademark "Miracle Mile" for everything from home workout videos to veterinary hospitals to breweries. But the application from Illinois company IMI Miracle Mall LLC seeks to use the term across the nation, which means, according to Leen, that Coral Gables' rights to the phrase could end up limited.
When Coral Gables and Orlando butted heads over "the City Beautiful," the dispute was ultimately resolved with a compromise: Each city could use the slogan in marketing materials in its geographic area. Leen says he's optimistic a similar arrangement can be worked out this time.
If not, the city might formally oppose the mall company's application.
"Our goal is to assert our rights because, remember, this is just one shopping mall that wants to use the term 'Miracle Mile Shops,'" Leen says. "We're talking our entire city; it's famous for that."