Miami Beach To Approve First Black-Owned Hotel

THE city of Miami Beach is expected to give the go-ahead today to a black-owned company to build a 265-room Sheraton Hotel on its ocean front. The $36 million hotel will be the largest of its kind owned by blacks in the United States.

The plan to have black participation in the hotel business in Miami Beach, the premier tourist beach destination in Florida, was part of an agreement the city worked out with blacks here, who had waged a bitter, three-year tourism boycott against Dade County.

The ``Boycott Miami'' campaign was a response to Miami's snub of Nelson Mandela during his June 1990 visit to the United States. The Cuban American community had pressured city and county officials to ignore the then-recently released Mr. Mandela because he supported Cuban leader Fidel Castro. Through their boycott, black professionals here succeeded in convincing many national groups, such as the American Civil Liberties Union and the National Organization for Women, to avoid holding conventions in Miami.

In reaching a 20-point agreement that included the hotel being built by HCF Group, city and business leaders ended the long exclusion of blacks from business on the lucrative beach front. The city commission was also expected to offer HCF Group a $10 million incentive to build.

The new hotel's investors include: Peter Calin, a vice president of American Express, Marvin Holloway, a local businessman, Jerry Bailey, an accountant for Texaco, and Eugene Ford, a local construction-company owner.

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