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Blog | The Miami River Means Big Business to the Local Economy

August 16, 2017

The Miami River Means Big Business to the Local Economy

Miami is no stranger to boats, boat shows, and luxury motor yachts. In fact, Miami Beach, is one of our most popular charter destinations. However, recently the area has been upping its game, and looking to be a yachting hub to rival Ft. Lauderdale, or West Palm Beach.

Nowhere is this more evident than along the Miami River. However, it is not just the local maritime industry that benefits from the yachts and other boats that are making good use of the Miami River. According to a recent article in the Miami Herald, “The Miami River supports a multibillion-dollar marine industry of tugs, cargo ships, sports fishermen and pleasure craft owners. The most recent survey, taken 12 years ago by the South Florida Water Management District, shows those businesses generated a $2.9 billion output, $1.5 billion in income, 24,000 related jobs and $136 million in tax revenues to the state of Florida.”

So while motorists may grouse every time one of the eight bridges along the river go up, to the businesses below, each opening, means an increase in their bottom lines. As one looks at the development, and the entire renaissance taking place all along the river, it is easy to see how the business along the river will continue to thrive, as they upgrade their facilities to keep pace, concentrate on improving efficiency and adding more employees. Speaking to the Herald, Miami-Dade County State Attorney, Katherine Fernández Rundle, said, “The river really is a reflection of the transformation of the city as a whole.” Rundle has been a major advocate for the Miami River ever since the early 1990s, when she worked with a grand jury to clean up pollution and corruption on the waterway.

“It’s a working river, but now it’s seen almost like a luxury,” added Fernández Rundle, who also sits on the Miami River Commission, a volunteer organization that oversees policy plans for the waterway. “And then you have the luxurious level of growth in our community that is looking at the river as more playful and more like other cities that use the river as a place of enjoyment.”

Appealing to Yachts and Superyachts

As we reported last year, there have been several upscale construction projects and real estate developments in the Miami area that have targeted the yachting lifestyle. The same goes for the marinas and marine service business along the river, who also are expanding to accommodate more luxury motor yachts. Apex Marine Repair Miami, recently installed a new lift, specifically to handle superyachts of up to 140 ft.

RMK Merrill-Stevens, who the Herald calls the “granddaddy of Miami’s marine industry,” is also undergoing a major makeover. The well-known shipyard is located on six acres on both sides of the river. The north side, which once was home to a U.S. Navy submarine during World War II, is being “reconfigured from a 1940s-era ship lift to a modern, multimillion-dollar facility for yachts,” says Stan Crooks, business development manager for RMK  Merrill-Stevens. The renovations cost an estimated $18 million and will enable the company to service 240-foot superyachts, as many as 10 at a time, Crooks says. Once renovations are complete, Crooks expects an increased demand that will necessitate doubling the workforce from an existing 22 employees to 44 by March of 2018. The increased workforce will provide many new jobs for skilled wage earners such as certified electricians and welders.

Crooks goes on to say that each of those 10 superyachts not only will provide new jobs, but a major boost to the local economy. Each yacht’s crew will remain in the area while work is being done. They will be in the area everyday spending money, not to mention how the yachts chef will resupply with everything from local produce to pricey top shelf liquor.  Crooks says they will spend “thousands and thousands of dollars,” on provisioning alone.

 Day Charters to Miami

If you want to experience the up and coming yachting lifestyle of Miami Beach and the Miami River, why not consider one of our exclusive Miami luxury yacht charters? With our charters to Miami you can explore all the magic of Biscayne Bay and the renaissance of the Miami River along the new downtown, all from the decadence and comfort of your own private luxury yacht.

With a yacht charter experience, you don’t have to just admire the Miami yachting lifestyle, you can live it!


Choosing the right charter experience can be challenging. If you would like to benefit from our expertise in these areas, or if you have any questions or comments about this blog post, do not hesitate to contact our Charter Specialists, or call us at 954-235-3468

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