Feb 16, 2024 - News

Miami Beach made history 60 years ago when The Beatles played. All that's left is ruins.

beatles perform at Deauville Beach hotel

The Beatles perform at the Deauville on Feb. 16, 1964. Photo: Alan Band/Keystone/Getty Images

Rock 'n' roll history was made in Miami Beach 60 years ago today,when the Beatles performed at the Deauville Beach Resort during their first U.S. tour.

Why it matters: The Feb. 16, 1964, performance on "The Ed Sullivan Show" reached 70 million TV viewers and helped bring Beatlemania to America.

Catch up fast: The historically designated hotel shut down in 2017 and was demolished in 2022 for safety reasons after the city said its owners had neglected it for years.

Meanwhile, the owners of the Deauville still owe the city over $6 million in outstanding fines, a spokesperson tells Axios.

Miami Beach, Florida, Aerial view of historic Deauville Beach Resort hotel after demolition.
The Deauville Beach Resort after demolition. Photo: Jeffrey Greenberg/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

What they're saying: "It was a massively missed opportunity," former Miami Beach Mayor Dan Gelber tells Axios of the failed referendum vote.

  • He says the hotel owners, Deauville Associates LLC, don't seem to be in a rush to sell it.
  • "So, unfortunately, they can just hold onto it indefinitely, which leaves a big hole in the ground in an area that can really use a lift."

The other side: Daniel Ciraldo, executive director of the Miami Design Preservation League, says the referendum would have rewarded negligent hotel owners with more height and density than neighboring properties.

  • That would have created an incentive for other property owners to let their historic buildings fall into disrepair, he says.
  • "We shouldn't be rewarding the dereliction of property," he says.

The bottom line: "What's done is done," Beatles historian Bob Kealing tells Axios. "From an optimistic point of view, you have a blank canvas there. I'd like to think that there's an opportunity."

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