business

A trial about who owns a 840-pound emerald will continue despite international protest.

The ownership of the Bahia Emerald, as the massive rock is known, has been hotly contested for years. But in September, the stone became the subject of international controversy, when Brazil said all the ownership questions were irrelevant because the 180,000 carat, $372 million rock was illegally exported.

The tourism business is booming in South Florida.

The Sunshine State could welcome close to 100 million visitors this year.  They come from all over: the Northeast, the Midwest, Latin America, Europe, Russia and, increasingly, Asia. These visitors directly support hundreds of thousands of jobs and pump billions of dollars into the regional economy. 

Tom Hudson

Higher than New York, Chicago and Dallas. Better than Atlanta, Seattle and Houston. South Florida's entrepreneurial activity is third highest among the nation's largest metropolitan areas.  Only San Francisco and Los Angeles ranked higher in the group's annual index of entrepreneurial activity.

Why Miami?

Not too long ago, good customer service meant a warm welcome and personal attention. Today, great customer service can mean leaving the customer alone to fend for themselves. That shift is thanks, in part, to technology.

It’s the smartphone that allows customers to be simultaneously social and anti-social in how they relate to and interact with service staff. Websites like TripAdvisor, OpenTable and Yelp have given customers a voice, and restaurants and hotels are listening -- and responding.

Tom Hudson

South Florida is known around the world for its sun, sand and surf. Those natural attributes are responsible for thousands of jobs, millions of visitors and billions of dollars. But what about service? South Florida may invite the world to come play on its beaches, stay in its hotels and eat in its restaurants, but what kind of hosts are its people?

Julie Grimes gives the overall customer service experience three out of five stars. She is the owner of two hotels in Miami: the Doubletree Hilton and the Hilton Bentley South Beach where she also is the managing partner.

Miami-Dade Mega-Mall Draws Criticism

Mar 20, 2015
Triple Five

The Miami-Dade County Commission recently voted to approve a land deal that will clear the way for the development of what would be America’s largest mall. (By the way, the Miami-Dade school board voted Wednesday to give up a lease on public land wanted for the project.)

Triple Five

The Miami-Dade County Commission voted Tuesday to approve a land deal for the development of what would be the nation's largest mall.

The proposed mega-mall, American Dream Miami, would cost approximately $4 billion to build and would occupy 200 acres of west Miami-Dade. The park would contain aquatic attractions such as an indoor ski slope, a water park and a submarine ride.

The land deal allows Triple Five -- the mall's developer -- to purchase the 82 acres of Miami-Dade property owned by the state.

Tom Hudson

A LITTLE HISTORY

Ian Schrager and Lloyd Mandell used to be neighbors. 

One is an iconoclast who made a fortune (and went to prison for tax evasion) as co-founder of the famed Studio 54 nightclub in New York, and the other a Miami Beach native whose dad owned a gas station where a Starbucks now stands on West Avenue.

The two men are in the same business now, technically. But they came to it in different ways.

Tom Hudson

Odalys Arevalo works out of a shopping mall but she doesn't sell clothes or electronics or jewelry. She sells health insurance. And when it comes to the Affordable Care Act, she and her team of 600 brokers sell a lot of it.

Arevalo is co-founder of Sunshine Life and Health Advisors. The idea for the company began in a coffee shop. Operations started with a single mall kiosk and now the firm has eight outlets, including a 24,000 square feet "store" at the Mall of the Americas in Miami-Dade County.

Junette Reyes / WLRN

    

To get a sense of the economy, look at the the data showing falling unemployment rates over the past year and rising home prices.

Or, you can listen to the voices of some of those looking to begin their careers soon, posted below.

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