The undercurrent of almost every conversation on the Venetian Causeway corridor — from discussions about the proposed West Avenue bridge to Venetian roadway construction — is gambling.
No mater your opinion on the benefits or hazards of gambling, the scale and promimity of the proposed casino projects surely will have major impact on Belle Isle and other causeway islands, as well as downtown Miami and Miami Beach.
The mammoth casino proposed for the property Genting purchased from The Miami Herald would be the largest in the world. Vegas casino owner Steve Wynn has touted the site of the Miami Beach Convention Center as the best location in South Florida as he shops for a competing mega-casino spot.
The Belle Isle Residents Association and other island homeowner groups have had one meeting with representatives from Genting to discuss the potential impact, and expect to have another soon.
Venetian Island Homeowner Association president Greg Carney gave this report in a note to residents last week:
“The presidents of the close-by HOAs have met with representatives of the Genting group and continue to communicate with them. We have a number of concerns including increased traffic on the Causeway (and the issues this causes), impact on security, and impact on quality of life and property values in our neighborhoods.
“While Genting has expressed their desire to be good neighbors and their interest in being a net improvement, they have not as yet put forward anything of substance that make the presidents feel comfortable.”
Meanwhile, Herb Frank, a Belle Isle Residents Association board member, points out a website from a group called Common Sense Miami, founded by University of Miami professor Greg Bush.
Carney recommends that residents follow the issue closely, and make their opinions known.
“I am afraid I cannot give you much reassurance on this issue at this point,” Carney wrote. “We continue to pursue this and hope to have representatives of Genting to a general membership meeting so they can present you all with their plans. In the meantime, please feel free to contact your state, county and city officials with your concerns.”