City Commission votes to delay installation of new operator at Rickenbacker Marina on Virginia Key

The City of Miami, Florida is losing millions of dollars in legal fees and potential revenue in what has become a two-year battle to install a new operator at Rickenbacker Marina on Virginia Key, and now the City Commission has voted to delay the matter until mid-July.

Virginia Key LLC, which won the contract bidding process in 2017 but has been prevented from assuming operations due to a court fight and other actions by the City Commission, claims Miami is losing US$3.8m in revenue so far by delaying the process, according to Miami Today.

The current marina operator and second-place bidder had filed a bid protest and lost, then sued, but lost its appeal earlier this year.

The most recent delays come from a Commissioner’s request for the last 10 years of revenue from Marine Stadium Marina, a dry dock facility next door to Rickenbacker Marina run by the city and home to the Miami International Boats Show. Part of the winning proposal includes plans to operate both facilities.

Another Commissioner has requested the City Attorney’s Office to investigate alleged business ties between one of the Virginia Key LLC and entities in Cuba.

The City Commission is to vote on two matters concerning the marina operations: the first, to install Virginia Key LLC as the new operator, and the second would put the question of awarding the 45-year lease to the voters in the form of a referendum, which will delay the process further, likely until the next local election.