Art Basel Shows Miami the Money

Massive show brings much needed cash flow to South Florida

Sure, it's pretty to look at, but for many the art at Miami's Art Basel means a little something more this year, like being able to pay the bills.

"I'm very grateful...we have a job," said Maria Duvalon. "To be able to work is very excellent."

Duvalon, who scored a job with Centerplate Catering, is one of many Miamians who landed on their feet in this poor economy thanks to the massive art show which kicks off this week.

Workers like Duvalon have got their hands full getting ready to feed the frenzy of art dealers, buyers, and critics coming here for Art Basel. Kitchen workers, bar staff, limo drivers, construction workers -- all are putting money in their pockets this week thanks to the show.

Over 40,000 visitors are expected to flood South Florida to catch a glimpse of the works being presented by 275 galleries from 33 countries. Hotel rooms are expected to be over 90 percent full all week.

Regena Ozeryansky is really a realtor, but got lucky and scored a gig with Centerplate making sure the Art Basel VIPs are pampered and well fed, while making a little extra cash in anticipation of the holidays.

"Definitely it always helps, so it's been really helpful, absolutely," Ozeryansky said of the job. Centerplate employees have been working around the clock and expect to serve some 60,000 meals at Art Basel.

Art experts say the eighth edition of Art Basel in Miami and Miami Beach will produce more jobs and dollars than the upcoming Superbowl. 
"It's just a way to look at things differently, and as I say it's a great boost for the economy," said Lucy Mitchell-Innes, with the Art Dealers Association of America.

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