Patrons visit Colony Hotel despite concerning cracks in marquee

MIAMI BEACH, FLA. (WSVN) - The iconic Colony Hotel along Ocean Drive has been deemed unsafe after a patron noticed a large crack in the structure.

Cracks could be seen on the Miami Beach hotel’s marquee and awning, Friday afternoon, but that hasn’t stopped people from eating and drinking in the area.

However, the City of Miami Beach called the building unsafe.

“People could get hurt,” said Mitch Novick, chairman of the Miami-Dade County Historic Preservation.

The issues with the signage were pointed out by Novick.

He posted his concern on the Miami Beach Crime Prevention and Awareness Facebook page on Thursday. The picture showed the Colony’s issues and Novick identified the cracking, bulging and separation on its marquee awning.

Novick’s post comes days after the Memorial Day stampede, which stemmed from a fight at the Colony Hotel.

Novick is also a Miami Beach resident, as well as the owner of the Sherbrooke Hotel along Collins Avenue. “The city’s doing its job, or at least they did their job yesterday,” he said.

After Novick’s post, the city deemed the Colony an unsafe structure, “declaring structures to be unsafe where there is an immediate danger to the health and safety of the citizens.”

Caution tape has since been put up near where people were seen eating and hanging out Friday.

7News asked the city how a business can be still be operated in a building they called dangerous, and they said in an email that the word unsafe is a “broad term.”

City officials also said they gave the Colony guidelines by which they can safely stay open. One of the guidelines is to provide a report.

According to the hotel, an engineer inspected the property days prior and deemed it safe. They said they will soon provide the city with the engineer’s report.

In the meantime, the hotel has placed shoring posts to stabilize the structure.

A tourist 7News spoke with said safety is one of his biggest concerns.

“You want that peace of mind. You want to know that everything will be safe and sound,” he said.

Another visitor said he’s not comfortable staying anywhere that is considered unsafe. “We wait for something to happen until we react,” he said, “so with this place, they’re waiting for something to happen, but otherwise, they’re gonna make their money.”

City officials said they are currently waiting to receive the engineer’s report on the building.

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