Doral

Does Miss Universe benefit Doral? City hires economic analyst

Miss Universe contestants take a break after working out in a Zumba class at Trump National Doral Miami on Tuesday, Jan. 13, 2015.
Miss Universe contestants take a break after working out in a Zumba class at Trump National Doral Miami on Tuesday, Jan. 13, 2015. EL NUEVO HERALD

The city of Doral has hired a team to analyze the economic impact the Miss Universe pageant.

Vice Mayor Sandra Ruiz proposed the measure on Tuesday morning. The vote was 4-1, with all council members on board except Councilwoman Christi Fraga.

The city committed to invest no more than $25,000 on an impact study conducted by J. Antonio Villamil of The Washington Economics Group. Ruiz and Mayor Luigi Boria have expressed interest in bringing the pageant to Doral again next year.

Fraga called the move "rushed" adding that she is "not uncomfortable with supporting this" because not enough information was given to the Council prior to the council meeting.

"What data will be used to analyze all this? What will impact study show? Fraga said. "I believe this study should be done, but not at the very end. It should have been done preliminarily and at the end. This seems like a rushed effort to justify a certain cost that has already occurred."

Fraga was referring to the $2.5 million the city committed to in September to host the Miss Universe pageant.

"This is not a rushed effort," Ruiz said. "And I love the fact that it's being paid for by the city, so that nobody can later say that they study is slanted. This is a consultant that has an area of expertise, above many. I trust Mr. Villamil's analysis completely. To even hint that he would slant any report would nit be appropriate."

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