A pair of pink flamingos were in attendance as the ten most popular people, businesses and organizations that make Miami Beach a top tourist destination were honored at the First Annual Pink Flamingo Awards given at the Miami Beach Convention Center on Tuesday.
The winners were chosen from nearly 1,000 votes cast in the online balloting campaign. Although some were runaway winners, others were squeakers, including the winner of the top DJ race, who was chosen by only a three-vote margin, said Karen Brown, executive director of the LGBT Visitor Center, which presented the awards.
Naomi Wilzig, owner of the World Erotic Art Museum, was among the winners. The museum, which is now a world-famous attraction, was chosen as Miami Beach's favorite tourist attraction. "Thank you for liking sex," said a triumphant Wilzig. "It was a battle all over the country to find a place to open my museum, but Miami Beach opened its heart," she added.
City Commissioner Michael Gongora accepted an award on behalf of the Lincoln Road Mall, the black-and-white pedestrian mall designed by famous architect Morris Lapidus, which was named the "Miami Beach Favorite." "Thanks to attractions like the Lincoln Road Mall, we have built a world-class city," said Gongora.
In addition, the event honored past and present city leaders who paved the way for the Miami-Dade Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce to open the LGBT Visitor Center in Old City Hall. Among those recognized were the Miami Beach Mayor and Commissioners, and former City Commissioners Saul Gross and Victor Diaz.
The pair of pink flamingos were supplied by Jesse Williams Ranch in Miami, a popular attraction that includes a horse stables, saddle club and animal farm.
The 10 winners were the following:
- Hospitality Partner of the Year - W Hotel South Beach
- Favorite Nightlife Promoter - Edison Farrow
- Favorite Restaurant - Palace South Beach
- Favorite DJ Personality - DJ Pride
- Favorite Tourist Attraction - World Erotic Art Museum
- Favorite Nightlife Destination - Twist South Beach
- Favorite Entertainer - Tiffany Taylor Fantasia
- Miami Beach Visitor Favorite - Lincoln Road Mall
- Favorite Fundraising Event - Miami Beach Gay Pride
- Favorite Retail Store - Macy's South Beach