Downtown Miami Rental Company Gives EDM Fans Ultra Headache

vizcayne.jpg
Brad Stonesifer thought he'd found the perfect Ultra Music Festival party pad for himself and five pals. The 41-year-old electronic dance music aficionado from York, Pennsylvania, booked a four-night stay at the Residences at Bayside, directly across from Bayfront Park where his crew planned on enjoying the second weekend of Ultra. They shelled out a combined $2,700 for VIP tickets to the EDM extravaganza but scored a deal for a suite with a full kitchen at just $1,500 for the weekend.

It almost seemed too good to be true. That's because it was.

See also:
- Ultra Music Festival Crime Tally: 167 Arrests, Mostly For Drugs and Gatecrashing
- Crossfade's complete Ultra Music Festival coverage


Two days before Stonesifer and company were set to drive to Miami, he got an urgent call from a customer service representative from Travelocity, which he used to book his room. "The hotel was not honoring our reservation because apparently it was not renewing its lease with the building's owner," Stonesifer explains. "So the hotel closed down."

Travelocity was able to find Stonesifer another hotel, the JW Marriott on Brickell Avenue at SW 11th Street. "But we had to book two separate rooms and pay four grand," Stonesifer grouses. "That's $2,500 more than we originally planned for. I can't believe that a 20-story hotel with a rooftop pool would give no one any indication that this was going down."

Maybe that's because Residences at Bayside does not appear to be an actual hotel. The address, on Biscayne Boulevard at NE Second Street, is for the 48-story Vizcayne condo tower. There's no sign or phone number for a hotel in the building.

Stonesifer says he placed several calls to the toll-free number for Elite City Stays, the company that ran Residences by Bayside, but no one answered. The voice message gave no warning that the Biscayne Boulevard location was closed, yet it is no longer listed on the Elite City Stays website, he adds.

Banana Republican spoke to a man named Matthew, who identified himself as the sales manager for Elite City Stays in Miami. He declined to provide a last name or comment on the complaints. "I'm not in a position to discuss anything," he said. "I have nothing to say."

Stonesifer is not the only person to complain, though. On March 19, someone posted a scathing review on travel website Trip Advisor also claiming the toll-free number went straight to an answering machine and that emails to Elite City Stays received no reply.

"I found out that they were being EVICTED from multiple properties in the Miami area," the reviewer alleges. "It wasn't until four days before my arrival that they emailed me to let me know they were unable to honor my reservation."

Follow Francisco Alvarado on Twitter: @thefrankness.

Follow Miami New Times on Facebook and Twitter @MiamiNewTimes.

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13 comments
Matthew Lois
Matthew Lois

I know, i think its funny as well. so many scams in Miami like that... all over..

Guy Clarke
Guy Clarke

I just though it was funny :) never though it was u silly.

jgcamp99
jgcamp99

Typical Miami Real Estate fraud & abuse. I roll my eyes everytime I hear one of them call themselves an expert. There's a huge reason this market was hit as hard as it was during the recession and even lingers today.

Matthew Lois
Matthew Lois

1- its not even a hotel, these are private residences that people rent, and 2- He Didn't book through me or my company and thats why he got JACKED... sucks to be him.. maybe next year he will do it right through me.. :) Thanks Guy for passing along!

FrankPerez
FrankPerez

I booked my through American Express so I thought it was for sure legit! Oe day before check in, I also got the same email.  I was honored an EPIC room instead.

basurero
basurero

i have zero sympathy for somebody that booked a hotel that obviously does not exist. it'd take about 1 minute of internet searching to realize this. also, why is there a picture of vizcayne as this articles cover photo?

internetinternet
internetinternet

These scams are rampant.  Make sure book a hotel and only a hotel.  Stay away from condominiums as most owners do not report bed taxes and are not allowed daily rentals.  You are setting yourself up for a scam.  Many condominium owners and Boards are cash strapped and are allowing illegal rentals of units.  You have no protection under hospitably laws. 

Guitar4hire
Guitar4hire

FYI- you usually want to stay away from companies that use words like, "Elite", "A1"  they are usually scams lol

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