hotels splitting up the business pie in Airport West
changes and new hotels in the Airport West area have softened the
business traveler market, but hoteliers don't expect the doldrums
been slow this summer, but Miami is always slow in the summer,"
said Marilyne Bouteiller, revenue manager at the Hotel Sofitel at
5800 Blue Lagoon Drive. "With the addition of all the new hotels,
we are just splitting the business. There are more facilities but
the demand has remained about the same."
Bouteiller, who would not give occupancy figures, said a slowdown
of hotel construction "would be a good idea. We are all in the
same boat, after all.
the city could try to bring more convention business into town in
the summer to bring the concentration of business that we see in the
winter months, she said."
now it's been busy but our business is off a little," said Vicky
Trejos, operating manager at the Comfort Inn at 5125 NW 36th St. "We've
just done a major renovation to become a Holiday Inn Express. In fact,
we're having our inspection today," she said Tuesday.
the five-month renovation, occupancy was off because more than half
the rooms were unavailable. "Other than that, the city has been
busy," Ms. Trejos said. "They come in and ask for rooms,
even when we don't have them vacant."
6-month-old Hotel Inter-Continental Miami Airport West at 2505 NW
87th Ave. has found its niche with the business traveler, said Grethel
Barquero, human resources manager.
in the 90%-100% occupancy range during the week but we have very average
weekends," she said. Nearly all weekday guests are corporate
travelers, she said.
area's largest hotel at 150 rooms, the Inter-Continental markets itself
to the international traveler with a fully bilingual staff, The Armalarry
Grill continental restaurant and full business services, she said.
hotel hopes to beef up its weekend traffic but "we've only been
open six months and it takes time to catch up," Ms. Barquero
weekend demand is down because of the new inventory," said Joe
Brown, city director of marketing for Marriott Lodging. "That
customer who is spending their own dollar has a lot of choice."
Miami is served at the Courtyard by Marriott at 3929 NW 79th Ave.
as well as other hotels in the Marriott chain.
new hotels are in the mid-price range and "at that tier, there's
a whole glut and the customer is looking for value, so we're seeing
some weekend softening," Mr. Brown said.
counters the new competition by cross-selling its products through
an 800 number.
we find a customer looking for lower price we can direct him to a
Fairfield Hotel. If we can't capture a customer because of limited
availability in one hotel, we can cross-sell him to another Marriott.
Our biggest push is to make sure those 800 agents and local reservation
agents have the best training."
the market has grown more competitive, "no one is panicking out
there," Mr. Brown said. "It's not a bad market. There's
good demand mid-week."
is expected throughout the week when the Dolphin Mall opens at State
Road 836 and the Florida Turnpike.
is excited about that mall," Mr. Brown said. "It's going
to be a huge demand generator. A lot of Latins driving to Sawgrass
Mills are going to be coming to this mall instead, and these are travelers
who come from Latin America and the Caribbean for the weekend."
"there's lots of demand in Airport West from the new office buildings,
and mid-tier hotels are going to benefit," Mr. Brown said. "They're
easy to open and it doesn't take long before they really take off."
Ms. Bouteiller, (305) 264-4888; Ms. Trejos, (305) 887-2153; Ms. Barquero,
(305)468-1400; Mr. Brown, (305) 374-3900.