Miami Mart Airport Hotel separates from Sheraton, wants to go in "different direction"
By Scott E. Pacheco
The former Sheraton Miami Mart Hotel has severed its corporate connection and is seeking a new flag to better highlight its convention-friendly amenities, says Raul Aguilera, the hotel's general manager.
The newly named Miami Mart Airport Hotel went independent June 26, but Mr. Aguilera said he hopes a deal with a new flag is worked out soon.
"Basically, ownership was going to seek out a different flag," he said, adding that the process is in the "negotiation phase.
"We're trying to do it as quick as possible. We're hoping to get this done sooner than later."
The hotel, about three miles from Miami International Airport near the Blue Lagoon business district, has been managed by Interstate Hotels & Resorts since February.
Hotel owner George Zaczac Sr. could not be reached.
The hotel offers 24,160 square feet of meeting space to go along with 334 guestrooms; a conference center is connected to the hotel. Hotel amenities include a tropical outdoor pool, fitness center and a full-service, on-site restaurant.
It also has hosted high-profile speakers, like Republican presidential candidate Sen. John McCain, who made a speech at the hotel May 20.
Officials with Sheraton did not return calls, but on the space reserved for the hotel on its Web site, it says "We are sorry, but online property detail information for that hotel is not available at this time."
Mr. Aguilera said the split was amicable.
"It's a mutual thing — ownership wanted to go in a different direction," he said.
Meanwhile, he said, business without a major flag has its challenges but shouldn't have a long-lasting effect.
"Certainly going independent has its challenges of getting your name out in the community," Mr. Aguilera said. "We've been able to successfully market the hotel, get up a new Web site… With any flag changes are a little bit of ramp-up period… It shouldn't affect us long-term."