Two years ago, I was in Miami on business but had the opportunity to visit Miami Beach as well as Coral Gables. I was struck by how vibrant a metropolis Miami has become. When I worked there in the early to mid-1970’s, it had a similar feel but on a much smaller scale. The hotel where I worked was the tallest building in Miami at 22 stories. Now, it is dwarfed by office buildings, condominiums and hotels nearly twice that height.
In 1972, Miami hosted both the Republican and the Democratic national conventions. My hotel was headquarters for all candidates for both parties including Republicans Richard Nixon and Spiro Agnew and Democrats Hubert Humphrey, George Wallace, George McGovern and Thomas Eagleton, later replaced on the ballot by Sargent Shriver. That year, the Miami Dolphins became the only NFL team to go undefeated for an entire season. The city seemed to be at the top of its game and I thought it was the best of times. Little did I know what the future would bring for Miami or for me.
In late December, Hotel Equities executed a franchise agreement to develop a new construction, $52-million Residence Inn by Marriott in Miami Beach/Surfside. Our partnership through Hotel Development Partners is building a beautiful 175-room resort-style hotel directly across from the beach. We broke ground in February and are scheduled to open in 2015.
These are exciting times for Miami, Miami Beach and most especially for Hotel Equities.