February 24, 2017

Special Report

Miami-Dade: How Bad Is It?

How Bad Is It?Retail
Too Much Uncertainty

Mari Molina

“The smaller retailers are really, really struggling. I hear that they’re concerned about their inventory orders for the holidays. Some of them are being cautious and not ordering as much as they have in the past. ... The most obvious thing is decreased walk-in traffic. It has gone down a bit. ... The local restaurants are doing OK because they’re still getting the locals. ... The affluent consumer is eating out a few times a week less than they used to and may not be buying as much as they used to. ... For most people that I talk to, they’re telling me that we’re pretty much flat from last year. ... In general, retail is probably suffering the most of all our segments. We all wonder what’s going to happen this holiday season.”

— Mari Molina, executive director
Coral Gables Business
Improvement District,
comprising 260 stores and restaurants

Houston’s in Coral Gables. “The affluent consumer,” says Mari Molina, “is eating out a few times a week less.”


Business Climate
Hitting a Low Point

Paul Singerman

“It is without question the worst economic circumstances in the 25½ years that I’ve been practicing law here, and regrettably, I think it will get worse before it gets better. This down cycle distinguishes itself by its breadth, the suddenness of its onset, the lack of foreign investment that has softened out the bottoms for us in other cycles, the nearly total lack of liquidity and the breadth of the consumer and business lack of confidence. ... We are particularly impacted because of the heavy concentration of real estate-related commercial activity. ... Businesses are downsizing their operations. Too many have simply gone out of business without even resorting to any formal liquidation.”

— Paul Singerman, bankruptcy attorney,
Berger Singerman law firm, Miami


Holding Its Own

Gene Prescott

“Business is OK. It’s not spectacular, but it’s solid. ... In fact, if you’re looking at numbers, it’s down from a year ago in occupancy but up more than that in rate, so if you take total revenue, we are up a couple percentage points. ... The hospitality industry continues to add jobs. We have about 106,000, 107,000 jobs and we went up 2% versus ’07. ... We’re concerned because we closely follow the economic activity. And you will see some of the hotels such as those in downtown Miami will fall off because there will not be as many financial services firms. ... What we’re hearing from some of our restaurant people is that the restaurants that cater to corporate business have had a falloff. ... Next year, it’s possible that we could have a small revenue decrease of 2% or 3%.”

— Gene Prescott, president and owner,
Seaway Corp./The Biltmore Hotel/The Alexander Hotel,
chairman, Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau, Coral Gables

Hotel service cart

Tags: Miami-Dade

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