The year ahead: Business outlook for 2018
Florida executives weigh in
Director of Development and Construction, BTI Partners (Grove Resort & Spa, an Orlando condo-hotel), Fort Lauderdale
“The hotel is a conglomeration of many different owners, and it’s run by a management company. Owners buy two- and three-bedroom condos. To the vacationer, it feels just like a hotel resort. We just opened up in March 2017. We’ve had a ton of international buyers out here. It’s about 75% international. China has been a huge market for us. China and Brazil both have been large.
We have three phases, and each phase is about 300 units. We’re sold out of the first phase. It exceeded our expectations.
We’re very eclectic in who stays here from an international level as well as a domestic level. It’s been very vibrant.”
HEALTH CARE (Hospital)
COO, Adventist Health System (Adventist is the parent of Florida Hospital), Altamonte Springs
“We’ve had a lot of downward pressure on revenue from the rate side of things — what we’re paid. The hurricane impacts of Irma were a pretty hard hit for us. It hit all markets. It racks up into the tens of millions for us in business impacts in Florida.
We won’t have bad results, but it has been a year that’s involved a lot of attention to managing costs and adjusting to less-than-expected volumes in different parts of our market and constant vigilance on the operating margin.
In 2018, we’re going to expect some unfortunate growth in the uninsured. There’s going to be a lot of activity in the merger and acquisition of the smaller independent hospitals and communities that have their own freestanding hospitals.
As it stands now, the family is spending almost 2. 5 times on health care as they’re spending on food. I don’t know how long that will keep going.
The navigational point we all have to steer toward is, we all have to use less health care and use it more efficiently and create networks that can deliver health at a lower cost and with better outcomes. It is that march away from fee-for-service medicine to value-based payment.”
Chair, Florida Association of Insurance Agents; President, Herbie Wiles Insurance, St. Augustine
“Despite the hurricanes, Florida still enjoys a healthy insurance market. The fiscal outlook for most insurance companies is fairly good, certainly not perfect, and not what it was a couple years ago, but given the storms and damage we’ve had, we’re optimistic. The storms and some other issues, assignment of benefits in particular, are going to cause some homeowners and business insurance rates to increase. It’s just a matter of when that will occur and what levels we’ll see.”
Chair, Florida Bankers Association; COO, Pilot Bank, Tampa
“We are very pleased with the year we’ve had. We’re seeing a nice uptick in the market. We’re seeing some nice lending trends in Hillsborough and Pinellas, and our SBA lending is thriving,” Lowman says of Pilot Bank. “The regulations can be quite burdensome. We’re (the association) not asking for regulations to be dropped by any means — just having some relief. Every $100,000 we spend on a compliance officer or someone in that BSA compliance role — that’s a million dollars we could be lending out in our communities.”
Estate and Trust Principal, Kaufman Rossin, Miami
“The biggest thing we see is a lot of people on the sidelines as far as estate planning (awaiting Congress to act on possibly eliminating the estate tax.)
We remind them of the current opportunities, which are huge. We continue to have people moving to south Florida with lots of wealth. We used to get maybe 2% international estate planning things. Now it’s a third or more.
We’re focused more on business consulting, helping clients make their businesses more efficient. They outsource their accounting department to our firm. It’s all computerized. It’s all electronic. They understand what’s going on in their business much better.”
Get Florida Trend's January magazine – print or digital. Select from these options:
* offer valid for new subscribers only