Written by Miami Today on September 24, 2009
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SEEING RED: Miami-Dade hotels’ occupancy, average daily room rate and revenue per available room (RevPar) all fell double-digits in August. The losses reversed a trend of mostly steady improvement for county hotels, capped by only single-digits fall-offs for occupancy and room rates in July. In August, occupancy fell 10.7% to 62.7%, room rates dropped 12.5% to $110.77 and RevPar was down 21.9% to $69.47 from the same month in 2008. Meanwhile, supply of total rooms increased 11.1% with hotel openings while demand fell 0.8%.
LOOKING FOR SECURITY: A new director, temporary or otherwise, has yet to be named for the Miami office of the Securities and Exchange Commission. The appointment, in the past, has taken a couple of days to a couple of months, said spokesperson Kevin Callahan. Still, he insisted the commission would keep a sharp eye on South Florida, which recently made headlines for ties with disgraced financiers Bernard Madoff and R. Allen Stanford. "There’s a leadership structure [and] the office doesn’t shut down when the director’s not there," he said. "As soon as [SEC Chairman Mary Schapiro] makes an announcement, we’ll announce it."
NOT NOW: Running cargo operations at night is on the horizon for the Port of Miami — but not anytime soon. "We have no short-term plan to go to off-peak operations," said Kevin Lynskey, seaport business initiatives manager. Some industry players complain now of long wait times at the port. Daytime truck traffic downtown has been a long-running and well-publicized concern. Remedies such as underwater tunnels to the port and an upgraded rail link are in the works. Most major ports have off-peak-hour operations in their long-term plans, Mr. Lynskey said, and it will happen here one day. "But today’s not that day."
GAINFULLY EMPLOYED: Greater Miami’s Leisure and Hospitality Industry’s August employment was down 1.1% from August 2008. An average of 101,500 people were employed compared to 102,600 last year.
SITTIN’ PRETTY: The Downtown Development Authority’s $1 million landscaping and irrigation project in Brickell Avenue’s median started at the beginning of the month, said Mark Spanioli, senior manager for planning, design, transportation and services. The work, from Southeast 15th Road to Fifth Street, is to take 30 to 45 days and is "strictly aesthetic." The Florida Department of Transportation’s $3 million project, which could provide flood relief to businesses along Brickell and in Mary Brickell Village, he added, is to begin in about a year.