Discover Puerto Rico Tourism Development

Discover Puerto Rico

Discover Puerto Rico Tourism video (2:45 s)  highlights Puerto Rico’s unique selling proposition for tourism in 2022 and beyond. Interviews with Adam Greenfader of AG&T and Federico Stubbe of PRISA Group discuss the island’s rich culture, robust infrastructure, great airlift, and other benefits such as Federal tax incentives. Watch the video to learn how you can be part of Puerto Rico’s booming hospitality and tourism industry.

Puerto Rico means business. The island’s supportive ecosystem empowers entrepreneurs’ forward-looking vision with a spectrum of assets, including smart tax incentives, a highly skilled bilingual workforce, U.S. legal & financial frameworks, and an advanced network infrastructure.


  1. Discover Puerto Rico is the official destination marketing organization (DMO) for our Island, which was created by legislation in 2017. Learn more about the organization’s purpose and history, as well as the expert staff who help make the DMO successful.
  2. PRISA GROUP is a family-owned, Puerto Rico-based developer.  PRISA is a builder of green residential communities and luxury hospitality projects. The Company has more than 500 employees and 6,000 units in planning and construction.  The value of works is over $3 billion with over 30 years in the business.
  3. AG&T is a real estate development and consulting company founded in 1998 with headquarters in Miami, Florida. Our  track record spans over 55 real estate development projects in Puerto Rico, Sint Maarten, Costa Rica, Panama, Mexico, Dominican Republic, and various other Caribbean islands.

State of the Caribbean Hotel Market

On Tuesday, March 16, 2021 at 10:30am, we held the ULI State of the Caribbean Market Place webinar. The event boasted some of the top industry leaders in finance, brokerage, and development on what’s happening in the Caribbean hotel market. Speakers included Juan Corvinas Solans, Rogerio Basso, Alexandra Lalos, and Christian Charre, and Brad Dean. Moderated by Adam Greenfader.  


Puerto Rico’s Gets A Hyatt Regency



Governor Announces Puerto Rico’s First Hyatt Regency

The Weekly Journal Staff 6-4-19

Gov. Ricardo Rosselló announced that Gran Meliá Hotel was bought by Monarch Alternative Capital in partnership with Royal Palm Companies and Ambridge Hospitality.  Together they will rebrand and relaunch the hotel as the Hyatt Regency Grand Reserve. The governor announced that the developers are contemplating a 10-year master plan. This will include  six hotels in the Grand Reserve (Coco Beach) peninsula in Río Grande, of which three are expected to be opening by 2022. “Transactions such as these that are happening now validate that our commitment to tourism is a successful one, and there is a positive environment for investment,” Rosselló said at the 41st International Hospitality Industry Investment Conference by New York University (NYU)The governor added, “we have managed to streamline processes to grant tax benefits and permits, which proves that this administration maintains a bureaucratic battle so that the private sector may have better investment opportunities.”

New Project

The Hyatt Regency Grand Reserve Resort will have five new restaurants and will create roughly 200 new jobs. The average rate is expected to fluctuate by $300 per night. During his presentation, Rosselló revealed blueprints and mockups for the property. He stressed that Puerto Rico’s “fertile and positive” environment for investments in the hotel industry.  The Hyatt Regency Coco Beach Resort is part of a $120 million deal made possible through an agreement with the Puerto Rico Tourism Co. (PRTC), which granted tax credits conforming to the P.R. Tourism Development Act (Act No. 74-2010). Of the total investment, $100 million correspond to development costs to elevate the property to Hyatt’s luxury standards. The PRTC has been working on this business deal along investors for several months. PRTC Executive Director Carla Campos assures that Tourism is focused on increasing the island’s hotel inventory in the short term, emphasizing Puerto Rico’s “competitive and incomparable” investment advantages.

After damages caused by Hurricane Maria in 2017, Monarch Alternative Capital, which already had interests in the peninsula, seized the opportunity to acquire the Gran Meliá Resort, with 486 rooms, 135 bedroom units, and 14 more terrain acres. In order to proceed with the transaction, Monarch made a conjoint agreement with Royal Palm Companies and Ambridge Hospitality. According to Campos, this project makes part of a “long-term master plan” that seeks to add 2,500 new rooms to the island’s hotel inventory and 1,500 new jobs. “This will result in a total investment of roughly $1.5 billion, when the six hotels are finished,” she added. Both the governor and the PRTC executive director stressed Puerto Rico’s strategic position as a connector between the United States and Latin America and the island’s structural reforms, which they claim positions Puerto Rico as the most competitive U.S. jurisdiction for hotel investment.

The officials also highlighted the investment tools that provide a combination of tax benefits at state level, in addition to the competitive advantage of being almost entirely eligible for certain benefits and exemptions under the Opportunity Zones incentive as included in the U.S. Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017. 

For more information on Caribbean hospitality projects, contact AG&T. 

Strong turnout at the first 2019 ULI Caribbean Roundtable Panel

Strong turnout at the first 2019 ULI Caribbean Roundtable Panel.
Presentations by Emilio Colon Zavala, President of the Builders Association of Puerto Rico, Ricardo Alvarez Diaz of AD&V, Robbie Karver of EY and chaired by Adam Greenfader of AG&T. Big Shout out to Julie Medley, Mallory Baker, Max Helden and the whole ULI Southeast Florida team for putting this amazing event together.




Some of the biggest takeaways:

  • Growth is forecasted at a 8.1% with growing airlifts. In spite of the tumultuous 2017 hurricane season, the occupancy rates were around 65% in 2018 and should peak back up to 70% across the region in 2019.
  • Access, Access, and Access continues to be the principal driver for hospitality. 
  • “The Caribbean region today is seen as a maturing destinations with more diversified land offerings”, quoted Robbie Karver.
  • Looming recession talks in US was downplayed for the Caribbean region as the lack of a significant of new supply (compared to 2008) should help bolster the region.
  • Caution was noted about citizenship programs (CIP) for several Caribbean governments not necessarily generating revenues as expected.
  • Smart money is looking at Puerto Rico with lots of incentives for tourism development, tax benefits for those wanting to move/start business on the island (law 20/22), and billions of dollars of recently approved US Federal grants. 95% of Puerto Rico is an Opportunity Zone. 
  • Institutional capital seeking better rates than on the US mainland although Caribbean hospitality lending is ‘cautiously optimistic’ with focus on shorter ramp up period of less than three (3) years.
  • There is strong demand for world class Marinas and for Big-Big yachts.
  • Resiliency is getting into new developments and is having very little negative effect on the IRR.

Other Events 

The roundtable conversation highlighted a series of events that will be taking place in 2019 (email for a full schedule).

  • OCT 23-25 ULI Mexico – Latin America Conference (Cancun)

Vision Awards

ULI will be highlighting development projects of excellence at its Annual Vision Awards Event which will be held on September 5that the JW Marriott Marquis. If anyone would like to submit a Caribbean project please contact

Coming Next

For the next roundtable the following items were discussed as potential areas of interest:

  1. To discuss a list of hospitality projects that are getting funded in the Caribbean Region, share details on projects and the funding
  2. Bahamar project and case study
  3. Sources of hotel financing and the interplay of mezzanine financing
  4. The synergy of luxury cruise ships and private islands
  5. The business of Cannabis in the Caribbean
  6. The effect of Hurricanes on hotel supply and competition
  7. Sargassum seaweed and its adverse effects on the region

This first meeting was open to ULI members and guests.  Subsequent roundtables will require membership for participation.  Please email Max.Helden@uli.orgif you need details on joining.

HOLA Conference – Day 1

5|15|2018 – JW Marriott, Downtown, Miami.  

AG&T and the Builders Association of Puerto Rico invited to participate at the Hotel Opportunities Latin America (HOLA) Conference in Miami. 

Some take aways from today’s meeting in Miami. 

  • The LATAM hotel industry is seeing a lot of over supply with a few exceptions in the emerging countries. 
  • Big hospitality growth in Colombia(14%), Costa Rica(15%)  and Peru (18%) . 
  • Mexico and Brazil still lead in overall Latin American hotel supply pipeline. 
  • As for new development, risk management is the word of the day. As is expected, all inclusive resorts seem less concerned about the new disruptors like Airbnb, but all are keeping their eyes on elections in several key countries. 
  • Argentina and Brazilian markets continues to draw hotel groups but there is uncertainty about exit timetable. 
  • Investors in several LATAM countries move beyond capitalization rates and focus primarily on desired yields.


Join us at the Hola:




Sustainability at the heart of hotel design in the future

Green Hotels

Sustainability has been a buzzword within the design community, and hoteliers have been latching onto the idea of the past number of years

Sustainability has long been a buzzword within the design community, and hoteliers in particular have been latching onto the idea of the past number of years. Not only is it a response to an increased awareness of climate change and the impact we as humans, especially those working in one aspect of the construction industry, have on the planet, but it is also a response to client demand, with more and more guests desiring sustainable tourism as a requirement in their holidays. An annual competition run by hotel consultancy firm the John Hardy Group called Radical Innovation Award takes submissions for innovative hotel designs that reimagine the hospitality experience, and this year’s entries and winners point to a significant upswing in sustainable hospitality that could well be the future of the industry.

The award has singled out a number of visionary projects as finalists, but many of the entries proposed radical ideas that threw out the rulebook of hospitality design. A common theme was that of sustainability, both in an environmentally friendly sense, but also in a cultural sense, where local culture and art is celebrated and promoted. This also points to recent trends in hospitality where local experiences are being sought by guests wishing to engage more with the place and people they are visiting.

Green or garden hotels were a big feature of a number of entries. Canadian firm Arno Matis Architecture proposed a project entitled the “Vertical Micro-Climate Hotel”, whose concept is to make the outdoor areas of hotels located in the harsh climates of North America habitable all year round. One of the features of this hotel was the use of heliostat technology, a mirroring system which reflects sun back into certain parts of the building as required so as to make them habitable even in colder weather conditions. EoA’s submission involved suspending hotel facilities from a treetop by using a system of cables to hold rooms in tent-form above a trampoline-like platform, giving the hotel a very small footprint above the forest floor and re-orientating the guest’s field of vision to that from the tree canopy. A Dutch architecture student submitted a project that he had built in his mother’s back garden which connects guests to nature while allowing them to sleep in a sustainably built and naturally ventilated structure.

The culturally sustainable aspect came in the form of the currently-operational Play Design Hotel in Taiwan, which champions local artists and designers by installing their creations into hotel rooms and encouraging guest to interact with them. The idea came about after the developer noticed a lot of his artist friends were having to go abroad to showcase their designs, and he thought that it would be better to not only exhibit the work locally in hotels so that international guests could see them, but also to cultivate an environment of design engagement within the hotels themselves. “I want people to experience the culture of this country and played a lot with the idea of using the hotel as a portal for people who want to learn about Taiwanese design, a space that is furnished with all of these local designers’ work. So, their work is not only shown but so it’s experienced. Design isn’t something you only put in a museum or gallery. It should be used. It’s for your everyday use,” says hotelier Ting-Han Chen.


Article by 


As Puerto Rico continues to work around the $70B public debt crisis that threatens its economy, the commonwealth’s governor, Ricardo Rossello Nevares, and another key economic development official are pushing for private development that could help tip the economic scales. Gov. Ricardo Rossello said the island nation is pushing public-private partnerships to help various redevelopments in the country that will ultimately lead to job creation. With the economic crisis, Puerto Rico’s unemployment rate topped 12% as of January.

Open for business means we are going to foster economic growth and private investment,” said Manuel Laboy, secretary of economic development and commerce of Puerto Rico, during a Bisnow event focused on Latin American investment and development last week in Miami. “It means that the government needs to be out of the way.” Laboy said the government has targeted to grow tourism from being 7% of the total economy to 15% within five years. “That means that we’ll need more hotels. That means that we’ll need more facilities,” he said.


Coco Beach Residences

Jay Smith, president of nFusion Consultancy, already is a believer in the Puerto Rico recovery story. His firm specializes in “broken” projects for a value-add play. “Those opportunities in the United States are virtually gone,” Smith said. “They are very thin.” The firm invested in Coco Beach, a 1000-acre oceanfront project that holds a 36-hole golf course that hosts the PGA tour. Smith told Bisnow in a previous interview that nFusion is marketing a development plan for a hotel and up to 1,000 homes as well as a small town center for a mixed-use community. “Ultimately, we’ll sell it or partner with a developer, most likely from the United States,” he said.

Because of the bond crisis, Smith said real estate values have bottomed out and are ripe for investing. That is helped by Puerto Rico having a seamless regulatory environment, much of which is run by U.S. government entities. “It’s a very similar and, seems to me, much less risky environment,” he said.