Are Hotels Coming Back to The Caribbean?

Are Hotels Comming Back Caribbean

Join an all-star panel to discuss “Are Hotels Coming Back to the Caribbean?” : a ULI discussion on The State of the Caribbean Hotel Market.


Hear from leading Caribbean hospitality professionals about what’s happening from operations, investing, transactions, and lending perspectives.



Adam Greenfader

Managing Partner AG&T


Alejandro Zozaya

Executive Chairman, Apple Leisure Group


Christian Charre

Senior Vice President, CBRE Hotels


Chris Cylke

COO, REVPAR International, Inc.



Nicholas Hecker

Executive Managing Director/Chief Investment Officer, 

Sculptor Real Estate


Three questions answered: 


1. What hotel transactions are happening today?

2. Is the hotel market going to undergo a series of defaults, acquisitions, and repurposing?

3.  What operational changes is the hospitality industry doing to successfully come back on line?






On May 8th,  the ULI CARIBBEAN ROUNDTABLE celebrated its second ROUNDTABLE meeting of the year.  The turnout at Wework in Brickell City Centre was large and enthusiasm for the region palpable.  Present at the event were industry leaders in finance, debt lending, construction, architecture, affordable housing, hotels and green building.      

Big shout out to the Kresge Foundation ( and all who participated in the Toa Baja Puerto Rico Resiliency Panel. The panel was but another example of the  capacity of ULI to bring real solutions to real world problems.    

Special thanks to our two speakers at the ULI CARIBBEAN ROUNDTABLE -Mr. Rogerio Basso, Head of Tourism at IDB Invest and Mr. Andrew Dicky – Executive VP JLL Hospitality. Financing projects in the Caribbean brings its own set of challenges and opportunities. It was great to look under the proverbial “hood” and examine how capital approaches Caribean hospitality lending. 

Save the Date –On August 1, 2019, The Puerto Rico Builders Association will be hosting its 3rdAnnual Bisnow Caribbean Hospitality Investment Summit in Miami. If you are interested in Speaking/Sponsoring there are a few spots available please reach out to Jorge Montilla jmrm@mcvpr.comfor more details.

You can also see a full list of ULI Events at:


ULI Hospitality and Recreation Council – Puerto Rico

The ULI Hospitality and Recreation Council met this month to discuss some of the recent trends and opportunities in the hotel industry.  Big shout out to the whole leadership team – to Robbie Carver and Ari Tenzer specifically for putting together an amazing panel of speakers.  

Puerto Rico this year was top of mind at ULI Hospitality and Recreation Council. Several speakers highlighted new opportunities in hotel investment and other tourism activities.  While it is part of the HRDC guidelines to keep specific project information confidential, I would like to shed some color on recent events happening in Puerto Rico that is leading to this renewed interest and demand.  

  1. Limited Tourism Supply – to date there are about 14,000 hotel keys in Puerto Rico. Most of the supply that was damaged in the hurricanes has been improved. Occupancy rates hover 80% and ADRs have been increasing every year for the last five years.  A recent market study by the Puerto Rico Builders Association,  shows a demand for 30,000 keys in next decade.   
  2. Liquidity – in the last six months the resolution of Puerto Rico debt has made significant progress with better than expected returns on the top tier bonds of  Geo & Cofina.  
  3. Pro-Business Government – For the first time in almost two decades, the island has a government that is actively seeking private investment. 
  4. Tax Incentives– The Tourism Hospitality tax incentive provides up to 40% back on capital investment for hotel and other tourism related projects. 
  5. Other Tax Incentives– Law 20/22 has has resulted in 1,200 high net worth families moving to the island as well as 175 service companies, and 75 independent financial corporations. 
  6. Better branding – In 2018 the DMO (Destination Marketing Organization)  was  launched with the goal of bringing better and more consistent messaging  to Puerto Rico’s tourism and industry.  
  7. Puerto Rico USA – After the 2017 hurricanes, 82%  of the US recognizes Puerto Rico as being “part of the United States.” 
  8. 80+ Billions of dollars –  This robust allocation will stimulate the economy in the short term and hopefully provide a launching pad for long term economic growth through CDBG-DR, FEMA, HUD, LHTC, SBA, and other programs.
  9. Opportunity Zones – applies to approximately 97% of the island of Puerto Rico.  This should de-risk equity investment and reduce the gap in cap rates between stateside and island investment opportunities. 
  10. Public-Private Partnerships – The P3 laws in Puerto Rico are some of the most modern in the world allowing direct pass-through of payment from consumer to sponsor. The current administration has placed a strong reliance on unsolicited P3 bids – in other words it is recommend that you submit your own idea of a tourism related project.  
  11. New Infrastructure – The soon to come sale of the electrical authority (PREPA) and other antiquated government facilities will dramatically reduce costs across the entire economy. This will make the hospitality sector in particular more competitive. 
Florida Product Councils (FPCs) are small groups of ULI members that commit to meet at least two times per year with fellow real estate professionals to share best practices, grow their network and discuss development practices that influence and change our communities.
If you wish to get involved: