Is It Time To Unload Miami Beach Assets?

By On 17th April 2016

MIAMI—Is it time for Miami hotel owners to cash out? Andrew Cohan, managing director of Horwath HTL’s Miami office, has a strong opinion.
In response to the recent Thompson Miami Beach sale, Cohan tells the brilliance of the asset-light strategy many hospitality management companies are taking is spotlighted in the Thompson deal As he sees it, a CEO should not have to choose between stunting the growth yet again of a well-liked brand, such as Thompson, in exchange for an opportunistic market-cycle-based transaction.

“Who can resist the temptation to sell high after buying low three short years ago? Cohan asked. “At some point you have to be a company who either loves ‘the deal’ or loves building brand equity, but not both.”

Cohan has another question: Is it time to unload Miami Beach assets?

“It has been a beautiful ride since the valley of 2009, but in terms of operating metrics we are not at the top of a double diamond downward slope but instead at an inflection point: the transition from RevPAR improving at an increasing rate to RevPAR improving at a decreasing rate,” Cohen says. “Sip a soy latte at Panther Coffee and you will hear that everyone wants to sell their hotelson the beach.”

But, Cohen adds, buyers who could not get in several years ago are starting to show concerned more with value and specifically how they can generate value from freshly built or renovated assets. As he sees it, here is little evidence that the Thompson Miami Beach sale will start an avalanche of transactions. However, he continues, there are more than a few investors who are in a position to cash out and pat themselves on the back.

“It appears that at all levels, this year is about incorporating a greater level of uncertainty into the normal course of events,” Cohen says. “For some investors, especially those who love ‘the deal,’ it will be difficult not to entertain compelling offers.”


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Andrew Cohan

Andrew Cohan is the Managing Director for Horwath HTL primarily serving the Sunbelt States and the Caribbean Basin, based in Miami. Horwath HTL has been operating for 100 years in the hospitality consulting space with expertise in valuation and feasibility studies, resort hotel and resort real estate consulting, asset management and tourism and leisure consulting.

A seasoned hospitality professional with extensive real estate, marketing and account management skills in North America and Latin America, Andrew has consulted for projects with leading branded management companies such as Canyon Ranch, Six Senses, Montage, Auberge and Alila.

Andrew has extensive experience in the wellness and sustainability space, especially as it pertains to resort properties. He especially enjoys working on ground-up projects, teaming with land planners to determine the optimal resort configuration to fit market demand with destination and site attributes, and helping land owners assemble their development teams.

As health and wellness have moved from the margins of the industry to become important components of mainstream hospitality projects, Andrew’s expertise has been in demand to conduct an increasing number of assignments for proposed sustainable wellness resort properties, particularly as the industry continues to strengthen in Central America, the Caribbean, Mexico and the “sunbelt states” in the United States. As the focus changes from the hotel product to the hotel experience, “property personality sharpening” through programming rather than capital expenditures has become one of the consultancy’s strengths. He has written numerous articles on topics ranging from Miami’s continuing growth to topics of interest in eco-tourism, active adventure tourism, and wellness tourism.

Prior to Horwath HTL, Andrew spent nine years with HVS’s Miami office. During his tenure there, Andrew earned his MAI designation from the Appraisal Institute, and holds Certified General Real Estate Appraiser and Real Estate Broker Associate licenses in the State of Florida. He has a Masters degree in Business Administration (M.B.A.) from the University of Pittsburgh, and a Masters in Hospitality Management from Florida International University, in addition to a Bachelor of Arts in Economics from Tulane University. He is a member of the International Society of Hospitality Consultants (ISHC), the Urban Land Institute (ULI) and the Global Wellness Institute.

Prior to joining HVS, Cohan rose through the ranks at AT&T, serving in their Latin America Wholesale Markets Division, managing a team with personnel in four countries, and having responsibility for maintaining tens of millions of dollars of annual revenue.
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