Wednesday, December 7, 2011

The CHICOS Conference

The Atlantis Resort in Nassau was the site of the HVS Caribbean Hotel Investment Conference & Operations Summit (CHICOS) on November 10-11. Our broker, Peter, attended and was impressed with the number and types of investors, developers, partners and lenders who attended this inaugural event.

HVS is an international tourism and hospitality consulting and services firm. Following on their template for a South American hospitality conference, HVS saw the need for a Caribbean conference focusing on issues specific to the region.

The conference included great round table discussions from every point of view about trends in the Caribbean hotel industry. Sessions covered where to invest, how to invest and how to secure financing. HVS’s unique contribution is the Task Force concept, which distinguished this conference from others in the region. The Task Forces formed at the summit will work through the year on specific issues within the region to improve the success of the various hospitality industries by addressing the obstacles that prevent or limit growth.

This concept is particularly important for us at Dupuch Real Estate. We secured the buyer in the sale of the former Sheraton Grand Hotel to RIU Hotels. As brokers dealing with clients seeking large property transactions, we found the sessions filled with information and knowledge valuable to our clients who are looking to purchase resorts.

The conference covered a wide range of critical topics including investing, lending, airline schedules, financing, incentives, public-private partnerships, elements of a successful resort, education and training of personnel and market diversity. The speakers represented the best in the field and included the COO of American Airlines, the Prime Minister of Aruba, the Director and Chief Economist of FirstCaribbean International Bank, and the Global Vice President of Expedia among many others.

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