Center of tourism gravity shifts to Downtown Miami

For decades tourists flocked to Miami for its beaches and nightclubs but as an urban renaissance takes hold of the Magic City, the center of gravity is shifting.  Hotel brands are taking notice and jumping into the action.

Over the next two years, more than 12 hotels will open their doors in Downtown Miami, including two SLS branded properties and introducing more than 2,000 additional hotel rooms to the area.  The highly anticipated 126-room luxury boutique Langford Hotel will be the first to open this summer.






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According to Miami Downtown Development Authority (DDA) Executive Director Alyce Robertson, hotel brands want in on downtown’s growing appeal among young professionals and travelers.

A U.S. Department of Commerce report reveled that Miami is the fastest growing tourism destination in the U.S. for overseas visitors.  In 2014, international visits increased by 21%, setting a new record and placing it directly behind New York as the most visited state.

The boom begs the question, “Is Miami ready?”  Intercontinental Hotel General Manager Robert Hill says not quite.

“Our downtown sidewalks and green spaces are inadequate given the growth underway; traffic along major arteries in our urban core is constantly halted by rising drawbridges; and members of the downtown workforce residing in some suburban neighborhoods — including many of the more than 600 people who work at our hotel — lack connectivity to downtown via mass transit,” said in his recent Miami Herald Op-Ed.

A DDA study shows Miami’s population has doubled to over 80,000 people since 2000.  And with an additional 8,700 more units in the pipeline, new restaurants and the impending opening of the Frost Museum of Science, people will have even more reasons to visit Miami.