Construction starts on $49.5M Hyatt Place hotel in Bayamón

Construction of the $49.5 million Hyatt Place Bayamón & Tropical Casino, which marks the return of the hotel chain to the island after a seven-year absence, was announced March 19, 2012 by developers PRISA Group and McConnell Valdés Consulting Inc. during a news conference at the Science Park in Bayamón.

From left: Bayamón Mayor Ramón Luis Rivera, Gov. Fortuño, and Federico Stubbe look over the future hotel’s blueprints. (Credit: La Fortaleza)

Flanked by municipal and central government officials, developers said the hotel is slated to open during the first quarter of 2014. The seven-story, 156-room hotel will feature a 2,000 square-foot conference room, a 4,700 square-foot restaurant, gym and pool, among other amenities. Furthermore, the project will have a 17,300 square-foot casino to be run by HI Development Corp. The future hotel will also feature a multi-story parking garage with a capacity for 250 vehicles.

“Hyatt has a close relationship with Puerto Rico, which is why its return to this market, after a seven-year absence, is very significant,” said Federico Stubbe, president of PRISA Group. “This is a vote of confidence the chain is giving local developers, the island’s tourism industry and our people.”

PRISA Group, McConnell Valdés Consulting and HI Development Corp. formed the Bayamón Hotel Company LLC to build the project.

During the news conference, Gov. Luis Fortuño said the new hotel will meet an “increasing demand for alternative accommodations in the area.”

“This hotel will expand Bayamón’s hotel offerings, providing alternatives to the thousands tourists doing business in the city, seeking medical care in the excellent facilities we have here and visiting family or just wanting to do some tourism,” he said.

The Hyatt hotel in Bayamón is slated to open in 2014.

The two-year construction phase of the hotel to be located on Route 167 adjacent to the Science Park and Plaza del Sol shopping center, will generate 485 direct, indirect and induced jobs. Once operational, the hotel will generate close to 700 direct, indirect and induced jobs, hotel developers said.

Newly appointed Tourism Company Executive Director Luis Rivera Marín noted that projects such as the Hyatt Place Bayamón & Tropical Casino will help serve niche markets “including retail, cultural, recreational and medical, given the proximity to renowned hospital institutions in the area.”

Financing for the project is split between a $29 million loan from Banco Popular de Puerto Rico guaranteed by the Government Development Bank’s Tourism Development Fund. Another $7.2 million is being put up by the Bayamón municipal government raised by a municipal lease bond. The developer and investors put up another $13.3 million in capital.

Stubbe said the future hotel focuses on the “urban tourism” concept, a fast-growing category.

“The project seeks to serve guests as well as visitors to the area’s medical facilities, sports enthusiasts participating in events at the nearby venues, as well as those doing business in the area,” said Stubbe. “As local entrepreneurs, we’re committed to developing tourism in Puerto Rico and the opportunity this project provides us as a potential motor for regional economic development.”

Source: Written by  //  March 26, 2012


Attitude for Every Mood…

{ How to Deal with Negative Effects in the Workplace }

— by Adrianne Robert & Larry E. Collier, Jr., of H.I. Development

Everyone has felt dragged down by someone else’s attitude at work. Has anyone ever felt dragged down by your attitude at work?  How do you react when you hear news people share with you about budget cuts, lay offs and/or employee gossip? If you have a job, you’ve heard negative attitude at some point. Here are some positive pointers to help you deal with setbacks in the common workplace and turn “whiners” into winners”. (source: “Little Red Book of Selling” by Jeffrey Gitomer)

“Be the change you want to see”
How much better can we do our job? Are you focused on achieving the goal or just taking the steps towards that goal? As long as we do our best within the situation we are in, the work will usually take care of itself, if it doesn’t seek help. You will find everyone willing to help someone who always tries their hardest. Simple things such as a weekly “to-do” list will set you apart from the crowd. Make a “to-do” list for the week and then double check it to insure that the items on your list support your departmental goals, while maximizing your time on shift. Don’t worry if you are the only one with a list, working smarter will make you stand out and set higher standards for those around you. Believe me, success is just as contagious as failure. Maybe then your co-workers will find a better outlook for the attitude in the office. Someone once said to me, “If you don’t like change, you are going to like irrelevance even less. So if you want to see changes at work, be that change that you would like to see.”

“Things nor people aren’t as bad as you think they are”
Staying positive is at the core of any good attitude. Studies show that celebrating your coworkers, setting attainable (remember SMART) goals and consistently showing gratitude are all common traits amongst successful businesspeople. Thinking pessimistically only fosters a negative attitude that makes seeing the positives difficult and, in turn, decreases your ability to succeed. Thinking positively lets you see the good things around you and allows you to build off of them, creating an attitude beneficial to advancement.

“Be assertive without being aggressive”
Assertiveness is probably the top trait of those successful in business, however it is often coupled with aggressiveness. The most important thing when attempting to be assertive without being aggressive is communication. When asserting yourself in the office, allow other people as much time to describe their needs as you’ve allowed yourself. When they are expressing their needs, try not to devalue their perspectives; doing so will allow you to stay open to meeting them halfway.

“Be compassionate when dealing with conflict”
No matter where you work, you’ll eventually find yourself in conflict with a coworker. When resolving the matter, make sure you approach the other person with an adequate amount of compassion. We all deal with stress; sometimes it even gets the better of us. Keeping your mind open when resolving conflict will improve your skills at doing so. Being able to effectively deal with interpersonal conflict is a personality trait that is sure to help you advance in any career. Remember we all have a common logic that we share but each of us has our private logic as well. You never know what another person’s private logic may be telling them.

“Have some pride”
The most rewarding career anyone can do is something they take full pride in. H.I. Development is in the hospitality field and we have the responsibility to show our best side to families and travelers staying at our hotels, no matter what our attitudes for the day may be. When you exceed someone’s expectations and go the extra mile to provide the ultimate experience for the traveler, you are leaving an everlasting impression from their visit at your hotel or restaurant. Now THAT is a great feeling!

Whether you are a corporation or an individual, dealing with attitude challenges, you are making the first leap from negative choices to choices that will certainly have a positive impact on yourself, co-workers and family members. “Leading by example” — you need not be the leader to lead by example, however; leading by example may make you the leader and will show your customers that you care and help reinforce your company’s product, increasing sales in the long run. This will cause a chain-reaction and benefit not only the longevity of your company’s future, but more importantly your own attitude for future personal goals.

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2012 Social Media Trends

Social Media Marketingby Adrianne Robert, Creative Marketing Director for H.I. Development

The age of Social Media is upon us… whether you like it or not. Thanks to Smartphones taking a spike in 2010 and Apple introducing the iPad, most of the Baby Boomers have taken a backseat and let Generation Y steer the road to Facebook check-ins, FourSquare badges and YouTube thumbs up/down.

Don’t know what I am talking about? This may seem all petty and overwhelming to an outsider, but for professional young adults this could be the advantage they are looking for in the current economy slump. According to an article, employers are liking – and hiring – Social Media workers. The standard job description includes identifying a Social Media profile for the company’s Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, WordPress, Manta, FourSquare, Flickr and review sites such as Yelp, TripAdvisor and Urbanspoon to name a few.

What this means for hoteliers and service industry companies, is that you need a strong “socializing” network presence. Keep an eye out for these 2012 trends:


With a major 2011 trend of real-time tracking and “click” data analysis, the proof of views is in the “impressions” of clicks. A buzz for the New Year predicts ROI statistics will be enhanced, allowing marketing experts to show dollar signs to their bosses from social and viral campaigning.


The two popular tools used to streamline some Social Media outlets include Hootsuite or Social Oomph. After linking 5 profiles or less, you are still ahead of the game by allowing more time to work on E-Commerce Marketing for your company. Another great platform is iGoogle or Netvibes. These dashboards make it easy to monitor your social media platforms in one place, while utilizing alerts and local news happening in your designated zip code. With Apple’s iCloud advantage, people will be using “syncing” devices more often in 2012.


If you have learned anything from your parents, you remember that talking about yourself is rude. In this case, learn to write/show rich and engaging content for Social Media forms such as Facebook, YouTube, WordPress, Quora, StumbleUpon and LinkedIn. You can essentially “sell” your company by “Tweeting” (via Twitter) a sales pitch or promoting coupons. This should be done in smaller quantities.


If you are “Googled”… what do you see? My belief after listening to Matt Cutts discuss Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and “Google Ranks” on his YouTube Channel, is that G-Team will make it harder for the corporate fish to take over small business ponds. Allowing small businesses to rank higher on the totem pole would include a strong and official company Social Media presence and consistent content with engaging hits from viewers. Google+Plus will also be another trend of ranking higher in search engine hits.


If you are like me and the other 449-million* people with a smartphone, you are going more mobile. What is your warning? Make your website mobile-friendly. The biggest talked about blurb of this past year… “Is there an app for that?” With hotel check-ins, flight arrangements and food reviews to write all on the go, these daily activities are just going to increase with viral popularity. Urbanspoon, Yelp and TripAdvisor review sites will have advantages and qualms with your place of business. Lastly, it is always best to respond to the negative reviews and/or photos, than to blast them online.

(*= Rounded average from RBC,

So what have you learned from Social Media Marketing? It’s all about people. It’s about networking and learning who your customers are. My concluding thoughts: Position your company as a center of influence – the one who knows the movers and shakers. People will respond to that and you’ll soon become what you project. Until then, have fun socializing with your future clients!

Setting the Stage for Success

by Larry E. Collier, Jr.,
Regional Director of Operations for H.I. Development

In the past, many of us have had to manage with decisions made by our predecessors. The booming economy of the late, 1990s – early 2000s allowed many hotels to get incredible rates with mediocre products and services, as we all had learned revenue hides a multitude of sins.

We have all thought, “what if things had only been done differently before.”

Clock TickingWell, welcome to before.

Hopefully we have survived the worst of the recession. It is now time to make sure our strategies are aligned with our goals, as we see demand begin to grow, soon to be followed by rate.

Ask yourself these top bullet items —

  • Where do you want your business to be when the economy booms again?
  • What changes can you make now, so that when the demand peaks and the rates begin to really climb, your business is positioned to handle the higher paying customer with improved results.
  • How will you prepare to generate even more revenue from the same number of rooms?

Personnel and training are essential to growing our revenues as the economy improves. Now that we have slimmed down our staffs as part of our “leaner” and “meaner” operations, we should have only the best of the best working in all our departments. If you don’t have the best of the best, call me I’ll help you optimize your department to improve your hotel.

Key to SuccessNow is the time to take our existing staff and instill in them a culture of caring and service, while educating them in the disciplines of revenue management and bottom line profitability. If you have the right people, they will pass the message to new employees as new staff members are adding to handle the increased demand.  Branded hotels should be sure to take advantage of training that is available at little or no charge on your branded websites.

Remember, this training is not only for managers and supervisors — but for every employee. A culture is built from the bottom up.

“No culture can live if it attempts to be exclusive”  –Mohandas Gandhi