Discounts and low occupancy rates could force South Florida hotels onto the market

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Deep discounts, falling visitor numbers and a weak outlook may put South Florida hotels on the market at bargain prices and in record numbers. Boaz Ashbel, who specializes in hotel deals for the Aztec Group, an investment banking firm in Coconut Grove, said many beachfront properties will face financial meltdowns, prompting owners to sell. The South Florida hotel market is in better shape than some others, though, said Tom Fink, senior vice president at research firm Trepp. His study of hotel commercial mortgage-backed securities debt puts South Florida in 17th place out of 50 in terms of severely distressed loans. Orlando ranked 10th and St. Louis, Mo., came in first. [Miami Herald]

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