Miami breaks tourism records in 2018

Despite of hurricane Irma in late September 2017, Miami came out on top with a record-breaking 16 million visitors between late 2017 and mid-2018.

That same increase drove up the amount of overnight visitors, which made destination sites, hotels and shopping centers hit a record-breaking $26.5 billion in expenditures, which was an increase  of more than two percent compared to the same time frame between 2016 and early 2017.

According to the Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau, Greater Miami’s travel and tourism industry, hotel performance revenue per available room, grew by more than 10 percent over the same time period. Leisure business is at the top of that growth and that increase will expand with the completion of the Miami Beach Convention Center, which remained closed to conventions during the construction process.

After undergoing a $620-million renovation process, the center will once again host citywide conventions.

“With the addition of MBCC as a destination for business travelers and those visiting the show, Miami is poised to benefit from further economic growth generated by the meetings industry. Even professionals within the parking industry are seeing the impact of this type of growth and the need for dependable parking logistic solutions,” said Elite Parking Managing Partner Ruben Perez-Sanchez.

According to the conventions bureau, the convention center serves as an anchor for the Miami’s meetings and conventions industry.

The expanded MBCC includes a new 60,000 square-foot-grand-ballroom, 500,000 feet of exhibit space, 84 breakout rooms, and a new six-acre public park to serve as incremental event space.

“This type of tourism expansion will fuel more growth in hospitality jobs for the community, including the parking industry,” added Sanchez.

February Employee of the Month

Elite Parking wants to congratulate Jesivan Seijas Morao for receiving February’s employee of the month. He started his career with Elite just two years ago and is currently a valet parking attendant at Marea Condominium, a luxury property located in South Beach’s south of fifth area. He brings many years of customer service experience to the position.

As a valet parking professional, he handles all areas including: managing traffic and parking control within the property; assisting guests in their parking needs; making sure to provide each guest with excellent service; maintaining vehicle counts and log sheets for the parking facility. Morao is a team leader when it comes to providing guests with “white glove service” and upholding the properties exceptional standards.

Morao is a native of Venezuelan, but moved to Miami just over three years ago. He wants to continue to pursue his education towards earning a degree.

Elite assumes parking management contract for COMO Metropolitan

Elite is excited to announce the recent additional of their newest property COMO Metropolitan. The boutique hotel is located in the heart of the city’s Art Deco district on 2445 Collins Avenue, close to Miami’s South Beach. It is within walking distance of Lincoln Road Shopping and entertainment district, the Bass Museum of Art, and the New World Center. Wynwood arts and dining district is just a 10 minute car ride away.

“We are dedicated to not only providing “white glove service” to hotel guests, but those visiting the hotel’s restaurant. Elite incorporates its experience with event parking logistics to make sure guest’s visits are seamless from the parking process to exiting the property,” said Elite’s Managing Partner Ruben Perez-Sanchez.

The hotel recently announced its newest dining destination, which is in collaboration with the award-winning chef, Michael Schwartz. Traymore by Michael Schwartz combines Schwartz’ passion for fresh, clean Floridian flavors and bright, Southeast Asian influences. Famous guests frequent the new restaurant hot spot.

Elite Parking was famous chef Michael Schwartz original valet parking company when he opened the flagship restaurant Michael’s Genuine in the heart of the Miami Design District before the district’s beginning in 2007. Now Elite is once again representing him as the valet parking service COMO Hotel’s Traymore starting March 13, 2019.

Employee of the Year 2018

Elite Parking wants to congratulate Alex Rosa for receiving 2018 employee of the year. He has played an integral role in upholding Elite’s exceptional standards. As the manager for the valet parking at Marea Condominium in Miami Beach’s South of fifth district. He oversees the valet needs of residents at Marea and maintains a great rapport with the properties management team and is dedicated to providing excellent service and going above and beyond for each guest. Those qualities led Elite to choose Rosa as the perfect nomination for this year’s highlighted employee.

As a manager of Marea’s valet parking, he handles all areas including: overseeing the daily valet functions at the property; managing traffic and parking control; functions as a liaison between Elite and property management; assisting guests in their parking needs; hiring and training valet team members; and handling tickets and maintaining vehicle log sheet for the parking facility. Rosa works daily to provide guests with “white glove service” and uphold the property’s exceptional standards.

Elite Parking enters new Miami market

Elite Parking closes valet management deal with Hotel Yve Miami located on Biscayne Boulevard in the heart of downtown Miami. The hotel sits directly across the street from sprawling Bayfront Park and Bayside Marketplace and is within walking distance to attractions including; American Airlines Arena, Peréz Art Museum Miami and countless restaurants and nightlife.

Yve also features a restaurant and bar at its lobby level called Biscayne Tavern. The trendy modern sports bar has a warm appearance with tufted leather chairs, hardwood accents and picture windows overlooking Biscayne Boulevard. The tavern draws additional guests who come to dine or socialize with friends.

Downtown Miami is also centrally located and within a 15-minutes from other hotspots such as Brickell, South Beach, Wynwood and the Design District.

“Elite is excited to expand into the revitalized downtown Miami area. We look forward to servicing the Yve hotel guests and adhering to the highest standards of service,” said Managing Partner Ruben Perez-Sanchez.

Challenges in recruiting top talent

More than ever top talent is driving the transportation industry forward. That can prove to have some hiring challenges in today’s fast-paced market. Sometimes the demand for good talent is greater than the available supply in industries including parking and transportation. Top candidates are getting hired quickly, in as little as 10 days in some instances. A company’s recruitment process has to be relatively short or a competitor could hire that perfect candidate.

According to Elite Parking Managing Partner Ruben Perez-Sanchez, this competitive market drives a fast pace in the recruiting process.

“We try to streamline the hiring process as much as possible. If we have a good candidate that has the skill sets we need and great references, we want them on our team,” said Sanchez.

Millennials are also making up a large portion of the new recruits, at almost 35 percent of the total in most workplaces. Companies who can understand what millennials value, such as making positive contributions to society, having a sense of purpose and tech-savviness, will stay ahead of their competitors when it comes to recruitment.

Brand image is another major draw when it comes to the recruiting process. Getting brand awareness through press, word of mouth or on social media is key. A lack of brand awareness or weak social media presence can prevent companies recruiting the best candidates. Taking full advantage of websites, social media channels, and job networks can drive awareness and relay the message about a company’s work environment.

How to attract top talent

Attracting top talent starts out with creating an excellent company culture. A company’s principles guide should be made known to all employees. These principles could be things such as “People first,” “Care like an Owner,” “Know What You Don’t Know,” and “Think Simple and Scale.” Try to get passionate about team bonding with company events and activities.

The hiring future of transportation

It’s crucial that companies have a hiring process that is dedicated to finding candidates who are service-driven, creative problem solvers, and hard working. It takes both traditional and non-traditional methods to seek out these top candidates and keep them.

Many times the transportation and tech industries haven’t really represented the communities they serve, but times are changing.

“Communities that we serve are very diverse, so we need to make sure that our team can bring diverse ideas and experiences to the table. This helps our company partner with clients to solve the problems and meet the needs in their communities,” said Sanchez.

The hiring process

When deciding whether to hire someone, it’s helpful to identify candidates that may have less traditional backgrounds; they are sometimes able to add the greatest value with creative problem-solving skills. Broadening recruitment initiatives to individuals from industries such as banking, non-profits, the military, technology, and other sectors, can benefit a company’s workforce with team members who offer performance and potential over experience.

Lastly, it’s important to include individuals from various teams within an organization during the hiring process. They can provide exposure to many different roles, backgrounds and personalities that new teammates would encounter, and provide input into the hiring process.

December Employee of the Month

Elite wants to congratulate Karin Rodriguez for receiving December’s employee of the month. She started his career with Elite just over a year ago as the valet parking attendant at Etaru Japanese Restaurant in Hallandale. She now oversees the valet needs of residents at Aventura’s Marina I. Her dedication to providing excellent service and going above and beyond for guest’s made her the perfect nomination for this month’s highlighted employee.

As a valet attendant, she handles all areas including: overseeing the daily valet functions at the property; managing traffic and parking control within the property; assisting guests in their parking needs; making sure each guest receives excellent service; handling tickets and maintaining vehicle log sheet for the parking facility. Rodriquez works daily to provide guests with “white glove service” and uphold the property’s exceptional standards.

Rodriquez is a native of Cali, Colombia, but moved to Miami over seven years ago. When not at work, she enjoys spending time with her husband and two children.  

November Employee of the Month

Elite wants to congratulate Dadiarc Rabaza for receiving November’s employee of the month. He started his career with Elite just two years ago as the manager at Portofino Towers, but quickly moved up the assume the position of an Area Manager for a cluster of hotels including Washington Park Hotel, The Hall, Casa Boutique, Redbury Hotel, just to name a few. He also oversees operations at the 16th and Washington parking garage in Miami Beach. He brings eight years of parking industry experience.

As an Area Manager, he handles all areas including: overseeing the daily operations at each property; managing traffic and parking control within the property; assisting guests in their parking needs; making sure each driver provides excellent service; maintaining vehicle count and log sheet for the parking facility. Rabaza leads his team to provide guests with “white glove service” and uphold the properties exceptional standards.

Rabaza is a native of, but came to Miami over eight years ago. He wants to continue to pursue his education and career in the industry.

Smart parking lots are the tech hub for the future

Often parking lots are viewed as a vast open space solely made for the purpose of parking vehicles, which may sit for hours, days, even weeks at a time. The parameters formerly set out of what parking lots are useful for have begun to change. In fact, many see them as the technological hubs of the future. Parking lots are invaluable when it comes to use of land and sustainability. City planners and parking professionals are finding ways to make every inch of these open spaces as an opportunity for smart, green sustainable growth.

According to Elite’s Parking’s Managing Partner Ruben Perez-Sanchez, smart technology is found in every area of people’s lives and it’s now making its way into the parking industry.

“Now people in the industry are altering their vision for these open spaces. Garage technology needs to progress past the simple use of smart meters and plate readers, to various encompass sustainable initiatives such as charging stations, smart benches, rainwater collectors and smart trash receptacles,” said Sanchez.

As the parking industry moves into the next decade it will have to rethink the future of parking lot design. There will be a call for the implementation of more green initiatives from landscape buffers to green walls, smart receptacles, traffic lights even recycled water. Investing in smart and sustainable practices in parking lots will promote higher green standards within the community.

Elite Parking is excited to be the valet service provider for Iberostar Berkeley

Iberostar Berkeley sits right in the heart of world-famous South Beach and is the reincarnation of the historic Art Deco Berkeley Shore Hotel. This marks yet another step forward in Elite’s pursuit to extend its “white-glove service” mission to other luxury hotel brands in Miami.

“We are proud to have been chosen by Berkeley’s hotelier chain to represent their service expectations. Our goal will be to uphold the hotel’s standards prior to each guest’s check-in experience” said Elite Parking’s Managing Partner Ruben Perez-Sanchez.

According to Sanchez, guests who frequent hotels such as Iberostar are used to world-class amenities, impeccable service and spectacular views synonymous with South Beach hotels. That means that all valet team members need to be on-top of their game and go that extra mile for each guest.

Iberostar Berkeley is an Art Deco jewel located at 1610 Collins Avenue, just steps away from SoBe, Miami’s most prestigious attractions. The iconic building was designed in 1940 by Albert Anis, one of the most prolific architects of the Art Deco District. He is responsible for the architectural designs of more than 70 buildings, which played an integral role in shaping Miami Beach’s distinctive style.