| Saturday, April 22, 2006
| Condo Insurance
|Here's some figures pertaining to homeowners and condo insurance in Florida with all of the hurricane problems.
Key Facts From Florida's 2004 Nightmare Hurricane Season
The Office of Insurance Regulation is projecting $20.9 billion in insured losses and 1.66 million claims from the 2004 hurricane season.
It is estimated by the Insurance Information Institute that one in every five Florida homes was impacted by a hurricane to some degree last year. State officials note that every public school in Florida has been closed at least one day this year because of a hurricane threat.
"This loss of premium income and capital was distributed among the insurers ($11.3 billion), the reinsurance market ($5.75 billion) and the Florida Hurricane Catastrophe Fund," OIR noted in its hurricane task force report.
Here is a breakdown:
Hurricane Charley 481,372 claims and $8 billion in insured losses;
Hurricane Frances 547,325 claims and $5.1 billion in insured losses;
Hurricane Ivan 213,390 claims and $3.8 billion in insured losses;
Hurricane Jeanne 425,647 claims and $4 billion in losses.
An estimated 2.6 million of Florida's 8.1 million housing units were damaged by the hurricanes, with 35,000 destroyed, 649,000 sustaining major damage and 1,917,000 sustaining minor damage. (University of Florida, Bureau of Economic & Business Research, July 2005 report). Many homeowners did not sustain damage great enough to surpass their hurricane deductible, generally 2 percent of the amount of insurance, or $4,000 on a $200,000 house. This explains 1.7 million claims and 2.6 million housing units damaged.
The Office of Insurance Regulation estimates that Floridians absorbed $1.6 billion in out-of-pocket losses through their hurricane deductibles.
Total losses from the four hurricanes, including uninsured losses, are much greater than the $26 billion accounted through wind insurer payments, policyholder deductibles and National Flood Insurance Program payments. A ballpark guess is $50 billion to $75 billion.
This is taken from the Florida Insurance Council's website.
|posted by Jan Chilton @ 4:33 PM
| Las Vegas Condos Article
|Here's an article about the newest Las Vegas Real Estate opportunities.
Condos & Poker Chips
By Jim Merritt
Las Vegas, Nevada, is apparently ready to gamble on the growing condo-hotel market trend.
In January, the Las Vegas Sun reported that "the first near-Strip condo-hotels are scheduled to open in the first half of 2006, bringing a new hotel concept to Las Vegas."
The 255-room, $85 million Platinum condo-hotel property is scheduled to be completed this month on East Flamingo Road, according to the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority online construction report.
But a much larger property is on the desert horizon.
The W Las Vegas Hotel, Casino and Residences, reportedly to be the largest W property and the first of the boutique brand with a casino, is currently in the pre-public, pre-construction phase of reservations.
The property is being developed by Edge Star Partners in partnership with Starwood. A Welcome Center is currently under construction to introduce W Las Vegas Residences to the general public.
Demand so far has been "overwhelming," says Maggie Feldman, spokeswoman for W Las Vegas. In addition to a casino, the property will include "destination" dining, nightlife and a Bliss spa.
The W Las Vegas is expected to break ground in early 2007, and open in 2009. It will feature two towers of about 50 stories each with a total of 4,000 units. Prices will start at $650,000 for a studio, and one bedrooms will also be available; owners will have the option of turning their units into part-time hotel accommodations.
"I think the most popular option will be the condo hotel model where the rooms are rented out to hotel guests and the owner shares the revenue that's generated," Feldman said. The revenue split is yet to be determined, she said.
A W spokesman said the brand had its sights set on Vegas for a long time.
"Las Vegas is like no other city in the world and has been on the top of W's development strategy for years," said Ross Klein, President of W Hotels.
Klein said, "The brand is setting the stage for a dramatic entry into one of the world's most important, exciting destinations."
Klein continued, "The W Las Vegas will offer guests extraordinary experiences at every turn through the brand's lifestyle elements - provocative spaces, delightful indulgences and experiential surprises that will be unheard of even by 'Vegas' standards."
Kevin Bagger, research director of the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority, said, "As Las Vegas continues to evolve, the condo hotel product is yet another new facet for Las Vegas lodging as several large projects are planned or under construction. We're excited to see the new condo-hotel properties open, but it's too early to measure their impact on the destination."
Feldman believes that W will settle into a niche in Vegas. Feldman noted, "Currently in Las Vegas, there's a spectrum ranging from the younger more party-oriented hotels… aimed at the young trend setting crowd, and at the other end, luxury hotels … W has skillfully combined those two (markets) as a fashion forward stylish hotel that is still very upscale and luxurious. That's what's missing in Vegas, and that's why the W brand will do so well here."
The January Las Vegas Sun article reported that "a handful (of) condo-hotels have been announced in recent months. Among the properties is a 1,282 unit Trump International Hotel is expected to open early next year.
Jim Merritt is associate editor of Hotel Interactive.
|posted by Jan Chilton @ 4:11 PM