Commercial Investment Real Estate March/April 2013 - Page 24

Tourist CCIMs’ local market knowledge adds value in well-traveled markets. Attraction by Jennifer Norbut S 22 March | April | 2013 erving as a powerful economic engine, travel and tourism generate an esti- mated $1.9 trillion in the U.S. each year, according to the U.S. Travel Association. And, where there are travelers and tourists, there are prime opportunities for commercial real estate investment. Top spots such as New Orleans — which sees an estimated 8.5 million tourists annu- ally — support thriving hotel and restaurant sectors, which, in turn, help such established markets renew their claims as must-see travel destinations. However, smaller markets can also thrive on the economic boon tourists and business trav- elers bring to a community. For example, the allure of Mount Bachelor, recently named one of National Geographic’s top 25 worldwide ski des- tinations, draws 2 million visitors to Bend, Ore., annually. But the central Oregon town of nearly 80,000 is also gaining ground for its entrepre- neurial climate, luring young professionals and small businesses from larger markets. How do CCIMs leverage the opportunities provided by a tourist-oriented market? For two CCIMs who work in these two diverse desti- nations, it centers on having a vision, tapping into their network of contacts, and providing in-depth market knowledge. Big Opportunities in the Big Easy T ough much of New Orleans was damaged by Hurricane Katrina, the already-vacant Commercial Investment Real Estate