January 20, 2004
  • Caribbean Baseball Series
  • BWIA begins flights to the DR
  • Coming soon: Hilton Santo Domingo
  • A Dominican director in Hollywood
Caribbean Baseball Series
The Dominican Republic promises to assemble a dream team to represent the country during the Caribbean Baseball Series to open in Santo Domingo on 1 February. The week-long event (1-6 February) brings the best from Venezuela, Mexico and Puerto Rico to compete in what is regarded as the most important international championship after the World Series. News reports say that regardless of which team represents the DR in the series, names such as Luis Castillo (Golden Glove award winner of the National League in 2003), Angel Berroa (Rookie of the Year of the American League 2003) and Miguel Tejada (Most Valuable Player of the American League in 2002) could be on the roster. Dozens of Dominican Major League players have already expressed their willingness to play, regardless of which team wins the Dominican championship series. News reports say that the Dominican government may become the main sponsor of the event, after Visa pulled out following the steep depreciation of the peso, which significantly increased the advertising budget. An opening show prepared by Chiqui Haddad posts stars Maridalia Hernandez, Hector Acosta (El Torito), Eddy Herrera and Adalgisa Pantaleon, among others. The Licey team is this year's favorite to win the Dominican Championship. To get into the spirit of the most exciting brand of fan and team integration, don't miss Licey's final games to be played against the Aguilas in Santo Domingo, on Wednesday, 21 January in Santiago. The Licey is ahead with 11 wins, while the Aguilas and Gigantes are tied to 8 wins each. See http://www.beisboldominicano.com for updates on these finals of the local championship and updates on the Caribbean Series. Tickets to the Caribbean Series are selling for US$50, US$40 and US$5 for the bleachers.
BWIA begins flights to the DR
BWIA announces the start of its direct flights from Port of Spain, Trinidad to Santo Domingo with an inaugural flight arriving on Wednesday, 21 January at Las Americas International Airport (SDQ). The airline will be flying a Boeing 737-800 with capacity for 150 passengers in economy and business classes. The airline will fly the Trinidad connection twice a week, on Tuesdays and Saturdays. This is a two-hour direct flight with a departure time from Port of Spain, Trinidad at 10:30am, to touch down in Santo Domingo at 12:30 pm. The return flight will leave Santo Domingo at 1:30pm and land in Trinidad at 3:30 pm. From Trinidad, connections can be made to Guyana, Barbados, Canada, New York, Miami, Tobago, England, Surinam, Cuba and Costa Rica.
According to the publication Tradewatch, the new route to the Dominican Republic complete's Trinidad's objective to position the island as a transportation and logistics hub in the hemisphere. Phase 1 of the plan involved flights to Costa Rica and Cuba as well as the Dominican Republic. The second phase will include flights to Brazil, Guatemala, Mexico and Colombia. In Santo Domingo, contact your travel agent or General Air Services at Tel. 809 540-5343, email [email protected]
Coming soon: Hilton Santo Domingo
Danny Hughes, vice-president of operations for Hilton Caribbean, recently announced that the Hilton Santo Domingo is scheduled to open in Spring 2004, as reported by John Collins for Caribbean Business. The 21-floor tower-style hotel, with its 228 mostly oceanview rooms, will have the largest casino in the Dominican Republic. Its rooms will all be equipped with high-speed Internet access and floor-to-ceiling windows to provide breathtaking views of the Caribbean Sea. The hotel is located on Santo Domingo's seafront boulevard, El Malecon, and will anchor the residential and commercial complex known as the Malecon Center. The 44,000-square foot complex will offer retail shopping, a cinema, restaurants, entertainment areas and commercial office space. Luxury residential condominiums have been sold in three adjacent towers. The hotel is a joint venture of Coral Hotels & Resorts and prominent Dominican real estate developer Jesus Rodriguez Sandoval. "We are pleased to add this city hotel to our DR collection," said Simon Suarez, executive vice-president of Coral Hotels & Resorts. "The Hilton Santo Domingo will be the leading business and conference hotel in the capital." Suarez is also currently the president of the Caribbean Hotel Association.
Part of the hotel will be a 4,644-square foot Hilton meetings complex with two board rooms, five flexible meeting rooms and a fully equipped business center with four PC stations and high-speed Internet access. Additionally, a 7,203-square foot ballroom with a 550-person capacity, a 2,312-square foot junior ballroom and a 2,430-square foot foyer will bring the hotel's total meeting space to close to 17,000 square feet.
John Collins reports that hotel industry observers view the latest move by Hilton Caribbean in the DR as a shrewd scheme to capitalize on its earlier decision to compete aggressively in the all-inclusive market by teaming up with Coral Hotels & Resorts. Coral had already established its self in the field and the expertise of Hilton strengthens its position while adding to it Hilton's worldwide marketing capacity.
A Dominican director in Hollywood
The Dominican Republic has its own Jessy Terrero, taking Dominican cinema mainstream. Terrero's MGM feature film debut will be released 28 May 2004, when "Soul Plane" hits movie houses in the US. The comedy is being described as a new version of the slapstick "Airplane!" although its plot bears no resemblance to the 1980 classic. The story deals with Dakwon (Kevin Hart) who wins US$600 million in a lawsuit and uses the money to start up the fictitiously named airline NWA, appealing to an African-American customer base. Things get wacky on the maiden NWA flight when a white family is accidentally rerouted to the plane. Also starring in the film are Dwayne Adway, Tom Arnold, K.D. Aubert and Angell Conwell. http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0367085/

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