March 16, 2004
  • Sea Horse Ranch Road Race and Fun Run
  • Continental to fly to Punta Cana
  • Dominican version of "Evita"
  • Record occupancy in February
  • Introducing coral reef restoration
Sea Horse Ranch Road Race and Fun Run
Sea Horse Ranch announces it will be hosting its first 4K Road Race and 800-meter Fun Run for kids on Saturday, 10 April at 8 am as a kick-off to the Easter (Semana Santa) weekend. The "Camine, trote o corra como loco", ("walk, jog or run like mad") race starts at the Sea Horse Ranch Tennis Center, leading through Las Olas, Los Prados, Los Corales, las Brisas y Las Palmas sections to finish at El Bosque Cafe in the Club de Playa after Sandy Cave Beach. Last minute registration and number pick up is possible until 7:45 am on 10 April at the Tennis Club. All enrolled participants receive a free t-shirt on the day of the race upon registering on line by emailing [email protected] or [email protected].
Guests at Sea Horse Ranch that would like to participate in the road race and fun run post party are welcome to do so. Entertainment will be provided by the ivory of Roberto Santana Trio with Sanghita on vocals with her signature rock, blues and soulful vocals. For more information contact Pablo Echtel: 307-8474 / Sebastian Nenseff: 307-8456 / Marina Folco: 307-8459. For reservations, call 571-2186.
Continental to fly to Punta Cana
Continental is joining the rush to service the popular Punta Cana-New York route. Pete Garcia, Continental's vice president for sales and marketing for Latin America, announced the start of the nonstop, daily service between its New York hub at Newark Liberty International Airport for 10 June 2004. Tickets will go on sale once governmental approval is received. Continental will operate a Boeing 737-700 with first class and coach service. The flight will depart Newark at 9:10 am and arrive in Punta Cana at 1 pm. The return flight leaves Punta Cana at 1:55 pm, arriving at Newark at 6 pm. "This daily nonstop service to Punta Cana, Continental's fourth destination in the Dominican Republic, will be a great convenience for residents of the Northeast who are looking for a tranquil vacation spot," said Garcia. Continental also serves Santo Domingo, Puerto Plata and Santiago international airports.
Dominican version of "Evita"
Merengue star Miriam Cruz was chosen for the role of "Evita" in the musical that is scheduled for 25-27 June presentations at the National Theater in Santo Domingo. Cruz will star alongside Carlos Alfredo Fatule (Ernesto "Che" Guevara) and Jose Lora (Checho) as Juan Domingo Peron in the Amaury Sanchez production. The musical tells the story of Eva Duarte, the charismatic second wife of Argentinean dictator Juan Domingo Peron. Born to a very poor family, by 27 she had become first lady and the most powerful woman in Argentina. She died of cancer in 1952, when she was barely 33 years old. The original creators of the musical, Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice (also of Jesus Christ Superstar fame), granted Sanchez copyright authorization to produce the Dominican version. Sanchez last year successfully presented a Dominican version of Jesus Christ Superstar at the National Theater.
Record occupancy in February
February was a month of record hotel occupancy in the Dominican Republic. Occupancy averaged 90.8%, according to the National Hotel & Restaurant Association (Asonahores). February is a peak month for sun-seeking tourism. This year occupancy increased 4.8 percentage points over that of February 2003. Asonahores says it was an excellent year for all beach destinations, not so for capital city occupancy that depends primarily on business travel and not leisure travel. Santo Domingo hotel occupancy was 59.7%, down from 68.6% in February 2003. Santo Domingo was the only region to report a decline when occupancy was compared to February last year.
Beach destination February occupancies in 2004 compared to 2003 were as follows:
Boca Chica and Juan Dolio was 88.2%, up from 80.1% in 2003.
Romana-Bayahibe was 94.9%, up from 91.2% in 2003.
Bavaro-Punta Cana was 94.8%, same in 2003.
Puerto Plata was 93.1%, up from 75.2% in 2003.
Sosua-Cabarete was 92.3%, up from 80.5% in 2003.
Samana was 76.5%, up from 75.1% in 2003.
Introducing coral reef restoration
The president of Counterpart International, a community-driven international development organization, visited last week to meet with Dominican business leaders as well as international aid officials interested in developing sustainable development programs. Lelei LeLaulu and his organization are introducing the Coral Gardens program, the successful community-driven reef restoration program that has the plus of increasing local supplies of fish as the reefs grow. Developed in Fiji, the program has attracted much international attention, and a recent BBC documentary (http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/3141683.stm) highlighted its successes.
During his visit, Lelaulu had positive remarks on the local community spirit he found in the Dominican Republic. In his opinion, the DR has much to teach the world in sustainable development and smart partnerships with the private sector. "We will probably learn far more than we can teach organizations in the Dominican Republic," he commented when meeting with journalists.
Counterpart visited with groups in Punta Cana, Bayahibe and Santo Domingo. During the visit, LeLaulu and Counterpart's VP for Environment and Conservation, Raymond Chavez met with Kelly Robinson of the Punta Cana Group, Lissette Gil of La Romana-Bayahibe Hotels Association, Ian Schembri-Sant of Starz Resorts and the Sosua Bay Ecological Society in Puerto Plata, the local mission team of USAID, advisors to the Ministry of Tourism, and former Dominican Republic President, Leonel Fernandez at the Global Foundation for Democracy and Development.

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