August 3, 2004
  • United to fly to Punta Cana
  • Lovewrecked filmed on North Coast beaches
  • Dustin Hoffman expected in August
  • Rossellini coming in October
  • Suarez to speak for Bayahibe
United to fly to Punta Cana
United will link the United States’ Midwest to the Dominican Republic when it begins flying to Punta Cana as of December. United thus becomes the first US airline to offer a direct regular flight to the DR from the important Chicago O’Hare hub. The flight to Punta Cana will leave Chicago’s O’Hare (ORD) at 8:30am and arrive at Punta Cana International (PUJ) at 3:06pm, owing to the time-zone difference.
The United flight to Punta Cana is being established in response to the demand from airline clients. "Our customers have let us know they want more options to winter sun destinations, so we are delighted to be able to respond with this robust schedule to beach resorts and tropical destinations," said Graham Atkinson, senior vice-president of Worldwide Sales and Alliances, United.
“Our customers have told us they want one airline and one frequent flyer program to meet their business and leisure travel needs,” he continued. “With the addition of these warm-weather vacation destinations, we can provide our customers with even more choices for international travel, supported by the breadth of our global network and Mileage Plus, the most preferred frequent flyer program.”
Other destinations to be added by United are San Jose del Cabo, Cozumel, Puerto Vallarta and Ixtapa (Mexico); Montego Bay (Jamaica); San Jose (Costa Rica) and St. Maarten, as part of a general company strategy to bolster its international portfolio of winter holiday destinations. The start date of the service is still subject to approval of the government operating authorities.
Lovewrecked filmed on North Coast beaches
A family-oriented movie to be released in spring or summer 2005 is being filmed along the North Coast at the beaches of Cofresi (Puerto Plata) and La Entrada (Maria Trinidad Sanchez). Starring Amanda Bynes, who plays Jenny, and co-starring Chris Carmack as Jason, the romantic comedy is being directed by Randal Kleiser of “Grease” and “Blue Lagoon.”
Lovewrecked tells the story of Jenny, an 18 year-old girl who is ecstatic when she finds that her favorite rock star, Jason, is a guest at the tropical resort where she is working for the summer. When they are both thrown overboard during a cruise, Jenny is even more thrilled to find herself stranded on a remote beach, alone, with Jason. Jenny soon learns that they are actually just down the beach from the resort – but she keeps the truth from her idol and tries to win his heart. Things get even more complicated when Jenny's rival Brittany pretends to be shipwrecked too, and they must compete for Jason's affections.
The main location of the shoot is the Sun Village Beach Resort of Cofresi, Puerto Plata (next door to Ocean World Park), where the cast and crew will also be staying. Filming began on 28 June and is expected to last until 7 August.
Dustin Hoffman expected in August
Hollywood legend Dustin Hoffman will be in Santo Domingo to take part in Andy Garcia’s new movie, The Lost City. Filming began at the Fuentes tobacco plantation in Santiago, to where it has shifted to the Presidential Palace and Colonial City in Santo Domingo. Hoffman is scheduled to arrive 12 August to film his role as Meyer Lansky. The drama recreates the events at the end of the Batista dictatorship in Havana, Cuba and is based on a novel by Guillermo Cabrera Infante called “Three Trapped Tigers”. The DR was chosen as the locale for its similarities to the Cuban city.
Garcia, as the director of the endeavour, knows the subject well as he himself migrated to the US when his family chose exile over a Fidel Castro-controlled Cuba.
Garcia will take the principal role of a Havana nightclub owner who is forced to leave for New York. In addition to Hoffman, his co-stars include Robert Duvall in the role of the head of the secret police, Fulgencio Batista.
Rossellini coming in October
Italian film star Isabela Rossellini is expected in Santo Domingo this October for the filming of “The Feast of the Goat”, based on Mario Vargas Llosa’s bestselling novel of 2002 and events during the Rafael Leonidas Trujillo dictatorship (1930-1961). The English-language movie is being filmed in Spain and Santo Domingo and is an Andres Vicente Gomez production, for Lolafilms of Spain and Future Films of the UK. In the DR, their counterpart will be Basanta Produccion Cine & Video. The filming is slated to begin September in Spain. Scenes will be filmed at the Presidential Palace, among other places, in the DR.
Suarez to speak for Bayahibe
Simon Suarez, the executive vice-president of Coral by Hilton Hotels, is the newly-appointed president of the Bayahibe-La Romana Hoteliers’ Association. Suarez is additionally a past president of the Caribbean Hotel Association, and continues to be a member of the board of the regional body. His new function as the head of the Bayahibe association coincides with the Mejia government’s passing of a law that would strip protected park areas of their status and open them to resort development. Some of these contentious sites lie adjacent to the Bayahibe hotels. Suarez had been a strong and vocal opponent to the law’s enactment.

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