November 16, 2004
  • Westin to be built in Macao
  • Major league players in action
  • Star Airlines adds Punta Cana from Paris
  • Caribbean Sun Airlines to fly to San Juan
Westin to be built in Macao
President Leonel Fernandez traveled to Macao last Thursday, 11 November for the ground-breaking ceremony of the hotel and residential complex, the Westin-operated Roco Ki Beach & Golf Resort, north of the Punta Cana area. The future five-star establishment calls for an initial investment of US$122 million over a 1.2 million square meter area. A second phase will see development of two million square meters. The developers have a purchase option for another eight million meters with a potential investment of US$400 million in hotel and residential property.
In its first phase, the Westin will have 296 luxury rooms, at least 40 condominiums, 115 residential units, sports facilities and a Taino Indian museum. The resort will also feature an 18-hole Nick Faldo-designed championship golf course, spa, and conference center. The vacation center will primarily target the US and Canadian luxury tourist market, including Latin expatriates.
According to Chicago architect Richard Knorr, the president of the Chicago architect firm Richard Knorr International, the DR is “essentially an untapped luxury hospitality destination relative to its potential.”
Knorr first came to the DR when he was hired as the lead design architect on the construction of the Citibank Tower at the Acropolis, the tallest high-rise in the country.
He says that the DR’s greatest asset is its warm, friendly people and its rich cultural heritage.
Knorr said that his company has a commitment to respect the environment and the local culture. According to him, their designs strive to adapt to nature, and not to have nature adapt to the development.
In addition to Knorr, also present for the groundbreaking ceremony was Eduardo Fernandez for Starwood Hotels & Resorts, the owners of the Westin hotel brand.
The development is the third upscale residential community that has been announced for the area, following in the footsteps of the Punta Cana Resort & Club and Cap Cana.
Major league players in action
As of the second half of this month, and as the Dominican Winter Baseball Regular Season enters into its final phase, several Dominicans who play in the Major League are gradually joining their teams. Among the names being mentioned are Enrique Wilson (NY Yankees), Alberto Reyes (St Louis Cardinals), Juan Uribe (Chicago White Sox), Josias Manzanillo (Florida Marlins), Neifi Perez (San Francisco Giants) and even David Ortiz (Boston Red Sox) for the Escogido. The team is still holding out hope that Adrian Beltre and Moises Alou (Chicago Cubs) may also play some games for them.
The Tigres del Licey, currently in second place, may have Timo Perez (Mets), Ron Belliard (Cleveland), Jose Offerman (Minnesota), D’Angelo Jimenez (Cincinnati) and pitchers Francis Beltran (Chicago Cubs), Felix Diaz (Chicago White Sox) and Ramon Ortiz (Anaheim) on their side, in addition to Vladimir Guerrero (Anaheim) and Jose Guillen (Anaheim).
The Aguilas hope Miguel Tejada (Baltimore Orioles) and Tony Batista (Montreal) may play some games for them.
Pitcher Bartolome Fortunato (Mets) has already joined the Gigantes del Cibao. The Gigantes are also announcing that Jose Reyes (Mets), Pedro Feliz (San Francisco) will join their roster.
The Estrellas have included on their list of players Felix Jose (Arizona), Julio Franco (Braves), Armando Benitez (Marlins), Alfonso Soriano (Texas Rangers), Julio Lugo (Tampa Bay), Pedro Astacio (Boston) and Esteban Yan (Detroit).
And for the Toros del Este, Angel Berroa (Kansas City Royals), the rookie of the year for the American League will be playing for the team. Other Major League players on the team are Daniel Cabrera (Baltimore) Jerry Gil (Arizona), Luis Terrero (Arizona) and Greg Aquino (Arizona), who will play several games.
Star Airlines adds Punta Cana from Paris
Star Airlines has added Punta Cana to its schedule to the DR. The airline also promotes its connections to the La Romana and Puerto Plata airports. As reported on the DR1 Airline Info Forum, the French aviation company has scheduled new regular service from Paris to Punta Cana (CDG-PUJ-CDG).
The company that celebrates its 10th anniversary in 2005, transported 826 thousand passengers in 2003.
The seasonal service is flying from 6 November to 26 March 2005. The schedule is:
SE 028 6 CDG2A PUJ 310P 740P 0 06NOV04 26MAR05 332 9:30
SE 036 3 CDG2A PUJ 900A 425P 1 22DEC04 23MAR05 332 12:25
SE 036 3 PUJ CDG2A 625P 800A+1 0 22DEC04 23MAR05 332 8:35
SE 029 6 PUJ CDG2A 950P 1125A+1 0 06NOV04 19MAR05 332 8:35
Caribbean Sun Airlines to fly to San Juan
Caribbean Sun Airlines has plans to join American Eagle, American Airlines and Pan American in offering direct flights to San Juan, Puerto Rico starting next month. The route is presently the most profitable route for airlines flying to the Dominican Republic, as rates charged for the half hour trek by jet are comparable to those charged for the longer flights to New York and Miami.
Caribbean Sun Airlines has requested permission from the Civil Aviation Board to fly to Antigua from Santo Domingo’s Las Americas International Airport. The airline has also requested permission to fly to San Juan, Puerto Rico from the international airports of Santo Domingo (Las Americas), Santiago (Cibao) and Puerto Plata (Gregorio Luperon). A Civil Aviation Board hearing is scheduled for Wednesday, 24 November.
Caribbean Sun Airlines has plans to initiate service to Santiago, starting the first week of December in order to take advantage of the holiday traffic. The airline has plans to operate two round trips a day, using a 37 passenger, De Havilland Dash-8 aircraft, as reported on the DR1 Airline Info Forum.

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