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December 6, 2005
  • Ocean World Marina opens early due to demand
  • Playa Naco Resort & Spa is brand new
  • Venezuelan link to Puerto Plata
  • Britney Spears to record movie in DR
  • New tourist cards
  • Sponsors needed for surfers
Ocean World Marina opens early due to demand
The grand opening of the Ocean World Marina and Casino, which are being built next to Puerto Plata's Ocean World Water Park is scheduled for August 2006. But due to high demand, Ocean World Marina is already servicing boaters. Given that the marina is still under construction, boaters enjoy price on dockage. Multiple size yachts (85-123 footers) have requested permission to dock at the port built adjacent to the Cofresi, Puerto Plata Ocean World Water Park. Electricity and pumped fuel sales for the first phase section of the marina are expected to be hooked up in February 2006, but in the meantime, fuel sales are currently done via tanker truck. For more information, go to http://www.oceanworldmarina.com or call 809 970-3374 for details.
Playa Naco Resort & Spa is brand new
The brand new Hotel Playa Naco Resort & Spa opened on 1 December, in time for the 2005-2006 winter season. Located in Playa Dorada, Puerto Plata, the resort has 414 rooms right on the beach. Five restaurants and four bars are part of the hotel's facilities. For more details on this fully renovated hotel, see http://dr1.com/directories/hotels/playa_naco.shtml
Venezuelan link to Puerto Plata
As of 25 May 2006, leading Venezuelan airline Aeropostal will be flying to Puerto Plata International Airport. Aeropostal offers connections to Caracas, Valencia and Maracaibo in Venezuela; to Bogota and Medellin in Colombia; and to Lima, Peru. Aeropostal president Nelson Ramiz, took part in a meeting held at the Viva Wyndham Playa Dorada. Also present were Tourism Minister Felix Jimenez, Deputy Minister Cesar Jose de los Santos, Playa Dorada Hotel Association president Rafael Silverio, among other key representatives of the Dominican tourist sector.
Aeropostal will fly from Caracas on Thursdays and Sundays with a 30-minute stopover in Curacao. The schedule permits connections for passengers flying in from Lima, Bogota and Medellin. MD80 141-seater planes will be used. Aeropostal will open an office in Puerto Plata to service its passengers. Meanwhile, for more information, contact Luisa Bustamante, general manager of Aeropostal at luisa.bustamante@aeropostal.com
Britney Spears to record movie in DR
Internet sources reveal that pop singer Britney Spears will be the next superstar to visit the Dominican Republic at the beginning of 2006. During his recent visit to the country to attend the November Puerto Plata film festival, movie director Randal Kleiser said that the so-called princess of pop, now turned proud new mother, would be visiting the country early in the new year to tour sites where the film she is due to star in will be shot. Randal indicated that this would be Britney's third movie role. She played a minor part in Austin Powers, and took the leading role in the movie "Crossroads". Kleiser's "Lovewrecked", a romantic comedy that was filmed in Puerto Plata, is due for release soon.
See http://www.britneyimages.com/
New tourist cards
Hang on to that credit card-sized tourist card you receive when you arrive in the country until departure, or pay a US$10 penalty fee. Some immigration officials are stapling it to passports. The Department of Taxes (DGII) recently started issuing the new cards, reportedly in coordination with a private company. While the procedures for the purchase of the new colored card are simple for the independent traveler, they have created chaos for major tour operators that had purchased large numbers of the old forms for expedite entrance of their passengers. The government has said that the expiration date for the old format is 31 December, but seeing as stock in the hands of several tour operators is enough to last many more weeks, this may have to be extended. The procedure calls for an extra form-filling step but is being implemented to avoid forging and fraudulent sales of the document. The new cards have an electronic chip that activates a card reader when swiped at the airport. Each passenger's information is collected by the passengers filling out an embarkation/disembarkation form. At the present time, the new cards are only for sale at Dominican ports of arrival, but the plan is to distribute them abroad through Dominican government missions.
Sponsors needed for surfers
The Dominican Surf Federation has not been able to secure sponsorship for their team to represent the country in the Pan American Surf Games to be held in Peru in January 2006. With the deadline approaching, the surfers who won the right to represent the country in the grueling national competitions held throughout 2005, may have to stay at home, despite being in great shape to be one of the favorites at the Pan American Games. All donations towards the team's trip are appreciated. The Puerto Plata Surf Association is going public with the problem, because most of the best surfers are from Puerto Plata. For more information and to help the surfers, contact Ricardo Ripoll, Phillip Lehman or Christin Birkhan at aspp2@hotmail.com

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