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March 7, 2006
  • Chocolatera gets closer to becoming a reality
  • North Coast Management adds new properties
  • Big names booked for Altos de Chavon
  • More tourists arriving
  • Venezuela hammered by DR team in Classic
Chocolatera gets closer to becoming a reality
The Cluster of Puerto Plata, an association of stakeholders in the cultural community and tourism industry in Puerto Plata, has moved ahead with its plan to convert a disused chocolate factory into a major cultural center with the participation of French architect Leo Orellana in an event organized with the support of the Ministry of Culture at the Casa de Cultura in the city of Puerto Plata. Deputy minister in charge of cultural heritage, Jose Enrique Delmonte Sone attended the event. Also present were artists, cultural promoters, the Sociedad Cultural Renovacion and the Fundacion Atlantica. During his address, Orellana explained that the next step is to assess the present state of the building's 3,000m2 metallic structure, which is over 8m in height. Orellana spoke enthusiastically about the site's potential for becoming a major venue for artistic and cultural events in Puerto Plata. He told his audience that the structure "had soul, like the people of Puerto Plata." He told his audience: "When one enters this structure, it's impossible not to be moved. There is something special about it. It is a metallic building in good condition but it needs the studies before it is altered".
Leo Orellana is a member of afaa.asso.fr
The event was organized by the Ministry of Culture and sponsored by the French embassy in the DR, the Tourism-Cultural Cluster of Puerto Plata, Sociedad Cultural Renovacion and the Fundacion Atlantica, Inc.
Orellana is coordinator of the Program for the Revitalization of Historic Centers of Latin America and the Caribbean, under the auspices of the French Agency for Artistic Action of the Ministry of Foreign Relations of France.
North Coast Management adds new properties
North Coast Management, the leading property management firm in the Cabrera, Playa Grande area, recently was selected by the new exclusive gated community, Sea Tree Estates for the management of its first property, Villa Cantamar. The company also recently added Villa Anacaona, another in a series of luxury villas now available in the Playa Grande area. North Coast Management provides specialized professional property management and villa rental services to the luxury vacation villas being developed between Rio San Juan and Las Terrenas, Samana. With a full-time staff of management, concierge, accounting and maintenance professionals, North Coast Management is unique because it places property and villa management at the forefront of its business mission. North Coast Management also currently provides selected services to Villa Castellamonte, Villa Flying Cloud, Villa Costa Norte and Villa Agualinda. The company was founded in 2005 by Michelle Matthews. DR1 Travel News had mistakenly last week mentioned Sheila Jacobs as founder of the company. Jacobs, together with Lynn Kramer, are the developers of the new Sea Tree Estates. North Coast Management may be contacted at www.northcoastmanagement.com or Tel. (809) 589-7065.
Big names booked for Altos de Chavon
Altos de Chavon, the artists' village overlooking Chavon River in La Romana, is hosting an impressive list of performers at its 5,000-person amphitheater this spring. Booked for the 25 March is the very popular Aventura bachata band, to be followed on Easter Saturday, 15 April by Marc Anthony, the Latin-pop singer who is married to J-Lo. And, going mainstream, rock will also have its evening, with Sting booked for a Wednesday, 26 April performance, according to a report in Listin Diario. Altos de Chavon's amphitheater opened with a 20 August 1982 concert by the late Frank Sinatra, and has since been a prime site for contemporary music performances in the country. In addition to the big name performers it attracts, the village of Altos de Chavon has an array of shops, restaurants and museums, attracting a large number of tourists. Chavon also houses the Altos de Chavon Art School, which is affliliated with Parsons School of Design of New York.
More tourists arriving
Air arrivals of foreign tourists increased by 6.7% in January with a total of 19,820 passengers more than January 2005, when 296,832 tourists entered the country, according to statistics released by the Central Bank. This year the number was 316,652 in January. Add another 39,595 non-resident Dominicans, down from 39,914 last year, for an overall total of non-resident tourists, 367,247 this January.
Punta Cana International Airport continued to lead in number of arrivals, with 161,035, followed by Puerto Plata with 68,406, Las Americas International with 47,092, La Romana is showing 31,392 arrivals, Cibao posts 8,198 and Herrera (now replaced by La Isabela Airport) is showing 529 arrivals in January.
In January most tourists came from Canada, or 84,098, followed by the United States with 82,095, France with 37,815, Italy with 16,230, UK with 15,950 and Spain 15,105.
See http://www.bancentral.gov.do/estadisticas.asp?a=Sector_Turismo (only downloadable using Microsoft Explorer browser).
Venezuela hammered by DR team in Classic
The first-time all Major League player Dominican baseball team proved too much for Venezuela's pitchers. The batting powerhouse of David Ortiz and Adrian Beltre, drove in the homeruns to the delight of Dominican fans. This was the DR's most important game in Group D of the World Baseball Classic. The DR is to play Australia and Italy next, both countries without baseball tradition. See the DR1 commentaries on the games at http://dr1.com/forums/forumdisplay.php?f=48

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