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November 7, 2006
  • First scheduled flights to El Catey
  • Jack Nicklaus to inaugurate course
  • Coral is no longer a Hilton
  • Modern hotel for new city center
First scheduled flights to El Catey
A LTU flight from Dusseldorf, Germany became the inaugural flight of El Catey International Airport at Samana (AZS) when it arrived on Monday, 6 November at 7 :10 pm. Condor has scheduled flight No. DE2248 departing from Frankfurt International scheduled to arrive on Tuesday, 7 November at 8:05pm. The first return Condor flight to Frankfurt, DE2249, is scheduled to depart at 8:55pm.
Air Transat is scheduled to fly once a week every Sunday from Toronto to Samana, starting 24 December through 29 April 2007. The airline has also scheduled once-weekly flights from Montreal to Samana. Skyservice and Sunwing will also be flying from several cities in Canada.
El Catey International Airport is less than half an hour drive from Samana city and it is the first time major jets will be able to land less than a four hour drive away.
A US$70 million private investment by Aerodom that also operates Las Americas International Airport (SDQ) and Gregorio Luperon International Airport (POP), the new airport will primarily serve the northeastern population and resort destinations of the country. It is especially attractive to tourists headed to Playa Grande, Rio San Juan, and Cabrera, and the Las Terrenas, Samana city and Las Galeras areas of Samana.
Jack Nicklaus to inaugurate course
Jack Nicklaus will be in Cap Cana on 7-8 November for the inaugural celebrations for his signature golf course, Punta Espada Golf Course at the real estate development project, Cap Cana in the Punta Cana area. The Golden Bear, as the legendary golfer is known, will tour the 18 holes of the course on foot on Wednesday, 8 November, in the company of Cap Cana executives and the press. Nicklaus is scheduled to tee off at 9:45am for his stroke-by-stroke descriptive tour of his newest course. He will give details on the complexities of playing each hole, and will play against himself. This will be considered the inaugural game of the course.
Afterwards, a luncheon will be held at the Playa Caleton beach club. At 2:30pm, Cap Cana will inaugurate the Golf Club House.
Under construction in Cap Cana is the first Golden Bear Lodge, and two more signature golf courses are planned for future years. The company has announced that a first phase of the marina will be in operation in December, with 72 docks for yachts of up to 100 feet. Founding partners and buyers in the Villas Caleton beach villas area have begun to receive their new homes at the 120 million meter property with five kilometers of beach, just a 15-minute drive from the Punta Cana International Airport. The first hotel in the complex, the Altabella Sanctuary Cap Cana, is scheduled for a February opening.
Coral is no longer a Hilton
Coral Hotels & Resorts and Hilton Hotels Corporation announced that effective 31 October the Coral by Hilton brand would be dissolved after a three-year relationship. Hilton president Matthew Hart described the relationship as successful, and Simon Suarez, executive vice president of Coral Hotels said the de-branding was a mutually agreed and amicable decision. Coral by Hilton operated four all-inclusive hotels in the DR - Boca Chica, Juan Dolio, Bayahibe and Puerto Plata.
DR1 sources indicate the properties have been purchased by a sister company of the Spanish airline, Air Europa. The sale of the hotels is part of the divesting the new Dominican monetary rules require of finance conglomerates. The hotels were owned by an affiliate of the BHD bank.
Modern hotel for new city center
InterContinental Hotels Group, the world's largest hotel group by number of rooms, will operate the new Holiday Inn Express Hotel and Suites Santo Domingo, slated for opening at the end of 2007. The new hotel site is the corner of Abraham Lincoln Avenue and Rafael Augusto Sanchez Street in the bustling new commercial and residential district of Santo Domingo, yet lacking of a major hotel. This would be a 7-story, 145-room hotel. IHG already manages the InterContinental V Centenario on the Malecon in Santo Domingo.
Holiday Inn Express, launched in the US in 1991, is one of the fastest growing hotel brands in the budget segment with over 1,631 hotels worldwide as of June 2006, and opening on average two hotels a week. The brand appeals to business and active leisure travelers. The hotels are limited service and breakfast is included in the rate.
The Holiday Inn Express Hotel & Suites Santo Domingo will have a business center, outdoor swimming pool, spa, fitness center, and four meeting rooms.
"We are excited to expand the Holiday Inn Express brand in one of the most vibrant cities in the Caribbean, further demonstrating IHG's commitment to expanding its brands in key cities within Latin America," says Alvaro Diago, area president of InterContinental Hotels Group Latin America. "Additionally, this is our second hotel with Inverplata S.A., who also owns the venerable InterContinental V Centenario Santo Domingo, and we are thrilled to continue furthering our relationship with them."
"We are very proud to be developing one of IHG's fastest growing brands in our magnificent city of Santo Domingo; a city that has the richest products, culture and history in the entire Caribbean," says Pierre Nahas of Inverplata S.A. "We believe this new venture will not only benefit us and IHG, but it will also benefit the tourism industry as well as the economic interests of the region."

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