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March 25, 2008
  • Burt Webber back for more treasures
  • World Poker Showdown at Ocean World
  • WATG to design Trump Condo Hotel
  • PGA kicks off 31 March at Cap Cana
  • NY Times Environmental Conference at Punta Cana
Burt Webber back for more treasures
The legendary Burt D. Webber Jr., the treasure hunter who made history in 1978 when he located the Spanish galleon Nuestra Senora de la Concepcion that sank in 1641 and recovered US$14 million in booty off Dominican waters, will be back to the Silver Bank with state-of-the-art shipwreck salvaging technology to search for new, even more valuable treasures. This time the US$2 million expedition will use the 128-foot Ocean Lady as its main exploration vessel, employing submarines for the ocean search. Webber is leading a 13-member crew that hopes to recover the rest of the Concepcion treasure.
Webber has introduced sophisticated new underwater magnetometer systems and housings, and gained a reputation as a meticulous researcher. He is credited for bringing shipwreck exploration and salvage to a high new state-of-the-art standard. Webber states, "The 21st century technology that we are now able to utilize is intended to cut down on survey time. We expect incredible accuracy from the technology on board."
Webber will carry out a five-month search of waters located 100 kms north of Puerto Plata. In 1978, Webber's expedition produced over 60,000 silver coins, bullion, gold chains and priceless artifacts, most of which are permanently exhibited in Santo Domingo's national museums.
His company, Marine Explorations Inc. reached an exclusive host country treasure-salvage contract with the Dominican government for exclusive rights to search national waters in the Silver Bank on the northeast coast of the DR. Webber estimates the treasure at more than US$100 million. Among the treasures are ornamental objects, gold chains and Ming Dynasty Chinese ceramics.
The story of the Concepcion is that after English pirates successfully captured the vessel, they themselves were shipwrecked in nearby waters. The Webber excursion seeks to recover the bounty on board the pirate ship that is located some 22 kms south of the Concepcion site. The pre-1688 treasure wreck is believed to be lying on the Navidad Bank, where cannons and bars were actually seen by Captain Swinstead in 1688, but were never recovered. More wrecks are expected to be located during the Concepcion treasure hunt. While the company will be concentrating on recovering the treasures of the Concepcion, in the long term it will explore 13 other shipwrecks have been located in the same area, as well as three early 16th Century caravel "impact" sites discovered by Webber three years later off of Isla Saona and Catalinita Reef in the approaches to the Mona Passage that separates the DR and Puerto Rico.
See www.mexp.biz
World Poker Showdown at Ocean World
Leading international gamblers will be in Puerto Plata this 9-18 May for the World Poker Showdown (WPS) Ocean World Casino Tournament. The WPS tournaments are characterized by using world class, professional staffing and regulations, but the events are noted for being fun and affordable, with generous prize pools, in warm, tropical and relaxing locations. The circuit includes poker tournament events on cruise ships and land-based casinos. The poker events target the tournament and no-limit cash game lovers of mainstream America. The WPS 2008 Caribbean Poker Tour has six stops. It begins with a Bahamas tournament, to follow with a Caribbean cruise, the stop in Ocean World (Cofresi, Puerto Plata), and then Panama, Costa Rica, St. Maarten and the Bahamas.
The Ocean World Casino is located in the Playa Cofresi Ocean World Water Park, just outside Puerto Plata, located on the north coast of the Dominican Republic, on the beautiful Island of Hispaniola. The trendy Sun Village Resort and Spa, as well as the Hacienda Resort and Vacation Club are within walking distance. In addition there are many private villas available from Crown Villas rentals and several private owners. Just five minutes away is the RIU mega resort featuring three hotels and regular transportation to the Ocean World complex. In Puerto Plata, several resorts offer regular bus transfers to the casino for Ocean World's Magical Nights program. Playa Dorada, Costa Dorado, with dozens of resorts ranging from all-inclusive to exclusive boutique hotels are also nearby... the north coast has something for everyone.
See www.dr1.com/directories/tourism/oceanworld_marina_casino.shtml
WATG to design Trump Condo Hotel
WATG, the world's leading hotel and destination design company, will be leaving its mark on the Dominican Republic. The Trump Organization and east coast luxury development Cap Cana recently announced that WATG would design the new Trump Condo Hotel at Cap Cana.
With an investment projected at several hundred million dollars, the 400,000-square-foot condo hotel will embrace the private 800-foot-long Coralina Beach, known for its breathtaking white-powder sand and turquoise-blue waters. The five-star project will include approximately 300 rooms in elegant apartments and villas, a 7,750 square-foot jacuzzi containing floating areas for massage and special treatment areas, a signature restaurant, beach club and 4,700 square feet of conference centers for meetings and special events.
WATG specializes in designing dreamlike destinations for the world's elite to escape to and is world famous through the success of previous projects such as Atlantis Paradise Island in the Bahamas, and the Bora Bora Hotel in French Polynesia.
First renowned for its renovation of the Royal Hawaiian Hotel in 1945, WATG has designed hotels and destinations in 157 countries in the past six decades. By focusing on a building's functionality as well as on design, WATG has now designed more hotels and resorts than any other company. Its main offices are in Honolulu, Irvine (California), Orlando, London, Seattle and Singapore.
In the DR, the company will be working with Puerto Rican architecture firm CMA Architects & Engineers and famous Dominican interior decorator Patricia Reid Baquero, who has already done much of the work at Cap Cana.
See www.watg.com
PGA kicks off 31 March at Cap Cana
Legends Tom Watson, Bernhard Langer, Jay Haas, Craig Stadler, Nick Price and other famous golfers are expected in the DR for the Cap Cana PGA Champions Tour set for 31 March-6 April. The Champions Tour groups golfers that are 50 years or older. It has been held since 1980 and its 29 events in 2008 have a purchase of US$54.7 million in prizes. The event to be held at the Jack Nicklaus Signature Course at the Punta Espada Golf Club at Cap Cana will have a US$2 million purse, with the winner collecting US$300,000. The event, which is being held in the DR for the first time, will include a clinic for young golfers and a Pro Am tournament. The Cap Cana Championship will be a 54-hole stroke-play tournament that will feature a 78-player field. The Golf Channel will broadcast all three rounds in the US and there will be extensive international coverage of the event. Cap Cana, a luxury residential vacation development, is located 10 minutes from the Punta Cana International Airport on the east coast of the DR.
NY Times Environmental Conference at Punta Cana
The New York Times is sponsoring its fourth environmental seminar for editors and journalists at the Punta Cana Foundation. The focus this year is on how environmental issues influence our daily lives: the links between environment, economics and business. Through lectures, discussions and workshops, the program presents reporters and editors with the latest information available, the critical issues they will face, and models for how one might report on environmental change and the economic and business consequences of various environmental issues. The goal is to raise the level of dialogue and reporting in these areas so that policy makers and the voting public can make informed decisions about the way they manage environmental change and thus their future. Now in its fourth year, the workshop is funded by the New York Times Company Foundation, Nurture New York's Nature and the Puntacana Ecological Foundation.

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