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July 15, 2008
  • Cruise tourism increases to Santo Domingo
  • Cabarete Windsurf Classic
  • Casa de Campo stats
  • New Pete Dye course at Casa
Cruise tourism increases to Santo Domingo
Luis Molina, executive director of Sans Souci Ports that manages the Santo Domingo cruise port, says that the arrival of 34 ships and 70,000 cruise ship passengers for the 2007-2008 cruise ship season proves the popularity of the Santo Domingo stop. He broke down cruise ship arrivals as 38% from Latin America, 33% European, 27% from US and Canada, and 2% from other countries. He said that the Port of Santo Domingo is now regarded as a modern terminal that is prepared to receive tourists from all over the world. The cruise season lasts seven months. The next season begins in October and will end in April 2009. Molina forecast 82,000 cruise ship passengers would visit Santo Domingo for the October 08-April 09 season, on board 40 ships that have been scheduled to dock. This would be 12,000 more than this year. He said their goal is to make Santo Domingo Port "the most modern port in the region."
According to a study by the Florida Caribbean Cruise Association, each tourist that arrived in Santo Domingo via cruise ship spent an average of US$80.00 per person. He estimates that overall the tourists spent RD$191.5 million during the 2007-2008 season, a boom for the city of Santo Domingo.
Cabarete Windsurf Classic
Race preparations are finalized for the 2008 Cabarete Classic that will take place 17-20 July at Cabarete Beach in Puerto Plata. Registration is set for Thursday and Friday, on the beach stretch in front of Vela.
The Cabarete Classic is described as the most important windsurf competition in the Dominican Republic, and is one of Cabarete's largest annual gatherings. The event was first held in 2006 as a means of keeping the spirit of windsurfing alive in the town and reuniting friends from all over the globe to enjoy the winds of Cabarete together. Last year, the event had over 70 racers competing, of which over half came from outside the country. Participating countries included the Caribbean islands of Aruba, Bonaire, and Curacao, as well as numerous competitors from the United States, Canada, and Europe.
This year, event organizers expect to have double the number of competitors. The event is both a homecoming for friends and past residents of the area, as well as an attractive tourist draw for newcomers to the island.
The Cabarete Classic is four days long, and offers racing categories for competitors of all ages and abilities. Last year's categories included: Mini-Juniors; Juniors; Slalom and Formula in both Sport and Open classes; Women's Slalom; a Business Class (for local business owners), and a Freestyle competition. Two new categories will be added to the 2008 program, a Master's class and an Olympic class.
This year, the event will also incorporate Pablito Guzman's Watersports Team, sponsored in part by The DREAM Project and Vela Resorts, which is comprised of disadvantaged youth from the local elementary schools. Under the direction of Pablito Guzman, this team was formed in the past year to offer local students the opportunity to build self-confidence and learn a new sport that is an integral part of the local economy. Event organizers are pleased to include these team members in the racing program for 2008.
While the Cabarete Classic is primarily a windsurfing competition, event festivities will not end at sundown - each night, programming will continue with special dinners, concerts, and other gatherings for racers, fans, and their families, as well as members of the press. These events are designed to bring visitors and community members together to enjoy the entertainment and good fun the town has to offer.
See http://www.cabarete-classic.com
Also see the Puerto Plata section of our hotel directory for suggestions on where to stay. http://www.dr1.com/directories/index.shtml#Hotels_Resorts
Casa de Campo stats
As of March 2008, there were 1,488 villas in Casa de Campo, making it by far the largest gated community in the country. Opened in 1972, the resort & residential community as experienced steady growth throughout the new. Casa de Campo News reports that there are 68 new villas under construction at the 15,000-acre resort. The newsletter explains that much of the new growth has taken place in the Altos section, around the Dye Fore Golf Course. In 2005, the opening of the new area added 7,000 acres for residential development.
In December 2007, the company began construction of an additional 9-hole golf course next to the back-nine of Dye Fore, as reported in Casa de Campo News.
More is coming. "As the original 7,000 acres of Casa de Campo reach maturity with only two developments left in La Catalina and the expansion of Barranca Oeste, the company has its sights on these new 8,000 acres for the resorts' steady and continued growth," Casa de Campo News reports. When the new 9-hole golf course is completed, Costasur plans to relocate the horse ranch and develop a vast area for horse estates and trails. A modern equestrian center will be built with trails throughout. Then, for the first time 4-acre lots will be offered.
New Pete Dye course at Casa
Pete Dye, who designed the Teeth of the Dog golf course that put Casa de Campo and the Dominican Republic on the international golfing map, is building another one in Casa de Campo. Earlier this year, Costasur Dominican began construction of the 5th golf course at Casa de Campo. Casa de Campo News reports that as of May, most of the rough layout had been completed. A driving range, 400 yards long by 200 yards wide, will be built as well as a clubhouse and a pro shop. This course's man challenges will be the water hazards. The large lakes are being created from the rock extraction that went into building the second breakwater at the Marina as well as the reef of the Ribera del Rio condos. So far, the longest hole will be the Par 5 number 3 and the shortest will be Par 3 number 7 at 200 yards. The tee of hole 4 will be surrounded by water and the Par 4 No. 5 at 420 yards will have a teee 110 yards long. Par 3 No. 7, will play over water. No. 8 is a short par 4 with 390 yards. Plans are for the completion of the course by summer of 2009.
Pete Dye was inducted into the Golf Hall of Fame in St. Augustine, Florida in May.

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