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May 26, 2009
  • Southwest considers DR
  • Juan Marichal honored in Cooperstown
  • Barahona gets attention
  • Jazz at Casa de Teatro
Southwest considers DR
Ken Hassard, commercial director for Aerodom, the operator of the Las Americas International Airport, has confirmed that Southwest, the airline that transported the most passengers in the US last year, is seriously considering flying to Santo Domingo this year from Washington, D.C./Baltimore (BWI) Airport. This would allow people in Washington, Maryland and Virginia to fly to the DR non-stop for the first time.
Cid Wilson, former president of the Dominican American Roundtable sees more in the opportunity. "Since BWI is a major hub for Southwest Airlines, they will be able to capture passengers from Rhode Island, Long Island (New York) and Chicago (since Southwest also has a hub at Chicago-Midway Airport), all of which have largest 1st, 2nd and 3rd generation Dominican communities," he explains.
Furthermore he says that the Dominican community, while it's true that it's growing, is not large enough in Texas, Arizona or Nevada for those other hubs to play a significant role, but regular American tourist passengers from those regions could take advantage of the airline and connect through BWI. He expects the airline would keep its brand identity as a low-cost airline and make connecting cost-effective, enticing new travelers. "I would expect their fairs to be competitive which is what they are known for," he says.
Making matters even better, Southwest has already announced the start of its New York La Guardia and Chicago Midway daily nonstops and three daily nonstops between LGA and BWI for 28 June. This would potentially allow it to capture passengers from the New York area in the future, for continuing service onto Santo Domingo. Note that Southwest announced fares of US$49 on the Chicago-NY connection. Wilson understands that a BWI-SDQ (or a BWI-STI) could give Southwest a strategic opportunity to take advantage of the growing Dominican population in the Northeast and Chicago and take some market share from competitors.
Juan Marichal honored in Cooperstown
The National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum has honored Dominican baseball with a new permanent exhibit in Cooperstown, New York entitled ?Viva Baseball!
The exhibit recognizes the Latin American impact on baseball through a celebration of Caribbean countries and players. The region has produced 29% of the players on Major League Baseball's 2009 Opening Day rosters.
Hall of Famers Orlando Cepeda of Puerto Rico and Juan Marichal of the Dominican Republic participated in the opening of the exhibit.
Viva Baseball! features nearly 150 artifacts and a state-of-the-art multimedia presentation celebrating the Latin love affair with baseball that has spanned nearly 150 years of history. The exhibit focuses on the rich baseball traditions of the major baseball-playing areas of the region: Cuba, the Dominican Republic, Mexico, Puerto Rico and Venezuela.
Barahona gets attention
The Ministry of Tourism has launched a new strategic tourism development plan for the southwestern province of Barahona. The new plan, Plan de Ordenamiento Territorial Turistico Barahona 2015, will include the construction of a cable car, Santa Elena del Curro, and other projects that will help increase tourism and fight poverty in the region. The plan will focus on developing "green tourism" in Barahona. Some 100 ecotourist routes are being rehabilitated to connect tourists to the many points of interest, including the Magnetic Pole, Bahia de las Aguilas, the Jaragua Park and the Lago Enriquillo, among others. Also part of the plan is to turn the maritime port into a cruiseship terminal, as well as the remodeling the Malecon and its surrounding areas.
Jazz at Casa de Teatro
One of the best ambiences in town happens at Casa de Teatro for the summer jazz festival the bohemian cultural center celebrates every year. From 18 June to 30 July, expects some of the best jazz in the Caribbean, right in the Colonial City at the Casa de Teatro. Eight jazz groups from the Americas and Europe are on the summer jazz festival, Casa de Teatro Jazz Festival. They are coming from Cuba, Argentina, the United States, France, Spain and the DR for this 10th year of the jazz festival. This year the festival will be dedicated to Guillo Carias, recognized as a living legend of jazz in the Dominican Republic. Coming this year is Roberto Carcasse and his trio from Cuba, Bryan Lynch, from the US, Paula Shoron and trio from Argentina. From Europe, Spaniard Natalia Calderon, from France Ossia Saxophons. Guillo Carias will be playing with Rafael Mirabal and Sistema TEmperano and Patricia Pereyra will be on stage. The presentations take place at the Cristobal de Llerena hall, with a giant screen outside in the Cafe Teatro.
On 4 July there will be a special concert at the Plaza Bartolme de las Casas, with Bryan Lunch. Tickets are for sale for RD$350 for hall performance, and RD$200 for the Cafe Teatro.
This year's schedule is:
* June
18 Roberto Carcasse and his trio (Cuba)
25 Rafael Mirabal and Sistema Temperado (Rep. Dom.)
* July
2 Patricia Pereyra (Rep Dom)
4 Bryan Lynch (USA)
9 Ossia Saxsophons (Francia)
16 Natalia Calderon Quartet (Espana)
23 Guillo Carias y su grupo (Rep. Dom.)
30 Paula Shokron y su trio (Argentina)

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