Magnum Belize enters Aruba market "I recognized, for Magnum to grow, I had to have more than one destination." -- president Jack Chivers By Amy Spiezio / December 30, 1998 Share 1 -- DETROIT LAKES, Minn. -- Magnum Belize here is moving into the Aruba market with the creation of Magnum Aruba. The new firm, started this year, represents 12 properties on the island.The two destinations complement each other, according to Jack Chivers, president. Magnum Belize's clients were looking for a change from the soft-adventure tours of Belize, and the new firm provides a more resort-oriented leisure offering, he said.The new business is expected to comprise up to 25% of combined Magnum sales in its first season and up to 60% in the second season, he said.Magnum Aruba is a FIT wholesaler and not a tour operator, Chivers said. Travel agents can call Magnum, and its representatives will make recommendations and custom design packages.Magnum Belize has been in operation for 14 years and is the nation's largest wholesaler, according to Chivers. He said the firm has relationships with 44 resorts in Belize.Magnum Belize also works with Continental and Taca as air providers for Belize. Continental has increased its number of flights to Aruba, and the expansion played a role in Magnum's move to Aruba.After Hurricane Mitch narrowly missed Belize, Chivers said, diversification took on increased importance. "It's a great consideration when you've got 11 employees wondering if your going to be in business tomorrow," he said.That concern, along with requests from clients, prompted further research into the prospect of expansion. "I recognized, for Magnum to grow, I had to have more than one destination," he said.Unlike Belize, which features a hotel portfolio made up of what Chivers described as mom-and-pop operations, Aruba is home to chain resorts that include Hyatt, Wyndham and Sonesta.Magnum Aruba is working with a dozen resorts, representing a cross section of properties from budget to upscale. Airlift is provided by Continental and Air Aruba.Each of Magnum's representatives visit all the properties each year, Chivers said. In addition, the firm keeps in touch with each of the properties in Belize daily, a practice expected to continue in Aruba.Future plans include expansion in Central America and the Caribbean, Chivers said, noting that Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, is likely to be added.Magnum Aruba offers a base commission of 10%, which climbs to 15% as volume increases.Along with advertising, Magnum will promote its expanded offerings through its Magnum Aruba Web site, magnumaruba.com.Magnum Aruba Phone: (800) 447-2931Firm represents 12 propertiesDETROIT LAKES, Minn. -- Magnum Aruba works with 12 hotels on the island. The following is a rundown of the properties and rates. Nightly rates are per person, double, through April 6.Aruba Grand Beach Resort and Casino, $129.Aruba Sonesta Resort, $82.Aruba Sonesta Suites, $95.Bushiri Beach Resort (inclusive) $150.Caribbean Town Beach, $68.50.Divi Aruba Beach Resort Mega All-Inclusive, $190.Divi Tamarjin Resort $160.Hyatt Regency Aruba Resort & Casino, $177.50.Manchebo Beach Resort, $90.Radisson Grand Aruba Resort Spa & Casino, $162.50.The Mill Resort, $80.Wyndham Hotel & Resort, $152.In addition, the Magnum Aruba offers three-night packages for Monday-through-Thursday travel. The deals include roundtrip air fare from Miami to Aruba, lodgings and hotel taxes.Prices for the inclusive packages are $880 per person, double, at the Tamarjin Beach Resort and $850 at the Bushiri Beach Resort. Other lodging packages are the Mill Resort, $683; Aruba Grand Beach Resort, $888, and Manchebo Beach, $717.69.