Travel Weekly’s Caribbean E-letter: Feb. 26, 2008

ON APRIL 1, Air Jamaica will eliminate its thrice-weekly service from New York’s Kennedy Airport to St. Lucia via Barbados, as part of a corporate restructuring program. The carrier launched the service in January 2007. In addition, Air Jamaica will eliminate its three weekly nonstops between Jamaica and St. Lucia. However, the carrier has no further plans “at this time” to cut additional routes, according to Paul Pennicook, senior vice president of marketing and sales. The St. Lucia route had experienced a drop in market share as nonstop services on other carriers from U.S. gateways had increased. St. Lucia currently is served by American from New York and Miami; American Eagle from San Juan; Delta from Atlanta; and US Airways from Philadelphia and Charlotte, N.C.

DEVELOPMENT PLANS have been announced for the Royal Oasis Resort in Freeport, Grand Bahama Island, which has been closed since September 2004 after hurricanes Frances and Jeanne inflicted severe damage on the property. Harcourt Developments (Bahamas), the new owner of the property, has partnered with Foxwoods Development Co. to renovate and reopen the resort. Foxwoods is the commercial gaming entity of the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation, whose businesses include Foxwoods Resort Casino in southeastern Connecticut. Plans are underway to redevelop the Royal Oasis site as soon as possible. Once the property is renovated and expanded, the resort will offer more than 650 hotel rooms and suites, a casino, convention/meetings facilities, a spa, a fitness center, restaurants, retail shops and recreation facilities. The two on-site golf courses also will be restored.

DONALD TRUMP plans to build a $600 million golf complex in Rio Grande on Puerto Rico’s north coast, near El Yunque National Park, approximately 45 minutes east of San Juan. The Trump International Golf Club, to be developed with local construction company Empresas Diaz, will include 500 residences on a 1,000-acre site near the tropical rain forest. Developers will renovate a golf course, known as Coco Beach Golf & Country Club, and open a new clubhouse before March 17, when the 36-hole course will host the first Puerto Rico Open, a PGA Tour event, from March 17 to 23. Trump’s first villas in the golf complex will have starting prices from $1.4 million and will include access to a private jet, a yacht and limousine service. Trump said he would consider additional investments in the future, including a possible return to Puerto Rico of the Miss Universe Pageant that he co-owns with NBC. The pageant was last held on the island in 2002.

PENCIL IT IN
• 18th Annual Moonsplash 2008, March 27 to 30, Anguilla. The reggae festival will be hosted by Anguilla’s Bankie Banx at Dune Preserve Beach Club on Rendezvous Bay. An all-performance pass is priced at $80. For details, visit www.bankiebanx.net.
• Saborea Puerto Rico: A Culinary Extravaganza, April 4 to 6, Isla Verde beach in the Carolina district of San Juan. The event will include master chef demonstrations, wine seminars, kids’ kitchens, a tasting pavilion and off-site visits to a coffee plantation and local markets. For details, visit www.prhta.org.
• 4th Annual Plymouth Jazz Festival and Pan Jazz “in de Yard” 2008, April 25 to 27, Tobago. The musical lineup includes Whitney Houston, Diana Ross, Shakira, Rod Stewart and reggae band Steel Pulse. For details, visit www.tobagojazzfest.com.

Caribbean Editor: Gay Nagle Myers
Phone:
(201) 902-1924
[email protected]
For promotional opportunities in the E-letters, contact [email protected].

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