Travel Weeklys Mexico E-letter: February 8, 2006

THE MENS PROFESSIONAL GOLF ASSOCIATION (PGA) announced it will stage the tours first-ever official-money event in Mexico next year, on the Riviera Maya. The $3.5 million Mayakoba Classic will be contested in late February 2007 on the 7,067-yard El Camaleon course at the Mayakoba Resort, a $2 billion mixed-use resort development that includes the Fairmont Mayakoba, Rosewood Resorts Laguna Kai (opening in 2007) and the Banyan Tree Mayakoba (opening in 2007), among other luxury properties. Felix Gonzalez Canto, governor of the state of Quintana Roo, which includes Cancun and the Riviera Maya, called golf  a growing and important component of the regions overall tourism product. The El Camaleon course was designed by golfer Greg Norman and is managed by Fairmont Hotels and Resorts. The event, which will feature 132 players vying for a first-place check for $630,000, will be televised on the Golf Channel.

UNITED AIRLINES said it will launch service between Chicago and Puerto Vallarta and Los Angeles and Cancun, starting March 4. The weekly Saturday flight between Chicago and Puerto Vallarta is scheduled to increase to daily service starting Dec. 15. The weekly Saturday flight between Los Angeles and Cancun will switch to Uniteds low-cost carrier, Ted, and increase to daily service on June 8.

THE RIU PALACE RIVIERA MAYA opened near Playa del Carmen on Feb. 3. The new resort brings to 11 the number of Riu Hotels & Resorts properties in Mexico and is the fourth Palace property in the country. The resort features 400 junior suites with hydro-massage bathtubs, restaurants, water sports and lighted tennis courts. Guests have access to all the other Riu properties within the Riu complex: Riu Yucatan, Riu Playacar, Riu Tequila and Riu Palace. To promote the opening, Riu Palace Riviera Maya is offering a Grand Opening All-Inclusive package priced from $185 a night per person, double, through April 16. To book, call (888) 666-8816.

TESORO RESORTS, the new, all-inclusive resort chain, introduced a three-night Romance Package at its Manzanillo and Los Cabos properties for $650 per couple through April 6. The package includes an upgrade to a junior suite, one 30-minute massage for two people and a bottle of champagne. All Tesoro Resorts packages include meals, snacks, beverages, water sports and entertainment. For information or reservations, call (866) 99-TESORO or visit www.tesororesorts.com.

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