As the May 31 closing date nears for the
Hyatt Dorado Beach Resort & Country Club in Dorado, Puerto
Rico, a question remains unanswered: What will become of the
Schulze, president of the Dorado Beach Hotel Corp., which owns the
resort, cited the expense of renovations and upkeep on the
48-year-old facility as key reasons for shuttering the
Schulze said that
no decision had been reached regarding the future of the resort,
although a number of alternatives are under study.
The decision to
close is a consequence of the shortcomings of a facility that was
designed 50 years ago, he said. The facilities no longer fulfill
the expectations and requirements of our guests.
Hyatt had managed
the 262-room resort, its sole property in Puerto Rico, since 1985.
The nearby Hyatt Hacienda Del Mar Vacation Club Resort is a
timeshare operation not affected by the resorts closure.
The Hyatts golf
club and four golf courses, which were recently revamped, will
continue to operate.
Hyatt is hopeful
we will be back in Puerto Rico at a future date, and we are
committed to regaining our presence as soon as the opportunity
arises, said Carlos Cabrera, Hyatts senior vice president of field
operations, Florida and the Caribbean.
announcement in late March, which caught tourism officials by
surprise, was later described as sad news for us and an unfortunate
situation for Puerto Rico by Terestella Gonzalez Denton, executive
director of the Puerto Rico Tourism Co.
Denton said the
Dorado closing does not reflect upon the current health of our
tourism industry, which will see 5,000 more hotel rooms by the end
of 2008, either open or in the planning stages.
She cited hotel
occupancies in the San Juan area that ran at 98% several times
during the winter season as examples of the robust state of the
occupancies were high, and the property had a steadfast following,
she said. It is located in a prime touristic zone, and we will only
support a future development there that is strictly related to
hotels. Also, any new operation has to hire the same number or more
employees who had worked at Hyatt Dorado.
The layoff of 800
Hyatt employees, many of whom had been at Dorado for a number of
years, has a huge impact on the industry as a whole as well as on
the Dorado community, Denton said.
The town of
Dorado, on Puerto Ricos north coast about 30 miles west of San
Juan, has a population of approximately 40,000, and tourism is its
A plan worked out
in conjunction with the town and the Department of Labor was put
into effect to help displaced workers obtain severance benefits and
the government, which really stepped up to the plate in terms of
helping secure employment for the Dorado employees. Theyre offering
counseling services and help in writing resumes.
Hyatt has set up
an office on-site and will relocate as many employees as possible
to other Hyatt hotels, said Cabrera.
holdings are limited to the Hyatt Regency Aruba and the Hyatt
Regency Grand Cayman, which has been closed since Hurricane Ivan
hit in 2004, with only 53 beachfront suites open across the road
from the main hotel.
Cabrera said that
guests and events that had been booked at the Dorado after May 31
have been relocated. Much of that business was local, and we were
able to accommodate everyone, he said.
Built around a
grapefruit plantation, the Dorado Beach Hotel was bought by
Laurance Rockefeller in 1953, who opened it in 1958 as a Rock
reporter Gay Nagle Myers, send e-mail to [email protected].