THINGS ARE looking up for the Atlantis resort on
Paradise Island, the Bahamas. Owner Kerzner International said it
entered into an agreement with the Bahamas government for a $600
million expansion of its flagship resort. The expansion will
include a new 1,200-room hotel at Pirate's Cove; an 18-hole golf
course; new water-themed attractions; an additional 50,000 square
feet of convention and meetings space; an expansion of the One
& Only Ocean Club; 120 additional two-bedroom timeshare units
at the Harborside development; and new restaurants and shops. The
expansion of the Ocean Club and construction of new restaurants and
shops will begin in late 2004 and be completed a year later at a
price tag of $100 million.
MEANWHILE, work on the largest portion of the
Atlantis expansion -- the new 1,200-room hotel, golf course,
attractions and convention space -- will start late next year and
be completed by Christmas 2006 at a cost of $500 million. As part
of the deal, the government will improve Nassau International
Airport and the roadway system, extend the moratorium on new casino
licenses on Paradise Island and New Providence by 20 years, extend
casino tax concessions and exempt Kerzner International from
certain import duties on construction materials.
• The 156-room Wyndham Martineau Bay Resort & Spa, which is the
newest and largest resort in Vieques, Puerto Rico, will debut its
new spa and fitness center June 15. The property, which opened this
spring, plans to unveil a small casino by year's end and an 18-hole
Pete Dye-designed golf course in two years, according to Ben Tutt,
general manager. A Kids Club also will be in place by next
• The Ritz-Carlton Golf & Spa Resort, Rose Hall, Jamaica, and
Nike Golf Schools & Camps teamed up to offer the first ever
Nike Parent/Child Golf School in the Caribbean. The action takes
place on the resort's 18-hole White Witch golf course; participants
can select two- and three-day sessions that include three hours of
PGA-rated instruction, 18 holes of golf each day with use of a
cart, all greens fees and lunch. Rates and additional family
packages can be viewed at www.ritzcarlton.com; information on Nike golf
schools is available at www.ussportscamps.com.
• Cost overruns of $23 million on the InterContinental Cayo Largo
Resort in Fajardo forced Puerto Rico's Tourism Development Fund, a
unit of the Government Development Bank, to initiate legal action
against the owner, Cayo Largo Hotel Associates. The resort, about
95% complete, was to have opened last December.
THE BRITISH VIRGIN ISLANDS partnered with
Jean-Michel Cousteau, founder of Ocean Futures Society and son of
legendary Jacques Cousteau, to launch a marine center in Tortola to
develop research programs on marine biology and oceanography. Ralph
T. O'Neale, minister of tourism, said the partnership will "help
establish the B.V.I. as a leader in marine life research."
PETER J. DOLARA, senior vice president-Miami,
Caribbean and Latin America for American Airlines, is this year's
recipient of the Caribbean Tourism Organization's Lifetime
Achievement Award. The award will be given at the 30th annual
Governments of the Caribbean State Ball June 6 at the culmination
of Caribbean Tourism Week in New York. Dolara joined American in
1971; under his watch, the Miami hub has become the largest
international gateway in American's network with 9,000 employees
and daily service to 51 destinations in the Caribbean, Central and
South America. Past award winners include Harry Belafonte, Sidney
Poitier, Earl Graves and former CTO director of marketing, Michael
PENCIL IT IN
• Caribbean Hotel Industry Conference, June 22 to 25, Barcelo
Bavaro Convention Center, Punta Cana, Dominican Republic. The event
will focus on the tourism outlook for the region, analyze Caribbean
products and standards, examine methods of doing business in
today's changing environment and discuss joint tourism marketing
ventures. For details, visit www.cha-chic.org.
• Sea, Salsa and Sabor (Spanish for "flavor") Celebration, July 19
to 28, Bitter End Yacht Club, Virgin Gorda, British Virgin Islands.
The themed event includes cuisine and activities that focus on the
Spanish Caribbean. Visit www.beyc.com for rates and details.
• Second Annual Music Festival, Oct. 10 and 11, Aruba. Visit www.aruba.com.