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Thread: Back from Aruba...yes, the "dissapointed" guy...

  1. #21
    abj
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    Re: the black smoke and smokestacks.The industrial section does IMO ruin the picturesque beauty of the island.That being said, those smokestacks and refinery and the WEB plant provide employment\ income for the residents provides and a good infrastructure for all, including tourists
    i hear ya on that but those places need to be cleaned up. i work in a power plant here in NJ and if we put even a 1% of that black smoke out our stack we would be fined big time. they need to get some regulations there. and the dump area not sure if its a land fill or what but man is it a mess there. other places out by the drag strip are a mess too. on place i guess an asfault (sp?) company just had empty 55 gal. drums thrown all over the place. looked like an environmental nightmare.

    like i said though. that stuff is minor to me. needs to be cleaned up in my opinion but will not keep me away. i want to get back as soon as i can afford. we had a great time there and want to see alot of stuff we didn't have time for.

    i will say that everyone there was over the top nice to us. even the locals that we stopped to ask directions from. the drinking water is awesome. way better then the nj stuff we have here.

  2. #22
    abj
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    this is the one that shocked me the most.. just couldn't believe that on "baby" beach that the reifinery was right there. guess they had to put it somewhere though. i assume its on that side of the island because the winds will just blow the smoke out to sea? its in a way better place then the old one though. divi links golf course...lol. they also said that the container yard is moving sometime this year.
    Last edited by abj; 08-24-2008 at 10:29 PM.

  3. #23
    abj
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    waking up and eating breakfast with this view though makes you forget about all that other stuff.





    and this water that you can see rocks that clear under 15 feet of water was heaven for me. i loved it.
    Last edited by abj; 08-24-2008 at 10:30 PM.

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    i'm glad that someone had the courage to speak up and agree with my assertions - thanks KK&Lj.

    the problem here is not that the posts are rude or demeaning. it's the tone - thus, i guess it can be said that everyone is abiding by the forum's rules as we're not outright disparaging each other. however, the issue is the manner in which people respond to the dissenting views on this forum. the atmosphere is quite negative, accusatory, and discouraging in regards to posting different views. many people believe that they're being civil in how they respond to such comments when in fact they're tacitly bullying and suppressing the individual via the tone of their message.

    notice how the person who originally posted this thread never wrote back?

    my goal here is not to stir controversy but to tell everyone to chill out and let people speak their minds without having to take a defensive position.

  5. #25
    Senior Member Arubalisa's Avatar
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  6. #26
    Senior Member Arubalisa's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Andrea J. View Post
    That being said, those smokestacks and refinery and the WEB plant provide employment\ income for the residents provides and a good infrastructure for all, including tourists.
    Some insight on the refinery and San Nicolas.

    http://www.valero.com/AboutUs/Refineries/Aruba.htm

    "Fast Facts

    • More than $640 million has been invested in the refinery in the last five years to improve its safety, reliability and profitability
    • Total throughput capacity of 275,000 barrels per day (BPD) [crude oil closing price 8/23 = $114.78 per barrel = potential $31,564,500 per day gross]
    • Products include a high-yield of finished distillate products and intermediate feedstocks
    • Employs approximately 775 individuals" [island population approx. 120,000]
    "Redevelopment of St. Nicholas
    http://www.internationalreports.net/theamericas/aruba/2007/nicholas.html
    InternationalReports.net / The Washington Times

    Known as Aruba’s "second city" or "sunrise city", San Nicolas was once Aruba’s economic engine and center for commerce and industry.

    The city has fallen on hard times in the last couple of decades and there is hope that the boom in tourism and construction on the island will bring new prosperity and economic development.

    San Nicolas is awash in contrasts. Once a bustling hub of economic activity, the city is now relatively dormant. Home to some of Aruba’s most beautiful beaches, San Nicolas receives far fewer tourist dollars.

    Containing some of Aruba’s richest cultural heritage, the city is eclipsed by the bright lights and big city atmosphere on the tourist strip at the other end of the island. There are those that lament that it has been Aruba’s "forgotten city."

    From 1925-1970s San Nicolas was home to the Lagos Oil Refinery. Those were the heydays. The refinery employed between 8,000 - 10,000 workers, nearly everyone on the island. In fact, Aruba had to import workers just to fill the demand for the labor the refinery generated.

    San Nicolas became a company town and the refinery practically controlled the island. It had its own hospital, supermarkets, restaurants, movie theatres, tennis courts and golf course. For the Americans that came to work for the company, it was like being at home. There were American high schools with American teachers and American doctors worked in the hospital.

    No one could imagine that after 60 years, the refinery would close and take with it a way of life, but that is exactly what happened.

    The Lagos Refinery was designed to process heavy Venezuelan crude, which it purchased from the country at a special price. When Venezuela joined OPEC, it had to adhere to OPEC policy and had to raise its prices. In 1986, shortly after Aruba had achieved independent status, when a better price for the crude could not be negotiated, the refinery closed and left thousands without jobs.

    Its closure created an economic depression on the island that was only slowly alleviated by the development of tourism. Unfortunately, San Nicolas has not benefited significantly from the tourism boom.

    Just outside of San Nicholas are some of Aruba's most beautiful beaches. This one is a favorate for wind surfers.

    Today, 20 years later, Valero Energy owns the refinery and has recently invested over $300 million in the facility. While the refinery once again is providing jobs, there are far fewer available.

    The city is predominately black and viewed as the poor part of the island. Residents of San Nicolas are passionate about their home and are determined to see it succeed again.

    Hubert Redhead is managing director of Tebolo Consultancy and president of the San Nicolas Business Association. When he left to study aircraft engineering and business in the Netherlands, the city was booming. When he came back several years later, the refinery had closed and things had changed.

    He asked himself, "What can I do to better the quality of life and economic aspect on this side of the island?."

    As president of the business association, he and others are trying new ways to stimulate economic development. The association conducts surveys and research to help its members and offers different trainings to increase the productivity of its businesses.

    One of the association’s most important roles is as liaison between business and government. The message the association is sending is one of economic diversification.

    Redhead emphasized that, with the closure of the refinery, Aruba’s economic focus switched to tourism. "Now, everyone is dependent on tourism. Tourism is people and people are unpredictable. We will struggle as an island if only focus on tourism. In economic policy, you have to diversify. "

    Toko Winklaar, director of the Media Group, a small media conglomerate, sees enormous potential for San Nicolas.

    "San Nicolas is a place where people can still see how Aruba used to be," said Winklaar. "It still has that Caribbean taste, that rustic feel. We need to show our diversity, in our tourism products. We have beaches, caves, rock climbing, and off roading in San Nicolas.

    "We need to take more care of San Nicolas, Aruba is more than just the strip," he added.

    Winklaar pointed out that San Nicolas’ rich history would lend itself to a different kind of tourist experience, one steeped in history and culture. One that would not require building more high rise hotels, but something more suited to a cultural experience.

    He pointed out the attributes of Baby Beach and that the explosive waves on that side of the island could make it an ideal place to develop specialty tourism in surfing.

    There is no doubt that Aruba can continue to build on its tourism product in San Nicolas. There are those that would like to even expand tourism offerings to replace the refinery with a cruise ship port. While that is unlikely to happen, at least the dialogue is creating attention for San Nicolas and the hope that change is in the air."

    W.E.B. Aruba N.V http://www.webaruba.com/
    "Aruba has a lot to offer: like plenty of sun, beautiful beaches, and friendly people. However, Aruba does not have a natural source of fresh water and rainfall is limited. Aruba’s population of 100,000 inhabitants plus the more than 700,000 tourists who visit annually, have access to sufficient drinking water which in quality and taste can compete with any other water in the world, including bottled water!

    For more than 70 years, WATER- EN ENERGIEBEDRIJF ARUBA N.V. (WEB) has been responsible for the production of Aruba’s drinking water and power and has done an outstanding job.

    This remarkable achievement is the result of years of dedicated effort by W.E.B. Aruba N.V.’s employees, management, and predecessors. W.E.B. Aruba N.V. generates electricity, and produces drinking and industrial water through an integrated process utilizing steam. The cornerstone of this process is the desalination of seawater, which Aruba has in abundance from the Caribbean Sea.

    Nowadays, W.E.B. Aruba N.V. is a modern company ready to face Aruba’s needs and the challenges of the third millennium with state of the art facilities and equipment, latest technological advances, highly qualified personnel, and continuous improvement of service, efficiency, and reliability of its operations.

    During the last decade, W.E.B. Aruba N.V. has invested approximately 250 million dollars to upgrade, modernize, and expand its water production and electricity generation by installing additional boilers, a desalination unit, modern automated control systems, and a new turbine generator. An integral part of these advancements has been the development of its personnel."

    Container port relocation and expansion create opportunities for growth and economic diversification InternationalReports.net / The Washington Times
    "Tourists increasingly want unique experiences when they travel; they do not want to see the same thing everywhere. That is where Aruba has a distinct advantage, after all there aren’t many places that you can see a beach with cactus, interesting geologic formations, ancient caves with paintings and go hiking on a mountain all in one day.

    "We want to maintain our "Arubaness". As a port, we are focusing on alternative types of tour operators. We want to expose visitors to our flora and fauna, historical sites and museums and give tourists a taste of the island," said Boekhoudt."

  7. #27
    abj
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    "Fast Facts
    More than $640 million has been invested in the refinery in the last five years to improve its safety, reliability and profitability
    Total throughput capacity of 275,000 barrels per day (BPD) [crude oil closing price 8/23 = $114.78 per barrel = potential $31,564,500 per day gross]
    Products include a high-yield of finished distillate products and intermediate feedstocks
    Employs approximately 775 individuals" [island population approx. 120,000]
    now it needs to put money into cleaning up what comes from those stacks..

  8. #28
    Senior Member Arubalisa's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by abj View Post
    now it needs to put money into cleaning up what comes from those stacks..
    Valero had the refinery up for sale. They do not want to put up the money for modernizations. Petrobas was a potential buyer, I do not know if the sale has been finalized. The refinery processed heavy sour crude and it is much more expensive and less readily available.

  9. #29
    abj
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    They do not want to put up the money for modernizations.
    i know all about that.. we have been sold three times in the last 8 years. no one puts money into the place so they can make the most when they sell. it sucks.

  10. #30
    Junior Member kooky98's Avatar
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    ABJ,
    Where are you staying that is so close to the water? Is that dock by your room? (the first picture-view at breakfast)

    I do remember my first time going to Aruba 11 years ago, I knew it was going to be a desert, but I was still surprised by it. But I love it, I always describe it as a small part of Arizona dropped off in the Carribbian. Beautiful and rugged and dramatic.

    Unfortunatly, I did notice this time, that there were a few more homeless people, and some homes were more run down than they used to be....I felt sad about that...because I used to go around Aruba without a care in the world..., (I mean within normal reason) now, I felt a little scared after dark in some areas. I felt bad about the new mall takeing away so much business from downtown. That area used to thrive, and looked rather bleek now. It used to be that if you wanted to shop, you had to go either to the few hotel stores or downtown, and during the day as they are closed at night. Now, that the mall is open at night, people don't have to go down town at all. They don't have to miss the beach time, they can go to the new mall and shops at night...I thought it was very convienant (sp), The area is so nice, but, I think if downtown wants to keep up, they will have to start staying open at night...and hopefully the revitalization will help.

    I love Aruba, I can't wait to go back, When I am gone, I feel a certain home sickness...but, I do think things have been changing to much and to fast. I think it is hard for such a small Island to keep up with so many changes....The thing I have loved and I'm sure many others have loved is the peacful, quietness...I think the High rise area has lost much of that old charm...but I don't stay in either of the hotel areas, so, I still get the old rustic feel, but I will admit to enjoying the ammenities of the hotel areas... I guess, I enjoy it all!

    I hope I can book something, for sooner not later!
    Elise

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