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  1. #1
    Senior Member lizzardo's Avatar
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    Ritz offically 'announced'

    With mixed feelings I post this:

    Cancellation Of The Agreement Would Cost Aruba Millions Of Dollars

    February 16th 2010, Aruba.

    ORANJESTAD-The big boss of Marriott and Ritz Carlton hotels, Mr. Bill Marriott will arrive on the
    island to officially announce the Ritz Carlton project on February 17th 2010. The
    previous government has signed an agreement for the transfer of land and the eventual
    contruction of Ritz Carlton Resort Casino & Spa in October 2009, a day before power was
    transferred to the new government.

    The proposed Ritz Carlton hotel has met with much opposition from local environmental
    organizations, the public and the opposition parties (now present government) in the past. The
    project will be constructed in one of the last lots of Palm Beach, north of the Marriott Surf Club
    where the sport of windsurfing is practised.

    Lawyers have studied the agreement thoroughly, and concluded that an eventual cancellation of
    the contract with Ritz Carlton will cost the Aruban community millions of dollars. The above
    mentioned reason has led the present government not to challenge the agreement with Ritz
    Carlton.

    The government would like to see some adaption done in the agreement, including expansion of
    the beach and the cancellation of 750 temporary permits for foreign construction workers. Ritz
    Carlton has agreed with the present government to have the beach expanded to allow access for
    locals.

    There are many people without jobs, and construction companies are in need of big projects says
    the Minister of Tourism, Otmar Oduber. “There is no need to bring 750 foreign workers on the
    island for the construction of a resort when there are enough Arubans and foreigners residing on
    the island to do so.” The government is committed with the Aruban community to have that part
    of the agreement annulled.

  2. #2
    Aruba since 1979
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    Andrea J.'s Avatar
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    ..........and the good news is that the ritz will employ 750 local citizens.
    .......... the bad news is too numerous to mention.

    and the former governing party..........how SLICK was it that they signed on the dotted line right before they left "power?"

    "they paved paradise and put up a parking lot "

  3. #3
    Senior Member lizzardo's Avatar
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    One GOOD alternative is the old Bushiri Hotel, give them that piece of land and let them develop it.

    The only thing I can hope for is that because there are prob.
    no building designs yet that the gov't makes sure that it's
    low profile and in 'good taste'. And limits it's size. And
    no impact on the windsurfers. They are just such a
    beautiful sight as you are driving on Malmok, I would
    be so sad to miss that sight.

    Just because they have to go through with it, I just hope
    the new gov't MANAGES the way it's done. Not like
    the 'white elephant'.

    It's like what the gov't said about the Aruban - can you
    say 'scoundrels'? LOL!

  4. #4
    Senior Member fattypatty's Avatar
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    so, in total, marriott wants 5 properties on the island? that's some commitment to the island for one company!

  5. #5
    Senior Member MARK68's Avatar
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    Lizzardo is 100 percent correct some of these development decisions must be made after happy hour. I have drove by and been to the Palm Beach Mall numerous times since opening. Only at the grand opening have I seen more than 50 people at this mall. I wanted to be an investor in the High Rise area but the competition is to risky for me and I wish all of the investors in all of the Plaza's and Mall's the best and hope empty store-fronts won't be common.

  6. #6
    Senior Member fattypatty's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MARK68 View Post
    Lizzardo is 100 percent correct some of these development decisions must be made after happy hour. I have drove by and been to the Palm Beach Mall numerous times since opening. Only at the grand opening have I seen more than 50 people at this mall. I wanted to be an investor in the High Rise area but the competition is to risky for me and I wish all of the investors in all of the Plaza's and Mall's the best and hope empty store-fronts won't be common.
    what they should do is relocate the downtown district to palm beach area malls. then revitalize the downtown area with office buildings and try to encourage corporate businesses to set up shop. the area behind the ren is such a travesty - quite scary actually to walk around compared to the other parts of the island.

  7. #7
    Senior Member lizzardo's Avatar
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    Actually that is kinda happening now. A lot of the tenants from
    downtown are in the Plaza. I must say that when i'm in
    Passeo, don't see many shopping bags.

    Just went thru town today and main street and the street that connects
    main street by the Ren is closed. They have a picture up of what it
    will look like. They are actually working on tearing up the roads
    because all of it is going to be pedestrian.

    They are now working on the back of the parliament building.
    It's going to be nice when it's done. The front is pretty much
    completed and looks good.

    They also announced that they are not going to give out
    any club permits anymore to Palm Beach. Only to
    Oranjested.

    So they are doing something about it. It's nice to see
    things 'happening' here. And the fact they are actually
    talking about real issues. Refreshing!

  8. #8
    Senior Member lizzardo's Avatar
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    Update. They made the announcement as expected.
    Could not have been avoided but got this from
    an expert source on another board:

    The new government can not do much actually, other than to have it adapted, the land is already owned by the investors. The good news is that Bill Marriott has agreed to cancel the 750 working permits and have the construction done by mostly locals. In addition the beach will be expanded so that locals can have access and still make use of the beach. The investors have also agreed to finance the infrastructure for the project, which was another requirement of the new government.


    They could have bring this to court and have it cancelled, it would have cost the island tens of millions of dollars in lawsuits, that we be a serious burden to Aruba tax payers that are already going through difficult times. A cancellation of the project would have also damage the island's international reputation as a serious place for investment and doing business. This government did not wanted the project, but chose in the best interest in the circumstances of Aruba today.

  9. #9
    Aruba since 1979
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    Andrea J.'s Avatar
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    how will this affect the wind surfers and their area?

  10. #10
    Senior Member lizzardo's Avatar
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    History lesson on 'announcements' about the Ritz property
    w/i my 5 years here.

    Here are two old articles for reference:
    http://community.webshots.com/album/576783697wvzLqp

    Previous attempts to build the Ritz were rejected because
    they did a study and said to build a high rise building in
    that spot would 'block' all the wind. So the wind and
    kite surfers would not have any 'space' for sporting.
    There was a nice 'announcement' for that just
    like yesterday's.

    There were protests and banners on that piece of land
    about 'don't stop the wind'. Main reason 1st attempt
    failed for the Ritz.

    Then they had some Aruban architects come in with a plan
    for a 'low' resort that wouldn't block the wind. Pretty
    nice place. "Announcement" made that was happening. Nothing.

    Now Ritz 'rises from the dead'.... will have to deal with
    the same issue of the wind for the windsurfers. Don't
    think the Aruban gov't will back down on that issue
    since it is a very proud sport here. Plus where the
    windsurfers are is 'untouchable' for development because
    those huts on the beach were given to the Aruban
    fisherman by the Queen of Netherlands. Don't mess
    with the Queen!

    So that is why there is that issue. The other thing I think
    they will have to address is that during rainy season
    that plot of land is 'swampy' and serves as a run off
    to the sea from the salina across the street. Marriott
    floods in front of their complex all the time when it rains despite a lot
    of attempts to try to stop it. So where will the water go?

    If you have ever walked on what kind of material is
    in the salina when it is even slightly damp - it's
    kinda this oozy spongy quick sand. My friend who
    has a house looking out at the salina
    by where the Ritz property is always sees 4 wheelers
    and cars get stuck in the muck. Even tho this has
    been a dry season, those things just 'sink' and
    you have to be wenched out.

    Yes...let's build a resort on swamp land. And you know Marriott's
    history on the environment. That dock 'project' was a complete
    mess! Plus the seaweed issue due to what they did to the
    resort.....

    So let the fun begin.
    Last edited by lizzardo; 02-18-2010 at 08:49 AM.
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