Caribbean Travel Roundup

Newsletter - Paul Graveline, Editor


Caribbean Travel Roundup
Paul Graveline, Editor
Edition 87
September 1, 1998

Last Update 30 Aug 98 1900ET

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ARUBA BY THOMAS ROBERTSON

Trip 7/98

My  wife  Peg and I recently returned from a 1-week stay at La Cabana.
Not  really much to report. It seems that the more we go to Aruba, the
less  we  do. It's either that we finally reached a comfort zone or we
are getting older, hopefully it's a combination of both.

Our  week  started  out  very  badly.  Peg's  luggage was damaged upon
arrival  in  Aruba.  I reported it to AA and was told to leave it with
the  bellman  at LaCabana and AA would pick it up for repairs the next
day.  That  sounded good so we went off to La Cabana only to find that
they  gave  our  unit  away.  Don't ask me how as all we were told was
some  nonsense  about  someone  refusing to check out. The bottom line
was  that  we  were  put in a 2 bedroom, 2 bath suite for the week and
our  luggage  was  repaired  (only  to  be damaged again on the return
trip).  Although  we  were  happy  with  the  room,  it did cause some
problems  as  our son and his friend were due to check in our unit the
following  Sunday  and  we  agreed  to  leave a lot of stuff there for
them,  including  snorkeling  gear.  La  Cabana will hear from me very
shortly about this hassle.

Getting  back  to  our  vacation,  the  weather for 3 days was sort of
cloudy  by  Aruba  standards.  We  had a brief but heavy rain storm on
Weds and after that the sun came out full time.

As  far  as restaurants go, we had a great meal at the Tuscony Room in
the  Marriott.  We have been going there ever since it opened and have
never  been disappointed. This was probably our second best meal as we
went  to  Le  Dome.  We  both had the filet and can not remember if we
have  ever had a finer piece of beef. Another interesting meal was had
at  the Weds festival outside the Hyatt. About 8 restaurants had tents
there  and  for  $3 to $6 you could have a pretty good meal along with
some fine entertainment.

As  usual we spent every night in the casinos, mainly the Royal Cabana
or  the  Marriott. I was about even up until Saturday went I lost, but
not  too  much.  Peg,  on the other hand, started out on Monday with a
Royal  Flush  on a progressive video poker machine at the Royal Cabana
and  followed it up a couple of nights later with another Royal at the
Marriott. And just think, it was I who taught her how to play <BG>.

As  I  said,  we didn't do much at all. I laid around the pool all day
with  my  cooler (La Cabana wanted $4 a beer) and Sony discman and Peg
read,  walked  and played in the casino. We did hit Baby Beach one day
for snorkeling. Plenty of fish made for a good day.

Aside  from going to LeDome, the only other thing we did different was
to  visit  the  Pelican Pier by the Holiday Inn. There is now a bar on
the  far  end of the pier. Its a great place for a drink and a bite to
eat.

The  Marriott time share seems to be taking shape, but they still have
a  long  way  to  go.  The  same  is  true for the Raddison. I seem to
remember  a  ramp  front  entrance.  That is now totally gone and work
continues.

Not  much  else  I  can  think of. We relaxed and had some good meals,
and,  in  Peg's  case  anyway,  won  enough  for  the start of another
vacation (I'm hoping she'll take me along).

ARUBA BY GEORGE GLASEMAN

Trip 7/98

Just  back  and  getting caught up with the comments about the Phoenix
that I can't agree with.

1. The studio we had on the 8th floor didn't smell.

2. There were no rugs. The floors are tiled.

3. There were some rooms being repainted.

Knowing  the  history  of  the Phoenix, there is no doubt that some of
the first units probably need refurbishing and it was going on.

I  won't  go  into all the details of my stay at this time but overall
the Phoenix was better then I had expected.

Other  questions  were  about  the Radisson. I had a chance to talk to
some  of  the  workers  and a contractor from the Miami firm was doing
the  work.  There  is  a  lot of action taken place. All the balconies
have  been  removed  and  extended,  to allow for the expansion of the
rooms.  The  lobby  is  gutted  to make room for a (???) casino. I put
question  marks  there  because  there  is  a problem in financing the
whole  project.  I'll  go  into more details later, but I'll quote the
paper.  "Our revenue projections have been based on an opening date of
January  1999.  It now looks like the opening will come much later, if
at  all."  That comes from the company that runs the casino. They were
pouring  concrete  for  the  two  pools  and  the  continuation of the
walkway  that  runs  from  the  Phoenix to the Holiday Inn. I was told
that  they  will be constructing another building along side the tower
about  the  same  height.  I hope it won't be the same story as to the
other  construction  in Aruba. They start building and then run out of
money. We will wait and see.

Other  news  that  everyone  on  the  board  is concerned about is the
present  Air  Aruba situation. Aserca of Venezuelan has given a letter
of  intent,  that  has  allowed them to assume day to day operation in
anticipation  of  the  ownership  transfer. They put it's second MD-80
back in service. All details are still not settled.

The  Holiday  Inn  casino  is now the Excelsior Casino and is possibly
for  sale.  An  interesting  sidelight  is  about  the  Bon Bini Bagel
bakery.  For  $350 you participate in a lottery to own the place. 1000
chances  will be sold, and the winner will pay one florin to take over
from Roz and Allen. I'm almost tempted to enter.

In  closing  I  would  like to add that I have received from the Aruba
Tourism  Authority. They are working on an awareness program that will
make  the  persons  prone to causing troubles aware of the effect that
could  it  have  on  tourism.  In addition other security measures are
being  implemented  to  keep  Aruba  "one of the safest islands in the
Caribbean"

BVI BY TERRY MINNICK

Trip 8/98


My  family  and I just returned from 12 days in the BVI. We stayed the
first  two  nights at Rhymer's on Cane Garden Bay and then had 10 days
on a chartered sailboat.

Rhymer's  was  OK.  It is certainly not a fancy place but the price is
right  (about  $45 per night) and is air conditioned, has cable TV and
IS  right on one of the prettiest beaches anywhere. There are numerous
restaurants close by.

We  chartered  a  Beneteau  445 from Footloose. This is fourth charter
from  Footloose  and we have found them to be perfectly adequate. They
are  owned by the Moorings and feature 4 to 5 year old boats that have
come  out  of the Moorings programs. The boats are well-maintained and
they offer good service, follow-up, etc.

We  provisioned  ourselves  this  time (after having tried every other
option  over  the  years). We brought some stuff from home and went to
Riteway  in  Roadtown.  There is a good selection but prices are 10 to
40% higher than the U.S. Still, we recommend this option.

We  spent  the  first night at Norman Island and enjoyed the fact that
there   are   a   lot  more  mooring  balls  available  now.  The  new
bar/restaurant,  Billy Bones, is quite nice and is a wonderful spot to
sit, have a drink and watch the sun set.

Cooper  Island  continues  to  be  one  of  our  favorite  spots.  The
restaurant  is  good  and  consistent,  the anchorage can be rolly but
there is always a nice breeze.

Marina  Cay  is  great.  They still make, in my opinion, the best Pina
Colada  in  the BVI. However, provisions from the Pusser's store there
are  the  most  expensive  that  I  have  ever  seen - $6 for a bag of
tortilla  chips. Jost Van Dyke remains a yachter's paradise. Foxy's is
still  unspoiled  and  the  food  is  solid. They have a BBQ on Friday
nights that is very popular.

White  Bay  on  JVD  has  become  our favorite beach stop. We anchored
there  one night (be sure and use two anchors) and we found the beach,
the  water  and  the  Painkillers  from  the  Soggy  Dollar  Bar to be
spectacular.

We  wanted  to  go  to St. Thomas this trip but at the last minute, we
decided  to  leave  the  boat in Soper's Hole and take the water taxi.
This  worked  out  great  and I can highly recommend it to anyone. The
water  taxi  is  $40 and takes about an hour from Soper's to Charlotte
Amalie.

We  made  a  half  dozen  dives  including, the wreck of the Rhone (of
course),  Cistern  Point,  Painted  Walls, off Norman Island, etc. All
were great and are recommended for intermediate level divers.

All,  in  all,  we  had  a  great  time.  The  BVI in August is almost
deserted,  compared  to  other  times of the year, but you are rolling
the  dice  with  regard  to  the  weather. We were lucky and had great
weather.  This  time of the year, the anchorages are uncrowded and the
rates are the lowest.

We  also  made  it  to Bomba's Shack for the Full Moon Party. It was a
great time. However, don't bother to go until about 11 PM.

CAYMAN BY JOCK AND EDWINNA FARRINGTON, DES COCKCROFT AND ESTELLE WILSON

Trip 8/98

We  are  two  pretty  active  elderly  couples with somewhat different
tastes  and  this is a summary of our Grand Cayman vacation. We shared
a  two  bedroom  condo at Victoria House on SMB. Really nice, and well
recommended  for  both cost and location. We rented a car for the last
4  days,  $30  per  day  through  Hertz (special deal) + $7.50 driving
permit.-  much more economical than taxis. (All prices quoted here are
in  US  dollars.  One  $Cayman  =  1.25  $US).  Prior  to that we used
minibuses  which run along SMB West Bay Rd. about every 10-15 minutes,
sparse  after  8PM, and none on Saturday nights or Sunday. Fare $2 one
way,  no  specified  stops,  just  wait  by the side of the road for a
'beep  -  beep'  and wave them down. They have no distinctive markings
and are mostly used by the locals.

Weather.  Mid  80's night, mid 90's day. Thunderstorms most days, with
rain for up to an hour-and one waterspout!

Food  -  several  good  Supermarkets  along SMB, Kirks, Fosters, - but
closed  on  Sundays.  Food  not  cheap,  1  gal  milk  ~  $5, tomatoes
$2.50/lb., bananas $1/lb.,Fujis $2.50/lb.

Restaurants  -  warning,  quite often a 15% service charge is included
but  the  bill  may  not  be  specific, so ask. The Wharf was our best
meal,  and  with a bill close to $200, why not. Wines and entrees were
over  $30  and  up,  everything  a la carte. And the tarpon feeding of
course.  We  liked  Island Taste, at Georgetown Harbor, lunch $8 - but
service  charge  included  ! Big Daddy's got mixed reviews, I liked it
(spare  ribs)  but  the  fish was rated so-so. Prices good, dinners $9
and  up. The Edge out at Boddentown was great for lunch, mahi-mahi and
cajun  chicken,  $10 for a big meal. Also liked Rackham's on N. Church
St.,  nice  setting  and  entrees  about  $12.  We all agreed that the
Cracked  Conch,  next  to  the  Turtle  farm  was  very disappointing'
including  the  house  chardonnay - and all this after an enthusiastic
recommendation  from  a  friend  -  did  we  hit  a  bad night? - nice
ambiance  though.  I  also  went  native  at Liberty's, ackee and salt
codfish,  liked  it.  And  don't  forget the Wholesome Bakery, lots of
good  reasonably priced pastries. Other vacationers gave strong thumbs
up to the Lighthouse at Boddentown, but expensive.

ATM's  abound for the locals but only the Cayman National Bank has our
familiar  logos like Cirrus. There are CNB outlets at the supermarkets
in addition to the downtown bank

Entertainment  is  pretty  thin  at  this  time of year, especially in
Georgetown  which  is  dead  once  the  cruise  ships  depart.  We are
ballroom  dancers  and  got  in some dancing at Treasure Island with a
great  steel  band  player  -  just  one,  but good. There are several
discos which are pretty popular we're told.

Swimming  was great (we belong to swim clubs and lap swim), snorkeling
off  SMB  so-so. Did the Sting Ray City trip with Captain Marvin(~$25)
and  that  was  pretty  enjoyable,  good  snorkeling and the rays were
impressive.

Did  an  obligatory  drive  around the island, including the Sting Ray
brewery,  good  microbrewery  type  beers at about $10 for a six pack.
Rum  Point  is  quite  a  development,  strong  singles  scene but the
swimming  wasn't great with cloudy and not too clean water. The Turtle
farm  was  quite  interesting  and  we  even liked the tourist trap at
Hell, sort of funky. And we got wet at the Blowholes.

In  conclusion, based on the realtor signs, the whole island is up for
sale.  If  you're  thinking of going, don't delay, things can only get
worse  congestion  wise and the locals, who are very friendly now, may
OD on tourists.

DOMINICAN REPUBLIC: SOSUA BY THE SEA BY JAMES HINSCH

Trip 7/98

The Package.
I  had  booked our air separately and we flew non-stop from New York's
JFK  airport  into  Puerto  Plata,  which is on the North coast of the
Dominican  Republic.  We  had been quoted a price of $35 per night per
person  for a hotel located right on the beach, with pool , breakfast,
and  dinner  included.  The  room  was  to  be  a  1-bedroom apartment
overlooking  the pool area and there was to be a 23% tax added, but if
we  stayed  2  or  more  nights,  we  would  get a 20% discount. I was
apprehensive  due  to  the  low  price  but  an  old  acquaintance had
recommended  the place if we did not need all the amenities of an all-
inclusive.

Arrival.
We  arrived  at  Puerto  Plata  Airport and after a short wait for our
luggage,  were faced with a long line at customs. For some reason, the
customs  agent  walked  directly  up to us, about half way into one of
the  long  lines,  and told us to go. So, we did and were happy not to
have  to  wait  in  the line because the agents were going through the
bags  of  passengers  very  thoroughly.  Most of the passengers on our
American  Airlines  flight  from  JFK were Dominican and had huge bags
packed  to  the  limit  with  stuff  other  than  clothes and personal
articles.

As  we  exited  the  doors of the terminal, there were ropes to either
side  and  those  waiting  to greet arriving passengers as well as the
guys  that  help  to carry luggage were not allowed inside them. There
was  a  uniformed  police presence and we had a clear and easy walk to
the  line of waiting taxis. We didn't want to just grab the first taxi
that  asked  so  we walked off to the side to grab a beer. I had heard
that  tourists  were  being  aggressively  hassled at the Puerto Plata
airport  as  "maleteros"  were  demanding  that they carry passengers'
luggage  a  very  short  distance  and then demanding high payment. We
stood  around  and  watched,  and while they were eager to help, I did
not  witness  any  problems  and  they seemed to take no for an answer
quickly  and  moved  on  when  arrivals  did  not  want help. Whatever
problem had existed before seemed to have been taken care of.

We  ultimately selected a cab and were charged RD$150 (US$10) for a 15
minute ride to our hotel in Sosua.

Reception.
Arrival  at  Sosua  by  the Sea was uneventful. The reception area was
tiny  as  this  was  not  a huge hotel. We were checked in and minutes
later  a porter carried our bags to our room. I had received an E-mail
confirming  that  we would have an apartment size room overlooking the
pool  area. When our room did not overlook the pool, I returned to the
reception  and was informed that the only rooms that overlook the pool
were  studios.  Apparently,  they  were  not  honest  when  I made the
reservation, which was done in English via E-mail.

I  returned  to the room but the air conditioner was only blowing warm
air.  We  switched  to  another  room but it had the same problem. The
third  room  had  air that worked, but not great. During the trip, the
temp  never  got  below  75F  per  my  travel  thermometer  but it was
adequate.

The Room.
The  room  was  very nice and it was quite large. There was a separate
bedroom  with a tiny balcony that contained a small table and a couple
of  chairs.  It overlooked kind of a passageway between buildings that
had  plenty  of  foliage. We never used the balcony. The bedroom had a
single  full-size  bed  (not queen or king) and I found it a little on
the  short  side.  There  was  adequate space to put my clothes in the
dresser and vanity. The bedroom had a phone.

Outside  the  bedroom  was  a  single  bed,  a sitting chair, a coffee
table,  a  dining room table, a TV with HBO and lots of cable channels
in  a  variety  of  languages, another phone, a safe (for which we had
been  given  the  key),  a  bar  (unstocked),  a  sink  with  a  mini-
refrigerator  below  it,  a  stove and oven. No utensils were provided
but  they  could  be  obtained from the restaurant if needed and I had
noticed  some  in  the  other rooms that I had turned down for lack of
air. This place was big and comfortable and also had a ceiling fan.

The  bathroom  was  split into two parts so the toilet and shower were
in  a separate room with a door (very small). The sink and mirror were
just  outside  in another little room (no door) and a wall to one side
that  provided  open  closet  space with a pipe below a shelf and some
hangers.

The  room  included  plenty  of extra pillows and so far, I felt I was
really  getting  a  bargain. The floor was tiled and the furniture was
wicker. The place was in good shape, but not outstanding.

We  had  problems with the shower during our entire trip and the hotel
staff  was not able to do anything about it accept to offer to move us
to  another  room.  The  problem  was that if any hot water at all was
turned  on,  only  scalding  hot water came out of the shower head. We
managed  by  just  barely  turning  the  hot water on, and I mean just
barely,  and  it was acceptable, although very difficult to maintain a
decent  temperature  as  it  varied between ice cold and scalding hot.
Also,  the  hot water pressure seem to be reduced to a sputtering (all
faucets)  many  times  during our stay where no hot water at all could
be obtained and this apparently was a problem with the hotel's pump.

The Pool.
The  pool  was  nice  but  nothing  spectacular.  Free unlimited beach
towels  were  provided  in the pool area as were beach chairs. One did
not  have  to  sign for the towels. When we arrived, there were hardly
any  other  guests  at  the  hotel  and we practically had the pool to
ourselves.  The  only  shortage  was  of beach umbrellas if you wanted
shade.  There were a few, but not enough. There was also a grassy area
where one could hang out on beach chairs, and some guests did.

Location and Beach.
The  hotel  was  located  on  a  rock  cliff  and  it was really quite
beautiful.  There  wasn't a beach directly in front of the hotel, just
rocks,  but  to the right was a small beach (about 50 yards wide) that
was  bordered  on  with the food at the single restaurant by the third
day  and opted for some of the surrounding places in town. Food was of
good  quality  and  service  was  excellent,  and  I  mean  excellent,
everywhere  we  went.  This  was  a  refreshing change from what I had
experienced at other Caribbean destinations.

On  Friday  and  Saturday  nights,  a special restaurant in a romantic
setting  was  also  available at an extra cost at Sosua by the Sea and
guests  on  the  meal plan at the hotel were offered a generous credit
towards  the  cost  of eating there but we never got the chance to try
it.  It  looked  real  nice  but  I was more than satisfied with their
tasty dinners and marvelous setting that was included with the hotel.

Value.
Amazing  as  it  was  to  get  all  this at such a low price, for some
reason,  we were only charged US$25 per person per night at the end of
our  stay.  I  did not question the charges and was very happy with my
stay.  I  did tour the fabulous Casa Marina resort next door, and they
were  charging  about  US$80 per night per person, all-inclusive. They
had  a few massive and gorgeous swimming pools. I might opt to stay at
Casa  Marina  next  time,  just  because  it  also seemed like a great
value,  but  for the money we paid at Sosua by the Sea, I was ecstatic
with  the place. The staff was 100% friendly, they hustled, and always
served  us  graciously  and  with  a smile. For budget travelers, this
place  definitely  gets  a  thumbs  up. It was small enough that every
staff member there knew us by the end of our stay.

The town.
The  town  of  Sosua  is  quite quaint. It was very clean with freshly
paved  asphalt  roads  and  no  shady  characters  hanging  around the
street.  Just  about  anything  you  want could be bought at the local
stores,  at least anything somebody on vacation would want, and it was
very  peaceful  to  walk  the streets at night and stop at the various
outdoor bars and restaurants for a coffee, a beer, or a bite to eat.

Down  to one side of town was a street where all the small independent
vendors  were  located.  It was a street lined with shacks, end to end
and  on  both  sides  of  the  street,  selling locally made wares, t-
shirts, stuff from Haiti including wood carvings and paintings, etc.

At  the  end of the road was Sosua Beach. Sosua Beach was in the shape
of  a  big  horseshoe  in its own little cove. It was a nice beach and
the  back  side  of it was lined with more shacks selling trinkets, t-
shirts,  local  wares, beach food, etc. There were lots of independent
water  sports available such as water skiing but I was disappointed at
the  lack  of  boats  with sufficient power. We skied 1 day behind the
best  boat  we  could  find  but  later  opted to water ski behind the
7000cc  jet  skis  that  were  available for rent over by Sosua by the
Sea.  The  water  was very calm on some days and not so calm on others
with small waves breaking on the shore, sizeable enough to play in.

The  sand  was  a  golden  brown  everywhere  we  went and we found it
difficult  to  walk  on  it  in  our  bare feet because the sun really
heated it up.

Discos.
The  3  main  discos in Sosua were Casa del Sol, High Caribe, and Copa
Cabana.  Casa del Sol had cheated us as we had been handed coupons for
free  entrance  but  they refused to honor them when we arrived and we
had  to  pay  a  small cover charge. Inside was a huge warehouse style
disco  with  good mix of tourists and locals. They did a short Michael
Jackson  act-alike  one  night  and  we had a great time. This was the
place  to go earlier in the evening. The other two discos were typical
of  any  American  glass-and-chrome  disco, were well air-conditioned,
very  nice, and had modern disco lighting and sound systems. They were
a  little  dressier  and  were  80%  tourists. Most of the locals were
Dominican  men  dancing  with tourist women, and they sure know how to
dance.  Both High Caribe and Copa Cabana were first class discos. They
didn't  get  real  crowded until after 1:00am. My favorite place aside
from the discos was a big outdoor bar called Merengue Bar.

Cabarete.
For  RD$75  (US$5) each, we took montoconchos (125cc motorcycle taxis)
and  the  same  price  (RD$150  or US$10) for a taxi for the 15 minute
ride  to  the  town  of  Cabarete.  There, we encountered a beach town
with,  at  some  spots, businesses so packed together is was difficult
to  find  beach  access.  This was definitely wind-surf territory. The
water  had  a  decent  surf breaking on it and the beach was huge with
soft  sand.  The  back  side  of  the beach was lined with place after
place  to  eat or drink and they set up tables and chairs on the beach
for dinner as dusk approached.

The  water  had hundreds of wind-surfers out in it and the beach had a
continuous  flow  of  blowing sand in the area between the beach and 6
inches  above  the  beach.  The  stuff we left sitting in the sand was
covered  with  several  inches  of sand after only 1/2 hour. We rented
some  beach  chairs  to  lay down along the back side of the beach and
there wasn't a problem with the blowing sand further from the water.

Down  at  one end of the beach, the businesses that line the back side
are  replaced by small sand dunes and it was easy to find a relatively
secluded  spot  to  drop  our  stuff  off and hang out swimming in the
water  for  a  couple  of  hours.  The main beach was loaded with surf
boards and wind surf boards.

We  wanted to find a pool to rinse off in because the local spigots of
water  that  we  found between some of the restaurants for some reason
were  not  putting  out  water,  even  though we had seen them running
earlier.  We checked a couple of the places with pools on the beach by
they  wanted  over  US$100  for a room so we crossed the street to the
other  side and checked into a hotel for the afternoon for US$50 so we
could  use  their  pool.  The price was all-inclusive but there wasn't
any  food  available  until 7:00pm and we left before that so we never
got to eat anything there.

Puerto Plata.
We  toured  Puerto  Plata one day and saw some of the historical sites
related  to  Columbus but thought it kind of old and run down compared
to  Sosua  and  Cabarete. We also toured the mega resorts that make up
the  Playa Dorada Complex. We found that area to be quite fabulous and
private,  with  some  nice  golf  available and some very good-looking
grounds  and hotels. I believe the complex is made up of about 7 mega-
hotels,  each being all-inclusive. This is where I would stay if I had
no  interest  in  sampling  the  true Dominican culture or interacting
with  the  locals  and just wanted a luxury Caribbean vacation without
hassles.

Summary.
Sosua  by  the  Sea was a great value for the budget traveler, with an
excellent  location  a  good  pool, very good food, excellent service,
big  rooms,  and  we  would not hesitate to go back. The town of Sosua
was  very  clean  and  quaint  and we had a great time. Cabarete had a
huge  beach  and  the  town  was  a  bit congested and built up for my
tastes  but a wind-surfer's paradise. Puerto Plata seemed old and run-
down  compared  to  the  other  places  but  had  a  few  historically
interesting  sites.  Playa Dorada is recommended for those looking for
a  luxury  all-inclusive  isolated from the locals. I'll definitely be
back to Sosua.

DOMINICAN REPUBLIC: EDEN BAY UPDATE BY TOM FERNSTROM

August 19, 1998

Dear Interested Parties,

I  regret that I have not updated you on the status of Eden Bay in the
Dominican  Republic  since  my  last writing of May '98. The situation
has changed very little since that update.

Sure  there  have been a number of "deals" put together, presented and
rejected.   None   of  these  "deals"  were  economically  viable  nor
attractive  enough for the individual unit owners to contract with the
entity  proposing  them.  And none of the "deals" guaranteed any level
of clothing-optional operation.

The  General  still  has  an offer on the table for his land that most
people  familiar  with  the  location feel is more than attractive for
prairie  land.  Mr.  Robinson  is  still  in the picture, but pressure
appears  to be mounting from the Government and others with regards to
unpaid employee social security payments and debt.

Our  Association Secretary recently came back from the Resort and sent
me  a  video of our units and the Resort property. Our units have been
maintained   in  excellent  condition  by  our  competent  Association
General  Manager,  Patty  Gordon, and her staff. She has even provided
security  personnel  since  the Resort left that responsibility lapse.
So  in  essence,  we,  the  Association,  have  rental units available
immediately  in  the  case that a Resort operator can come in and fund
the repair and replacement of the Resort amenities.

And  therein  lies  the  rub.  The Resort property has been ravaged by
time,  vandalism,  theft  and  neglect.  The infrastructure physically
looks  salvageable  (though  costly)  and a lot of elbow grease effort
needs  to  be  expended.  The  grounds  remain  as beautiful as before
(nature  has  a  way  of  rebounding) but are in need of grooming. The
beach  area seems improved and expanded naturally (as we had predicted
it would in time).

If  negotiations  that are underway and court rulings that are pending
progress  as  anticipated,  this Dominican Standoff as I have referred
to  it  may  come  to an end. Will it come in time for a re-opening of
the  Resort  this  season?  Maybe late. Could everything fall through?
Possibly.  So  what kind of status am I giving? The best I can at this
time  without  hampering  negotiations underway and with the hope that
when  the  Resort  does re-open I will have a contingent of interested
friends  who  will  join  me  &  my  fellow  owners in celebrating our
success.

There  is  another  General  Homeowners' Association Meeting scheduled
for  October  10,  1998.  We  will  be conducting it down at the condo
property  at  Eden Bay. I will continue to keep you informed as things
progress.

Thanks for your continued interest,

Tom Fernstrom Eden Bay Homeowners' Association

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