Puerto Plata seems dead

locofoto

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Aug 18, 2004
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Hi!

Have any of you noticed that since a few weeks Puerto Plata seems different?

The usual loud music playing on almost every corner is gone. La Canita, the car washes seem empty.

People on the street are saying it's because of lack of free money to spend in peoples hands. They blame it on the new government and say many people only go out on the two paydays a month.
 

Jerry K

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Jan 1, 2002
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No dinaro

The word on the street is fact not fiction. And now payday is going to be once a month soon. Since Dominicans live for today and aren't real big on budgeting, this should be interesting. Let's hope the light at the end of the tunnel is not a train.....sorry camion coming.
 

Snuffy

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May 3, 2002
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Yes, I have noticed that lately in Santiago...

I was thinking it was because prices are even higher with the dollar down. So those remittances from abroad buy less...and all those people returning with dollars to live in dream land are discovering their money goes a lot faster.

We are of course looking to leave and I have heard from others living near me that they may return to the USA.

I am hoping prices follow the dollar down and we can all live in peace.
 

sweetdbt

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Sep 17, 2004
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Snuffy said:
I was thinking it was because prices are even higher with the dollar down. So those remittances from abroad buy less...and all those people returning with dollars to live in dream land are discovering their money goes a lot faster.

We are of course looking to leave and I have heard from others living near me that they may return to the USA.

I am hoping prices follow the dollar down and we can all live in peace.

Seems like things are tough now, but it's hard to believe that a few months of high exchange rates during the death throes of a corrupt regime should permenantly change the price structure of everything in the country. I have to believe that if/when the peso stabilizes (it's been pretty steady lately), prices will eventually find their proper level and things will pick up. OK, I'm a hopeless optimist!
 

planner

.............. ?
Sep 23, 2002
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I agreee but...

I agree with you all.... but I was on the Malecon on Wednesday night after the baseball game!!! I've never seen so many cars, motorcycles and pasolas all in one place. And I've never seen so many drunk men all in one place..... YOu would swear they had all won the world series themselves already.....

It will be interesting here for the duration of the actual series.

Lately it has been fairly quiet here. I do think that people were expecting more financial relief and they haven't gotten it. While some get money sent into the country it doesn't buy as much as it used to. AND prices have not fallen in most cases. IN many cases they are still rising.

On top of that we have huge amounts of people who now only get paid once a month and they have no idea how to handle that! There is some relief in site : double pay in December and a pay raise coming soon .....

That means lots of partying in December but for now things seem to be a little quieter.

Interesting to note: When the bars and clubs are full, it seems to be mainly men. THe women get to stay home....
 

AZB

Platinum
Jan 2, 2002
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Puerto plata seems dead because it is dead and dead for many years.
santiago is also very slow and seems on the verge of dying as well. The trendy places are full but the rest of the places are slow. You see lots and lots of guys going out alone. I mean who can afford baileys and cocktail drinks for women. Now, lately, I see women going out in small groups and drinking beers. as soon as a guy accompanies them, their preferance changes to bailey's or other fancy drink. So men are avoiding going out with women. Women are forced to either stay home or drink beers with her girlfriends. So much for the independent woman concept. Hahahaha
AZB
 

planner

.............. ?
Sep 23, 2002
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NOt just here

Well AZB, you are absolutely right. BUt, it isn't just here. I see this all the time here and I used to observe it in Canada as well.

I am a single woman here and I am disgusted by this type of behaviour. Some women think that this is appropriate and somehow men owe them the drinks for the pleasure of their company.

I'd rather buy my own Brugal thank you very much. That being said, any man who thinks he can just come and drink with me for free is in for a rude awakening too.

Back to this thread: Even the women aren't going out and buying their own. Exception: when Eddy Herrera was playing at El Campito - hordes of women all drinking one beer and nursing it the entire evening! THe cover charge was 400 pesos and there were not a lot of people there. Mostly young women with a dream of Eddy....
 

gringo in dr

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May 29, 2003
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Any minute now the spokeman for the ultra rich elite families should show up and tell us how the economy is booming. This is the place to be.... ect ect ect.

The prices are not coming down and some are still rising. Anyone thought about buying some skippy lately from pricesmart? The jar is not that big and at $21 what a bargain!

Using the TV's at pricesmart as a guide, the real exchange rate that they are paying to import them is 44.29 : 1.

Who is benefitting from the difference of 32.25 - 44.29? The five families at the top that control the banks and exchange houses.

And now for their spokeman......
 

sweetdbt

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Sep 17, 2004
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I'm not anyone's spokesman.....but

gringo in dr said:
Any minute now the spokeman for the ultra rich elite families should show up and tell us how the economy is booming. This is the place to be.... ect ect ect.

The prices are not coming down and some are still rising. Anyone thought about buying some skippy lately from pricesmart? The jar is not that big and at $21 what a bargain!

Using the TV's at pricesmart as a guide, the real exchange rate that they are paying to import them is 44.29 : 1.

Who is benefitting from the difference of 32.25 - 44.29? The five families at the top that control the banks and exchange houses.

And now for their spokeman......

The fact is that imported items like Skippy PB and televisions in inventory now at retailers were probably bought when the exchange rate was in the 40s. This puts the vendors in a difficult position. If they sell at prices based on the current exchange rate they will "take a bath". On the other hand, they aren't going to do a booming business at those prices. A likely scenario is that certain prices will stay high for a while, hoping that those who can afford it, or simply aren't willing to wait will pay them. then the reality of cash flow requirements will set in and they will lower the prices to sell the goods.

The fact that some prices may have actually gone up since the exchange rate has dropped may also be a reflection of the vendor's inventory situation. If he had TVs purchased before the spike in the exchange rate, they could/would continue to sell them for the lower price until they were gone.

This does not explain why prices on some things which would appear to be totally domestic appear to have gone up as well. Eggs, anyone?

I remain the eternal optomist, and trust that if the exchange rate stabilizes, prices will find their proper level. Of course, that's easy for me to say here in the US, while you have to deal with it now. I'm hoping I'll get lucky and things will have sorted themselves out before I make the move.
 

stormer

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Apr 27, 2004
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locofoto said:
Hi!

Have any of you noticed that since a few weeks Puerto Plata seems different?

The usual loud music playing on almost every corner is gone. La Canita, the car washes seem empty.

People on the street are saying it's because of lack of free money to spend in peoples hands. They blame it on the new government and say many people only go out on the two paydays a month.

Sorry dudes!!! Its because I myself have not graced that fine city in about a year or so!!!! Lol. ;)
 

NALs

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Jan 20, 2003
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This does not explain why prices on some things which would appear to be totally domestic appear to have gone up as well. Eggs, anyone?
The problem is what you just explained about inventory bought at a high exchange rate and now selling them at a loss is bothersome for business owners. As such, they are holding up their prices until they get rid of the inventory or until their current sales slow down to a point where they have no choice but to cut the price.

However, there is one silent nasty road block in the economic recovery not just of the DR, but also of the world and that is oil and gasoline. Crude oil is rediculously expensive lately with everyweek reaching a new record high. That is causing a slight slowing down in economic activity not just in the DR, but also around the World. Even China is registering a slight decline in economic activity and China was flying high for quite some time now.

I remain the eternal optomist, and trust that if the exchange rate stabilizes, prices will find their proper level. Of course, that's easy for me to say here in the US, while you have to deal with it now. I'm hoping I'll get lucky and things will have sorted themselves out before I make the move.
Things will sort themselves out. It's just that its going to take a bit longer than expected and the oil problem is going to make the price drops less significant since what was lost in the price due to the exchange rate will be made up by transport costs.

Also, people please realize that transport cost is not just the trucking of the merchandise from the port to the store, but also the cost to ship the merchandise either via Ship or Airplane, the only two ways of importing things into this country and those are the two most expensive transportation getting much more expensive as oil keeps inching up in prices.

OPEC must be destroyed!! :angry:
 

gringo in dr

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May 29, 2003
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When the peso was devaluing many store owners would not post prices because they claimed they needed to sell at replacement cost.

Now that the peso's value is rising, the store owners are claiming they need to sell at the cost they paid.

Typical Dominican logic. They want it both ways.
 

NALs

Polls Forum Moderator
Jan 20, 2003
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I don't like to give business ideas, because I like to pocket from my ideas, like any human being. In addition, most of my ideas have really helped me make a few bucks, ok alot of bucks in this country that seems ever strapped by a lack of cash. I just don't know where all this money comes from, but its here somewhere.

So, here is one tip and probably the only business trip I'll do on DR1.

If you own a business with inventory (you need some nice reserves to be able to do this without going belly up), slash your prices according to the current exchange rate. You will lose money on the inventory bought during Hippo's nightmare, but if word of mouth does its trick (this country is good at making that happen), you might be able to clean out the old merchandise and be able to replace them with newer merchandise that could be sold at more "tolerable" levels both for the locals and the business owner.

Just, don't try this if you got little or no reserves. Here is a way of making sure you got enough reserves for this, if you have to think about how much you have, then you don't have enough.

It's kind of like that saying "If you can count all your money, you don't have $1 million", well think of it that way but in reverse. "If you have to think about your reserves, you don't have enough".
 

sweetdbt

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Sep 17, 2004
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gringo in dr said:
When the peso was devaluing many store owners would not post prices because they claimed they needed to sell at replacement cost.

Now that the peso's value is rising, the store owners are claiming they need to sell at the cost they paid.

Typical Dominican logic. They want it both ways.

I'm sure that goes on, and is unfortunate. An honest businessman will base prices on the cost paid, plus markup. To base it on replacement cost is a sign that they either are "trying to have it both ways" as you suggested, or that they don't have the stability, credit line, or cash reserves to pay for future inventory at higher cost. Neither is good business.
 

Lambada

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Mar 4, 2004
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I've been watching Flora........the sunflower margarine. Three months ago a 3lb. tub was 135 pesos, one month ago 112 pesos, now 99 pesos. Some things ARE coming down in price.
 

Gringo

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Jan 1, 2002
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With regards to the five families and prices coming down?

gringo in dr said:
Any minute now the spokeman for the ultra rich elite families should show up and tell us how the economy is booming. This is the place to be.... ect ect ect.

The prices are not coming down and some are still rising. Anyone thought about buying some skippy lately from pricesmart? The jar is not that big and at $21 what a bargain!

Using the TV's at pricesmart as a guide, the real exchange rate that they are paying to import them is 44.29 : 1.

Who is benefitting from the difference of 32.25 - 44.29? The five families at the top that control the banks and exchange houses.

And now for their spokeman......

I was just Informed last night at my local Pub that my Presidente will cost me 5 Pesos more........................?

Gringo
 

sweetdbt

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Sep 17, 2004
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Gringo said:
I was just Informed last night at my local Pub that my Presidente will cost me 5 Pesos more........................?

Gringo

Ask the proprietor of the establishment the reason for the increase, and if the answer is not satisfactory, take your business elsewhere! If you drink there because your friends are there, encourage them to do the same! My understanding is that wholesale costs on Presidente have actually gone down due to a "price war" with the rum manufacturers for the alcohol consumer peso. I know that the price on Grandes at Jose Luis supermercado in PP went down between June and September, when they were RD 160 for a 4-pack.
 

Escott

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Jan 14, 2002
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Nal0whs said:
I don't like to give business ideas, because I like to pocket from my ideas, like any human being. In addition, most of my ideas have really helped me make a few bucks, ok alot of bucks in this country that seems ever strapped by a lack of cash. I just don't know where all this money comes from, but its here somewhere.

So, here is one tip and probably the only business trip I'll do on DR1.

If you own a business with inventory (you need some nice reserves to be able to do this without going belly up), slash your prices according to the current exchange rate. You will lose money on the inventory bought during Hippo's nightmare, but if word of mouth does its trick (this country is good at making that happen), you might be able to clean out the old merchandise and be able to replace them with newer merchandise that could be sold at more "tolerable" levels both for the locals and the business owner.

Just, don't try this if you got little or no reserves. Here is a way of making sure you got enough reserves for this, if you have to think about how much you have, then you don't have enough.

It's kind of like that saying "If you can count all your money, you don't have $1 million", well think of it that way but in reverse. "If you have to think about your reserves, you don't have enough".
You are a sage. Can I just send you money for this brain twister that is going to make me my millions Now instead of later?
 

Hillbilly

Moderator
Jan 1, 2002
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I think that you have put your finger on a new reality

The economy may be recovering, but it is recovering at the cost of spending.
The Central Bank has "de-monetized" billions of pesos, and, as a result, there is less money circulating. At least that is one theory, based on comments in the papers.

As second theory is that the latest wave of violence in the urban centers, one that has taken 45 lives over the past month, has a lot of people thinking that a trip to the local bar is just not worth the risk...I, too, have noticed that traffic in Santiago is greatly reduced, even tonight, a Saturday.

During the day, Santiago traffic continues to be fairly normal, but just a tad less.

As far as prices go, I am sorry but I don't look at prices unless they are just too extravagant...and Skippy is not $21.00, closer to $10.00 or the same as a bottle of good rum...

As I read the new tax laws, beer was going to go up, as well as rum and other alcoholic beverages. Sorry for when I go to the beach but once or twice a month is fine, I suppose..

HB ?:(