Back in the day Punta Cana (Bavaro,etc..) did not really exist (not like now). Sugar cane fields, etc... Puerto Plata was the up and coming "resort" area. Later Casa de Campo was becoming popular. Many of my spouses cousins worked in the resorts/casinos in Puerto Plata. But I seriously doubt the seaweed issue will "ruin" Punta Cana. Some days it is bad other days not so bad.