20032004 Travel News ArchiveNewsTravel

Vying for the Las Vegas junketeers

The Bavaro Princess opened its mega-casino on Saturday, 11 December. Ernesto Veloz, the director of the Association of Hotels of the East, described the venue as one of the biggest casinos in the Caribbean in an interview with El Caribe. The casino will be operated by Tower, the company that is building a second casino at Hotel Ocean Blue in Bavaro that is due to open in the spring. Horacio Santoianni, Tower?s spokesman, said they plan to build more in the Uvero Alto-Bayahibe hotel areas. He said the casinos are appealing to those gamblers who now visit Las Vegas less frequently due to restrictions in the US after the September 11 terrorist attacks. Santoianni said they hope to attract players who can spend US$10,000 in one night. El Caribe reports that Tower?s first casino in the DR was at the Napolitano Hotel in Santo Domingo, of which property he was the manager for a year, prior to its sale to a French group. It wasn?t long before they realized that prospects for profit were better in Bavaro.

?We want to turn Punta Cana into a place like Las Vegas, and we are betting on that,? he said.

For reservations at Bavaro Princess, see http://dr1.com/directories/hotels/princess_bavaro.shtml