The first six-star hotel in the Islands of Puerto Rico
SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico, Aug. 5 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The government of Puerto Rico has reached a major milestone in its strategic tourism-development agenda, having announced -- together with private financing, investor and development groups -- the investment of US$342 million in the new world-class Ritz-Carlton Reserve, Dorado Beach Resort & Spa, to be located in Dorado, Puerto Rico USA. The new hotel development project has been dubbed as the Island's first six-star hotel, which will redevelop the former Dorado Beach Resort property into an ultra-luxe, eco-friendly destination vacation experience in the Islands of Puerto Rico.
Marking this significant accomplishment, the Government of Puerto Rico's Secretary for Economic Development and Commerce Jose R. Perez-Riera frames the Project within the Island's overall economic development program, as a key pillar for the Island's economic progress. "We are thrilled that Ritz-Carlton Reserve, Dorado Beach Resort & Spa is on its way to being a reality. Only 18 months after the start of the administration of Governor Luis G. Fortuno, this major prestigious hotel development Project has been made viable by a coalition of the Government with the private sector," says Secretary Perez-Riera.
Slated to open at the end of 2012, the Ritz-Carlton Reserve, Dorado Beach Resort & Spa's initial phase will consist of 130 ultra-deluxe rooms nestled in extensive secluded tropical beach-front grounds. The vision for the resort calls for an investment topping US$1,000 million over the next ten years. For the Project's first phase, novel financing was structured to provide US$231 million. This financing was headed by the Government of Puerto Rico's Government Development Bank, with the joint participation of FirstBank, UBS Financial Services Inc., Popular Securities, and the Puerto Rico Tourism Development Fund. Planned next phases include an investment of US$300 million for an expansion, followed by US$600 million for the construction of another hotel as well as residences.
Secretary Perez-Riera highlights the support of the Puerto Rico Tourism Company (which is part of the Department of Economic Development and Commerce umbrella) and the Government Development Bank of Puerto Rico, as key in bringing about the Project. "This initiative represents an extraordinary step in the advancement of our Tourism Development Strategic Plan. World investors and development groups should take notice. The Islands of Puerto Rico are committed to harnessing their exceptional tourism development potential. The Government of Puerto Rico has the will to support the private sector to bring about new hospitality development projects. Where there is the will, there is a way," says Secretary Perez-Riera.
The Ritz-Carlton Reserve Dorado Beach Resort & Spa project is especially noteworthy considering global economic conditions, and an extremely complex financing panorama. There is limited availability of private financing for development of major hotel projects around the globe. This is one factor constraining construction of major hotels in the region, and world-wide. "As such, the support of the Government of Puerto Rico has been instrumental to make this Project viable. In fact, this Project represents the largest of its kind in the Carribbean Region, certainly within the past 18 months. In light of this, we spotlight the enormous perseverance and creativity of the private sector investor and development groups leading this development. They have worked tirelessly to conceptualize a world-class, financially viable Project, aside from committing substantial funds to make it happen," adds Secretary Perez-Riera.
Jaime Lopez-Diaz, Executive Director of the Puerto Rico Tourism Company believes "the arrival of Ritz-Carlton Reserve to the Islands of Puerto Rico represents a significant advancement for the Islands' positioning as an exceptional place to visit, do business and live. We are sending the message to the world that 'Puerto Rico Does It Better.' What better partner than Ritz-Carlton Reserve to evidence this." According to Lopez-Diaz, the Ritz-Carlton Reserve, Dorado Beach Resort & Spa will appeal to a very discerning travel market, with very high purchasing power.
Secretary Perez-Riera concludes by stressing that "the Government of Puerto Rico is absolutely committed to the progress of the Islands' tourism sector. We will continue to work closely with the private sector, to facilitate their lead in making Puerto Rico one of the premier destinations worldwide for visitors. With new hotels that have begun operating over the past 18 months -- such as the Sheraton Convention Center; the W Retreat and Spa, in Vieques; the Condado Lagoon Villas -- and other hotels in the process of being completed -- such as the St. Regis Bahia Beach Resort; and Condado Vanderbilt -- Puerto Rico will expand its hospitality offerings, and enter assertively in the upper luxury range. This combined with our exceptional cultural; culinary; nature; sports and infrastructure offerings will yield a uniquely desirable Caribbean experience for a wide range of visitors."
SOURCE Government of Puerto Rico, Department of Economic Development and Commerce