Once a week, on Sundays I write about the latest news updates in Aruba in my weekly newsletter.
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Latest News Updates in Aruba
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Possible Moratorium on Hotels in Aruba
The parliament in Aruba brought forward a motion to implement a moratorium on hotels (and condominiums).
It was announced after the local community expressed through public demonstrations and on social media their discontent with upcoming hotel projects on the island. Not only the local community disapproves of these projects, but also different NGOs are opposed to them.
According to members of the parliament the expansion of more hotel rooms will have a negative impact on many dimensions of the island, including nature, environment and infrastructure of the island.
The building of new hotels also means that workers have to immigrate to manage the rooms. On average it takes 2 people for every additional room.
In 2010 the previous government approved a moratorium against construction of hotels, timeshares and condominiums for at least 10 years. But despite the agreement deals were still made to create additional 7.000 hotel rooms.
Since 2001 a total of 15 condominiums were built, and there’s already agreement signed to construct more.
The moratorium will counts for hotels and condominiums, with exceptions of boutique hotels with no more than 150 rooms (without the possibility to expansion) and excluding the district of San Nicolas.
It’s expected that the deals already signed to build more hotels will leave the island in 2020 with additional 4.500 rooms. This means about 24.000 thousand people have to immigrate to the island to work in the hotel industry in the next 3 – 5 years.
Aruba has one of the highest room density in the Caribbean followed by the cayman islands.
Aruba Timeshare Association (ATSA) also supports the possible moratorium on hotels.
According to the organization, the construction of hotel rooms should be regulated, before it gets out of hand.
The president of ATSA said that only hotel developments that make sense and that are necessary should be allowed.
According to the central bureau of statistics (CBS) for every 100 hotel jobs created on the island only 7 will be granted towards locals, the rest will be given to immigrants who also come with at least 3 family members in Aruba.
Constructing more hotels will have an affect on our:
- Nature and environment
- Increase the cost of pension and medical care system
- It saturates recreational areas like our precious beaches and increases traffic.
On the other hand, constructing more hotels will benefit the island financially, but does it matter if it has so much negative impacts?
Tropicana Casino in Aruba Not For Sale
Did you hear the news about the $1.85 billion dollar deal to fuse the gambling and hotel operations of Tropicana to El Dorado Resorts?
Maybe you’re wondering what this means for the Tropicana resort in Aruba?
There’s no need to worry because the huge hotel deal includes the sale of Tropicana Entertainment Inc.’s real estate to Gaming and Leisure Properties Inc, which doesn’t include Tropicana’s Aruba assets.
Eldorado Resorts is going to acquiring the operating assets of seven casinos in six states, including two in Nevada.
The casinos are…
- Tropicana Laughlin Hotel and Casino
- MontBleu Casino Resort & Spa in South Lake Tahoe
- Casinos in Indiana (Tropicana Evansville)
- Louisiana (Belle of Baton Rouge Casino & Hotel)
- Mississippi (Trop Casino Greenville)
- Missouri (Lumière Place)
- New Jersey (Tropicana Casino and Resort, Atlantic City).
Management of El Dorado said the Aruba property was not included in the sale because they don’t believe it would be worth acquiring.
Start of Turtle Nest Season On Eagle Beach
This week two turtle nests were discovered.
The nests are located near the low rise hotel area in palm beach. Volunteers from Tortuga Aruba closed off the nests with barricades to protect the eggs.
Since the beginning of March this foundation has been monitoring the beaches known to be frequented by egg laying leatherback turtles. From the beach in front of Amsterdam Manor until the beach near Divi Tamarijn.
Leatherback sea turtles are the largest species of turtles in the world, and we’re lucky enough to have them as repeat guests on our island.
Last year (2017) a total of 18 turtle nests were laid, lets see if these turtles can break the record this year.
Frontiers Still Partially Closed Between Venezuela & ABC Islands
The frontiers between Venezuela and ABC islands is open again after a meeting between the vice president and minister of exterior relations in The Netherlands.
However the frontier is only opened for aviation traffic, the borders remain closed for boats.
The Aruban Government is still waiting for documentation by the Venezuelan authorities that cover the regulations necessary to allow boats in again.
More Police in Aruba Means More Safety
The minister of Justice recently announced that before the ending of 2018 about 58 new cops will join the police force.
According to the minister he is working on implementing new systems to combat “high impact crimes” on the island.
This will be done by reintroducing a helicopter in Aruba, using drones to vigilate certain areas and police cars will get a computer to exercise better controls and screenings.
The minister is also working on updating laws made in 1817 that are outdated and ineffective for the modern times.
More Protected Areas in Aruba
The minister of infrastructure recently announced that the government is exploring the possibilities to expand the 16 areas that are protected in Aruba.
According to the minister 3 areas which are known for archaeological importance will be protected soon.
These areas will not only be protected from developments but will be designated to continue archaeological research.
Government Plans To Open Traffic For Downtown Area (but can’t yet)
The government announced that they will open the mainstreet in the downtown area of Aruba for traffic a few months ago. But due to an ongoing dispute in court with the company who was in charge of renovating the mainstreet, the government can’t fulfill its promise yet.
The construction company (Mantbraca Corporation) took the Aruban government to court for refusing to pay for the remodeling of the downtown area, this was confirmed by the lawyer of Mantbraca.
However the Aruban government is of opinion that the rehabilitation works were not completed in time, and the payments should not be paid due to fines the company received for taking too long to finish the project.
As long as the case is ongoing, cars can’t pass in the mainstreet according to the minister of infrastructure.
First Ever Drone Racing Competition in Aruba
This week the first ever drone racing competition was held on the island.
It was a historical day as the first time the island experienced such a competition.
The competition was held at setup parkour at bushiribana complex better known as mambo beach. It was a FPV (first person view) drone race, which the drone pilot uses a special headgear to see what’s going on.
Participants came from The Netherlands, Curacao and Aruba.
Air Century Announces Flights From Dominican Republic To Aruba
Marketing coordinator from Air Century announced to a large group of representatives of the press and the tourism industry, that the airline company received authorization to start operations, from its HUB of the Caribbean in Santo Domingo, to Aruba.
Other destinations that also included in the new flight route are Curaçao and Sint Maarten.
All these changes will take place officially in June.
Food Truck Festival
The end of month April brings with it what has become a tradition on the island – food truck festival.
Food trucks have become popular on the island for people who want a bite to eat in the middle of the night. Whether its after a long night of partying or just late night cravings there’s over a dozen types of “truck foods” available for every palette of taste buds.
Are you going to be on the island during April 27 – 28, 2018?
If so do yourself a favor and make your way to this eat local festival, you’ll be sorry if someone else told you how good it was. The event will take place at Plaza Daniel Leo from 7:00 – 11:00 on both days.
There’s going to be locals, tourists, live music, local food trucks, craft beers and you’re all that’s missing here…
I’m definitely going to attend the event, and will be making a recap of the festival (lookout for the post).
New Pina Colada Mixes at Hilton Resort
Bartenders at Hilton Resort added a new twist to one of the most popular drinks in the Caribbean.
They revamped the pina colada with help of a bacardi ambassador mixologist.
Now you can choose between 3 versions of the pina colada – a skinny colada, just as sweet as the original one, but it has less calories. They also have the coco mango colada and banana pina colada.
Skinny colada is made from bacardi limon rum, bacardi gold and pineapple juice. Coco mango is made from bacardi rum superior, pineapple juice, coconut cream, splash of lemon of juice and fresh cut mangos. Banana pina colada is made from bacardi rum superior, bacardi gold rum, pineapple juice, coconut cream, sliced banana and vanilla syrup.
During this last couple of weeks many establishments on the island that serve drinks received a certification from bacardi ambassadors including mixology trainings.
These 3 new pina colada drinks including other specials are available at the Gilligan’s Seafood Shack and Castaways Bar.
Try them as soon as you can because they’re only available for a limited time.
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