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Front Page: Adapt and compete

Posted: Wednesday, January 9, 2008 - 04:05 PM

By Frances Ryan of Caribbean Business

A homegrown economic recession, increasingly if fierce competition from multinationals, a new sales tax (IVU, by its Spanish acronym), increasing energy costs and higher costs of doing business on the island have not been able to slow down Puerto Rico

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Giant Columbus statue finds new Puerto Rico home

08/18/2008 {sodEmoji.{sodEmoji.|}} 01:21 AM

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico - A giant statue of Christopher Columbus has found a home after years of sitting in pieces in a park in the Puerto Rican city of Catano.

The city paid US$2.4 million to bring the 310-foot statue to Puerto Rico ten years ago, but then couldn't raise the extra cash needed to erect it.

Now, Catano Mayor Wilson Soto says port management company the Holland Group has agreed to take the disassembled, bronze and steel statue off his hands.

The company plans to install it in the western city of Mayaguez, where it runs the port. The town is set host the Central American and Caribbean Games in July 2010.


St. Jude gets OK for new Puerto Rico plant

Last update: August 20, 2008 - 8:06 PM

St. Jude gets OK for new Puerto Rico plant

St. Jude Medical Inc. won U.S. approval to open a plant in Arecibo, Puerto Rico, to manufacture electronic heart devices as part of a company-wide expansion. At least 1,250 new jobs will be created at the plant within the next three years, the company said Wednesday. St. Jude, based in Little Canada, already has a plant in Caguas, Puerto Rico. The new, 150,000-square-foot facility will make implantable pacemakers, defibrillators and the thin wires, or leads, that connect electronic devices to the heart.


Daddy Yankee gives McCain his support

The Denver Post Mon Aug 25, 9:01 PM ET


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$100 million Hato Rey development in the works


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Edition: August 28, 2008 {sodEmoji.{sodEmoji.|}} Volume: 36 {sodEmoji.{sodEmoji.|}} No: 34

Mixed-use complex would add office space, hotel and 1,300 parking spaces near Coliseum

A group of local investors is awaiting final anchor-tenant confirmation from the Puerto Rico Family Department to proceed with the development of a $100 million mixed-use complex in Hato Rey

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Air Access to Puerto Rico and Caribbean Still Going Strong

Thursday September 4, 12:00 pm ET

September 3rd Was to Mark End of Many Routes to Puerto Rico and Caribbean; Instead, Air Access to Region Shows Signs of Growth

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico, Sept. 4 /PRNewswire/ -- On a day that was to mark the significant reduction of air access from the U.S. mainland to Puerto Rico, and other destinations in the Caribbean, the region is celebrating the addition of new flights and the preservation of routes that were slated for cancellation. Through a series of negotiations and the implementation of an airline incentive program by the Puerto Rico Tourism Company (PRTC), the airline industry is once again looking to the Caribbean as a region with tremendous potential for revenue. For local businesses, especially those connected with the tourism industry, this is a much-needed vote of confidence.

"The cancellation of these flights was not just an issue for Puerto Rico, but for the entire the Caribbean," Terestella Gonzalez-Denton, Executive Director of PRTC said. "As the gateway to the Caribbean, Puerto Rico is a conduit for travelers visiting other islands. Air access to the region is especially important to our hotel and cruise industries and the consequences of limited air access would have had devastating results. However, our work with the government of Puerto Rico, and the visionary thinking of our partners in the airline industry, is giving the Caribbean the tools it needs to sustain the growth we've experienced in the past few years," added Gonzalez-Denton.

In response to the threat of losing vital routes to Puerto Rico, the PRTC, in association with the government of Puerto Rico, set out to create programs that would entice airlines to retain and increase their service to the island. PRTC has also embarked on an aggressive media campaign to sustain demand for flights to Puerto Rico and remind travelers that the island is still very much accessible. In addition, a co-op marketing program created by the PRTC will match every dollar, up to $3 million, that the airline industry spends in the promotion of travel to Puerto Rico. PRTC continues its negotiations with airlines to increase seat capacity for primary markets.

New / Reinstated Air Service to Puerto Rico Includes:

-- American Airlines will continue non-stop service from Los Angeles (LAX) and Baltimore (BWI) to San Juan Luis Munoz Marin International Airport (SJU)

-- JetBlue Airways announced that it will add four flights to San Juan Luis Munoz Marin International Airport (SJU) from John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) at the beginning of September 2008. Additionally, they will add a fifth daily flight from SJU to JFK in November. Two additional flights (SJU - JFK) will be added in December for a total of seven extra flights

-- JetBlue will also add two flights per week to San Juan San Juan Luis Munoz Marin International Airport (SJU) from Logan International Airport (BOS) in Boston. From December 2008-January 2009 the airline will add a second daily flight between BOS and SJU

-- Additionally, JetBlue will offer new daily nonstop flights between Orlando's International Airport (MCO) and San Juan Luis Munoz Marin International Airport beginning in the fall of 2008

-- AirTran Airways began flying between Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL) and San Juan Luis Munoz Marin International Airport (SJU) on March 5, 2008

-- AirTran also now offers two nonstop flights between Orlando International Airport (MCO) and San Juan, Luis Munoz Marin International Airport (SJU)

-- On December 20, 2008 Air Tran Airways will launch non-stop service from Baltimore Washington International Airport (BWI) to San Juan Luis Munoz Marin Airport (SJU).


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Medtronic Puerto Rico expands spinal division in Humacao


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Edition: September 4, 2008 {sodEmoji.{sodEmoji.|}} Volume: 36 {sodEmoji.{sodEmoji.|}} No: 35

Invests $30 million, adds 45,000 square feet to building space and creates 105 new jobs; total Medtronic employment now up to 2,400

Medtronic Puerto Rico has expanded its spinal division in Humacao with a $30 million investment that doubled existing space to 90,000 square feet. The expansion will be inaugurated next week.

Of the $30 million, $16 million paid for the new building and $14 million for new machinery and equipment.

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Regent Hotels & Resorts Announces Expansion in Puerto Rico with New Luxury Resort the Regent Palmas Del Mar Puerto Rico

The First Regent Property in Puerto Rico Celebrates Ground-Breaking Event

PALMAS DEL MAR, Puerto Rico, Ground was broken today in Puerto Rico as Regent Hotels & Resorts (www.regenthotels.com) announced its newest luxury development, The Regent Palmas del Mar Puerto Rico. Joining in the ceremonies were top government officials, property developers and executives of Regent Hotels & Resorts, including the Governor of the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico Anibal Acevedo Vila, Luis F. Muniz, Chairman and CEO of RPR Development, LLC, and Bjorn Gullaksen, President, the Regent Luxury Group. Officials gathered at the ocean-front site of the resort, approximately 30 minutes southeast of San Juan, to ceremoniously commence construction on this comprehensive new luxury development, which will be anchored by a showcase new Regent resort.

Scheduled to open December 2011, The Regent Puerto Rico will be the focal point for one of the premier integrated luxury resort communities in Puerto Rico and the Caribbean. The new Regent will join the existing portfolio of luxury resorts in the Americas, including The Regent Palms Turks and Caicos and The Regent Bal Harbour, Florida. Additional Regent Hotels & Resorts are located in Europe and Asia, with eight properties under construction globally.

"We are pleased to introduce Regent Hotels & Resorts for the first time in Puerto Rico," said Bjorn Gullaksen, President, Regent Luxury Group. "We look forward to offering the distinctive Regent Experience to visitors and guests at the Palmas del Mar resort, as a new Caribbean destination for luxury travelers," he added.

The 150-room Regent Puerto Rico will offer beachfront accommodations and interiors by award-winning designer Trisha Wilson, whose work includes Little Dix Bay Villa and Spa in Virgin Gorda and The Palace of the Lost City Hotel, Suncity, South Africa. The hotel's architectural firm, Nichols Brosch Wurst Wolfe & Associates, also created The Regent Bal Harbour and The Regent Palms Turks and Caicos, as well as hotels for St. Regis and Ritz-Carlton.

"We are delighted to bring the Regent Experience, with its iconic Asian heritage, to this exciting new development," said Luis F. Muniz, Chairman and CEO, RPR Development, LLC. "The uncompromising quality and service reflective of the Regent heritage aligns with our vision for this luxurious new destination," he added.

The Regent Puerto Rico will include 96 guestrooms and 52 suites as well as a spectacular 5,500-square-foot Presidential Suite and a Presidential Beach Cottage, featuring expansive views of the Caribbean Sea, neighboring island Vieques and Puerto Rico's lush rainforest. The Regent Puerto Rico will also offer 153 Regent-branded residences.

Resort amenities will include a signature restaurant from a renowned culinary operator, three private pools, preferred tee times at nearby championship golf courses and a 16,000-square-foot spa featuring five over-water spa suites. The Regent Puerto Rico will also offer an on-site ballroom and chapel for destination weddings and events.

Located thirty-five minutes southeast of San Juan, The Regent Puerto Rico will be part of a comprehensive and exclusive resort community. Among Puerto Rico and the Caribbean's top resort communities, Palmas del Mar offers the largest tennis center in the Caribbean, featuring 22 courts, as well as a country club, yacht club, equestrian center, 18 restaurants and two championship golf courses from Reese Jones and Gary Player. The community also offers a 160-slip marina within walking distance of The Regent Puerto Rico.


New high-end Regent hotel to go up in Puerto Rico

Wednesday October 8, 3:22 pm ET

Despite crisis, new luxury Regent hotel project in Puerto Rico moves forward

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (AP) -- A new luxury hotel is going up in Puerto Rico despite the global economic crisis and signs of weakness in the Caribbean tourism market.

Regent Hotels & Resorts says it is moving forward with a 150-room, five-star project in Palmas del Mar along the island's southeast coast.

Puerto Rico's governor and other officials attended Wednesday's groundbreaking for the $432 million project.

Regent vice president for North America Norman Rafelson says the developer has already secured the financing for the Regent Palmas del Mar. The hotel is scheduled to open in December 2011.

It is one of eight Regent hotels in the works around the world. Regent Hotels & Resorts is part of the Minneapolis, Minn.-based Carlson Companies.


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English-language daily to debut in Puerto Rico

By DANICA COTO 10.22.08, 7:54 AM ET

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico - A group of journalists in Puerto Rico said Tuesday they are ready to launch the island's first cooperative-style newspaper this week with a $1 million boost from the government.

The new English-language tabloid would replace the Pulitzer Prize-winning San Juan Star, a nearly 50-year-old daily that closed two months ago amid declining revenues and disputes between the publisher and union over layoffs and benefit cuts.

Roughly 15,000 copies of the Puerto Rico Daily Sun will be printed on Wednesday and about 2,000 subscribers have already signed up, editor Rafael Matos told a news conference in the U.S. island's capital, San Juan.

The Puerto Rican Department of Labor and Human Resources will contribute $1 million to help cover salaries and benefits. Half that amount will be available under a local law that provides incentives to companies that create new jobs, Secretary Roman Velasco said.

Matos said the paper's objectivity would not be compromised by the government help.

"We are subject to the strictest of journalistic canons," Matos said. "This is not an investment from the government - it is a contribution."

Matos said 90 former Star employees agreed to buy a minimum of $200 in shares of the United Press Cooperative to help start the paper.

The launch comes as the newspaper industry is suffering from steep declines in advertising - part of a downturn that began years ago with the migration of readers and advertisers to the Internet. The financial crisis that began last month continues to depress consumer and ad spending.

But the Daily Sun's executive editor, Marisol Lora, said staffers are determined to make it work.

The paper will have six reporters to cover topics including politics, health and the economy. It will sell for 50 cents, while the Sunday edition will cost $1.50.

Puerto Rico currently has three major Spanish-language newspapers and several smaller ones. It also has a weekly business newspaper in English.


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