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Karisma and Margaritaville Break Ground on New Cap Cana Property



WHY IT RATES: This will be the first Margaritaville resort to open in the Dominican Republic. —Janeen Christoff, TravelPulse Senior Writer

Margaritaville and Karisma Hotels & Resorts are pleased to announce the groundbreaking of Margaritaville Island Reserve by Karisma Cap Cana, which will open in 2021. Margaritaville Island Reserve by Karisma Cap Cana, an inclusive resort, marks the introduction of Margaritaville to the Dominican Republic and expands upon Karisma’s presence in the region. A $150 million development, the new property is expected to create 1,100 jobs in the Dominican Republic.

Led by Rafael Feliz, Chairman of Karisma Hotels & Resorts and a native of the Dominican Republic and John Cohlan, Chief Executive Officer of Margaritaville, the October 29 groundbreaking took place on the stunning white sand beach in the gated community of Cap Cana. The ceremony was attended by Danilo Medina Sanchez, President of the Dominican Republic, along with more than 150 guests who enjoyed drinks and bites, giving them a tropical taste of Margaritaville.

Located beachfront on Juanillo Beach along the Caribbean Sea, Margaritaville Island Reserve by Karisma Cap Cana will feature 228 rooms and suites, and uniquely capture a casual-luxe experience for guests who value exceptional quality without pretense. With a focus on families, the new-build resort will deliver world-class amenities, service, and top-quality food and beverage. This, in combination with Margaritaville’s authentic sense of fun and escapism, promises to be a new favorite tropical vacation destination in the Caribbean. Guests will be presented flip-flops and welcome drinks upon arrival, setting the tone for a refreshing Island Reserve experience.

“Margaritaville Island Reserve by Karisma Cap Cana marks Karisma’s second property in the Dominican Republic and is especially significant to me as I was born and raised here,” said Feliz. “We look forward to introducing the ultimate luxury vacation for families, couples and singles to escape and have fun beachfront while enjoying authentic touches and unforgettable ‘wow’ moments. We are equally excited to offer 2,100 jobs across our two resorts, and further invest in the future of this spectacular destination.”

Local flavors and surprise and delight moments will be introduced at seven restaurants and three bars at Margaritaville Island Reserve by Karisma Cap Cana, including the signature 5 o’Clock Somewhere Bar. The beachfront property allows for a highly personalized vacation, with plenty of space to seek refuge at any of the resort’s three pools and St. Somewhere Spa, by Karisma, ideal for rest and relaxation. Margaritaville Island Reserve by Karisma Cap Cana will offer a breathtaking backdrop for weddings and private events, including Sky Weddings overlooking nothing but the azure sea and sky. For younger guests, the resort will have a Parakeets Kid’s Club with supervised daily activities for children 4-12 years old.

Exclusive to Margaritaville Island Reserve by Karisma, the guest experience at the Cap Cana property will be kept casual yet customized thanks to a team of Island Ambassadors who are passionate about Margaritaville, the destination, and ensuring every guest’s vacation is entertaining and memorable. A concierge, vacation-planner, and a catalyst for fun rolled into one, these Ambassadors will be on-call to answer questions, take requests, and to make guests smile throughout their stay–and then snap a photo, so the moment in paradise is never forgotten.

“We are excited to introduce the Margaritaville Island Reserve brand to Cap Cana-one of the most beautiful beach destinations in the world,” noted John Cohlan, CEO of Margaritaville Holdings. “Our partnership with Rafael and the Karisma team-a match made in paradise—will create the ultimate island destination experience, all about fun, relaxation, incredible food, service, entertainment and our Margaritaville state of mind.”

Margaritaville Island Reserve by Karisma Cap Cana will be the fourth property in the Island Reserve collection, representing the milestone partnership between Karisma and Margaritaville. The new inclusive resort will follow confirmed Island Reserve properties in Mexico’s Riviera Cancun and Riviera Maya, and Jamaica–all opening in 2020–among other destinations in Latin America and the Caribbean.

SOURCE: Margaritaville press release.

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Las Vegas Sands Donating Two Million Pieces of Personal Protective Equipment



WHY IT RATES: With the Palazzo and Venetian shuttered in Las Vegas, parent company Las Vegas Sands continues to pay some 10,000 furloughed Team Members and provide full health-care benefits, and has just announced a fresh donation of two millions pieces of personal protective equipment to support the work of those battling coronavirus on the ground in New York and Nevada. — Laurie Baratti, TravelPulse Associate Writer

Las Vegas Sands today announced it will donate two million medical masks and 20,000 protective suits to help health-care professionals, first responders and nonprofit organizations in the fight against the coronavirus pandemic.

Medical mask donations will be distributed in the company’s corporate headquarters of Nevada as well as New York, which has become the epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak in the United States. Each state will receive one million masks. The 20,000 protective suits will be donated to hospitals and first responders in Nevada.

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“Hopefully our donations will help protect people on the front lines so they can continue their invaluable work, and we can start to see the numbers of people affected begin to diminish,” Sands Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Sheldon G. Adelson said. “Our properties in Las Vegas may be empty right now, but our hearts are full of hope for the future. The determination and courage I have seen in our Team Members, which I know is the same throughout this country, gives me every confidence we will get through this unprecedented crisis.”

This contribution marks the second round of personal protective equipment donations Sands has made. The company previously provided 100,000 masks to the Las Vegas health-care community and 5,000 masks to the Las Vegas Metro Police Department. It also donated 1,900 coronavirus test kits to the state of Nevada.

Mr. Adelson said the one million masks being sent to New York will help health-care professionals and first responders in the state currently with the most cases of coronavirus.

“People are looking to New York as a bellwether for what comes next, both in terms of the pandemic’s impact and for how quickly the region, particularly New York City, is able to recover from the aftermath of the virus,” he said. “It’s important we steer resources to the places where the need is the greatest and most urgent.”

In addition to the protective gear donations, Sands is fulfilling its pledge to give $250,000 to several important local organizations during this time of need. The company is making contributions to ‘Three Square’, Southern Nevada’s largest hunger-relief organization; ‘Communities In Schools’, which is helping provide meals to students who would otherwise be participating in their school’s free and subsidized meal programs; and ‘Share Village Las Vegas’, a veterans assistance organization that also runs a community food pantry.

Sands also has donated 60 pallets of food and more than 55,000 bottles of water to local organizations. In addition, the company is currently paying each of its nearly 10,000 Las Vegas Team Members, along with providing full health-care benefits, while its properties remain closed.

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SOURCE: Las Vegas Sands Corp. press release.

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