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PostPosted: Thu Feb 19, 2009 9:40 am 
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Ritz Carlton Will Invest A Record US$200 Million On Aruban Property

February 18th 2009, Aruba.

The yellow stipple line indicates the construction lot for Ritz Carlton
Aruba, the red stipple line the rearranged road towards Westpunt.

ORANJESTAD-The government has surprized many on the island on Wednesday by announcing the
construction of a five star luxury Ritz Carlton Resort. The present and past governments have for
15 years tried to attract a prestigious five star resort brand such as the Ritz Carlton in Aruba, with
not much success.

With great pride Prime Minister Nelson Oduber announced that the parties involved in the
negotiation of the proposed Ritz Carlton project have reached an agreement, and construction of
the resort will start shortly. The Prime Minister admitted that the road to bring Ritz Carlton to
Aruba was long and difficult, but was pleased with the final outcome.

Aruba's tourism industry has long matured, and it is now time to elevate the quality of the tourism
product to a higher level, by attracting the luxury market and that of high excellence. Contrary to
past hotel projects, it is agreed that the Ritz Carlton hotel will not receive tax holiday from the
government, nor will the government stand guaranteed for the project. This project will not cost
Aruba tax payers money, but will provide money to the government and locals once the resort is

The hotel will be constructed north of the Marriott Resort on Hadicurari Beach, and it will be named
Aruba Ritz Carlton Resort Spa & Casino. Ritz Carlton Aruba will consist out of 320 rooms of high
quality design consistent with the standards of Ritz Carlton. The construction of the five star hotel
property is priced at US$200 million. Aruba Investment Bank is the biggest financial stakeholder in
the project.

While many hotel projects in the Caribbean are being cancelled because of the present global
financial and economic crisis, the construction of Ritz Carlton in Aruba is a sign of confidence in the
tourism product and the economy of the island. The construction of the hotel is welcome news for
the construction sector, it will provide 425 construction jobs. Ritz Carlton Aruba will employ 500
people once the hotel is operational. An additional 550 indirect jobs will be created because of
additional tourists. Oduber says there is no need to attract much foreign labor, as 900 students
complete their studies each year on the island.

Oduber emphasized that attracting an additional five star hotel on the island does not imply that
Aruba is a five star tourism destination, but it is a step forward in achieving that goal. "We have
to continue to improve our tourism product, through educating and motivating employees working
in the sector, and hotels should improve and upgrade their facilities." The government will continue
to push for the relocation of the container terminal from Oranjestad to Barcadera, and soon
announce the start of revitalizing the main street of Oranjestad.


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