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 Transformation Underway to Make San Juan's Waterfront a Tourism Paradise
Puerto Rico Golden Triangle Initiative Expected to Boost Business and Tourism
SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico, May 14, 1999 -  The Honorable Pedro Rossello, Governor of Puerto Rico, and Carlos J. Vivoni, Secretary of the Puerto Rico Department of Economic Development and Commerce (DEDC), today unveiled virtual blueprints for the Golden Triangle Initiative, a plan designed to improve and rejuvenate business and tourism development in San Juan. Comparable to the expansion of popular cities including Baltimore, Boston and Miami, the Golden Triangle Initiative will transform San Juan's waterfront area into an internationally acclaimed urban marketplace.

"When complete, the Golden Triangle Initiative will benefit Puerto Rico's economy and the quality of life on the island," said Governor Rossello to nearly 500 representatives from the Puerto Rico business development community attending the presentation and luncheon.

"The plan is a process for continual reassessment, improvement and replenishment to maximize full economic and social growth, integrating tourism, commercial, residential and ports activity in San Juan, " Governor Rossello said.

With a private and public investment of more than $2 billion, the Golden Triangle in San Juan will be creating thousands of new jobs, and approximately 3,000 hotel rooms, 2,000 housing units and 500,000 square feet of both office and commercial space within a period of 10 to 15 years. The Golden Triangle will also offer new enhancements to the land and port's infrastructure as well as public spaces.

Within the Golden Triangle will be a children's museum, Imax theater, World Trade Center and Convention Center District, bayside commercial and residential development, ports expansion as well as other structures such as bridges and landscaped areas including plazas and pedestrian walkways. The area will span from Old San Juan's Harbor to the Isla Grande Airport and Condado.

"The Golden Triangle will strengthen Puerto Rico's position as the international hub for foreign trade, while enhancing the competitive advantages of doing business on the island," said Secretary Vivoni. Currently there are several Golden Triangle projects in different phases of development, which are being coordinated by the DEDC. Those include the Centro de Convenciones, a new Convention center; Capitolio Sur, a development project in the harbour; the Canal San Antonio, a unification of businesses along the waterfront; and the Condado Trio, a massive renovation to historic hotels. Development costs are estimated at more than $1 billion, most of which will be paid by private investors working on various individual projects. The project is expected to be complete by the year 2010.

Puerto Rico's Department of Economic Development and Commerce was created in 1994 to establish, coordinate and supervise public policy meant to promote the economic development of Puerto Rico. The agencies falling under the Department include the Puerto Rico Industrial Development Company, Puerto Rico Tourism Company, Promoexport, Puerto Rico Land Administration, Commerce Development Administration, Cooperative Development Administration, Puerto Rico Film Commission and Horse Racing Administration.

Working for a better Puerto Rico

In 1993, the Government of Puerto Rico made a firm commitment, through an aggressive economic development program, to double tourismís contribution to the Gross Domestic Product from nearly 6% to 12% within ten years.
As the public corporation responsible for stimulating, promoting and regulating the tourism industry, the Puerto Rico Tourism Company accepted the challenge, formulating a comprehensive tourism development policy. 

Every aspect of the industry was evaluated and examined for strengths and opportunities. With the approval of new tax and investment incentives and timeshare and vacation-club legislation, reform of Puerto Ricoís labor laws and ground transportation regulations, the sale of government-owned hotels and investment in road and airport improvements, Puerto Rico emerged as the placeto develop new tourism projects.

Hotel room inventory increased by nearly 50% in six years. Such major hotel chains such as Ritz-Carlton, Westin, Wyndham, Embassy Suites and Hampton Inn now have properties in Puerto Rico. Other prestigious U.S. and European chains are exploring development possibilities on the Island.

Puerto Rico continues to look ahead. A state-of-the-art Trade and Convention Center District is underway; air and sea facilities are constantly being enlarged and enhanced, and new visitor attractions are constantly added to the hundreds of natural and historical treasures found on the Island. 

Puerto Rico Department of Economic Development and Commerce
Adriana Benitez of DEDC, 
or Keith Poston of Ketchum, 
202-835-9477, for DEDC
Also See: Latin America Market Opportunities / KPMG / 1998 
Patriot American's Grand Bay Hotels and Resorts Updates 1999 Plans / Jan 1999  

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