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Old Tuesday, January 6th, 2009, 03:50 PM
redfox redfox is offline
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Default a beautiful island destroyed

we have been coming to aruba since the late 70,s . what a paradise it once was. they started to overbuild around 1985 . we still like the island . but my heart breaks every year we come down and see how they keep building.
only the folks who have been coming for 30 years back would understand what i am talking about. you can not explain to someone who started coming even back as far as 18 years ago the wonderful peaceful feel it used to have
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Old Tuesday, January 6th, 2009, 04:38 PM
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Default Re: a beautiful island destroyed

Quote:
Originally Posted by redfox View Post
we have been coming to aruba since the late 70,s . what a paradise it once was. they started to overbuild around 1985 . we still like the island . but my heart breaks every year we come down and see how they keep building.
only the folks who have been coming for 30 years back would understand what i am talking about. you can not explain to someone who started coming even back as far as 18 years ago the wonderful peaceful feel it used to have
Believe me, I know the difference between the old Aruba and the modern day Aruba. I lived on the island for the entire decade of the 1960's. I distinctly remember when there were only two hotels on Palm Beach (the Aruba Caribbean and the Basi Ruti) and no hotels on any of the other beaches. But what is the island supposed to do? Back in the pre-tourism era, the island's population was somewhere between 50,000 and 60,000 and the economy was sustained by the largest oil refinery in the Western hemisphere, which employed over 8,000 men and women.

Nowadays, the island's population is over 100,000 and the refinery's labor force is something like 800. The island has no agriculture (unless you count aloe) and no natural resources. They have to do something and, to the island's credit, it has made the transition from an economy based on heavy industry to an economy based on hospitality without skipping a beat. But it's a double edged sword and the law of diminishing returns has begun to take over.

I don't know how to put the brakes on progress but clearly the island is going to drown in its own success unless unbridled growth is put in check.
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Old Tuesday, January 6th, 2009, 07:28 PM
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I Love Aruba Re: a beautiful island destroyed

The sad part about the over building is that it's certainly not about "supply and demand." The condos under construction are in a price range that doesn't fit the league of most; the new mall, while having many shops, is too expensive for the average tourist, especially in this economy.

Oranjestad is/was one of the most charming little towns, and is going to hell. Oh sure, I've read all about how they're going to revamp the town, but we all know how island time works.

Those in power on the island are taking an awful lot for granted, and unfortunately, it's going to come back and bite them in the a's's'. It's only a matter of time.
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Old Wednesday, January 7th, 2009, 08:20 AM
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Default Re: a beautiful island destroyed

The one thing Aruba does have is a lot of sun and wind. I would love
to see Aruba become the "model" for other islands for how to use
the energy. It would be good for the people, environment (no more
smoke from the current place) and really good for the kids as a new
industry to get into.

I am just hoping that the condos go bankrupt before building anything due to low sales. The one condo development in town just went bankrupt and I believe there is a problem w/ the construction as well.
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Old Wednesday, January 7th, 2009, 09:17 AM
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Default Re: a beautiful island destroyed

Here is a link to what Aruba was in the early years.

Historia di Aruba - Toerisme

Enjoy
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Old Thursday, January 8th, 2009, 06:57 AM
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Default Re: a beautiful island destroyed

I heard yesterday, from a reliable source, that some of the high-rise hotels are at 40 to 60 percent occupied right now.
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Old Thursday, January 8th, 2009, 07:28 AM
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Default Re: a beautiful island destroyed

can you personally see the difference? are you noticing it at beaches, restaurants and in traffic jams?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Eagle-Beach Boy View Post
I heard yesterday, from a reliable source, that some of the high-rise hotels are at 40 to 60 percent occupied right now.
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Old Thursday, January 8th, 2009, 01:58 PM
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Default Re: a beautiful island destroyed

I don't think wishing for the builders to declare bankruptcy is a good idea. Think about what the empty concrete shells will look like for years and years if they don't get enough money to finish them.

I do agree though that the asking prices for them are much too high considering that supply has probably already exceeded demand.
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Old Thursday, January 8th, 2009, 08:11 PM
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Default Re: a beautiful island destroyed

I've always wondered who the builders think are going to buy those high priced condos. I sincerely doubt the average visitor can afford those prices, especially for a second home..............
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Old Friday, January 9th, 2009, 05:58 AM
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Default Re: a beautiful island destroyed

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Originally Posted by sherry View Post
can you personally see the difference? are you noticing it at beaches, restaurants and in traffic jams?
Yes we do. The stores are a lot less crowded and have not seen as much traffic.
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Old Friday, January 9th, 2009, 06:59 AM
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Default Re: a beautiful island destroyed

Well, the last couple of nights I walked around the high-rise area. My friends tell me occupancy at the Marriot properties is very high. There were plenty of people milling about. Restaurants looked full, but maybe only for one setting?

Not sure, but over the next couple of months I'll report in from time to time on the status here.

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Old Friday, January 9th, 2009, 09:00 AM
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Default Re: a beautiful island destroyed

I agree about what you said about "skelletons" remaining empty on the island - actually the condos downtown by the harbor are an example of what happens when a place goes bankrupt.

I was trying to convey I wish they went bankrupt or decided not to build BEFORE anything went up. The "cliffs" for example - nothing being built -
that is one I would like to see go. But I am first to admit I am not "ruler of the world" but can always wish!
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Old Friday, January 9th, 2009, 09:57 AM
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Smile Re: a beautiful island destroyed

Quote:
Originally Posted by lizzardo View Post
I agree about what you said about "skelletons" remaining empty on the island - actually the condos downtown by the harbor are an example of what happens when a place goes bankrupt.

I was trying to convey I wish they went bankrupt or decided not to build BEFORE anything went up. The "cliffs" for example - nothing being built -
that is one I would like to see go. But I am first to admit I am not "ruler of the world" but can always wish!
Are the downtown condos the ones that they were building in front of Carlos and Charlies?
I always wondered why anyone would think that a person buying a second or vacation home on Aruba would want to live downtown. If I could afford a place on Aruba, it would be either on or near the beaches on the NW side not downtown.
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Old Friday, January 9th, 2009, 10:46 AM
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Default Re: a beautiful island destroyed

Yes - those are the ones I'm talking about. I always wondered how lovely it would be to hear all those cruise ship horns blowing all the time.

Also "heard" (not 100% confirmed) that they couldn't get a certificate of occupancy for people moving into the units (which is why no one lives in there) because of structural problems.

I know they are bankrupt and that they were taking bids for the place.
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Old Friday, January 9th, 2009, 01:03 PM
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Smile Re: a beautiful island destroyed

Quote:
Originally Posted by lizzardo View Post
Yes - those are the ones I'm talking about. I always wondered how lovely it would be to hear all those cruise ship horns blowing all the time.

Also "heard" (not 100% confirmed) that they couldn't get a certificate of occupancy for people moving into the units (which is why no one lives in there) because of structural problems.

I know they are bankrupt and that they were taking bids for the place.
Sounds like it needs to be torn down if its not safe.
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Old Friday, January 9th, 2009, 09:05 PM
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Default Re: a beautiful island destroyed

You're right, the skeletons add nothing to the scenery. I remember driving by the Phoenix tower and it's mate for years while they stood there unfinished and deteriorating. It was so sad to see them and a somewhat depressing. Now I spend two weeks a year in that tower and love every minute of it.

I don't want to see anymore of that but I'm afraid it going to be unavoidable.............
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Old Tuesday, January 13th, 2009, 02:12 PM
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Default Re: a beautiful island destroyed

I just got back from a week aboard a dive boat, visiting St. Maarten, Saba, Statia and St. Kitts. They had their different pluses and minuses, but all made me thankful that I owned timeshares on Aruba! If you think O'stad on Aruba needs updating, go to Phillipsburg on St. Maarten or Basse Terre on St. Kitts. Same jewelry shops every where, but Aruba has so many more restaurants and boutiques, and the Arubians are friendly and act like they want your business. On the other islands, when I greeted people I passed on the streets while walking, with a smile, nod of the head, "hello" or "good morning", I rarely got a response. I walked over to the Marriott at Frigate Bay on St. Kitts, and perhaps only 25% of the pool chairs were occupied. Few people on the beach, either. The hotel is on the ocean side, and the water was choppy. Not like Palm Beach!
I stayed on Provodenciales last July in the Grace Bay area. Most of the buildings there are condos, not timeshares, and were virtually empty that time of the year. Not more than a few dozen people on the beach within eyesight in either direction. Apprarently, the owners come only during the winter months, and rarely rent out their units. I suspect the new condos in Aruba along Eagle Beach will be like that, and not occupied most of the weeks year round like the timeshares. Compared to Provo, the asking price for condos on Eagle Beach are bargains!
After seeing these other islands, I'm not sure I want to exchange my Aruba weeks, I'm too spoiled!
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