Aruba 11 – Memorial Day 2016 – Key Development Discovered

baby beach development
The proposed Serena development

The fascinating thing about making Aruba “our second home” is witnessing the development. Some of it is good…….and some is not. At the same tokens we are not Curmudgeons who frown on any development at all. After all, who are we to get too emotional if the people through their government determine it is in their best interest?

Anyway, there are three distinct improvement projects we have noticed……and it’s only the 3rd day!!!! I am sure we will find more as we visit friends in the interior and other communities of the country.

Baby Beach

Baby Beach is like a world into its own. No doubt driving through you can see remnants of what “once was there.” At first glimpse the place looks baren or almost like a forgotten beach. But, is that not the beauty which attracts people to the beach?

Anyway, coming into the beach you will notice a huge billboard (we did not recognize it last year and we come every Memorial Day week). Wow, the proposed development looks impressive. Our first reaction was what about the locals, the people, the indeginous community? To get some answers we met with our good friend (who shall go nameless for now) who is an Executive for the Aruba Tourism Authority.

  1. I did receive another update TODAY (June 1st) from an authority and source I trust, who is very familiar with project. THE SERENA PROJECT IS OFF THE TABLE. The government and the people decided it was in the best interest to reopen the oil refinery instead of the Serena. Both have pros and cons but reopening the refinery will provide a greater economic and environmental impact. Basically, the developers contemplated that both could not exist and so the government needed to make a choice. The oil refinery will be reopening under CITGO which is controlled by a Venezuela investment concern.
  2. stay tuned……….

This is just feedback from a preliminary discussion but in the next few days I will gather more input from officials at the ATA, as well as those in Seroe Colorado, Charlie’s and Lago Heights.

One more point, those who know us know that Judith is from Belize. Placentia which is a community on the peninsula has undergone similar transformation. On one end it is great to have the economic boon, but on the other hand locals are practically run out of their own community due to not being able to afford the “new lifestyle.”

Street Widening Project

As you venture south of the airport you will notice major construction with the goal to widen the main road. It goes all the way down to Highway 4.

Could this be part of the Baby Beach project? After all, the new development will certainly make it more attractive for tourist?

I was told the contractor is having difficulty keeping pace of the commitment to complete the project (as originally stated), which is why progress appears “helter-skelter.”

Downtown Trolley

The downtown tram is now in its third year. In addition to street work around the trolley tracks, near the bus depot, it appears to be a boon for those getting from the north and south parts of downtown, or the interior shops east of Mainstreet. The issue is some businesses are “dying on the vine,” especially those who were around before the trolley was thought about. The reason is prior to the trolley there was plenty of parking space for customers to enjoy, adjacent the shops.

I am sure a compromise will be reached one way or another because visitors or customers are crucial for the local shops to survive and surely the residual effect of the trolley cannot result in more businesses not being able to sustain themselves.

 

Finally, this is just our perspective and as we get additional information it will be posted. Thanks for reading.

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