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Dragon Bay Resort in Jamaica, Sandals' plans to rebuild and open by 2019

Sandals Resorts International has announced that it will rebuild the old Dragon Bay Resort in Port Antonio on the northeast coast of Jamaica. The $100 million reconstruction project will transform the resort, which was acquired by Sandals in 2002. According to Sandals, the 157-suite resort will open in 2019, and it will not be a Beaches or Sandals-branded property.

Dragon Bay Resort in Jamaica, Sandals' plans to rebuild and open by 2019

Sandals Resorts International has revealed it will be transforming the Dragon Bay Resort in Jamaica into a “brand new concept” resort. The Caribbean hotel group acquired the resort in 2002, and it has been closed since then.

This year, the hotel company will start a $100 million reconstruction project on the resort, which is located in Port Antonio on the northeast coast of Jamaica. The property will have 157 suites, and it is scheduled to open in 2019.

"The hotel will not be a Beaches or Sandals. Innovations are going to be part and parcel of Dragon Bay. It will be the introduction of a brand new concept."

Stated Adam Stewart, the CEO of Sandals Resorts International.

Stewart added that the hotel project had always been a dream of his father’s, the founder of Sandals, Gordon “Butch” Stewart. Since the company bought the resort in 2002, there have been year-on-year hurricanes that have led to poor road conditions and put a hold on the resort project.

Last December, Sandals announced that it was entering into a joint partnership with the Jamaican government to re-develop Port Antonio. Airlift in the area has been a long-term problem in Port Antonio, and the new collaboration will see the expansion of the runway at the Ian Fleming International Airport, as well as an expansion of the North Coast Highway from Portland to Ocho Rio.

Last year, the Jamaican government opened the new North-South link of Highway 2000. The highway links Kingston and Ocho Rios, and reduces travel time by 30 minutes for travellers arriving and departing from Norman Manley International Airport in Kingston in the south and Sangster International Airport in Montego Bay in the north.

Sandals International Resorts is the leading hotel group in the Caribbean, and it owns and operates an array of luxury all-inclusive hotels and resorts throughout the tropical region. The company was founded in the 1980s with its first resort opening in Montego Bay, Jamaica, and it now has properties in more destinations such as St Lucia, Antigua, The Bahamas, Grenada and Turks and Caicos under its brands: Sandals Resorts, Beaches Resorts and Grand Pineapple Beach Resorts.

Dragon Bay Resort was once a thriving hotel and is located by the Dragon Bay Beach where the film “Cocktail” starring Tom Cruise was filmed. Since it closed more than 10 years ago, Port Antonio has become a ghost town, but the redevelopment is said to bring life back to the area, as well as new jobs for locals.

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