I drove through Palm Beach yesterday

The part next to the Marriott Courtyard going towards the Riu Palace was a stinky swamp, with foul standing water on both sides of the road.

I know DOW has over the years tried to fix the problem there, but failed.

Why did they abandon the fight, leaving us ankle deep in slush?

The asphalt road cover, cracked, and loose, almost pulverized.

When did they last asphalt Palm Beach, not just patched but moved in at night, full force, for a real fix, not just a band aid.

The entire road stretch of Palm Beach, the crown jewel of hospitality in the Caribbean looks like an abandoned Timbuktu country road. I encountered more puddles and banged up sidewalks along the elegant restaurants, thick layers of cigarette butts in the gutters, weeds and broken tiles, down to the Holiday Inn, not a trash can in site.

The winter season is upon us, and all eyes are on the hotels to carry the island forward, drag it out of the muddy economic slump, and bravely shoulder the responsibility for feeding and entertaining post-traumatic visitors, recovering from the pandemic.

They will be met by the intersection-from-hell where the traffic lights have not worked for years – local urban legend claims spare parts are on their way from Poland.

We can’t even fix an intersection. DOW made a promise. Maybe in 2022.

Next, the magnificent boulevard with the weedy, littered median strip, designed to separate the opposing lanes of traffic, a monument to despair. Does DOW ever visit there? It rained recently, so the Palm trees are surviving.

Then, the kiosks, I stopped writing about their shameful existence, recognizing it is a lost battle. We will never achieve a manicured, boutique experience along Palm Beach, littered with low-grade Turkish bazar souvenir stalls.

The resorts look like candy boxes with cared for gardens and lovely driveways, the public domain is in a shameful state, especially when it rains.

I thought GOA was responsible for infrastructure and public areas.

I listened to MinFic in the interview on Noticia Cla, throwing the hotels under the bus, for so-called over-estimating their losses, and receiving undue funds, from SVB, using the money for their cash flow.

We got news for her: Cash flow means salaries for staffers.

The hotel sector is Aruba’s cash cow and it deserves respect, appreciation and support. Gratitude too. We are fortunate to have some very serious brands doing business in Aruba and leading the way to economic salvation.

GOA must realize we depend on the hotel sector for our livelihood, stop insinuating wrong-doings, be thankful you have such a strong economic pillar, and be sensitive, responsive it its need.

Is asphalt too much to ask?

If SVB overpaid, what took you so long to discover the discrepancy.

Why didn’t you check each month?

The hotel sector saved Aruba’s read end, and in return, my friends at the hotels report a chronic bottle neck in the labor department, and a general paralysis as far as permits.

But that is another separate column.

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December 03, 2021
Rona Coster