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Costambar is a beach community located in Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic.
 
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 Something positive to discuss

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Anette K.N.



Posts : 147
Join date : 2009-04-23

PostSubject: Re: Something positive to discuss   Sat Dec 04, 2010 12:00 am

Mark, it was not my intention to “break your dream” and maybe I have been here too long or maybe I am just too realistic!

I think it is great that you want to keep up the good spirit. I did the same thing for years and I actually kept on hoping Costambar would recover and be the nice place I remember from the past. Costambar IS indeed a wonderful place - it is just so broken and I have difficulties finding the optimism.

My last hope is definitely that Los Mangos will keep on doing all the great things they have finally started (after having abandoned Costambar for years) - because I do believe it is the very last chance to make something nice out of this area.

I also know, that the Caribbean dream of sitting at a lonely beach zipping an exotic drink is an illusion!

I am very happy that I live in the very end of Costambar - it is indeed the most tranquil end of the area. NO noisy business around, NO noisy power plant and almost NO traffic through the street where I live. I am happy so far!
I don’t mind hearing music or people laughing from far away - or some neighbors talking. I am not that sensitive either!

However I want to be realistic!
To gather at a pool, you need people to gather with! A nice and good restaurant needs clients! We don’t have enough people in Costambar for things like that!
We have plenty of people for cheap “beer bars” , plenty of people for the prostitutes, plenty of people, who are not exactly people I would like to gather with at a pool! There are also plenty of nice and “normal” people in Costambar, however most of them go out of Costambar, exactly because of the mentioned problems.
How can we change that? In my humble opinion it is too late!
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suzb



Posts : 108
Join date : 2009-04-10

PostSubject: Re: Something positive to discuss   Fri Dec 03, 2010 12:29 pm

I like the hustle and bustle of the Dominican Republic, having said that, I do not like loose wild dogs around and I am not crazy about sharing Costambar with "working girls" it seems to me that the Port is a better place for such activities, when you have children visiting it is a worry that they will come to harm by some of the people who frequent such establishments.
I'm glad we have the gymbar for instance, it's a great place to go and get together with friends I often wish we had a place like that where I live in the States. Solo Mio has been able to be a constant presence and always serve us good food with a smile. There are other places, Cofresi has some very nice Restaurants, and there are more good restaurants downtown Puerto Plata
What I think we need most of all is a Community Center like the old Club used to be, a place which belongs to our Costambar residents, we would pay a modest fee for maintenance. It could be used for Church services, Meetings, private parties etc..... It should have a pool where people gather. I suppose we hope that the Golf Club's in the making Country Club will fill that need. It will, but only partially because it will be a private club which only it's members can use, and I imagine many people will not or cannot pay the dues. But....then some people might say that is a good thing :-)
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gymbar



Posts : 142
Join date : 2009-09-08

PostSubject: Re: Something positive to discuss   Fri Dec 03, 2010 11:30 am

Anette

I started this thread as "Something positive to discuss" for a very good reason. All over town & the internet people are running-down Costambar, and the old adage holds true - in time people believe their own publicity. So let's have some POSITIVE publicity for a change!

With regard to the noise problems. The DR is a noisy, bustling country & Puerto Plata is a provincial capital & international freight port. Right now, sat at home I can hear construction, motos, dogs barking & people shouting at each other. Sundays & holidays are just as bad or even worse with the beach visitors, but they comprise only 50-60 days a year. My parents live in one of the most secure & tranquil communities on the North Coast & guess what? When the wind blows in a certain direction they too can hear the "serenade of the barrio". It's inevitable in this region. I believe Cap Cana is quieter ...

The vision of sitting by a tranquil beach sipping a pin colada as the sun sets is wonderful. Unfortunately it is a dream shared by many people so seclusion & exclusivity have gone by the wayside over time. Costambar beach is wonderfully quiet for much of the year & therein lies the problem - not enough people to make the vision a viable business.

I TOTALLY agree with you regarding wanting clean surroundings without obnoxious drunks & working girls all around. Luckily for me I spend my working days & nights in just such a place ....
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Anette K.N.



Posts : 147
Join date : 2009-04-23

PostSubject: Re: Something positive to discuss   Thu Dec 02, 2010 10:08 pm

I would like to turn your question upside down! What businesses do we NOT need in Costambar?

I am one of the residents/property owners, who would love to see Costambar as a closed, private and tranquil community.
NO karaoke bars like Bananas, NO prostitute “Hotels”, NO primitive bars loaded with drunk people, NO disgusting or filthy bars etc. etc.

Personally I don’t need any special business here, except for a good gym and a nice, tranquil beach bar/club, where I can sit and enjoy the view at the ocean, without being disturbed by extreme noisy music.
Maybe a nice and CLEAN bar/restaurant with a beautiful garden or a nice ocean view, where I could eat a sandwich, without having to deal with dogs begging at the table or filthy surroundings. (and I like dogs, but not at my table!)
A wonderful, CLEAN Country Club, with nice music for an evening (without blasting your head off!) would not be too bad either!

I would love to take a walk at nice, clean and asphalted roads, without being disturbed by extreme noisy motor cycles and over speeding cars.

I don’t see Costambar as a town; I see Costambar as a residential area - and THAT is properly my mistake!

(I want to point out that I don’t know ALL the bars and restaurants in Costambar, so I don’t want any of you to take my criticism personal please! It is my general impression. I am almost not going to bars and restaurants in Costambar, because my impression in general is very bad and I better stay home or go out of Costambar) Very Happy
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gymbar



Posts : 142
Join date : 2009-09-08

PostSubject: Re: Something positive to discuss   Tue Nov 30, 2010 2:22 pm

Hi Suzanne, we're looking forward to seeing you all at the bar too!

Here's my thoughts on the econimics of running a proper restaurant in Costambar.

Year-round I estimate there are about 150 permanent residents in Costambar - gringos & retirees. If only half of them went out once a month for a meal & spent only RD500 per head that restaurant would take RD37,500 a month on food alone.

These figures discount "walk-ins" tourists & other sundries. High season the numbers of course go through the roof!

It all comes back to the "use it or lose it" philosophy.

If the community doesn't support its' businesses then nobody is going to provide those services.

Now back to the original question ...

What other businesses or services do we need in Costambar?
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suzb



Posts : 108
Join date : 2009-04-10

PostSubject: Re: Something positive to discuss   Tue Nov 30, 2010 12:27 pm

Well Anette that is a lot of negatives you mention for the "Club" to make it and all of them very real indeed :-)
Yes of course we would have to pay a fee and I don't think that 350.- U.S. Dollars sounds like an exhorbitant amount if the "Club" is able to offer some very good services. Don't forget it is a "Golf Club" already and they are just adding some additional services like a Gym and a pool I don't know what else, which would turn it into a "Country Club" a very much needed facility in Costambar.
They might be able to attract homeowners from Cofresi and Las Rocas and maybe even a few from Puerto Plata, a lot depends on how well it is put together and how good the services will be.
I don't see the entrance road as a big problem, after all we can use the University Road which I do most of the time anyhow.
Power! Well the Dominicans have learned to operate many businesses over the years with the miserable existing power situation.
So.......let us hope that they are able to put some very nice sounding plans into action, something to look forward to and at the very least hope for.
Have a great day!
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Anette K.N.



Posts : 147
Join date : 2009-04-23

PostSubject: Re: Something positive to discuss   Mon Nov 29, 2010 9:44 pm

First we need a decent entrance road to Costambar to “catch” clients from other areas for restaurants etc. Even Ana in “Sole Mio” is complaining I was told, because the people are not coming from the city any longer to visit her restaurant. The reason might also be, that the restaurant “ Las Palmas” in the city actually makes very good pizzas and the people in Puerto Plata have no reason to go all the way to Costambar to have a pizza.

Another problem in the whole area of Puerto Plata is the fact, that not many people are going out like in Santiago and Santo Domingo for example.. There are not enough people here, who can actually afford to visit good restaurants regularly.
The “rich” Dominicans gather with their friends and families in their homes, making parties and even contracting a good cook for private events..
So in general I don’t think it is a good business to make good restaurants anywhere in the area.
But off course it depends on the expectations one might have opening a restaurant. For me a restaurant has to be full - or at least almost full - every day to be a good business. If not, it is only hard work and very little benefit and many problems and headaches.

To answer Suzanne’s comment I also think it would be great with a decent Gym. However, don’t forget we have to be members of the Club in order to use the Gym. I guess that Wendy’s group will have to make themselves members of the club in order to be admitted in the installations. Maybe not everybody are willing to pay aprox. 350 dollars per year for a membership.
I think that the Golf Club also admits members, who are not living in Costambar.
Nevertheless I believe they will have to have a pretty huge amount of members if they want to run a decent restaurant.. During the summer Costambar is empty almost and the few times I went to the club to check I was mainly the only person there.. And nobody playing golf either.. There are definitely not enough people living in Costambar all year around and a business cannot make it only working a couple of months per year. Smile

And not to forget the problems with the electricity supply! It is really a disaster..
I have calculated that my diesel generator was running for an average of 7 ½ hour per day for the last month.. And I disconnect my generator, when I am not home…That means we had around 9 - 10 hours black outs per day in average. You cannot run any business with a problem like this, because the maintenance of your generator is eating up your benefits.
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suzb



Posts : 108
Join date : 2009-04-10

PostSubject: Re: Something positive to discuss   Mon Nov 29, 2010 2:28 pm

Hi you two at Gymbar, plan to be there right after the Holidays, look forward to seeing you.
Our very own Gym wouldn't that be a great thing. Maybe Wendy could give her Yoga lessons there she is getting so many people she hardly has room for all of us. Hope they make the Gym large enough with enough equipment.
Besides we the Costambarites who else would be using the facility I wonder. I think a well appointed Restaurant with good food has a chance of making it.
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Anette K.N.



Posts : 147
Join date : 2009-04-23

PostSubject: Re: Something positive to discuss   Sun Nov 28, 2010 10:27 pm

I spoke to the people at Los Mangos and they are indeed working at their construction. As far as they have told me, they will make a pool & spa - a beauty salon - a gym and a restaurant. I will see if I can make a picture for the absent people! ( of the construction )
What kind of restaurant? Well, I don’t know really.

Afterwards they will build a beach club - beautiful they say - like the beach club in Cofresi right behind the river. The beach club is supposed to be on the land in front of their golf club, with a big stair case going down to the beach.

You have to buy a member ship to use these installations!
It costs approximately 350 dollars per year - included is then the clicker for their entrance gate too. (Their plans are to build a new entrance, where the black gate is situated )

I am not responsible if the information is wrong - please!

All the years I have been living in Costambar it was never really possible for anybody to run a decent restaurant here.. All restaurants open and work for a while and then they close down - all of them, except for Sole Mio. Not enough people and not enough money!
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sue



Posts : 74
Join date : 2009-04-10

PostSubject: Re: Something positive to discuss   Sun Nov 28, 2010 9:06 pm

Hi suzb
The building work is on going now not too sure how far they are with it, but a lot of work going on there so all good,look forward to seeing you soon Smile

Sue
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suzb



Posts : 108
Join date : 2009-04-10

PostSubject: Re: Something positive to discuss   Sun Nov 28, 2010 5:28 pm

Have they started building yet or is it still in the talking stage?
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gymbar



Posts : 142
Join date : 2009-09-08

PostSubject: Re: Something positive to discuss   Sun Nov 28, 2010 2:35 am

I believe initially it's a gym - & we need a PROPER gym in town - & a spa & sauna. The restaurant is to follow.
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sue



Posts : 74
Join date : 2009-04-10

PostSubject: Re: Something positive to discuss   Sat Nov 27, 2010 1:11 pm

Just a ps to my last post

do we know what the golf club is going to open there restaurant as yet,we may already be getting one !!!!
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gymbar



Posts : 142
Join date : 2009-09-08

PostSubject: Re: Something positive to discuss   Sat Nov 27, 2010 1:13 am

Thanks for your input Sue.

I'll wait for a few more replies before i comment further. Don't want to monopolise my own thread ...
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sue



Posts : 74
Join date : 2009-04-10

PostSubject: Re: Something positive to discuss   Fri Nov 26, 2010 10:50 pm

Good topic ............
I have to say all the age old arguments have to come into this, whats the saying you cant make a silk purse out of a sows ear ( sorry if its just a English saying but think you must get the jist of it )
Costambar has to be able to attract people in and the road is a big problem, lets hope fingers crossed that it will be done right.

Ok does Costambar need a good restaurant I would say a big yes ................ but, always a but
If somebody was to ask me should I open a restaurant in Costambar I would say a big big no to them Why
One of the main things is the power,you know having the Gymbar that this can be a big problem, also as owners of the Anchor we face the same problem.
Ken in the winter often has to work through the night to stock up on things like bread and bagels, these are 2 of the items we do that need power, we dont open in the Evening so no problem.

You know as well as we know you have to make money in the winter here and do any maintainence/building/deep cleaning in the summer.
So to open a high end restaurant here would be a big investment, we both know that Costambar will not make any of us rich !!!!!!!!!!
People who live here year round are our bread and butter the winter people are the iceing on the cake, but with the economy as it is we have to keep quality up and prices down....
I for one am happy to go out of Costambar for a good reataurant meal, if we had more shops, clothes/diy/fancy goods/furniture and the rest I think that would be a start, that may attract more people to move here and build a bigger community, I for one would never have moved here if i had been given correct info about the power, thats not to say unhappy here but would prob have moved to a different area.

Sue
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gymbar



Posts : 142
Join date : 2009-09-08

PostSubject: Something positive to discuss   Fri Nov 26, 2010 11:37 am

Costambar is unique on the north coast in as much as it's a community (well about 5 communities, none of which get on very well, but that's not the point here) which has nearly all you need within the walls.

My question to you all is - What is Costambar missing?

Let's try & avoid raking over the age-old arguements about APC, garbage, roads etc & concentrate on businesses or services which will enhance the town & hopefully draw in more visitors.

Here's my contribution to the debate.

We are missing a decent restaurant. If you want a nice meal out in a proper restaurant that serves something other than the "Costambar staple"s of pizza, burger, schnitzel or chicken n rice your only choice is to travel out of town.

While I've been writing this it has occured to me that there may not be a large enough market in Costambar to sustain such an establishment. However, on those rare occasions that Louise & I have gone out for a meal, guess who we bump into? Costambarians!

"If you build it they will come"

What shall we build ............ AND support?
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