REPORT #93 August 1999
DEVELOPMENT NEWS FROM PLACENTIA PENINUSULAR AND THE VILLAGE


Produced by the Belize Development Trust

NEWS FROM PLACENCIA
by Kevin Modera Guide Services

Trash: Well, we thought we had everything lined up for regular trash collection, and a landfill. BUT, we've run into ANOTHER glitch emanating from Belmopan. No word yet on estimated start-up date for trash pickups.

Licensed Guides: Belize has a very strong guide licensing program. Guides are required to master subjects such as first-aid, CPR, natural history of Belize, ecology of the rainforests and the reef, marine life, hospitality service.

The Belize guide licensing program is our method of preserving the quality of our profession. It also gives guests in our country a way to make sure they are engaging a qualified and reputable guide. Therefore, we ask that you help us by using only licensed guides during your Belize visit.

A list of licensed guides in Placencia is available at http://www.kevinmodera.com/licensed.htm.

Transportation:

--Belize City Ferry Service: On Friday 13th August, 1999 the Belize Marine Terminal & Museum, along with the Caye Caulker Water Taxi Association, launched it's inaugural run from Belize City to Placencia. Dangriga will be added to the run as soon as proper docking facilities are available.

The water taxi schedule is as follows:
--Fridays - Belize City to Placencia 1:00 p.m.
--Saturdays - Placencia to Belize City 7:00 a.m.
--Sundays - Belize City to Placencia 1:00 p.m.
--Mondays - Placencia to Belize City 7:00 a.m.


Reservations are necessary.

Belize City Reservation Office: Tel. 02-31969; Fax. 02-78710; E-mail mailto:btiajeff@btl.net.

Placencia Reservations Office: Tel. 06-24045; E-mail mailto:placencia@btl.net.


--The Gulf Cruza is now offering ferry service every Friday between Belize City, Placencia, Big Creek and Puerto Cortes, Honduras. Fliers give the schedule as follows:

6:00 a.m. - Depart Belize City from Southern Foreshore Pier
8:30 a.m. - Arrive Placencia
9:30 a.m. - Depart Placencia
10:00 a.m. - Arrive Big Creek
11:00 a.m. - Depart Big Creek
2:00 p.m. - Arrive Puerto Cortes, Honduras at Laguna

Contact: Morrell or Letica Young at 02-24506 or Chelo at 06-23236.

Cost: Cost information is not provided on the fliers, but Marcella at Omar's tells us that one-way to Belize City is $50 BZD, roundtrip to Puerto Cortes is $185 BZD.


Peninsula road conditions remain "bumpy" at best as the rainy season continues. Work on the new section of the road at the Plantation development is progressing at a "reasonable" pace.


Survey: Our Website survey certainly provided some interesting information. Following is a summary of the survey results as well as some excerpts from individual survey forms.

1. Accommodations: equally divided between Placencia Village and the Peninsula resorts.

2. Highest-rated restaurants: Resorts - Risa's at the Inn at Robert's Grove. Village - Omar's, Cozy Corners, Flamboyant.

3. Most popular activities: (1) Monkey River tours, (2) snorkeling, (3) fishing/diving (tied).

4. Travel: 81% of respondents found travel to Placencia less difficult than expected.

5. Repeat visits: All survey respondents had visited Placencia at least once before their last visit and 84% planned to visit Placencia again.

6. Dislikes: the road, trash, no-seeums.

7. Likes: "The people" (overwhelmingly the top response, even among those who indicated they would not visit Placencia again). Other likes: beach, "laid back" atmosphere, clean water, natural beauty, remoteness.

More survey results information at http://www.kevinmodera.com/survey1.htm.


Restaurants/Hotels/Resorts:

--Mr. Bud Edricks, chef/owner of La Petite Maison Restaurant passed away on Friday, August 6, 1999.

--Kitty's Place Resort will be closed during September.

--Barracuda & Jaguar Inn (and Pickled Parrot) are available for short-term (2-3 year) lease.

--Pickled Parrot Restaurant is now open for lunch and offers full Internet access for travelers.

--David Dial is the new manager/operator of Tentacles Restaurant (second time around for David here).

--Flamboyant Restaurant is under the new management of the former owners of Kowloon Chinese Restaurant (same menu with the addition of some Asian items).

--Luba Hati Resort has re-opened after a vacation break.

--The Bamboo Room at Serenity Resort is now sponsoring Karaoke nights on Friday or Saturday (check with the Resort for exact schedule).

--Sea Spray Hotel is adding a second floor to the southernmost building on the property.

--The Sea Monkey Restaurant has opened in the building formerly occupied by the Sea Hatch.


Environment:

--Buddy & Tressa Olson want to establish a water-skiing school in the upper Placencia Lagoon. The Olsons have not yet received any approvals from the Belize government. We oppose this development because we believe it will adversely affect the Lagoon environment and wildlife (particularly manatees and dolphins).

--Support for the proposed marine reserve for the Gladden Spit area seems to be growing among commercial fishermen and tour guides.

--The Silk Cayes are now under the environmental protection and adminstrative control of The Friends of Laughing Bird Caye.

Miscellaneous News:

LobsterFest: LobsterFest dates for 2000 are July 1st and July 2nd.

Fishing Tournament: The International Game Fishing Association has expressed interest in managing the Placencia fishing tournament, as has the Belize Sports Fishing Association.

Doctor: Seine Bight has a new medical doctor through the Belize-Cuban doctor exchange program.

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