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Westin Río Mar Resort invests $16 million in business-oriented services

Project includes renovations to 200 guest rooms, conference center, and wireless high-speed Internet service


May 27, 2005
Copyright © 2005 CARIBBEAN BUSINESS. All Rights Reserved.

A business-oriented customer-services program is Westin Río Mar Beach Resort’s most recent development. The estimated $16 million investment has added state-of-the-art facilities to the conference center as well as the remodeling of 200 guest rooms. "Hotel renovations were made based on our customers’ needs, basically better facilities for business venues, conferences, activities, and meetings," said Sales Director for Westin Puerto Rico Armando Emanuelli.

With a private entrance to the conference center so as not to interfere with hotel guests, Westin Río Mar provides business entrepreneurs with "a 48,000-square-foot conference center and a 20,913-square-foot ballroom, the biggest in the Caribbean," said Emanuelli. There are up to 24 individual meeting rooms, including a dedicated boardroom, a customized event planning facility by an onsite conference services team, and complete audiovisual service and equipment.

"We now offer a program called PERK. Basically, it is a teleconferencing system that allows participants unable to personally attend the conference to jointly view and take p part in the decision-making process and entire conference via satellite," said Emanuelli.

"This is expected to increase efficiency and reduce conference calls, expediting the meeting process," he added.

"The conference center has an on-site business center, professional audio visual team, full-service catering team, a conference-services staff of Certified Meeting Professionals, and an on-site florist. The resort was the first in Puerto Rico to install wireless Internet access in its conference center, including foyer areas and the Ocean Terrace," said Emanuelli. "The idea is to provide our clients with well-designed meeting facilities to accommodate their needs," he added.

"Westin Río Mar provides easy access and modern technology, so it is business as usual in paradise," said Emanuelli.

"There are 23 major cities in the continental U.S. offering nonstop service to Puerto Rico, also San Juan Seaport is the fourth-largest port in the Western Hemisphere. We need to use our resources," Emanuelli emphasized.

Promotional materials shipped to Puerto Rico for meetings, conventions, and trade shows are exempt from local excise tax when planners follow a simple procedure through the Puerto Rico Convention Bureau. "Also, there is no sales tax on rooms or food and beverages in Puerto Rico," Emanuelli noted.

"[Luis Muñoz Marín International Airport] handles over 1,500 weekly cargo flights to and from worldwide destinations," Emanuelli explained. "With our renovated facilities we are able to accommodate business conferences or meeting groups of up to 3,300 participants, including over 205 trade-show exhibits."

This Caribbean Business article appears courtesy of Casiano Communications.
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