>Ritz-Carlton raises Marriott’s commitment to Aruba

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>ORANJESTAD, Aruba — Ritz-Carlton will expand its presence in the Caribbean with the 320-room, $200 million Ritz-Carlton Aruba, slated to open in late 2012.

The resort will be Ritz-Carlton’s seventh in the Caribbean region, joining hotels in St. Thomas, Jamaica, Grand Cayman, Puerto Rico, Cancun and Abaco, Bahamas.

The announcement here earlier this week by Marriott International’s CEO and chairman, Bill Marriott Jr., capped several years of debate about building another hotel on one of the last stretches of prime beachfront along Palm Beach’s hotel row.

Concerns regarding the sustainability and conservation of Aruba’s natural resources as well as access to the beach for island residents had stalled talks in the past.

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