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Casa de Campo

In the course of his career in the hotel industry, Claudio Silvestri's successes began at a very young age when he was exposed to the hospitality business through his father, who had some hotels in Rome. Learning the family business came naturally and would later shape the real passion he developed for his career. As a graduate of The Hotel Management School in San Dona, Venice, he later obtained his M.B.A. from California Pacific University in San Diego.

Fluent in English, Spanish, French, and Italian, he used his combined knowledge to become Director of the Eastern Region for Americana Hotels, subsidiary of American Airlines. His course to pave the path for grandeur, however, was a managed joint venture between Hyatt International and VISA, and he operated nine hotels in Mexico as Area Director. Since then, he has held management positions with some of the world's finest hotels, including the Grand Hotel in Rome, George V in Paris, The Savoy in London, and The Plaza in New York. Now President and Chief Executive Officer of Premier Resorts & Hotels since 1982, Mr. Silvestri proudly shares the story behind of the most remarkable resorts in the world, Casa De Campo.

The Tide Turns Public...

As the global economy began to fall in the mid-1980's, Casa de Campo, the Sugar Mill and its surrounding property were sold to a group of private investors of the Central Romana Corporation whose principals included: Jose "Pepe" Fanjul and Alfonso "Alfy" Fanjul of Palm Beach, and FL Premier Resorts & Hotels. Together, they remained the resort's management company. Silvestri further created Premier World Marketing to market this unique facility, as well as an in-house agency, EXCEL Advertising & Public Relations. Under Silvestri's direction, Casa de Campo, began another phase in its evolution.

The "tourism" dream of Alvaro Carta was about to take on a different dimension. Throughout the late 80's and 90's, Casa de Campo became a benchmark, setting the standard for the ulimate luxury vacation in the Caribbean. Since the turn of the century, this resort has continued the momentum it generated many years ago and has invested over US $100 million dollars in new additions.

The embodied results included the new Casa de Campo/ La Romana International Airport that is able to receive wide-body planes from throughout the Western Hemisphere and Europe; the Casa de Campo/ La Romana International Tourism port to enable large cruise ship passengers to access the Caribbean's Most Complete Resort as a port of call; a 150-slip Marina & Yacht Club facility with its chic shopping, exquisite dining, plus access to the Casa de Campo resort to play. Additionally, the Casa de Campo Preparatory Institute by Johnson & Wales University was established to continually keep the service standards at this resort at the highest level exellence.... to meet the expectations required of its honored and prestigious guests.

Today Casa de Campo, under the vision and guidance of Claudio Silvestri, continues to be the driving force that has set the standards for tourism development in the Dominican Republic. Sivestri adds that the main attraction of this resort to rich and powerful people from around the world is its complete variety of options in accomadations and facilities.

"Its the personalized service and the privacy afforded our guests that make Casa de Campo the vacation destination of choice for power brokers around the world."

Fame and fortune is commonplace at Campo with such patrons as international government leaders, entertainment and media celebrities, global business giants, and sports professionals alike. The luxurious settings and breathtaking views make the resort their choice for special celebrations or private refuge and relaxation. Michael Jackson and Lisa Marie Presley were even married at Casa de Campo, and many other celebrities and powerful people simply find the resort to be an ideal spot for a perfect romantic getaway.

Casa de Campo is 7,000 acres of resort hideaway in the Caribbean right on the water with swaying palm trees beneath 5 million + stars in the sky each night and temperatures a moderate 80 degress year-round. "Here, you have the best of everything right at your access... fabulous accommodations, gourmet dining, world-class sporting adventures, pampering spa treatments, personalized guest services. This is a place where a Mediterranean artist village co-mingles with an Italian sea-side yachting community and the convenience of an international airport just eight minutes from check-in," beams Silvestri.

Power people have also taken up property at Campo and actually have homes on the resort grounds such as Alfie & Pepe Fanjul, who have fabulous homes, along with our golf course designer Pete Dye, Venezulean Gustavo Cisneros and famed Hollywood actor George Hamilton. Silvestri adds, "He's had a home here for years... you know he gets his fabulous tan at Casa de Campo!"

Power Patrons Who Have Recently Stayed or Hosted Notable Events at the Resort:

Bill Clinton - Former US President
Elizabeth Taylor - Actress
Luciano Pavarotti - Famous Tenor
Carolina Herrera - Fashion Designer
Debra Norville - US TV Anchor
Shakira - Singer
Paulina Rubio - Singer
Gloria & Emilio Estefan - Musical Icons
Maria Elena Salinas - Univision TV Anchor
Elliott Rodriguez (husband of Maria Elena Salinas and TV anchor of WPLG - ABC station in Miami)
Marc Anthony - Singer
Enrigue Iglesias - Singer
Luis Miguel - Singer
Jimmy Carter - Former US President
Puff Daddy - Famous Rap Singer
George HW Bush - Former US President
Greg Norman - Professional Golfer and Course Designer
Jean Chretien - Prime Minister of Canada
Nick Faldo - Professional Golfer & Course Designer
Carlos Ponce - International Singer and New Entertainment Tonight Correspondent
Angel Sanchez - Fashion Designer
Teresa Rodriguez - Univision TV Anchor

Some of the prestigious European guests who have been at the resort include:

Karim Ostreicher - Princess of Austria
Mikhail Gorbachev - Former Leader of the Soviet Union

History of the Resort and the Fanjul Family's Involvement

In 1960, Mr. Alvaro Carta fled Communist Cuba to live in Miami. In the late 1960's he was off to the Dominican Republic to operate the financially troubled South Puerto Rico Sugar Company. With the financial backing of the huge Gulf + Western empire, headed by Charles Bludhorn, Carta formed a new division known as Gulf + Western Americas.

The Sugar Mill in the town of La Romana quickly became the single largest producing mill in the world, and Carta began to consider investment options for the millions of dollars flowing into Gulf + Western each year. He wanted to take the money cultivated in this country and create a new industry, developing impoverished areas and improving the economic conditions of its people. He targeted the tourism industry and began looking for land to build a lavish resort with a golf course.

Carta brought in famed golf course designer Pete Dye to assist him in locating the perfect spot. After drawing up plans for an area just outside of Santo Domingo, Dye asked if there were any alternate locations. Carta reluctantly suggested there was an area near the La Romana Sugar Mill that was too dry to grow sugarcane and too sparsely vegetated for cattle. Carta and Dye ventured out to take a look.

Dye started out building an Executive Course in the area to be played by the employees of the Sugar Mill. But in scouting the coastline, Dye discovered that something truly extraordinary could be created here.

Over the next year, more than 300 Dominicans molded a sea-side course. The course was created by the use of manpower, rather than horsepower because the cost to import special machinery was prohibitive. The land, covered with thick underbrush, stubbly tropical trees, big boulders and cacti, was cleared by laborers who gripped their machetes and cleared the land. The crew used sledgehammers, pickaxes and chisels to crack the coral rock. The soil was carted from a mile inland, by sugarcane carts pulled by oxen and transported to the course site. The topsoil was created with cachaza, a by-product of sugarcane. The course was originally named Cajuiles, referring to the beautiful cashew trees that grew in the mountains. The name was changed to the "Teeth of the Dog" when Dye heard natives refer to the sharp coral rock as, "diente del perro, (teeth of the dog in Spanish) after the canine-teeth appearance of the sharp rock edges.

In the Fall of 1971, the 18-hole course with seven holes on the Caribbean Sea was ready for play. An international airport was built right at Casa de Campo to accommodated the many corporate CEO's arriving via private jet to vacation here.

In 1974, Casa de Campo resort opened as an executive retreat for Gulf + Western and its "Teeth of the Dog" hosted the World Amateur Team Championships. About the same time, the late Indian Prince Maharajah Jabar Singh, one of the best polo players in the world, having won Spain's Kings Cup six times and Frances' Deuville gold Cup three times, was invited to introduce polo at this new resort. Singh organized polo and started breeding and training polo ponies for Gulf + Western.

Tennis was added as an added perk to vacationing guests. In 1976 the "Links" golf course opened for play and construction began on a village high atop a hill dedicated to be a cultural mecca to showcase the art of the Dominican Republic. In 1979, the heart of Altos de Chavon was completed. Genesis Discotheque opened Dec. 31, 1980 and two years later on August 20, 1982, Frank Sinatra inaugurated the villages' 5,000-seat Grecian-style amphitheatre with an HBO televised special. An art school was opened at Altos de Chavon in 1983 in affiliation with New York's famed Parson's School of Design. In the meantime....polo at Casa de Campo under the Maharajh's reign was flourishing, and Claudio Silvestri's company, Premier Resorts & Hotels, was brought on board in 1982, to manage this rising star resort!

The beyond-impressive amenities at Campo have certainly owned their own share of awards and media recognition too. The Dye Fore Golf Creation is certainly renowned as the "Best Golf in the Carribean" (an instant favorite of any golfer priveleged to this memorable experience, continued over 7,800 yds. from the back tee). The sporting events hosted there have been showcased among such promotions as Golf Channel's Golf Central, Golf Magazine's "Gold Tee" award, "Shell's Wonderful World of Golf" and the Microsoft Golf 98' computer game was even simulated to the course. Amidst the breathtaking views and limitless activities, the POWER patron can enjoy the lush serenity around the Villa Homes, which are beautiful and are also available for group accommodations packages.

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