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Upmarket Ambitions

Aug 1, 2006

A slew of tourism projects planned for the Caribbean are aimed at discerning clientele who want high-end properties with space for their mega-yachts.

Six years ago, machete in hand, sweat-drenched and mosquito-bitten, veteran Caribbean hospitality investor Carl J. Bazarian hacked his way through virgin tropical jungle to find the perfect stretch of deserted beach for his latest luxury project – the Westin Roco Ki Resort. Then, he was a pioneer cutting a trail across the Dominican Republic, away from all-inclusive mass tourism products and toward trophy properties anchored by high-end international hotel brands. Today, though, he's one of many in the Caribbean that are targeting upscale vacationers. "The quality of the product is going up. The whole Caribbean is going to be upgrading brands," says Bazarian, whose DC-based international investment firm has arranged financing for more than two-dozen projects throughout the Caribbean ranging in value up to $160 million. His self-named company, Bazarian International LLC, has been linked to high-end brands such as Ritz Carlton, Mandarin Oriental and Four Seasons....

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