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Dolphin Cove adding second park in Ocho Rios at Moon Palace

Published:Sunday | May 31, 2015 | 12:00 AM
Stafford Burrowes, chairman and CEO of Dolphin Cove Limited.

Dolphin Cove has added a new marine attraction in Ocho Rios, located offshore the Moon Palace resort and exclusive to guests of that resort once it reopens for business.

Chairman and CEO of Dolphin Cove Limited, Stafford Burrowes, says the $26 million spent on the facility was the company's main capital project last year and a fraction of the investment to be made in the dolphin park in Turks and Caicos Islands this year. That project is budgeted at around US$6 million, which translates to just under $700 million in Jamaican currency.

The dedicated park at Moon Palace is the second of its kind - Dolphin Cove operates a similar facility at Half Moon hotel in Montego Bay.

Burrowes said the new park is constructed as a lagoon, similar in size to the flagship Ocho Rios facility located in proximity to Dunn's River Falls, and will feature four dolphins. Viewing of the dolphins is included in hotel costs, but interacting with them will attract a separate charge.

Mexican-owned Moon Palace is adding approximately 200 new rooms under a US$50 million renovation project - the hotel will have 730 rooms on completion - and is expected to reopen in the third quarter of this year.

Burrowes said that the dedicated park will benefit from a more upscale clientele and would strengthen Ocho Rios as the dominant contributor to

revenue. Moon Palace will be paid a commission from fees.

The flagship park contributed about 65 per cent of total sales last year, with cruise ship passengers as a primary source of business.

The Dolphin Cove Moon Palace investment covers the water park, financed by Dolphin Cove; and a gift shop, video and photograph services and a kitchen to prepare food for the dolphins, provided by Moon Palace, said Burrowes.