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Puerto Rico Is Playing Sweet Music For Elite Travelers

By Chris Boyle

The Allen Room at Jazz at Lincoln Center (below) is located on the fifth floor of Time Warner Center at the Southwest corner of Central Park with spectacular views looking east, a quintessential post card picture through its 90 x 50 feet floor to ceiling windows.


Having played for the Dalai Lama, award-winning Mayguez-born flautist Nestor Torres is clearly at ease no matter the surroundings.  With Fajardo born Jerry Medina (right) who straddles jazz, salsa and pop, and Edwin Colon Zayas, maestro of Puerto Rico’s national instrument, the cuatro, even the Big Apple was no match for the all star island of the Caribbean.


Performed under the banner “Tropical Night of Jibaro Jazz” one could easily imagine enjoying the warm Caribbean ocean breezes instead of honking taxis and New York City humidity. Rums of Puerto Rico helped get the gathering of travel industry VIPs in the mood.


Host Ingrid Rivera, Executive Director of Puerto Rico Tourism Company, said while her destination has built its profile beyond beaches as a place for adventure travel, luxury resorts, families, culinary experiences, spas and championship golf, the event provided a showcase for the island’s breadth of culture.


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Riviera may also find elite travelers who visit Puerto Rico will stay, at least 183 days a year.  Businessweek in a story that broke today noted that a tax law designed to attract U.S. citizens signed 18 months ago (see Elite Traveler Sept/Oct 2012 where I originally wrote about it) is paying off with over 200 high net worth “traders, private equity moguls and entrepreneurs” now calling the island their principal residence.


The taxation difference, according the newsweekly is significant at many levels.  The article states, “Say you put $100,000 in a 5 percent certificate of deposit that compounds annually and reinvest the proceeds every year. If you lived in Puerto Rico, you’d earn $165,000 in interest over two decades…If you lived in California, your state and federal taxes could reduce that to as little as $64,000.”

With increased demand for a place to call home, perhaps not coincidentally, Luis D. Ortiz, the Puerto Rican born star of Million Dollar Listing was an honored guest.

While the highlight of this evening was the music, Puerto Rico is also clearly striking a sweet note with elite travelers on many fronts.

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