Apr 9, 2009

ATI n RTI MERGE ... " thanks for the RECESSION"

There will be no Red Stripe Temptation Island (RTI) or Appleton Treasure Isle (ATI) this summer. Instead, patrons can expect the perfect 'Negril Dream Weekend' as both parties have been combined.

This Independence weekend, from Thursday, August 6, to Sunday, August 9, persons can purchase one arm band that will get them into six all-inclusive events. These are: Daydreams - the ultimate daytime beach party; Twisted Spirits - the 32 mixed drinks inclusive event; Xtreme Wet and Wild at the Kool Runnings Waterpark; Yush - Negril's true '90s throwback party; Wildsides, which is the oldest Negril weekend event; and The Concert, which features international and local artistes and celebrities.

Kamal Bankay of Dream Team, organisers of Negril Dream Weekend, told THE WEEKEND STAR: "what's really happening is that the strongest events in Negril have come together to make one band where the strongest will survive. So, the so-called RTI band and ATI band that we're used to for the last two years is now one band."

Dream Team consists of Yohan Hendricks, promoter of Wildsides; P.J. Wright of Daydreams; Philip Palmer of Yush; Bankay and Matthew Samuda of Xtreme Wet and Wild; Ron Burke of Twisted Spirits, among others. According to Bankay, "the plan for this event is five years where we plan to tap into external promoters, outside tour groups, good capital expansion and more. The goal is getting the right type of sponsorships and then, the sky is the limit."

At present, there is no title sponsor, but Bankay said Dream Team is in the process of contacting companies and the title sponsor will be announced at a later date. Rival liquor companies, Red Stripe and J. Wray and Nephew, which have sponsored the event in the past, are expected to be the leading candidates.

As for the price of the weekend band, Bankay said they are aiming to make it affordable.


The Independence weekend partying started in 2001 with ATI but was split into two events in 2006 when Absolute Entertainment and Appleton parted ways - the result was Appleton Treasure Isle and Absolute Temptation Island. In 2007, Red Stripe sponsored Absolute's event and renamed it RTI.

Bankay said patrons will appreciate the merging of the two events this year.

"Persons will have it a lot easier this weekend, without having to decide which band to choose and which parties to go to. The parties will show a heighten level of organisation and expect Negril to be the most fun you'll have," he said. "You'll be dazzled and astounded and know that it was money well spent and if you save your money and choose this party for the year, it will be where you will have the most fun."

The Independence weekend usually sees a mass migration of persons to Negril, which results in a huge boost in earnings for business people in the area operating hotels, restaurants and car and bike rental. According to Bankay, last year was the largest turnout with an estimated 10,000-15,000 persons attending RTI and ATI.


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