Top Tourist Attraction Survives Storm
Update Available Here: Casa Bacardi Reopens
By Kevin Wilkerson, PubClub.com Travel Blogger
With destruction all around it, no power anywhere and no tourists to visit anyway, one of the top tourist attractions in Puerto Rico is temporarily shut down.
Casa Bacardi, the rum factory for Bacardi Rum which offers daily tours, closed before Maria reached Puerto Rico and remains closed until further notice.
PubClub.com has learned that the factory survived the hurricane, tho the company says it sustained “some damage.” Bacardi will do a full assessment “when safe to do so,” it stated. It did, however, give a glimmer of hope by posting the tour “is reopening soon” on its website.
The factory is located off the main island of Puerto Rico in Cana de San Antonio Bay, about a mile from the ferry terminal in Old Town San Juan. To visit, you take a ferry from San Juan, but those ferries will not be running for a while.
If the Bacardi factory were even open, there would be no tourists to take the tour. The entire country is 100% without power and there’s massive flooding from heavy rains caused by Marina.
It is likely to take several months for the country to get basic operations back for the residents, let alone to be ready to accommodate tourists. Although the airport is open to limited commercial traffic.
Bacardi posted this statement on its website:
“In the wake of the devastation caused by Hurricanes Irma and Maria, as well as the earthquakes in Mexico, Bacardi Limited and the Bacardí family commit US$3,000,000 for disaster relief and recovery efforts in the impacted areas.
“The world’s largest privately held spirits company designates US$2,000,000 in cash and other assistance to Puerto Rico, and the remaining US$1,000,000 to local relief agencies supporting communities impacted in Florida, other islands in the Caribbean, The Bahamas, and Mexico.
‘The Bacardi family, company and our employees are deeply saddened by the devastation and horrific loss caused by the recent hurricanes and earthquakes. We hope these donations will help alleviate some of the stress and pain people are experiencing while addressing some of their most basic needs,’ says Facundo L. Bacardi, Chairman of family-owned Bacardi Limited.
“Bacardi will provide immediate relief and longer-term rebuilding efforts in collaboration with several non-profit partners and local governments, including the Government of Puerto Rico, in the affected communities.
“Puerto Rico has been home to the BACARDÍ® rum distillery, the largest premium rum distillery in the world, since 1936 where the company produces its namesake brand, and the Casa Bacardi visitor center, the second most visited tourism venue in metro San Juan. Throughout its history in Puerto Rico, Bacardi has been deeply involved in the community and its commitment remains strong to the long-term success of Puerto Rico as it battles natural disasters and financial difficulties.
‘Disaster relief aid is part of our Philanthropy & Community Investment mission to provide assistance to communities in need,” adds Mr. Bacardi. “We’re working closely with government agencies and not-for-profit partners to identify the most pressing needs so we can provide meaningful support.’
“The devastation of the recent natural disasters strikes particularly close to Bacardi since many impacted communities are considered home to its operations, offices, and employees.
“In addition to operations in Puerto Rico, BACARDÍ rum is bottled in Jacksonville, Fla., and South Florida is home to the Bacardi North America regional headquarters office. In Mexico since 1931, the company has offices and production facilities for its rum and tequila brands. While Bacardi no longer has facilities in The Bahamas, our donation serves as a testament to the people of The Bahamas where the company produced its iconic rum for nearly 50 years.
“Corporate responsibility has always been a priority for Bacardi. Company founder and BACARDÍ rum creator Don Facundo Bacardí Massó began this tradition in 1852 when he volunteered as the chief organizer of disaster relief in his hometown of Santiago de Cuba after a devastating earthquake. Since then, the Bacardí family and company have continued to build upon his commitment to assist in times of catastrophic natural disasters.
“In recent years, Bacardi has made donations to aid organizations supporting relief efforts in Southeast Asia, China, Australia, Italy, Haiti, Cuba, Brazil, Chile, and the United States.
“This $3 million pledge is in addition to the Bacardi USA contribution of up to $100,000 to support its business partners and others affected by Hurricane Harvey in Houston, Texas.”
Puerto Rico Tourism issued this statement regarding tourism to the island:
“We’ll be working closely with Government agencies and the entire tourism industry to assess its impact on the Island.
“We’re confident that Puerto Rico will recover.
Our tourism infrastructure is strong and our people are even stronger. We came together not long ago to help our Caribbean neighbors post-Irma and it’s this generosity, the hospitality of our people, and the beauty of our Island that we know will continue to lure millions of travelers like you to come visit us.
“Please continue to check back with us here.”
We’re looking forward to welcoming you to our Island once again.
The Casa Bacardi tour traces the history to the present and ends with a complimentary tasting of drinks featuring Bacardi products.