My story continues…
The good Captain Ahole has set sail and taken every faux Captain Jack Sparrow with him. The ship has been dismantled and the wooden cannon and the half boat kids play structure, with the sign that read “play at your own risk”, are gone. What is left behind? Well as luck would have it, the beach and an unobstructed view of the ocean. The place looks like Los Gringos again. The new name is Playa Paraiso en Magante.
There are few decorations currently. The pirate captain left little in his wake when he first pillaged the area, so very little of Los Gringos’ décor exists. It will be up to Wendy to add ambience and create the feeling of warmth and hospitality that the restaurant once had. So currently the place looks a bit bare but I do not doubt that by the time I return next year the bar will be littered with Dominican knick-knacks and it will feel like coming home again.
The one thing that the Captain did right was to improve the cabanas’ interior. The beds are excellent and the bathrooms have been modernized somewhat. The overall appearance is pleasing. They also require some additional décor but they are ready to rent. So now all that is required is to get the word out that the Playa Paraiso en Magante is open for business. That responsibility falls to me or at least some of it. Locally everyone will know that the restaurant is open through word of mouth but on a larger scale the information super highway is the only way to get the word out where it needs to be. That is what I have been working at for the last few weeks and on Thursday I activated paraisoenmagantedr.com, the official website for the Playa Paraiso en Magante.
Having a website is paramount in this day and age but just having one does nothing to ensure business comes your way. You need to advertize your product and get it noticed in the right places. In this case that means registering with Trip Advisor and Google Maps as well as numerous other such sites. Sites that travellers like me search when deciding on holiday plans. It means listing the Paraiso en Magante on as many different places as my elderly brain can imagine!
I have also been monitoring what is being said online about the business. At least in the English language, I can do little about local gossip. It seems that Ahole was telling customers in his final days that the business was closing permanently. I heard this from Wendy via Ginger and I initially thought it to be restricted to local gossip until I found a comment the other day in a forum on DR1.com that, in essence, told the local community that there was no longer anything on the Playa Magante worth stopping for. It was followed by eight additional comments that said, in essence, that it was too bad. Okay, this is a problem that I need to address. So I have registered with DR1.com and am waiting for permission to make comments on their forum so I can correct this misinformation. I could ignore this and assume word of mouth will take care of it but it could also cause problems over the short term for the restaurant business if I do. Also others worldwide may discover this forum and make the wrong assumption, so it could hurt future bookings. Taking care of an internet property is like cooking on a barbeque… You have to keep an eye on it!! I think I understand now why being a hacker is a full-time job.
So why am I doing this? Because I told Ginger and The Earl that I could, I’m sure I even criticized Captain Ahole’s lack of diligence in this area. I don’t think I oversold myself but I may have embellished my abilities; because this is far more time consuming than it had seemed over evening cocktails on our cabana deck. I’m sure if I was a bit more techno-savvy it would have taken me far less time but I don’t even understand the language!! Everything is an acronym!! SEO, SSL, POP, RSS… I have no idea what any of these mean!! The truth is activating an acronym scares me!!! What if something explodes?? What if I erase all the work I’ve already done?? What if the acronyms don’t like each other and fight?? I have every right to be afraid of doing something wrong. I’m a little like a child finding a gun and staring in the barrel while I play with the trigger to see how the thing works. What if I erase the entire internet?!!!
But alas nothing seems to have gone wrong and I have managed to muddle through, and paraisoenmagante.com is a reality. It is awaiting approval for its listing on Trip Advisor and with that will come it’s marker on Google Maps. They even accept Pay Pal and all major credit cards as payment. Ahole’s was a straight cash business and even though the majority of the transactions that take place in the Dominican are in cash, I believe that it’s always good to offer a choice. It was one more thing I believe that hurt the pirate’s business.
Of all the comments made on DR1.com in regards to the Captain going out of business, not one said he’d be missed. Three did say that Patrick was missed and that the place had changed since Ahole had arrived and all of them said that they would miss stopping by at the Playa Magante for a nice meal and an afternoon on the beach. I hope I can get them back because I feel Wendy and the Paraiso en Magante will keep them coming back. It is once again a place with global flavour and island soul.