OP ED: by James “JB” Bryson–
To PNO readers and visitors, over the past few months I have been having my issues with some people on the web that were taking shots at me for following up on some claims made originally about a person, and then about a development. In the following weeks and months, I was thrust into a “turf war”, that has been going on for quite some time.
During this time, I responded very aggressively and candidly against people that came at me. First in the form of a Cease and Desist, and then in the form of insulting e-mails.
Since then, I have toned down my rhetoric as people have put away their swords and approached me rationally and without pre-judgment.
I have been contacted by a person that has been corresponding with me from the actual RED FROG BEACH url, and I am hopeful that the communication is educational for me.
I have been sent much information from this email and it has a ton for us ( more or less just me) , to read into.
Of the (3) emails I have received, I have no issue posting the following one as it is a very straight forward reply and does not have the links and other claims that I have to read into. Once I have the time ( and no Hurricane) I will post others with links. I truly have been sent much to review. All of the links need to be looked into for the simple fact there are so many, and opening from untrusted sources can lead to viruses and malware attacks. I am not saying that will occur, but I have been sent many to see first.
Please know that PNO, nor myself profess any of this to be true or false. Nor do PNO, nor myself profess the other side to be either. If this posts sets off reader opinions, please know beforehand that I will NOT post anything until I have the time to see all that was sent to me. So don’t email me and ask me to do so. That route already stressed me out too much already.
I have a Hurricane to deal with back in the states, and don’t have the time. But I did state I would post an official reply.
Red Frog Beach In Response
Negative information has been circulated recently trying to discredit Red Frog Beach. We are a group of 140 employees that are proud of this island destination and what it represents to our families, our local community, and Panama’s tourism industry. We are the only resort of its kind in Bocas and we believe that this destination represents Panama in a positive way. w w w. redfrogbeach.com
Anyone associated with the tourist community in Panama knows that it takes determination and persistence to bring a resort to life and grow a business in Panama…especially developing in a place as exotic as Bocas del Toro. Red Frog Beach has earned the reputation within the international travel community and has generated an enormous amount of positive press in the global hospitality industry for Panama.
However, like many businesses, we do receive reviews that are less than perfect. Our mentality as a company is to accept our guest’s feedback and learn from it to improve. We survey every guest that stays at Red Frog and strive to learn from our mistakes. That being said, we do rank among the world’s best on Trip Advisor.
Specific accusations have been made recently against Red Frog Beach that highlighted a legal case and environmental negligence at the resort. Regarding environmental issues, we are extremely proud of our environmental record and we would invite anyone that has heard rumors to come and see the resort firsthand. Our company has a vested interest in protecting and enhancing this island’s environment…it is why our customers (many eco-tourists) come here. It is a fact that there are more trees and vegetation on Bastimentos Island is now than there was 15 years ago due to the former cattle grazing. Beyond having one of the largest solar power plants of any island resort and being the only Green Globe certified resort in Panama, how many real estate project in the world can claim that there is more growth and vegetation after building the development? There are more Red Frogs, more monkeys seen by guests, more lush vegetation and far less erosion caused by the deforestation from cattle grazing now than 15 years ago right where the resort is built. We are always striving to improve, but we are not willing to accept criticism that is not true. We love and value the unique ecology here.
Regarding legal disputes and an upset client grievances that was posted online. It is important to understand that Red Frog Beach suffered and survived through one of the worst real estate crashes in history in 2007-2008. Very few resort projects in the Caribbean survived that were under construction as Red Frog was when the downturn occurred.
Here is a short review of the history of Red Frog to reiterate these challenges:
Red Frog Beach in in 2005 to 2008 became the top selling resort in all of Panama, mostly due to its beautiful beaches and unique location, immersed in surrounding rainforest. However, the economic crisis of 2008 brought a lot of projects in Bocas and around the world to a halt. Coupled with other challenges such as a labor strike, the Red Frog project went dormant for two years.
It was then the Red Frog clients and outside investors united, invested, and formed an organization called Oceans Group International which brought the project back to life. It was not an ideal situation for the many employees, vendors and investors involved. However, by working together the project avoided bankruptcy and moved forward for the good of everyone involved.
After many years of investment and hard work, Oceans Group International has now delivered and manages 63 high end villas, condos, and lodges along with an array of amenities and nature activities for guests. It is again now one of the top selling resort communities in Central America primarily because of the unique setting and promising future. Our goal is to showcase Panama to the world and inviting others to come and visit this special place.
For the complexity, size and scope of the resort and going through the awful financial crises, Red Frog Beach is a resort that has survived and now thrives and we as Panamanians and Americans are proud of where we work. We believe that Red Frog has incredible potential as we continue to serve the global travel community.
The Team at Red Frog Beach
w w w. redfrogbeach. com
These are their words, and I said I would get something up.