Hard Rock Resort in Dominican Republic to Remove Minibars After Two US Tourist Deaths

Samuel Allegri
By Samuel Allegri
June 22, 2019USshare
Hard Rock Resort in Dominican Republic to Remove Minibars After Two US Tourist Deaths
The entrance of the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic on June 20, 2019. (Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

Amid international attention turning to “all-inclusive resorts” after many American tourists suddenly fell ill and died in the Dominican Republic, The Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Punta Cana is going to take away all their alcohol dispensers in their guestroom minibars, according to their hotel management.

The hotel stated that they will hire an American healthcare company to “ensure the on-site health clinic is complying with all international and US standards,” Hard Rock told the New York Post in a statement.

All the food and drinks will be tested by a U.S. lab.

Two U.S. tourists died in the Hard Rock hotel at Punta Cana in the past year, making at least 11 U.S. tourists deaths in the Dominican Republic.

About 45 tourists have reported getting ill at the Hard Rock resort, according to The Post, and authorities are investigating if they were poisoned by bad liquor.

The top tourism official in the Dominican Republic minimized the series of deaths of the tourists as an exaggeration.

“It’s not true that there has been an avalanche of American tourists dying in our country, and it’s not true that we have mysterious deaths,” said Tourism Minister Francisco Javier Garcia, according to WTVR.

“We are deeply saddened by these unfortunate incidents, and extend our sincerest sympathy to the families of those affected,” Hard Rock said in the Friday statement. “Although the official reports state these incidents are unrelated, Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Punta Cana has taken steps, based on guest feedback, to improve the experience and enhance safety moving forward.”

“Today, June 21, 2019, the Ministry of Public Health in the Dominican Republic has released further information on the American tourists who passed away in 2019, including autopsy findings that reveal these deaths were unrelated and from natural causes and pre-existing conditions,” the resort’s statement said, Fox News reported. “We are deeply saddened by these unfortunate incidents, and extend our sincerest sympathy to the families of those affected. We will continue to respect the privacy of our guests and their families.”

“The safety and health of our guests is now, and has always been, our highest priority,” the statement continued. “Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Punta Cana follows internationally recognized regulations regarding guest health, sanitation and security.”

According to the Hard Rock statement, their resort also implements “rigorous food and beverage protocols, including purchasing products from U.S. licensed and reputable vendors, as well as daily inspections of all products served throughout the hotel.”

“Additionally, our team members are trained to inspect all supplies, equipment and products that enter the property,” it continued. “The property employs more than 70 security personnel per shift and has hundreds of cameras on property to provide the utmost safety for guests and team members.”

Report: Queens Woman Is Latest to Die at Dominican Republic Resort

A New York mother is the latest person to have died at a resort in the Dominican Republic, the New York Post reported. More than a dozen American tourists have been found dead under mysterious incidents thus far in the country.

Donette Edge Cannon, 38, went to the Dominican Republic on a family trip in 2018 and visited Sunscape Bavaro Beach Punta Cana to celebrate the birthday of her brother-in-law, the paper reported on June 21.

Cannon, the owner of a catering business, stayed at the resort in May.

“She was posting videos to show how much fun she was having,” her sister, Candace Edge Johnson, told the news outlet.

The entire group had minor stomach problems during the trip. Cannon, they said, also had diabetes and was getting dialysis treatment.

“For us, throughout the trip, we kept using the bathroom,” Johnson said. “We went to a restaurant in the same condition, anytime we ate we were using the bathroom.”

On the final night, the group went to dinner. “We were singing and all dancing up to the room that night,” Johnson said. “When we all said good night, we were dancing.”

dominican republic beach
Tourists at a beach in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic in a file photo. (Erika Santelices/AFP/Getty Images)

Cannon, in the middle of the night, woke up with a stomach ache and started vomiting. In the morning, she still felt sick, and her family called a doctor.

“My cousin said, ‘It’s getting worse. I’m going to have the medics come and check her out,’” Johnson told the Post. “Once they got to the room, she fell unconscious and they took her to the hospital.”

Her sister said that they told emergency responders about her kidney problems, but the responders rushed her to a hospital without a dialysis machine.

“They basically let her die on the table,” her sister said, adding that officials at the hospital told them it was too late to take her somewhere else.

The Epoch Times Reporter Jack Phillips contributed to this report

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