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Thread: Couples History

  1. #1
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    Default Couples History

    While I already knew a basic history of Couples and Tower Isle, I found this "case study" to be very interesting reading. I'm sure some of you "old timers" probably already know all the history of Couples, and perhaps have even read this before. In any event, thought I'd pass it along, as newer guests might like to know a bit more about the formation of CTI and its early years.

    http://www.jamaicajim.com/history.htm

  2. #2
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    That was an extremely interesting profile of the very early years of pre-Couples. A very long read but well worth the time. In the book, "Mr. Jamaica" written by Abe Issas daughter Suzann, there were wonderful little known facts about the family and their background. With this most recent history tale, it gives a great insight into the Issa family and the ideas they formulated for the resort industry.

    Thanks for posting it,

    Richie

  3. #3
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    A better and more accurate read would be Mr. Jamaica - Abe Issa by Suzanne Issa.

    This book has all the history Abe Issa founder of Tower Isle Hotel and Couples Resorts. Couples is currently ran by a board of directors headed by Lee Issa. John Issa did not start Couples, Abe did.

    John Issa is not part of Couples, but CEO of Super Clubs, Breezes and Hedo. John Issa and Abe Issa had issues between each other. You need to read the book for the whole story.

    I purchased my copy of the book at the Tower Isle gift shop.
    Irie Mon

  4. #4

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    I would like to know about the history of CSA. When we went there in 2000, it wasn't called Couples Swept Away, just "Swept Away Resort" and didn't seem to be run the same. Plus all the floaties were blue lol. I cant find a history on the place at all except the year it was built, which was 1990? Anyone? Anyone?

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by twin6mike View Post
    I would like to know about the history of CSA. When we went there in 2000, it wasn't called Couples Swept Away, just "Swept Away Resort" and didn't seem to be run the same. Plus all the floaties were blue lol. I cant find a history on the place at all except the year it was built, which was 1990? Anyone? Anyone?
    I went 4 times when it was just Swept Away and just loved the resort, even more then when it was smaller. And I fondly remember the turquoise floaties as well!

  6. #6
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    I also had tried to find out more information on Couples Swept Away and found nothing more than it was built in 1990. I would be great if anyone had more info on this subject. I would also like to know what the changes were to the Hotel over the years.
    There is plenty of information on CTI out there but no so much on the other properties.

  7. #7
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    Thanks for pointing out that website. I enjoyed reading it. I just wish it would have gone a little more 'forward' and shown how the Issas made the decision to build CN after the comment about building their own resort would not be profitable.
    Juliann & Jeff
    Jamaica Soon Come

  8. #8
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    CN was the only resort built by The Issa's as a Couples Resort.

    CSS:
    Lee Issa-led team had bought the property and assume control of the resort on Sunday, September 11, 2005
    Originally opened in the early 1950s and then re-built in the 1970s, Sans Souci (French for "without a care") carries 150 ocean-facing luxury suites nestled into a 35-acre hillside garden. Couples did a lot of work in 2005/2006 adding room and upgrades. It was a ran as a Super Clubs, (John Issa), Grand Lido resort before Couples purchased it from the Carreras Group Limited.

    CSA:

    Couples purchased the resort. It was called Swept Away Resort before Couples purchased it. All I can find is that it was opened in 1990 and Couples purchased in 1991?. Maybe Randy can fill in some information.
    Irie Mon

  9. #9
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    Anyone ever meet Stanley? He is a close friend of the Issa family and locked on to us one trip when we arrived in the middle of the night. He told us the whole history of Couples while showing us all around the resort. This was our 3rd trip and we already where familiar with the resort and we just wanted to go to bed! But Stanley was a hoot.

  10. #10

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    Well? Randymon? Whats the scoop on CSA? In 2000, it was still only referred to as Swept Away Resort. When what and how brother?

  11. #11

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    I could be wrong about this but I think Swept Away is owned by Lee Issa,I'm not sure if he built it but since the style of the resort is very similar to Idle Awhile(which I know is owned by Lee and Jane Issa) it seems likely the same person built both. It was then at some point leased to Couples Resorts. So.the way I understand it, Lee Issa is CEO and part owner of Couples Resorts along with other members of the Issa family but CSA is his "baby" and is leased to Couples Resorts. Now...as I said,I could be totally wrong about this and if so,hopefully Randy will post the actual facts of how Swept Away became Couples Swept Away.

  12. #12

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    Swept Away opened in 1990. Couples Negril opened in 1998 and it was then that Swept Away came under the Couples Resorts umbrella - even though the sign still says Swept Away Resort. So in 1998, Couples consisted of Couples Ocho Rios (now Couples Tower Isle), Couples Negril and Couples SweptAway. We bought Couples Sans Souci in September 2005. All four resorts are part of The House of Issa.

    Couples Resorts

  13. #13

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    Cool, thanks for the info.

  14. #14
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    And one more point to add to Randymon's comments. It was Mr. Lee Issa, who built SweptAway, that eventually acquired the Couples empire. I also feel, having been to SweptAway in the "old" pre-Couples days, that the concept flowed from Lee to Couples.
    Chris

    "In an abundance of water, the fool is thirsty..." - Bob Marley - "Rat Race"


  15. #15
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    Do you know when the official grand opening was for Swept Away in 1990. I think we were one of the 1st people to stay at Swept Away in April of 1990 for our Honeymoon. We have been back several times since and will for sure plan our 25th anniversay there.

  16. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by Beach-bum View Post
    Anyone ever meet Stanley? He is a close friend of the Issa family and locked on to us one trip when we arrived in the middle of the night. He told us the whole history of Couples while showing us all around the resort. This was our 3rd trip and we already where familiar with the resort and we just wanted to go to bed! But Stanley was a hoot.
    Yes, we met Stanley at CSA in Jan. 2008. What a nice guy. Such a character. He introduced us to Lee Issa, who we had a few good long conversations with as well. Very nice and interesting man. Lee was dressed pretty casual and certainly didn't walk around like he owned the place. lol. If you didn't know who he was, you'd assume he was another guest. Some of you may even have passed right by him on a path...

    Beach bum - When did you see Stanley? Recently I hope?

  17. #17

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    We usually see Stanley when we visit around the first of march. The very first time we met him I thought he was the owner as the staff all seemed to know him. I sent my husband over to speak to him and hubby brought him over to dine with us. That was the first of many dinners shared and most of all a detailed history of not only Couples but of Jamaica. As much as I look forward to our return visit to CSA I also look forward to our visit with Stanley. He truly is a character.

  18. #18

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    wow, this was an awesome paper. I was most impressed with how the Issa family made the most changes to how the islanders are treated. And I was most impressed that cigarettes were also included in the all inclusive!

  19. #19
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    Any photos of Stanley ?

  20. #20
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    Picture of what?
    Irie Mon

  21. #21
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    We met Stanley on our recent trip (Oct 19th-29th.) He is very much a character! Said he's been to CSA 42
    times.
    We met Lee Issa at CSA back in '06. He blended in very well with everyone. If I hadn't seen a picture of him beforehand, I never would have known that he wasn't a guest. A true gentleman.

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