Friday, January 26, 2018

Gruppo - Campari and Appleton Estate Reopen their Remodeled Visitors Center

      The transformed Appleton Estate has reopened for visitors after a $7.2 million renovation and rebranding project.  The new Joy Spence Appleton Estate Rum Experience in Siloah, Jamaica, is the brainchild of parent company Gruppo -

Campari.  It’s named after the rum’s legendary master blender, Joy Spence.  Already the biggest attraction on the south coast of Jamaica, the rebranded experience aims to welcome more than 200,000 visitors each year.   “Attractions like the Joy Spence Appleton Estate Rum Experience contribute significantly to our efforts to develop Jamaica into a gastronomy center of excellence, as visitors are taken on a journey through the history of rum and view first-hand the development of the spirits from cane to cup.”

     All agree that Gruppo Campari's US$7.2-million investment in expanding the popular tourist attraction Appleton Estate Rum Tour, now renamed Joy Spence Appleton Estate Rum Experience, will boost earnings from tourism.  But it's not just about tourism. Listen to Clement 'Jimmy' Lawrence, chairman of J Wray & Nephew Limited — parent company of Appleton Estate and subsidiary of Gruppo Campari and it soon becomes clear that the investment is also about further imaging of the prized Appleton rum.

     Even the very practical desire to restore rail service between Montego Bay and Appleton, to get visitors to the rum attraction quicker and more efficiently, is influenced by the immediate spin-offs in the promotion of Appleton products.   “The train would halve travel time of the three-hour bus ride and allow visitors to start the rum experience while travelling to their destination. So that is the hype and interest and how the railway will fit our business well,” Lawrence said.

     “I am a little disappointed we have not got further ahead with the re-establishment of the rail between Montego Bay and Appleton,” Samuda said.  He pledged to be an “emissary” on behalf of Appleton for the rail project.  The rail link was discontinued in the 1990s.   Recognizing that the rail service won't be ready prior to the opening of the new-look Appleton tour, attention to the potholed and bumpy roads from Montego Bay to the south coast, in order to make the journey more comfortable for all involved.