Above: a rendering of Capponi’s proposed hotel
Miami nightclub promoter and businessman Michael Capponi has a number of high-profile plans for entering the struggling Haitian market. Capponi, who made his name promoting nightclubs like LIV and B.E.D., wants to change the tourist market in Haiti. “I think we can revitalize this country completely and make it a place people want to visit,” he said.
Since first visiting the country in January 2010, five days after the earthquake, he has been back 32 times, and is working on changing the cultural dynamic in the city of Jacmel. Right now, Capponi is working on cleaning up Jacmel’s beach, along with restoring a former coffee-sorting house on the seafront and converting it into a boutique hotel.
He also helped Wyclef Jean fund a hospitality school to train Haitians.
“We need to make a gradual shift from charity to empowerment,” he said. “We need to empower the people of Haiti.” [Miami Herald]