A FAR CRY FROM GAUGUIN
Tahiti makes one think of Paul Gauguin's colorful postimpressionist paintings, the mutiny on the Bounty, Herman Melville's Omoo, and a grass skirt or two. By next May those who want to get away from it all and have the money will be able to reach the South Sea isle by jet, and by 1962 they will be able to live as if under the tent of Conrad Hilton.
Transports A�riens Intercontinentaux ran an experimental DC-8 jet flight from Los Angeles to Papeete March 5. Regular twice-a-week service begins in May, and the 4,156 statute miles will be covered nonstop in about eight hours, as compared with the 20� hours (with a stopover at Honolulu) now required. Plane fares: L.A. to Papeete, $1,022.40 first-class, $754.20 economy (two-way). Jets will carry 28 first-class, 100 economy.
At the other end, John Volz, an enterprising southern California engineer and contractor, is planning the Riviera Tahitien in Taravao on Tahiti, two thirds of the way around the island from the capital city, Papeete. On 260 acres of rolling, mosquito-free land, Volz and two American partners intend to build this 200-room tourist hotel, with 50 cottages scattered around a nine-hole golf course. The project will cost about $5 million. To attract sports-minded tourists, Volz plans to import or build deep-sea fishing cruisers. Dolphins, bonito and Allison tuna abound in Tahitian waters. Outrigger canoes for racing or lolling will be available. On another 1,500 acres Volz's paying guests will be able to go horseback riding or to hunt wild boar, relaxing afterward in their Beverly Hills-type bungalows. Cost: $500 a month for two-bedroom cottages, or leases on same for 30 years for $25,000 in case you never want to go back to Hoboken.
Old beachcombers are fearful that two-a-week jet flights will make their lotus land look like a combination of Miami and Cannes. Polynesian natives now play a little muddy soccer, swim languorously, fish lazily or do some quiet boating. Before long the word "fore" will get into their vocabulary, and many of them may within a few years be caddies, waiters and chauffeurs. You can't stop progress, and all you need is money to play Gauguin de luxe.
HOLD THOSE BETS
A few days after the Caliente Future Book announced its first set of official odds on the May 6 Kentucky Derby, the publicity director for the Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore got out a news release. In it he quotes Jack Price, who—as the co-owner and trainer of the eastern Derby favorite—admits to having no scruples about overracing his horses if they bring in the money quickly "His [Carry Back's] next start will be in the Fountain of Youth at Gulfstream Park on March 22 as a tune-up for the Florida Derby there on April 1.
"If he comes out of the Florida Derby O.K., we'll ship to New York to run in the Wood Memorial at Aqueduct on April 22 and, if he comes out of that all right, we will then ship to Louisville for the Kentucky Derby on May 6 and then to Baltimore for the Preakness at Pimlico on May 20.
"Carry Back usually comes out of his races ready to run right back, but if he should show any signs of needing a letup after the Florida Derby, we will skip the New York trip for the Wood and ship from Florida to Louisville for the Derby. On the other hand, if he should go to New York and come off that race tired, we will skip the Kentucky Derby and ship right to Maryland for the Preakness. That big purse is our main objective."
Caliente's Derby odds on Carry Back are 5 to 1. After the statement from Pimlico it would take a heroic bettor to accept such a price. It would exhaust a horse just to know these plans.