Scattered over 2 hectares (5 acres) on a beachfront within a few steps of the city's cruise ship terminal is a replica of an idealized Jamaican village, complete with elaborate gingerbread, hundreds of feet of boardwalk, and a medley of psychedelic colors that glow, rainbow-style, in the streaming sunlight. It's not without its own Disney-ish theme park overtones -- sound stages are strategically scattered within the sightlines of bars that serve the kind of high-octane cocktails that could fuel a heavily loaded jetliner from here to Kingston. Music and hotel impresario Christopher Blackwell, who takes credit for the "discovery" and marketing of Bob Marley, is half-owner of this venture -- thus you won't find any shame here about emphasizing reggae as both a lifestyle and an artistic venue. Within the compound you'll find about 35 shops selling clothing, books, souvenirs, "reggae wear," and Bob Marley memorabilia, as well as a handful of restaurants and bars.
Small-scale reggae presentations occur spontaneously, often when a cruise ship is in port, and large-scale blockbuster concerts are scheduled about once a month, and are usually attended by hundreds, or even thousands. Except when there's a world-class concert -- usually when there's no cruise ship in port -- there's no admission charged for entrance to the compound, but an alert security staff ensures that "panhandlers, pickpockets, and lowlifes" (at least those residing in Jamaica) are kept off the premises. Access to the beachfront -- with its own floating trampoline -- costs US$5 per person.