MAHO REEF – It is tradition for newspapers in the Dutch Kingdom of which St. Maarten is a part to run an April’s Fool Joke with the trappings of a real article on April 1. This is what happened today, Wednesday, when St. Maarten’s leading newspaper The Daily Herald ran a front page article entitled “Maho Beach closes for work on airport.”
“The article has caused quite some concern, but we assure everyone it is an April’s Fool joke. Sonesta Maho Beach Resort and Casino is open and continues to be and the famous beach bordering it is still there and will remain open for beach goers and thrill seekers,” says The Maho Group.
By the newspaper stating “Maho Beach” will close, many people automatically thought about Sonesta Maho as the resort is popularly called “Maho Beach” by tour operators, guests and resort staff.
“Sonesta Maho has been referred to as ‘Maho Beach’ for many years as a shortened version of its name. Automatically, people who saw the article online thought the resort was closing. While, we are happy our shortened name is so well known, we are not happy some of our clients and regular and new visitors were upset by the April Fool’s prank,” says the resort.
The newspaper cleverly gave away the hook of the story when it named the project as the "Much anticipated Phase 3 Project Extension to Runway 10,” calling it “Alpha-Foxtrot-Oscar-Oscar-Lima.” The name spells out “A FOOL” in the phonetic alphabet.