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  • Bob Soto's Celebrates
    Its 40th Anniversary
    With New Moves

    by Geri Murphy, May 1997

    This year, Bob Soto's Diving, Ltd. of Grand Cayman is celebrating its 40th anniversary, making it the world's longest established and continuously running resort dive operation. Cayman Islands diving pioneer, Bob Soto, opened the doors of his Seven Mile Beach dive shop in 1957; with 10 converted fire extinguishers and a homemade 19 foot plywood boat. In 1980, Bob Soto retired and turned the company over to Ron Kipp, who has kept it going and growing ever since.

    Not one to relax and bask in the glow of success, Kipp is celebrating the company's 40th with a number of exciting moves; both facilities and services.

    Bob Soto's Diving has relocated its official headquarters to new, upgraded facilities at the 281 room Treasure Island Resort. The facility features an ultra-modern, air-conditioned retail sales store, a private scuba training classroom, an outdoor deck area as well as two freshwater swimming pools just steps from the classroom.

    The new headquarters is Grand Cayman's only PADI Five Star Development Facility, with training programs that range from scuba introduction to basic certification to advanced training. Ms. Pip Wyn-Evans, training director, heads a staff of three full time PADI instructors who conduct training on a daily basis; to conveniently fit the customer's schedule. Open water training takes place at nearby Bob Soto's Scuba Centre dock, with a short swim to Soto's Reef.

    As part of the expansion program, Bob Soto's Scuba Centre has been relocated to the ground floor level of the Lobster Pot Restaurant building on North Church Street. The new facility features a full service retail dive store, a well stocked scuba rental department and shore diving access to nearby Soto's Reef. Adjacent to the new Scuba Centre is Bob Soto's Diving dock and fleet of dive boats.

    As for programs, Bob Soto's Diving is launching its new 1997 Cayman Gold dive vacation package, effective April 15 through December 15. Priced for the budget conscious traveler, the package includes roundtrip airline flights from Miami to Grand Cayman, accommodations at the Treasure Island Resort and six days of diving. Constructed to be as flexible as possible, the Cayman Gold Program offers shorter stays at a lower price.

    Ron Kipp said, 'We have covered the majority of concerns divers have expressed about summer travel to the Cayman Islands.' In addition to being exceptionally low priced, Bob Soto's Diving is offering an optional meal plan that includes a continental breakfast at Treasure Island every morning and coupon vouchers for dining at Grand Cayman's most popular restaurants.

    Bob Soto's fleet of eight custom dive boats offers 22 different diving experiences, something for every diver, every day. As part of this extensive menu, the company operates dive trips to all four sides of Grand Cayman (weather permitting); the West Wall, the North Wall, the South Wall and the East End. There are programs to suit every level of diver proficiency from beginner through experienced and advanced. The trips cover a wide spectrum: shallow reefs, caves and grotto exploration, walls, wrecks, night wrecks and night wall dives, as well as three tank computer diving along the Far North Wall.

    If you would like to help Ron Kipp and the Bob Soto's Diving staff celebrate their 40th year of fun diving, call toll free (800) 262-7686, fax (345) 949-8731 or e-mail