This photo appeared in the August 1991 issue of Guam Business News (the original name of the magazine). It was taken at the Sandcastle Entertainment Complex on June 20, 1991, several months after the Sandcastle opened on Dec. 17, 1990. The occasion was "a grand opening to introduce its backstage tour. … The new optional tour will be a regular, no-cost sightseeing stop offered by participating sightseeing tour agencies for tourists and locals," the caption reads.
The backstage tour "was started to increase awareness of the property in its early years," recalls Mark S. Baldyga, who has since bought out his partner and is the sole owner and chief executive officer of Baldyga International Group. "The tour started just months after the business opened and became a standard part of the island's sightseeing tours. It operated for several years and was one of several creative sales efforts undertaken by the company to grow its business.
"Like most tours, SandCastle took a year or two to build agent relationships and consumer awareness. The business went on to become Guam's top attraction," he says.
"At the time of this photo the company had just undergone a typhoon," he says. "Little did they know they were about to be hit with Supertyphoon Omar, an 8.1 earthquake, Persian Gulf Wars, SARS, the KAL crash and 9/11. No wonder they look happy!"
James Oelke is still on Guam and works for the National Park Service. Tomoyuki Goto is still with Baldyga Group as its director of sales. Baldyga expanded the company to a group of attractions under Baldyga Group including Guam Beach and Culture Park, The Beach Bar & Grill, and BIG Sunset Dinner Cruise.