One theme I have been hearing over and over from people who have been traveling here for a while is that the DR is not as cheap as it once was. This is true. But, there are several reasons for that. For those who were traveling here when the Dominican peso was 30, 40, or even 50 to $1, those were the days. Things have definitely changed. The country is in an economic mess, and the governement has been manipulating the currency to keep it stable. Most of the bills they pay on the international market are in dollars.
Another complaint is that the drinks in many of the clubs/bars have gotten really expensive. I can't speak for the individual owners, but it does seem that things have gotten a bit pricey. I know that a bottle of Absolut costs $16 in the supermarket, so when you are having drinks prices that reflect the States, people who travel here often tend to spend less money.
The Dominican Republic is still one of the cheapest Caribbean islands to travel to. Have you been to Puerto Rico lately? Not cheap. You can still find bargains here and all the bars/clubs are not expensive. Hotels run the gamut from $25 per night to several hundred and more. You can stay on the beach in some towns for $40, and walk right out your door and jump in the ocean.
The Dominican Republic is a very difficult place to do business, but I think a fair balance is going to have to be reached, otherwise many people will be alienated and look for other places to spend their hard-earned money.
Let's see what happens...