Que Pasa in Cabo?

July 23, 2018
BY: DAVID FLORES

Let there be light. According to the state’s secretary of urban planning, a total of 27,457 street lights have been installed and/or repaired throughout our state in the past three years. Many of those were washed out to China by hurricane Odile in 2014, and many were just never installed. Most of the new ones have LED lightbulbs. These are a big help to fight crime.

We made it! Los Cabos has again been recognized in the Best 100 Hotels list of the Travel + Leisure magazine, top four hotels in Mexico. These are, in order of appearance: The Resort at Pedregal, Las Ventanas al Paraiso, Chileno Bay Resort and Esperanza. Yikes, Esperanza made the list of top hotels when an employee admitted he raped a guest and the whole mess has devolved into a lawsuit? Just what does a hotel have to do to get tossed off this “best” list? The hotel management refused to call the police and didn’t at first fire the employee. The woman, a medical doctor, is suing in California where Esperanza is headquartered, but Esperanza is now saying they don’t actually own it, they just license their name. So it’s not their fault. But they’re proud to have their name on this list, thank you very much.

 More dinero for cops. The city government and city council approved a major salary increase for our local cops last week, making them the best paid in the country.

The lowest monthly income for rookies will be $800 a month, and goes up to 2 grand a month for the higher-ranking officers. The director of public safety, who is also an active serviceman, (Navy), will maintain the same salary of $2,500 a month.

We’re good at something. We have 35% of the cleanest beaches in all of Mexico. Last week, officials from our Los Cabos city government received 19 Blue Flags at a ceremony held in Huatulco, Oaxaca, in Southern Mexico.

The iconic Blue Flag is one of the world’s most recognized voluntary eco-labels awarded to beaches, marinas, and sustainable boating tourism operations. In order to qualify for the Blue Flag, a series of stringent environmental, educational, safety, and accessibility criteria must be met and maintained. This doesn’t mean other beaches aren’t spiffy clean, it just means either they’re a mess or they are not tourist oriented and have not bothered to jump through the numerous hoops and pay the money it takes to get the official designation.

The Blue Flag program was established by the Foundation for Environmental Education, supported by the United Nations Environmental Program and is established in Copenhagen, Denmark.

Denmark? Just how serious can we take eco stuff that comes out of Denmark? Last summer our boss was vacationing in Denmark and was offered some tasty whale to eat. Yes, it is legal in Denmark to catch, kill and eat whales. She said it tasted awful, very strong. She also said the waiter offering it was amused that Americans, (or practically anyone else), don’t eat whale. They even sell T shirts with a harpoon with a Denmark flag on it, stuck in a whale. So, no, sorry, we’re not taking Denmark’s ecological programs seriously.

Good time to eat. There is a program called “Los Cabos Come Asi,” or Los Cabos Eat Like This, with the goal to increase restaurant sales during the summer season.

Over 30 restaurants in Cabo San Lucas and San Jose will be offering an average of 30% discount and special, inexpensive menus from July 27 through August 5. This is the third year the Los Cabos restaurant ass., known as Canirac, has launched the program.

Oh, this offer is not for tourists, but locals only. If you are a foreigner and can prove that you live here, you will also be entitled to enjoy the discounts. Look up “Los Cabos Come Asi” in Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for the list of restaurants involved, or ask your favorite restaurant if they are part of the program.

We are still loved. The Los Cabos hotel association stated last week that we can expect at least 70% of the hotel rooms to be full this summer, thanks in big part to the Mexican tourists who love us. Our summer average room rate is around $216 per night, way down from the overall $300 a night, the highest in Mexico.

This is good news, considering that this year we have added 800 new hotel rooms, to reach a total of 17,068. That, of course, does not include the many private condos and homes rented on such sites as Airbnb and VRBO.

The first semester of the year we enjoyed 80% room occupancy in Cabo San Lucas, 72% in San Jose and 67% along the fourlane, where the most expensive resorts are located. Five new resorts will be open this year, and the growth will continue with 16 new resorts by the year 2021.

Sheraton donates to children. Early this month, the Sheraton Grande Los Cabos presented a check for $105,000 pesos (a tad over 5 grand) to the Los Cabos Children’s Foundation, a local charity that supports pediatric oncology, cardiology and intensive care programs for children of low income families. The money was raised during their sixth annual Los Cabos Cheese and Wine Festival which was held at the resort.

This year’s Wine and Cheese Festival welcomed more than 700 guests eager to indulge in international wines and premium imported cheeses from the industry’s vendors. The resort’s Executive Chef Christian Schwuger, served more than 700 guests, the most well attended and successful event to date.

New flight. Sunwing is boosting its Ottawa schedule this winter, with new direct weekly service to Los Cabos. The first-time route for Sunwing will operate with Thursday departures from Dec. 20 through April 11 of next year. With the addition of this new flight Sunwing will offer Ottawa travelers 11 different flight options for winter getaways.

“We are delighted to be providing our customers in Ottawa with even more travel options this coming winter,” says Andrew Dawson, President of Tour Operations. “Los Cabos is consistently one of our popular vacation destinations and we’re sure this new service will be well received.” Yada yada yada.

New food fest announced.                                                                                                          

A festival devoted to Paella, that rice and saffron based dish originally from Spain, but which has been homesteaded by Mexico, will take place in Los Cabos on Saturday, November 3.

Paella has ancient roots but got its modern form in the mid-19th century in the area around Albufera Lagoon on the east coast of Spain adjacent to the city of Valencia.

Types of paella include Valencian paella, vegetable paella, seafood paella, and mixed paella, among many others. Valencian paella is believed to be the original recipe and consists of white rice, green beans, meat (chicken, duck and rabbit), white beans, snails, and seasoning such as saffron and rosemary.

A paella fest is kind of like a chili cookoff, with booths of cookers set up and crowds of people wandering around sampling the various recipes and voting on them. Paella is traditionally cooked in a pan that looks like a giant wok. Stay tuned for details on the festival as we get closer to the kick off.

More celebrities do Cabo. Mexican model April Love Geary was in town with her even more famous pop singer husband Robin Thicke. “Geary”, wrote celebrities magazines, “flaunted her incredible figure in a black swimsuit while in Mexico.” This, just three months after giving birth to Thicke’s son.

Thicke is more famous for his song and video “Blurred lines,” featuring now super famous model Emily Ratajowski bare naked and songwriter Pharrel Williams, thankfully clothed. Williams is the creator of the popular song “Be Happy.”

Water, again. Many people in the barrios are lucky to get water out of their taps two or three days a week. The potable water supply is at a crisis, we can all agree on that.

But now, in the last days of the current administration, the head of the city water agency is calling for buying a new desalinization plant. The mayor was defeated and mayor elect Armida Castro is pleading with the lame duck administration not to leave her with a huge debt the city will be paying on long after the old administration is gone. Castro takes over December 1 and says the current desal plant should be made to work as promised before moving ahead with any new facilities. The Spain based company has never got the damn thing to work right, which is largely responsible for our Big Thirst. That and the fact the current administration has not patched up our leaky pipes nor kicked free loaders off the pipes.

Good time to eat! There is a program, called “Los Cabos Come Asi,” or in English, Los Cabos Eat Like This, with the goal to increase restaurant sales during the summer season.

Over 30 restaurants in Cabo San Lucas and San Jose will be offering an average of 30% discount and special, inexpensive menus from July 27 through August 5. This is the third year the Los Cabos restaurant ass., known as Canirac, has launched the program.

Oh, wait. This offer is not for tourists, but locals only. If you are a foreigner and can prove that you live here, you will also be entitled to enjoy the discounts. Look up “Los Cabos Come Asi” in Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for a presentation from some of the restaurants involved, or ask your favorite restaurant if they are part of the program.

Our favorites in this program are Maria Jimenez in Cabo and Don Sanchez in San Jose

Hot Potato.  The Tourist Assistance and Protection Center, (CAPTA) is a fancy pants three story building standing in downtown Cabo right on the marina front. The city, owner of the land, donated the space and agreed to maintain the building. The offices would be filled with city, state, and federal bureaucrats whose job is involved in some way with tourists. And, it sort of is. Sort of. Many desks seem to be vacant much of the day.

Now our city officials have grown tired of this tedious responsibility and are asking the state to take it over. Please.

If you are a foreigner who has a problem, give this office a chance to help. Just be aware of the “tourist” in the title and try not to let on that you live here. They say their mission is not to help the ex-pats.