Que Pasa in Cabo?

October 1, 2018 Edition
BY: DAVID FLORES

Hotels mad as hell. And 53 of them are not going to take it anymore. They have filed amparos (similar to a restraining order), against CFE, Mexico’s power company, for excessive electric bills, said Paloma Palacios, the Los Cabos Hotel Ass. executive director. They have denounced hikes in the cost of electricity of up to 300%, which greatly affects industry finances. The association is now working on presenting a common front to protect and defend them from  CFE. It is expected that at least 150 amparos will be filed against CFE within the next week. Last year, Palacios said electricity and propane represented 5% of their expenses and that has now skyrocketed to 15 percent. Payroll represents 25% of their costs, an addition.

However, some of Los Cabos hotels have profits of up to 64% before taxes. This is due to their charging U.S. prices while paying Mexican salaries. Minimum wage in Mexico is about $8 bucks for an eight hour shift. They all have to pool their tips, so your hotel housekeeper gets about one two hundredth of what you leave her.

Have you noticed these swanky buses cruising around town bragging on the side of them that they are free transportation for their employees? How about just paying a living wage so the employees can buy a car? Every bus you see is a monument to unfair wages. Hopefully the new hotels opening soon will bring some wage pressure with them, as they all compete for employees. Unemployment is already very low, so we’re almost there.

Or will they just bring over more workers from the mainland and not provide any infrastructure of housing, health care and education? Yes, that’s exactly what they will do. Sigh.

Newport to Cabo Race. Newport Harbor Yacht Club (NHYC) announced the opening of entries for its biennial Newport Beach, California to Cabo San Lucas run. The start for the race is March 15, 2019.

The 800-mile yacht race is open to fully crewed mono hull boats of 38’ or larger and multihull boats of 45’ or larger. Early entry fees are $900 until October 31.

Originally started in 1971, the race has provided offshore sailors a challenging downwind race to warmer waters for nearly five decades. Event Details: http://nhyccaborace.com/home

Uber is here!  Well, no, but sometime in October, Cloud Cars, a ride hailing service, will begin to work in Los Cabos. Cloud Cars is offering the service through their own app and also via WhatsApp.

The company began operations in the state of Queretaro in Central Mexico some 18 months ago and is growing throughout the country.

La Paz taxi drivers are already whining about a loss of 70% of their business to Uber. We can’t get Uber in Cabo, the taxista will torch the cars. But we do already have Andale, just download the app and keep it hush hush. A recent trip from up behind Costco to Squid Roe cost about $5 U.S.

In related news. Los Cabos taxi drivers and owners are threatening violence if Uber comes in. Pascual Alvarez, leader of the Tracolsa Los Cabos, a public transport company, stated that if Uber enters Los Cabos, his associates would “at least, set one of their vehicles on fire.”

Whoa. Obviously, Alvarez said that to scare some Uber wannabe drivers. In return, the state government, responsible for regulating public transportation, stated that any violence will result in prosecution and jail time. However, the state is backing the taxi cartel on this matter and won’t let Uber in.

They’re baack! This time, we’re referring to groups and conventions, a good source of tourism revenue for Los Cabos. They abandoned us last year, cancelling some 30,000 hotel room reservations due to insecurity in our tourist resort area, caused by organized crime and a battle between drug lords. And meddling by some idiots in Washington D.C. who have never looked at a map of Mexico so they declared it all dangerous in State Department alerts.

According to Rodrigo Esponda, director of the Los Cabos tourism fund (Fiturca), the joint effort of the hotel association, destination management companies, (DMC’s) and tour companies has produced results as groups and convention reservations have tripled in the first semester of this year.

They’re also back, Well, almost. KFC and Pizza Hut are planning to return to Southern Baja, according to the state’s secretary of tourism Juan Araiza. He told us that a representative for both companies approached him to enquire about the possibility to operate in our state. Where will they be located is still unknown, but we hope it’s Cabo and not La Paz. The Colonel is dead, you know. Dead as Betty Crocker. Deader, since There never was a Betty.

NatGeo adopts us. A student of La Paz state University (UABCS) was named an “Explorer” for National Geographic last week, due to her work on research on reef adaptation and climate change. Yup, that’s the climate change that President Trump calls a Chinese hoax. Marina Abas, the student, is about to finish her Ph.D. in marine and coastal sciences and has received a grant from NatGeo to extend her investigation from the Gulf of California (Sea of Cortes) to the reefs in Mexico’s southern Pacific seas.

Her study will be based on evolutionary characteristics of different fish species to use them as a tool to predict changes in climate in the marine environment.

Hard Rock Hotel Open.s Sort of. The new Hard Rock Hotel is taking reservations for next May. They've been hammering and sawing out there for seems like a couple years, but it's getting close now, they're actually taking reservations. Cost is around $450 a night and it's all inclusive. Well, it kind of has to be, because it's so far out of town. It's on the Pacific side, inside the 2,000 acre, two golf course Diamante.

The Hard Rock Hotels is entirely separate from the Hard Rock Cafes. Different company. The local Hard Rock Café went bust years ago and the building is still cluttering up our downtown. Better luck with the hotel.

Chili cookoff Mexican style. On Saturday November 3, Los Cabos will hold its first ever paella contest. Paella is a rice dish that has ancient roots but its modern form originated in mid-19th century Spain. There are several types of paella, including seafood, vegetables, beef and pork, and it may include sausages of different types. The rice, however, must be cooked with saffron, which gives it its yellowish orangish color. Tastes better than it sounds.

The competition expects to attract up to 35 cooking teams, consisting of  a cook and maximum two helpers. It is open to the public, so anyone, professional cooks or not, can participate. There will be cash prizes and more surprises, that will be announced at a later date.

A hungry crowd of up to 800 paella eaters, paying 1,350 pesos (about $70 bucks) each is expected. The competition will start at 1:30 pm and end up 6:30 pm and it will include an open bar.

The cost to participate as a cook will be $1,000 USD per team, who will be required to cook for 50 people. The public will cast their vote, and a notary public will be present to banish fears of a fix being in. 25% The proceeds from the event will be donated to two local charities which are currently being chosen by the organizing committee. Hmmm….this thing should rake in a whopping amount of money.  $56,000 in entry fees, and $50,000 in cookers fees. Where is their cost?  The cookers will bring their own ingredients. Drink up, they better have more than just national drinks.

For more information and to sign up, go to: paellastournament.com. We can only hope those notaries checking on the veracity of the votes also checks to see the charities get their chunk of money. 

Marriott opens new Resort Why can’t people write normal press releases? Do they go to press release classes to learn how to write like this?

The new Solaz Resort, part of Marriott’s luxury collection, has 128 rooms in a beachfront location midway between Cabo San Lucas and San Jose del Cabo.

 “A top resort destination, Los Cabos is rich in culture and acts a gateway for our Global Explorers to connect with the indigenous offerings of Mexico.” Gushed Anthony Ingham, Global Brand Leader, of The Luxury Collection. “The Luxury Collection’s guests seek destinations with enriching qualities and there is a magnetic attraction to this Baja oasis. As the seventh Luxury Collection hotel in Mexico, Solaz Resort showcases the brand’s commitment to expanding its footprint and enhancing its offerings for discerning travelers to the destination.”

The property has five swimming pools, a 10,000-square-foot spa with eight treatment rooms; and a state-of-the-art fitness center, among other amenities. We just cut out eight superlatives you didn’t need to endure.

It’s the meetings sector that is a big target for Solaz; the resort has the largest meeting space of any hotel in Los Cabos, with a total of 20,000 square feet of meeting and event space, with capacity for 1,000 guests, the company said.

Also opening in 2019: Four Seasons, 145 rooms. Nobu, 200 rooms. Hacienda Encantada 37 rooms. Hard Rock hotel, 600 rooms. Cachet Cabo 168 rooms, Vidanta East Cape, 844 rooms. Rancho San Lucas 85+ rooms. That’s a total 2,079 new rooms. How will they ever fill them? By marketing our destination in the United States that’s how. The Vidanta on the East Cape won’t help business, though, they’re too far out in Bumfuk Egypt and will have to be all inclusive. Those all inclusives are business killers,

First Annual Los Cabos Jazz Experience. A program called Life Luxe Jazz, will throw its first annual jazz festival this November 1st – 4th, at the Pacifica Resort on the Pacific side of Los Cabos. Featured artists include Boney James, the four-time Grammy nominated saxophonist who’s sold over three million albums; Gregory Porter, whose outstanding vocals have made him a two-time Grammy winner and favorite of BBC One’s The Graham Norton Show; Lin Rountree, The Soul-Trumpeter with a dozen Top 20 Billboard singles to his name; and many others whose smooth stylings are sure to make the November night sizzle. There we go again with the over the top press release writing. Other events during the festival include a sunset jazz cruise with live entertainment, a welcome reception and dance party, and a golf tournament held at the Quivira Golf Club. We just cut out another eight adjectives for you,

There are different packages offered with different price points. For information and tickets look up: http://www.lifeluxejazz.com 

Monica Page died. “Big enough to serve, small enough to care” was the tag line of her well known business of trucking everything we need down here. As a part of an annual tradition, Monica would dress up as the Easter bunny and visit all the children of the Spirit of Joy program and pediatrics at Salvatierra Hospital in La Paz. Monica lost a protracted battle with cancer. She is survived by her husband Russell and daughter Tiffany, age 22. ,