Que Pasa in Cabo?

December 24, 2018 Edition
BY: DAVID FLORES

Millions to promote Los Cabos.. Well, $11 million. That’s the amount of money that the Los Cabos tourist fund will spend in 2019 to promote us all over the world, by attending worldwide tourist pow wows, tourist fairs, and any other event they can find.  In addition to ads and spots in airline magazines, they buy billboards and TV commercials.

Just this month, Mexico’s new president Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, known as AMLO, announced the dissolution of Mexico’s tourist promotion council, leaving all states abandoned and on their own. Small tourist towns will suffer, but we won’t so much, as our hotel and time share developers are rich, smart, and aggressive and won’t let AMLO stop their promotional efforts.

And where is the federal tourist money going? To his train through the jungle on the Mayan peninsula, sigh.

Riu Sends Tractors On Beach And of course it bulldozed over 18 now smashed turtle eggs. This qualifies the RIU all inclusive and super cheap resort subject to a fine of about $200,000 and bulldozer dude is subject to 1 to 9 years in the slammer, but that will never happen.  

The Riu is also in trouble for building a big berm in front of their resort and is criticized by the city for that. That would be the same city that allowed a developer to divert an arroyo to empty right into their lobby in the last storm. Hey Mayor Castro! Lead or get out of the way

Discounts! Discounts! Los Cabos city council approved the property tax discounts for 2019. 20 percent if paid in January, 15% if paid in February, 10% if paid in March and only 5% discount for those who pay in April. Hurry like it matters. Property tax here is so low it’s a joke. Which may help to explain the lack of city services.

Fundraiser. Local foundation announces gala dinner. The Sarahuaro foundation will hold its 1st annual dinner fundraiser, which they’re calling Let´s Make Magic. It will be  Saturday, January 12, at the Montage Los Cabos resort from 7:00 11:00. Pm. But you knew that.

Sarahuaro feeds more than 350 needy children every day and offers training for better life opportunities to more than 100 women in impoverished areas of Cabo San Lucas. Join them for a fancy reception and gourmet dinner, with live entertainment and dancing, then have some fun with auctions and raffles!Costs are: Early bird pass: $100 (if bought in December). Single regular pass: $125. At the door: $150. VIP table for 10: $2,000. Tickets are available at Eclectic Array stores at Plaza del Pescador, Flora Farms, and the Montage resort in San Jose, and in Cabo San Lucas next to Dairy Queen behind the Nick-San restaurant.

The mission of Sarahuaro is to promote women and feed children in the most impoverished areas of Los Cabos.

Between a…. Hard Rock Hotel is now open. Yup, they held a soft opening, and snuck it by you. Even our invite got lost in the mail. Shoot. There are 639 new rooms, restaurants, spa, gym, and lots of rock memorabilia. There are three bars, some swim-up, a big BBQ area, three lounges– Sun Bar, Moon Lounge and Club Heaven – and 52,000 sq. ft. of meeting rooms.

Rental properties targeted. The Los Cabos tourist fund’s director, Rodrigo Esponda, said last week that all rental properties should contribute to the promotion of Los Cabos by paying their 3 percent lodging tax, just like any hotel does.

With the hijacking of Mexico’s tourism promotion fun by our new president, Esponda is working harder to shake the money out of private individuals. “We are looking for a way that rental properties, which attract tourists via Airbnb and other apps, pay the corresponding taxes. They will benefit as much as anyone. Meanwhile, Airbnb has just entered into an agreement with the state to collect this 3% from their clients and then hand it over to the state. Only about 11 rental websites for our state to track down and wrestle into collecting this fee for us,

It’s called a plan, Stan. According to Los Cabos Mayor Armida Castro, the San Jose city theater that has been rebuilt following suffering extensive damage by hurricane Odile in 2014, might have to be demolished and started over. Nearly a million dollars have been invested in the fixup before anyone suggested it was futile. That money cannot be recovered completely, as the bond  the construction company was required to produce only covers 300 grand.

The city government has summoned the two construction companies involved in the work and they have agreed to allowing a third party to inspect the site and give us a prognosis, whether to bring it down or just fix construction failures.

Other cultural city buildings with construction and repairs badly done: the house of culture in downtown San Jose, and the tourist attention center in Cabo San Lucas. Not to mention the Cabo San Lucas’ cultural pavilion, built by the Gravi construction group, led by Luis Cano. The tiles on that façade are falling down and raining down on passers by, and the entire building leaks like a colander during any rain. Not only that, but the red carpet in the hallways does not hide the undulations in the floor. It’s like a fun house floor; roly poly. The upholstered theater chairs have been soaked so many times they must be a hot house of mold by now. Nothing a little Glade sprayed before events won’t gloss over.

New restaurant in town. Well, kind of. Reaction has been good, and the place is doing good business. It’s called Chubby Noodle, and is a sister restaurant to the one with the same name in San Francisco.

Owned by San Franciscan Pete Mrabe, the owner of the North Beach hangout Pete’s and the restaurants Don Pisto and Chubby Noodle has been visiting Cabo for the past eight years. What Mrabe loves most about Cabo, is: “Everything. It’s two and a half hours from San Francisco. You got the best of both worlds here. You could go camping or you could be into the nightlife, there are a lot of activities going on here.

Just in time for the holiday crowds, the popular Asian noodle joint is now open in Cabo across the street from the entrance of the Marina Fiesta Hotel. Park in the mall garage and walk out the back door, and boom! You’re there. The downside? It’s quite small and very, very noisy.

More UBER news.  Can you stand it? The head of Los Cabos police announced they will arrest any taxi owner who blocks an Uber driver, for “altering the public order.” They will be taken to the local jail and will have to pay a $300 USD fine.

On the same subject, he said the police will continue stopping Uber drivers and fine them because they are still not legal.

The new Law of Mobility was to be discussed in Congress last week but leftist party lawmakers from the Morena party kicked the can down the road until March, stating there is a need for a consensus with civil organizations and the population. So to sum up: The legality of Uber is still in a state of disarray, but Uber is chugging all over town, impressing everyone who uses them.

Frontier Airlines adds new route. Frontier Airlines announced the 100th city in the air carrier’s network and the addition of six new routes to its network. The airline will add new non-stop flights to both Los Cabos and Cancun. Look up FlyFrontier.com for some new flights.

National Geographic ship. Built from scratch in the U.S., the state-of-the-art National Geographic Venture is the newest addition to the National Geographic-Lindblad fleet. It was designed to meet the precise needs of their over priced expeditions, have  satellite and navigation technology, reinforced pump-em-up Zodiacs, and some kind of special viewing spots on decks and in common areas. The ship accomodates 100 guests in 50 outside cabins.

The boat was finished late, due to problems nobody is talking about. They’re starting out with a five night roundtrip maiden voyage between San Francisco and the Sea of Cortez. Cruise prices start from $3,800  a head, a tad more than the $500 of most ships that call here.

Inaugural highlights include Cabo Pulmo National Marine Park, optional tour to Guerrero Negro, and Isla Natividad, (tour to the fish processing plant, hold your nose). Among the destinations was also Mexico's Magdalena Bay, not stinky, quite nice.

Canine park in La Paz. Ruben Muñoz, Mayor of La Paz, cut the inauguration ribbon of the remodeling work of the Pueblo Nuevo park at the intersection of Altamirano and Ramirez streets, which will be the first of five new canine friendly parks in the city, watch your step. Muñoz said the parks will also feature veterinarian services and new benches.

The program aims to give pet owners a special space for their doggie’s pleasure and to avoid problems due to dogs presence in other spaces, like the malecon, where a couple of dog attacks have been reported. Because of the attacks and the lack of cooperation from the owners of the vicious dogs, all dogs have been banned from the Malecon, pissing off many people.

At the end of his speech, Muñoz called on the dog owners to be responsible, feed them well, (What, so they don’t eat people??), keep them on a leash, and pick up, you know. Do we have to spell it out for you? Many people just leave it there. They better not be the ones protesting the doggie ban on social media.

Mangrove sentinals. Pronatura Noroeste launched a crowdfunding campaign for the guardians of the most important mangrove in Baja. GlobalGiving is recruiting 50 guardians of Bahia Magdalena’s mangrove, a place that concentrates 70% of Baja California Sur’s mangroves, which is home to 226 species of assorted good eating, and more than 122 migratory bird species.

Mangroves contribute to fisheries to the tune of $37,500 dollars per hectare annually. Every year Mexico is losing about 20,000 hectares of these nice looking tangly trees. Mining and large-scale tourism are the biggest threat to them. 

Pronatura Noroeste, through the GlobalGiving platform, seeks to collect $5,000 by the end of this month in order to start a project that will produce workshops and training for Bahia Magdalena locals, who will be the guardians, monitoring and protecting the ecosystem that preserves the environment.

Donations can be made online (Paypal is enabled) and are tax-deductible for users who declare in the United States. If interested, please look up: bit.ly/50MangroveGuardians

Canucks impressed. Our very own Balandra beach in La Paz was listed among the best 17 beaches in the world by readers of the Canadian FlightNetwork magazine. According to 1,200 journalists, editors, bloggers and travel agencies, Balandra was chosen for its pristine beauty and quality of water and sand. Add to that the number of sunny days and average temperature, and there you have it; one of the best in the world.

Balandra has been under heavy pressure recently by a sudden influx of local people and local vendors. Everyone is fighting over the small parking lot, picking up trash, and even for a patch on the beach to unfurl your beach towel. It is a gorgeous beach that has just been discovered by the locals.