Que Pasa in Cabo?

January 20, 2020
BY: DAVID FLORES

Palmilla beach brouhaha about to end.

The construction of a security booth at the entrance to the popular Palmilla beach in San Jose was unanimously rejected by local people, as that iconic beach has been the San Jose resident's favorite for many, many years.

Palmilla developers said that it was needed to ensure the safety of their development’s residents, but each development within already has a security booth. Local activists denounced that it was used to refrain local residents from entering, as they were being questioned, and in some cases, their vehicles searched. Part of the beach area was donated years back by the Gonzalez family, it’s original owners, to the people of Los Cabos. The city was appointed as its guardian. But somehow last year, a building permit for a security booth was issued.

Last week, the Los Cabos city council voted unanimously to cancel such a permit, and now Palmilla will have to demolish the booth. Read an article by local activist and entrepreneur Blanca Pedrin in this same issue for more information, and stay tuned.

 

The New York Times chooses La Paz as one of 50 Places to Go in 2020

This is what the media mogul had to say: In Baja, a reimagined waterfront and a sustainable sensibility.

Just up the coast from Cabo San Lucas is La Paz, the 250,000-person capital of Baja California Sur state and one of the region’s oldest and most dynamic cities. But unlike many of Mexico’s better-known beach towns, the La Paz area has resisted large-scale resort-style development and remained comparatively unknown to outsiders. Decades ago, local environmentalists pushed for the creation of what eventually became the expansive UNESCO Marine World Heritage protected area, a designation that aimed to preserve the coast and offshore areas, home to such rich biodiversity that the Sea of Cortez is known as the “Aquarium of the World.” Last year, La Paz passed one of the strictest single-use plastic bans in Mexico, which will begin going into effect this year. At the same time, the city has undergone a massive, multiyear renovation of its waterfront malecón, or boardwalk, which extended its length by three miles, created bike lanes and added a skate park, fountains and sculptures by prominent Mexican artists illustrating local marine life. Later this year, Grupo Habita, Mexico’s stylish boutique hotel operator, is opening its first southern Baja property, the 32-room La Casa de las Perlas, or House of Pearls, in La Paz. The hotel, which incorporates a building from the 1910s, will have a pool, spa, restaurant and “sunset bar” overlooking the malecón and sea.

Later this year, Grupo Habita, Mexico’s stylish boutique hotel operator, is opening its first southern Baja property, the 32-room La Casa de las Perlas, or House of Pearls, in La Paz. The hotel, which incorporates a building from the 1910s, will have a pool, spa, restaurant and “sunset bar” overlooking the malecón and sea.

 

They’re baaack!

Artists Chris MacClure and Marilyn Hurst will be returning to Los Cabos this January 27 to February 10 and will be present during the San Jose art walk events on January 30 and February 6 at the Old Town Gallery from 5 to 9 p.m.

Chris and Marilyn owned the Golden Cactus Gallery in Cabo San Lucas for several years before selling it to “retire” in Canada, but they dutifully return to see their numerous Los Cabos friends every winter. Chris’ paintings are an expression of his "Romantic Realist" view of life, not crafty nor painterly. He also created the painting on the cover of my all-time favorite Cabo Coffee Company bags.

 

Local company driving off-road vehicles over turtle nests area.

The GForce ATV’s tours in Migriño, at Km. 100 on the road to Todos Santos, is taking tourists on tours along the beach, which is a natural protected area as it is a traditional place where sea turtles come to deposit their eggs. While there is not a specific prohibition to drive vehicles on the beach, there is a regulation in areas of particular ecological interest like sea turtle nesting sites. Migriño is such a place. The penalty is from 6 months to up 6 years in prison, and a fine of up to $127,000 USD. Yes, USD!

A group of concerned Mexican and foreign residents in the area are filing a complaint with SEMARNAT, the Mexican ministry of the environment and natural resources. They have offices in the City Hall in San Jose. If you know of any such activity in that or another particular area, you can file a complaint, in Spanish, via email to atencion.ciudadana@semarnat.gob.mx

 

New Sea of Cortez Cruise Ship Sailed

The “Astoria,” a cruise ship with a 500-passengers and 200 crew members sailed Friday, January 10 from Puerto Peñasco (Rocky Point), on a tour called “The Treasures of the Sea of Cortes.” The ship is owned by the Cruise and Maritime Voyages company and will reach the prts of Topolobampo, Mazatlan, Cabo San Lucas, La Paz, Loreto, Santa Rosalia and returns to Guaymas and Puerto Peñasco again. For more information on future trips and prices, look up: https://us.cruiseandmaritime.com/cruise/r009/treasures-of-the-sea-of-cor...

 

In related news.

The first luxury Mexican cruise ship will sail soon.

The Vidanta Elegant, created by the developers of the Vidanta resorts in Los Cabos and the Mayan Riviera, will sail on her maiden-trip very soon. Scheduled to sail last year’s fall, the departure was delayed as the New York-based Rockwell Group got involved and proposed last-minute design details.

The ship weighs 15,396 tonnes, and is 502 feet long, with 149 luxury cabins and suites, entertainment area, spa, gym, one pool and several Jacuzzis as well as lounge areas, 11 bars (Eleven bars! Count me in!), and restaurants of different specialties.

This new venture makes Vidanta the first hospitality company in Mexico operating in both, land and sea.

 

Cabo’s growth seems unstoppable.

Many don’t like it, though. According to our Southern Baja state tourism department, tourism flow grew 48.6 percent in the past 5 years, including both arrivals by air and sea. At the end of last year, the Los Cabos international welcomed 2.8 million passengers, with an increase of 3.3 percent foreign and 14.6 nationals.

New flights from London, Milwaukee, St. Louis, Cincinnati, Edmonton and Winnipeg helped, as well as a couple of new routes from Mexico’s mainland. The conventions market held 6,500 meetings in Cabo with over 300,000 attendees.

More flights have been announced for this Winter and Spring, from Austin, Pittsburg, Cleveland, Nashville, St Louis, Milwaukee, Dallas and Atlanta. New hotels will be added this year, with high-end brands like AMAN, St. Regis, Vidanta, 1 Hotels, Sofitel SO, Caesars Palace and Park Hyatt in the queue, as well as a second Four Seasons.

Spain-based hotel firm Iberostar has just announced a $200 million investment in Mexico, half of which will end up in Los Cabos, with an 8,000-room development developed between Iberostar and other investors in a 400-hectares patch of land. Construction will begin in the second half of this year.

Then, Vacation Express has announced the return of non-stop weekly flights on Sunday from the Cincinnati/Kentucky international airport to Los Cabos starting on March 8 for Spring break, and then from May 24 through August 2.

If we are to believe the Mexican government, tourism flow brings in 8.7 percent of the gross domestic product, according to Miguel Torruco, Mexico’s minister of tourism, who also added that tourism produces more revenue than construction and is only surpassed by sales of oil and remittances from Mexicans working abroad.

Tourism tax brings in over $21 million a year to our state coffers, with 75 percent of that being raised by the Los Cabos hotel industry. So, why not smile at our tourists?