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July/August 2005

 

August 2005

Shrimp Season begins September 20, 2005. This is the date set for everyone (shrimp boats and local panga shrimpers). We should have some big, sweet shrimp available soon! Hopefully, the price of shrimp this year will not go through the roof. It all depends on how big the crop is, but we'll have to wait and see. We will be posting shrimp prices and locations.

Giant cement batch plant at Playa del Paraiso. It doesn't look as big as it is and watching it work is pretty awesome. The first building will be framed by December, 2005 and completed in March, 2006.

San Felipe declared "City" ... the powers that be in local politics have finally declared San Felipe a city as opposed to a port. This is the first step in becoming a municipality. A meeting of the Municipal Council was held last evening with Muncipal President Samuel Ramos, at the Corona Salon to announce this great step for San Felipe. We will have a more in depth article by Juan Tapia at a later date.

Observed around town: Not only is there a lot of major development going on in San Felipe, the little manufacturers are springing up all around town. We took these pictures along the highway of the type of homes available to the rest of us. These are being built and then delivered to the customer, to be set up on their lots for almost instant occupation. I wish I could say the utilities could be installed for usage as fast.

 

New Date for Spanish lessons - UABC is offering beginning Spanish lessons, Monday through Thursday, 9:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. Materials, coffee/cookies included. 40 hours. $130.00. Call 577-2316. Classes begin October 17 to November 10, 2005 and winter schedule, November 14 to December 8. Please give Betty Martinez a call or write UABC at uabc@sanfelipe.com.mx.

Rockodile and Beachcomber Night Clubs are getting ready for their Labor Day Weekend blow out. Buy your wristbands on line and save yourself time and money. You will have access to both bars and you won't have to stand in line. Great D.J.'s and dancing. Make your reservations early!!

 

July 2005

MEETING AT RANCHO EL DORADO ON TOURISM DEVELOPEMENT ON MONDAY JULY 11, 2005

reported by Juan Tapia

            The Club House of the Golf Course at "La Ventana del Mar", located on the sea side of Rancho El Dorado in San Felipe, was the site of the meeting called "Escenario Actual Para Las Inversiones en San Felipe” (Todays Scenario for Investments in San Felipe), with dignitaries from the Federal, State and Municipal levels of Government. Secretary of Tourism Rodolfo Elizondo and Sub-secretary Francisco Madrid from Mexico City, the Governor of Baja California, Eugenio Elorduy, and Presidente Municipal Samuel Ramos were seated on the stage with Alejandro Moreno Sec. of Tourism for the State of Baja California, Pat Butler from Rancho El Dorado;  Armando Ramos from San Felipe Marina Resort, represented the local Investors and developers.

            After the welcome words by State Sec. Alejandro Moreno, the first speaker was Victor Rodriguez Director of COTUCO in Mexicali who reminded us that one of the important problems for tourists wanting to visit San Felipe and other localities in Mexico is the condition of some of the roads. Several US border cities have been developing their own little Mexican Plazas, like Old Town in San Diego, to entice people leery of travelling to Mexico to spend their money in the U.S. He also indicated that in previous meetings the issue of infrastructure had been addressed and that there are studies to prove that, in the case of water, there is at present enough to satisfy three times the current demand.

            His talk was followed by a series of presentations from four of the Developers:

  • Fernando Gonzalez said the new development  “Las Magdalenas” north of town is investing 5 million dollars in their first phase in which 228 houses will be built. The economic impact on San Felipe will include the creation of several hundred direct and indirect jobs.
  • Playa de Oro's Bruce Parkstrong  talked about the swimming pools, housing, restaurants, and a shopping area  already in operation at his development. Several million additional dollars are to be invested.
  • Armando Ramos, President of the Association of Tourism Developers, presented the San Felipe Marina Resort expansion plan. A $52 M dollar second phase is now beginning. Forty condominiums are now under construction and 100 houses will soon be started on the site of the former RV park. Seven additional villas are planned and preparations are underway for 100 boat slips in the adjacent marina. The third phase of development will be to construct the golf course across the highway with 3000 houses and to complete the 345 boat slips. A dry marina for storage of 1000 boats will also be built. Ultimately some 700 condominiums will be built and there will be 385 time-share units. Some 2000 direct and around 12,000 indirect jobs will be created by the completion of this $100 million program.
  • Jesus Olmos of Rancho El Dorado outlined the plans to add 400 houses on the Ranch and an additional 500 condominiums and 760 houses at the 220 hectare "La Ventana del Mar" site, together with a commercial center, gasoline station and a 200 room hotel. They are also beginning the Las Conchas del Mar condominium project with 150 two- and four-level condomiums and 13 additional residences and a commercial center on the bay between the harbor and Punta Estrella. There are future development plans for the 150 hectare "Long Beach" campo, the 480 hectares of Playa Blanca and 2300 hectares south of Laguna Percebu. Remodelling of the old Misiones hotel is underway and it will reopen later this year as a Cuban-themed Hotel Club La Havana. During the next three years El Dorado will invest nearly 200 million dollars. El Dorado is currently operating charter flights from the San Francisco Bay area to bring down investors and is also bringing some 150 investors weekly by bus from the Phoenix area.

            Secretario Rodolfo Elizondo announced that even though the budget for the Secretary of Tourism is somewhat limited, and that there are many requests from all over the country, the federation under President Vicente Fox is very interested in the project Escalera Náutica (Nautical Ladder), thus, the coast of Baja and Sonora's Puerto Peñasco, are priorities in the agenda of the Secretary, he added: "Other wise I would have not been here twice this year already". By the way, Puerto Peñasco across from San Felipe has a noticeable advantage over us, thanks in part, to the four lane road from the port of entry at Lukeville on the Arizona-Sonora Border.          

            Gov. Eugenio Elourdy added that the road San Felipe-Puertecitos and on to Laguna Chapala which connects with the Transpeninsular road will be completely overhauled by the end of this year and that the three levels of government have agreed to build the first 30 kilometers of a four lane highway from San Felipe to Mexicali. He also had some information, advice and warnings for all, as he seemed truly concerned about some of the consequences of hasty growth. He mentioned how other tourist destinations have become so wasted from contamination of all sorts and how this must not be allowed to happen in San Felipe. He also said that parallel to the efforts for Federal support for tourism, he has been talking to the Secretario del Trabajo (Sec. of Labor) and the Social Security authorities for an extension for housing credits for the workers, and he stressed that along with the growth of the tourism trade, care should be taken so that there is decent and dignified housing for the people of San Felipe and an orderly and sustainable growth for the area. Progress in San Felipe can not be stopped he said.

 

We shall be adding a commentary on the implications of this plan for the San Felipe region shortly. Comments to: this address

 


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