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Breaking News

  • BCS Introducing New Tourism Tax (2017/10/13 14:35:55)


    Baja California Sur will be the first state in Mexico to introduce a tourist tax, which will take effect starting in December. Before you get all riled up, the tax will come to approximately $20 USD, so it's hardly going to affect your vacation. And that money will be put to good use.

    Around 95% of the revenue collected will go towards infrastructure projects. Los Cabos alone could bring in almost $40 million US dollars from the tax!

    Despite the potential revenue, the tax has been controversial since it was proposed. Those against it believe that tourists already contribute enough to the economy, and worry that the tax will keep away future visitors.

    Cruise passengers will be exempt, as they are in Cabo less than 24 hours. And it's not clear if the tax will be levied on national tourists or just international tourists.

  • Why Was Tropical Storm Lidia So Destructive? (2017/10/03 10:20:10)


    There is a lot of finger pointing as to why Tropical Storm Lidia did so much damage in the two arroyos just outside of Cabo. The destruction was more than you would normally expect from that much rain. There are competing theories of why this happened, but nearly everyone who suffered damage is suing Conagua, the federal water agency.

    The part of this story that is not in dispute is that the new owners of the Cabo San Lucas Country Club built a new retaining wall to protect their property which is very near one of the two adjacent arroyos, and that wall catastrophically failed. When it failed, a wall of water, debris and sand rushed down the arroyo, inundating Vagabundos restaurant, the Vagabundos trailer park and the Chevrolet dealership.

    It also roared through the Riu Santa Fe, leaving the lobby swamped with several feet of sand and mud. And it took out important power lines coming into Cabo. Also hit with rushing sand were half dozen businesses on the south side of the highway. Of course, all four lanes of the highway were clogged with sand for several days.

    OK, that’s fact, now for the two sides to the story that are in dispute.

    Property owners downstream are blaming the failure of the wall on inadequate engineering. This, they say, is not the fault of the country club that built it, but Conagua engineers who approved the plans. They are teaming up together to sue the federal agency.

    The country club is not saying it was poor engineering, they are saying that no wall could possibly withstand the sudden assault of the chunks of concrete and debris that hit their wall when the new toll road behind them suddenly failed.

    It appears this whole mess is headed for the courts, but in the meantime, everyone is digging their businesses out. The country club had five holes wiped out, most buried under four feet of sand. Along the lines of “if you’re handed lemons, make lemonade,” general manager Alfonso Terrazas is hoping they will re-build on top of the sand, raising the level of the property. Whether investors go for that idea remains to be seen.


  • Downtown Destruction Continues in San Jose (2017/10/03 10:00:36)

    Take a trip to downtown San Jose and you’ll see what we full time residents have become accustomed to: traffic jams due to construction. At this point, we’re wondering if it will ever end and the answer seems to be, no. For now, anyway. Fonatur is taking their sweet time and has shown no intentions of speeding things up.

    Fonatur is repaving and redesigning Boulevard Mijares, the street that leads directly to the plaza from the hotel zone. So far, the entire street has been repaved and the curbs redone. The only section remaining is the last two-block stretch from the bridge that goes to Puerto Los Cabos to the downtown plaza (which is also being torn up and redone).

    dtdest.JPGCurrently, the right side of the street is closed due to construction and has been for almost three months. Everything was already leveled, with utilities in place, when Tropical Storm Lidia churned through and made a mess, turning the dirt into mud. It took almost two weeks to clean everything up, and workers have now started on the street. The street is going to be made of pavers, similar to the streets of the downtown art district. The goal is to have the whole downtown area look the same.  Cobblestone by cobblestone.

    The sidewalks on the right side of the street are torn up as well, and trying to navigate them on foot is a disaster, as there is not always a clearly marked path free of construction debris. Planters have been ripped up, as they are being redesigned.

    While all this construction is going on, downtown has seen nearly all of its tourism disappear. Many tourists are staying away because of the construction, and locals are also avoiding the area because they don’t want to deal with traffic, parking, and weaving their way through tripping hazards on the sorry pathway that was left for foot traffic.

    Many business owners on the construction side of the street closed their shops while sidewalks were torn up to be replaced. Fonatur asked the businesses to give them one week to tear up the sidewalk and lay foundation so they could get a decent pathway opened up for pedestrian traffic. But, although the sidewalks were torn up on time, they have yet to drive to completion. It has now been a month and the majority of the businesses remain closed, with only a handful of shops open.

    The suddenness of the construction, coupled with the delays due to Lidia and Fonatur, have created a financial difficulty that many of the local businesses were not expecting. Not only do they have to keep paying rent, utilities, and other expenses, they also have to battle with the decrease in tourism and foot traffic during the day. One coffee shop, Café Dona Nena, has seen sales go down 85% due to all the construction havoc.