‘Hard Rock’ casino (?) to open next door
A news release emanating from the official Hard Rock International web site reports the hotel chain is taking over the Aventura Spa Palace and Aventura Cove Palace just a stone’s throw north of the Puerto Aventuras resort and marina. They are currently being remodeled.
In its own words, the organization says: “The Aventura Spa Palace and Aventura Cove Palace will be transitioned to the Hard Rock Hotel Riviera Maya in 2013 (November). Everyone’s got an all access pass to experience this all-inclusive oasis. Couples, families and even kids deserve the rock star treatment.
“The Hard Rock Hotel Riviera Maya offers a family and adults-only side to create a truly one-of-a-kind, all-inclusive escape for guests of all ages. The family side has 489 spacious guestrooms, three restaurants with something delicious for everyone, cannon-ball worthy pools and water activities. The adult side has 777 decadent guestrooms, four bars to shake things up and a grotto pool that turns into an anything-goes-nightclub after hours.”
With 172 venues in 51 countries, including 135 cafes and 15 Hotels/Casinos, Hard Rock International is one of the world’s most globally recognized brands, the release said.
What it didn’t say was inferred by Manuel Paredes Mendoza, director of the Association of Hotels in Mexico. He said recently in the local press that “hotel-casino” operations could benefit the Riviera Maya by enabling diversification of rooms and hotel offerings. He said access to a casino with government approval and oversight would be limited to gaming for all-inclusive guests only, not to the local population. He said operations are slated to begin in November.
Meanwhile, Armando Rincon, Colonos general manager, said he has been trying to contact the Hard Rock manager to discuss some common concerns, such as the security fence they share, and “become good neighbors.” As to the prospect of gambling, Rincon’s take is that it would be a small operation, if any, since Mexico still prohibits casino gambling.
WINS TWO VEHICLES IN TWO YEARS
Beach reclamation project set to begin
Two more streets get lighting
While candidates for public office in the July 7 state/local elections debate many issues, and while businesses catering to tourists lament beach erosion, finally Puerto Aventuras is doing something about it, giving snowbirds hope for a reclaimed Fatima Bay waterfront come winter.
The Pelican was told last week by Colonos GM Armando Rincon that the barge to haul huge rocks for a series of underwater barriers has quietly been under construction after the Colonos received $33,000 for the initial phases of the project, along with signed loan agreement documents. “We believe the actual project will be begin in a few weeks,” Rincon said.
The Oceanus Co., in charge of implementation, had earlier estimated start to finish would take eight months. If the barrier work does begin this month (July 2013), it could be completed by February, barring unforeseen problems.
As agreed by the Colonos Assembly vote, future receipts from construction in the new Phase 4 will repay loans for the project. In return, the developer will fund all street and utilities infrastructure, which the Colonos would have undertaken with the construction fees.
In the meantime, Rincon also reported the new public beach access corridor has been completed. However, the preparation of plastic identification cards for individual condo owners has stalled because most condo administrators are balking at sharing their data bases to allow determination of ownership by the Colonos for the I.D. cards. More on this later.
On several other fronts, Rincon said new lighting has been installed on Bahia Matzoma and Bahia Akumal (where the cultural center is located) and that a contract for 12 new security cameras approved at the assembly has been signed. Installation should follow shortly, he said.
Also, owners who have received invitations to pay a zona federal tax along inland waterways are being advised by a lawyer hired and paid for by the Colonos not to pay the tax. Rincon said an explanatory letter is available to all owners who want to follow that advice. The letter sets the case for them with the government. See Colonos administrators for more information and a copy of the letter.
Local firm markets new cleansing product
Can clean odorous cenotes
and PA’s wastewater system
A Puerto Aventuras business marked a serendipitous event in June. The company “We R Water,” a Centro business that supplies comprehensive supplies and services for anything to do with water, unveiled a new water purification product as nearby Calica, d/b/a Limestone Industrial del Carmen, donated 420,000 pesos to the Sian Ka’an organization for work to protect the Riviera Maya aquifer and to clean cenotes in Playa del Carmen’s tourist district.
Businesses on 5th Avenue have been complaining that cenotes located in that area have been giving off a stench that keeps some tourists away from eateries there.
Now, “We R Water” says it has the answer in the form of a new product called BDM-50. It is an all-natural liquid bio-chemical derived from plant extracts and a proprietary blend of naturally occurring bacteria and fungi. It is nontoxic, non-carcinogenic, and contains no pathogenic microorganisms. It stimulates microbial activity and accelerates the breakdown of organic matter.
Turtle time in the tropics – See them nesting in front of this beach villa available from “Akumal Villas”
Local resident does business at Cannes Film Festival
Says film industry’s major biz players optimistic
By David Zannoni
It was that time of the year again. The Cannes International Film Festival. The entire international film community consisting of actors, directors, producers, distributors, sales agents, financiers, investors, lawyers all flew in to Cannes to experience the 66th edition of the most important and most famous film festival in the world.
As a regular attendee I was also there again (that is to say, the market, not the festival). What made this year’s film market exceptional was most of all the bad weather It was heavy rain showers and low temperatures at 10-15 C, and almost summer in southern France. It made doing business on the beach much less pleasant than previous years. Although the Mediterranean is generally not too bad a place to be, especially in May, and while I will certainly not complain, I do admit it made me miss the year-long, sunny white sand beaches of the Caribbean.
Despite the bad weather, business in general seemed good and producers, distributors and sales agents were in a good mood buying and selling films and trying to put together new film projects. The film business, by definition a weird business with its very own dynamics, seems to have survived international credit crunches – although financing schedules and distribution models have experienced changes and have been, some to a lesser and some to a larger extent, under pressure.
This year people seemed again a bit more positive about economic success than a year ago, so I guess we are getting each time closer to exiting the current world or crises, at least in the US, as the film business still is merely an American “one-man-show” as it comes down to economics.
And while the 66th Palm d’Or was won by Abdellatif Kechiche’s “La Vie d’Adele – Chapitre 1 & 2,” I was already on my way back to sunny Mexico.
(Ed. Note: Mr. Zannoni’s work in Cannes involves the complex process of cobbling together investors in the worldwide movie-making business. He works from his condo in Puerto Aventuras.)
QUINTANA ROO’S College of Physicians meeting in Cancun said a tax on physicians adds to reasons why fewer new doctors choose to practice in the state. Meanwhile, one candidate in upcoming state elections is promising to build a hospital in the Puerto Maya and Puerto Aventuras area if elected…CANCUN AIRPORT officials say it expects to serve nearly 16 million travelers this year based on last year’s growth of 1.5 million passengers…PLAYACAR was a place of protest by taxi drivers in June after the gated resort banned taxis from operating in the resort area. The drivers’ union says people living within the resort need their services and drivers need the work…
Police arrest F.B.I. ‘Most Wanted”
child porn fugitive in Playa del Carmen
One of the F.B.I.’s “most wanted” fugitives charged with exploitation and sexual assaults on children was arrested by Mexican police in Playa del Carmen on June 18, reported USA Today and other news outlets.
Walter Lee Williams, 64, a former University of California professor, is charged with traveling abroad to engage in sex acts with children. A Mexican prosecutor, Gaspar Armando Garcia Torres, said in Cancun that Williams was captured as he drank coffee in a Playa del Carmen park. Garcia said it was not clear how long Williams had had an address in Playa del Carmen because he also had an address in Cancun where he was turned over to immigration officials after his arrest.
Williams was the second American child porn fugitive captured in the area this year. Another fugitive who had lived in Puerto Aventuras for more than a decade was arrested and deported to the U.S. earlier this year following a 5-year attempt by a Playa del Carmen immigration lawyer to get immigration officials to act on such fugitives and keep area children safe from sexual predators.
The lawyer said the arrest in Puerto Aventuras was the opening salvo by new immigration officials who are now taking their job seriously, said the lawyer.
A four-count indictment against Williams alleges he traveled to the Philippines to engage in sex acts with two Filipino boys, 14. Prosecutor Garcia did not say whether Williams was suspected of any crimes in Mexico. The U.S. alleges Williams fled the Los Angeles area after returning from the Philippines and learning of pending charges against him.
In Case You Want to Know…
Termite wing invasion startles newcomers
A week or so before heading north in May, our condo unit bordering the golf course was invaded by an army of what we at first sight thought were moths…hundreds of them floating on a breeze through our open slider, which we closed as quickly as we could.
While sweeping floors and on closer inspection, what we found were just wings, hundreds of wings, attached to…absolutely nothing. We swept and scooped them up, put them in a bag and headed for the rubbish bin outside. Another surprise awaited.
The aluminum bin, a very neat idea, was decorated with hundreds more of the wings on its roof doors. (See photo)
Talking to neighbors later, we learned others had had the same experience and as the event became part of the social conversation over the net few days, we learned through the unscientific grapevine from vague initial sources, that the wings belonged to termites. But where were the termites?
What we have pieced together, unscientifically and from various sources, is that there had been a number of strong wind gusts that day causing one of the arboreal (in the trees)termite nests to crash, unleashing an army of the pests that somehow shed their wings in the process.
Another guess is that termites with wings, called “swarmers” either drop from the arboreal nests or emerge from ground nests naturally in the spring and when the nests get too crowded. Swarmers are poor fliers and, when above ground, usually
flutter a few meters and fall. Swarmers, emerging outdoors from nests are usually not of concern and are in no way an indication that a structure is infested.
After dropping to the ground, swarmers shed their wings. Surviving males find compatible mates and then burrow into the ground to become king and queen. These termites live in nests underground and tunnel up for food, which includes the wood of homes.
The Pelican invites anyone with particular knowledge of this springtime termite ritual to share it by email for publication in the Pelican Free Press.
CANCUN IN DEBT – The mayor of Benito Juarez (Cancun) reported last week that the city is the fifth most indebted municipality in Mexico and blamed previous administrations for mismanagement…TICKET TIME has arrived on the Highway 307 overpass in Playa del Carmen as the police began to ticket scofflaws who disregard the ban on bicycles and motorcycles on the fast-moving highway. Signs were posted over a month ago to warn cyclists of the coming ban…AS JUNE BEGAN torrential downpours in Solidarity caused excessive flooding, numerous automobile accidents, power outages and other discomforts such as loss of internet access and phone service in some areas. Pooling was particularly bad along the 307, particularly at access and exit points…FOUR MILLION TOURISTS are expected to be counted by the end of 2013, says Dario Flota Ocampo, director of the Maya Riviera Tourism Promotion Trust. He thinks the area will break a domestic tourism record with 1 million domestic tourists. He says a growing number of planned entertainment events, such as the Playa del Carmen Music Festival, is helping to attract more tourists…40 BOATS in the nautical tourist industry along the Mayan Riviera will be switching their two-stroke to four-stroke engines that have much less impact on the environment. The program is expected to continue to cover all of some 200 such vessels operating in waters stretching from Tulum to Puerto Morelos …TORRENTIAL JUNE RAINS in Playa del Carmen caused flooding, which in turn caused considerable money losses in damages and business, which in turn sparked calls from business to government for better drainage…HOUSEWIVES COMLAINED IN JUNE on the rising cost of some basic foods, such as a 25 percent increase for a kilo of chicken. Eggs and sugar were also on the increase, causing poorer families to eat more beans and less meat protein… DENGUE FEVER CASES were up in Playa del Carmen colonies in early June from 20 to 34 as the government sent out fumigation teams and called for more frequent trash collections to control larvae of the disease-spreading mosquito…AKUMAL ECOLOGICAL CENTER has been monitoring marine life in the bay and plans programs to reverse damaging growth in algae, diseased fish colonies, mortality of some species and a decrease in living organisms…A CHAMBER OF COMMERCE spokesman has called for more radical effort in the Federal Maritime Zone to curtail the loss of 30 meters of beach space so far in Playa. Less space to attract tourists is hurting shorefront businesses that usually help sustain the local economy…LOCAL ELECTIONS will be held July 7. Heavy campaigning has touched on many social issues including child labor, health, jobs, poverty and the economy among others…BARS AND CLUBS ASSOCIATION official in Playa has called for an end to “free bars” and cheapened liquor to attract customers, suggesting instead better service and products. Members in accord will be given certificates showing drinks are genuine products…THE YUCATAN’S honey producers continue efforts to open China to their product…FARMERS IN JOSE MORELO are complaining about too many broken or out-of-cash ATMs available in their area and pushing for a branch bank or more and better ATMs to service them…HEALTH OFFICIALS claim people aren’t helping battle dengue fever because they continue to use empty lots to dump garbage and otherwise do nothing to help eradicate the mosquito…GAMMA RAY devices were deployed on southern Q. Roo roads by the Naval police in June to detect illegal goods potentially incoming from Belize…THE UNDERWATER MUSEUM and its many statues in Cancun is in a competition for underwater Wonders of the World…
Library Summer Hours – Please click on Colonos icon above the page for library news
Phrase a week … By Gloria Contreras, state certified interpreter
We are never too old to learn. “Nunca estamos demasiado viejos para aprender.”
Anyone interested in learning the language can please contact Ms. Contreras by email at email@example.com or Cel: 984-108-3517.
Church Services… Please click Colonos icon on right top of page.
AA and Alanon meetings…
AA and ALANON meetings are held at the public library at the Colegio as follows:
AA Tuesdays at 5:30 p.m; Thursdays at 6 p.m. and Saturdays at noon. ALANON meeting is held Mondays at 5:30 p.m., also at the library. Meetings are “open” and non-members are welcomed to attend.