Sunday, April 22, 2007

Many VIPs in Loreto, Including President Calderón of Mexico

There have been many big events this week in Loreto. The first was the live concert of Los Tigres del Norte, who have a career span of more than three decades. Millions of records sold, extensive concert tours throughout the United States, Mexico, Latin America, Europe and Asia, have made Los Tigres Del Norte international legends.

The outdoor concert was at the Stadium on Sunday night and advertised to start at 10 pm. Having had a very relaxing day off and a busy Monday ahead, I thought what the heck ... I will go and check it out for a couple of hours. We went about 9:30 to grab some food and good seats. The doors opened at 10 pm and there were big signs that said “No Hay Salida” which I found confusing because how would we get out?

We knew we were in for a long night when they were just starting to set up the massive stage when the doors opened. The stage was grand enough for a large rock concert and the Tigres had at least 10 trailers full of equipment. We kept watching and waiting while the wind was blowing gusts of dust everywhere. At 11 pm, a backup band from Insurgentes came on who tried hard to entertain the 2000 people waiting patiently.

We only spotted about 20 or so that were non Mexican and from the late night show, I can now guess why. People had Tigre t-shirts and many were dressed in their special cowboy attire. After midnight I could not last much longer and decided to fight my way out the “No Exit” as the hordes of people who knew better than to arrive early were coming. The police security was really confused why I would pay 200 pesos and leave before the Tigres came on. I heard they started playing at 1 am and went until 3 am. I heard there were over 4000 people in attendance by the time the concert started.

President Calderón was in Loreto April 19 for the Presentation of Puerto Escondido Project, Municipio de Loreto and Signing of Wastewater Treatment Plant Donation Agreement. There were approximately 300 businessmen, developers and officials in attendance at Puerto Escondido. I managed to get a highly coveted invitation and was lucky enough to shake his hand. I did not get a photo, but have highly reputable witnesses. President Calderón acknowledged that he, along with the other government officials would support Loreto in its growth as a tourist destination that was good for all.

President Calderón’s speech contained the following quote:
"These projects are based on private investment which, over the next 15 years, is expected to total $8.5 billion USD for projects that have already been designed. This will create approximately 55,000 new jobs, which will undoubtedly create opportunities for families in the municipality of Loreto and other nearby communities that will have more resources and thereby be able to improve their living standards.”

He was aware of the many problems including shortage of water and the need to have sustainable development. The audience’s impression was that the President was extremely intelligent and had good information about the area and its history.

Others in attendance that committed to supporting Loreto’s managed exponential growth was the new Director of Fonatur, Governor of Baja California Sur, Director of Tourism, and Mayor of Loreto. The President promised to be back to Loreto to open the new hospital as soon as it was completed.

My Calgary friends Glenn, Heather and Dennis of FN31 came to enjoy the sushi and tapas. Glenn and his wife Karen originally came down in November 2003 at the first launch, but everything was sold out before they got their pick. That first event was completely sold out with 52 homes. Glenn mentioned that he thought I had a thing for Harleys from reading my blog. Who doesn’t like Harleys?

I have to admit that Nellie’s Place seems to attract them. Last week we had another group of 6 bikers cruising into town and they saw the sign and came in to stay at the hotel and enjoy the bar. They were from Alabama, South Dakota, and Texas. This was a 5 week road trip and these guys have been friends for over 20 years. It was great to hang out with them for a while and hear their crazy stories. They were on their way back up the Baja so I gave them lots of business cards to hand out to other bikers making their way to Loreto.

My good friend Antonio Garcia came by to celebrate the success of Nellie’s Place. Antonio is from the Chihuahua area and came to Loreto as a Senior Manager with Eiffel Construction about one year ago. Antonio was one of the very first Mexicans that helped me with my business and believed in me, when I was not sure of believing in myself. He is a good friend and has also done a great job for his team at Eiffel and the homes they are building in Loreto.

This was a very busy weekend in Loreto. The developer, investors and team of architects and engineers at the Marbella project in Nopolo were all in town. Many of the engineers were from Mexico City and they were enjoying the views of the water after a long planning day.

It was another Loreto Bay sales weekend, and I heard they did very well with a conversion rate over 50%. Yesterday afternoon Jim Grogan told me they had committed to donate another $90,000 USD to the Foundation from this weekend’s sales.

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