El Gitano Peñasco, "The Peñasco Gypsy"
The year was 1988, the month was October, it was a balmy Sunday night around 9:30 as a small group of real estate and timeshare sales reps sat around having a few cold ones and talking story at one of the few cantinas in town, the then-beloved Señor Sushi’s in Cabo San Lucas.
Back in those days most people around the world, including folks from Mexico, had never even heard of ‘Cabo’. Our long story short is my wife and I first discovered this remote outpost while living in Hawaii and having spent many years in the Islands we both agreed it was time for a real adventure and off we headed to parts unknown.
When we arrived that summer Cabo was only being serviced three times a week by the airline company Aero California. Their flights were on the 90 seat DC-9 and many times the passengers onboard consisted of just a handful of Expats and maybe one or two ‘guys’ coming down to go fishing, suck up some ‘rays’ and suck down a lot of suds, too.
The town, then, was a neat little community with horses and burros freely roaming about the mostly dirt streets. Packs of friendly wild dogs were everywhere, always seeking a handout and because crime was pretty much just a ‘notion’ of stuff that happens elsewhere we all rarely locked the doors to our cars and homes.
Anyway, back to that night at Sushi’s. As we all sat around pounding down those cold ones with some Tequila backs we all speculated as to how the future of this “quaint little seaside fishing village” would play out.
And although we all knew that since the early 60’s the likes of John Wayne and other famous people would come down for fishing and some basic hell raising, none of us ever dreamed or thought Cabo would one day become host for the likes of this year’s G20 ‘Love Fest’!
Should anyone not be familiar with this ‘gang’, the G20 is a group of leaders of the world’s major economies that includes Presidents, Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors, etc. who get together and chat about (I’ll let you fill in the blanks)…
The conversion of Cabo over the many ensuing years got me to thinking about our own future in Puerto Peñasco and what needs to be done so that a generation or two from now the folks coming here might or (could be) Presidents, movie stars and other travelers who’d like to spend one, two or more weeks vacationing in our ‘quaint little seaside community’.
After all, we do have the Sea of Cortez, an international airport, miles of beaches, etc. so we have the basic ingredients to make PP, like Cabo now is, a preferred travel/vacation destination of ‘choice’.
My only worry is that our civic leaders and business community won’t do what needs to be done to make Puerto Peñasco the hot spot that it has the capability to become and instead they will stick to their old ways of (e.g.) Espring Break and Biker Week type affairs/and promotions as well as going after the mostly ‘Weekend’ party animals who come here often.
What Cabo did, back in the day, was its civic and business leaders decided to be on the higher end of the market. They already had some very nice (top end) hotels and restaurants so then they built a good Hospital, offered ‘relocation’ incentives and more businesses started to invest in the region.
Even timeshare developers took notice and started building their resorts. In fact, when we arrived in ‘88 there were only 3 such properties and today there are more than 35 high end very fine timeshare projects.
The funny thing about it all is that while this was all happening there really weren’t that many tourists coming down. But the ‘players’ stuck to their guns and before we all knew what was happening more flights from different carriers began to arrive carrying fewer Expats and fishermen--- meaning more big spending tourists --- and today, literally, millions of folks from all around the world come to ‘Cabo’.
I say, if they (and so many other places) can do it then so can we. And we can so long as our ‘leaders’ get out of their comfy, cozy and warm fetal positions, pop their thumbs out of their mouths and start playing hard ball when it comes to marketing Peñasco!
They, and everyone one else, will benefit tremendously!
A Gypsy can always dream!
¡Viva Puerto Peñasco y México!