Friday, December 16, 2011

Cruise Ships Por Peñasco? Just Say No!

-by El Gitano Peñasco, "The Peñasco Gypsy"

If memory serves me correctly the political dialog and debate among business owners and the conversations at home or bar-side chats by citizens here in Peñasco supporting having cruise ships dock here or Peñasco becoming a ‘home-port’ (embarking and disembarking) goes back at least a decade.

And the idea, on the surface, sure does sound appealing! But I am one of those who believes that the community, specifically from an infrastructure perspective such as shopping, dining and activities available for those sea-faring tourists, is a tad on the short side and we are far off from being prepared for cruise ship ‘prime-time’ like the ports in Cabo, Vallarta, Mazatlan, etc.

Now, I bring this topic up because there is chatter once again among our community leaders interested in this cruise ship deal and a huge problem I’m having is how can they (or anyone) justify the upfront expense to build a suitable port facility that estimates suggest will cost tens of millions of (USD) dollars?

And let’s just say we (they) get and invest the money. What happens here, as it did several years ago in Mobile, Ala. (USA) if--- after that community invested over $25 Million (USD) on their embarking/debarking cruise facility--- out of the blue their ‘port’ became vacant simply because Carnival Cruise Lines pulled out of that market and transferred their ship to New Orleans, LA?

The last concern, for now, that I have with this renewed effort to bring about the cruise business here is that tax payers will have to pay for more of those ‘discovery’ trips for our community leaders so they can travel ‘abroad’ to ports in (e.g.) Cabo, Hawaii, the Caribbean, etc. so they can meet with those local officials and see whatzup with their approach to the cruise industry.

Then, after the jaunt our representatives will return to Peñasco and inform the masses about how much they learned, how they’ll now need more studies, etc. And before you know it time will pass and once again they’ll want to take another tax-payer sponsored family vacation, I mean, discovery trip to see the other ports of call they missed during their last venture.

Surely, in this era of limited resources there are better, faster and more cost effective ways to increase tourism here and to do so now, when it is needed the most, and then build on those successes. And once that is accomplished and that tourism revenue source is secured then by all means pursue the cruise ship idea!

A Gypsy can always dream!

¡Viva Puerto Peñasco y México!

Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover. -Mark Twain