Friday, June 8, 2012

Part II: Don’t over-charge in Peñasco (again)!

-by El Gitano Peñasco, "The Peñasco Gypsy"

In last week’s piece someone (“Anonymous”) posted a comment asking for examples of businesses here that I claim are ‘over-charging’ and although I rarely respond by posting responses to comments on Rocky Point Tides a couple of other readers (“Alan”, “BigD40” and “Eduardo”) did, which made me decide to write El Part-ola Dos on the subject.

First, like many of you not born in Mexico my wife and I have lived in this wonderful nation for more than a decade (and visited many times as well), during which time we’ve enjoyed the pleasure of freely traveling within Mexico from coast to coast and border to border, visiting many communities both large and small and sometimes living in them for extended periods of time.

Throughout our travels we’ve stayed in some Gran Turismo hotel accommodations and also in some motels that, well, were not quite so ‘Grand’. I distinctly remember one that cost us a whopping $11 (dollars) for the night that provided nothing but a small bed and ceiling fan, no hot water, and the purified drinking water was located down by the manager/owner’s quarters.

Within Mexico we have flown 1st Class on various carriers and have also ridden the ‘Chicken Bus’ (and everything in between) when the occasion called for it; and we have driven on the toll roads and the free ones, too. And we have eaten at the best restaurants in Mexico City and Vallarta, etc. as well as the corner ‘Taco Dude’ and ‘Chicken Lady’ in Merida and Hermosillo, etc.

It’s all been a blast and we are both ever so thankful that the Mexican government and the wonderful people of this nation have allowed us (and millions of other foreigners) to roam about and enjoy the experience of this slice of Paraiso!

That said, the bottom line is that our community here, like most everywhere, is controlled by the power brokers who are very ‘well off’, own businesses, control the government, etc. And it is ‘they’ who set the price models ‘they’ want and those prices are often based, IMHO, on what (e.g.) a Cerveza cost them while they were visiting places like San Diego, Hawaii, Cabo, Cancun or Miami, etc.

I personally believe ‘they’ think, heck, if consumers will pay $3-$5 bucks ‘there’ for a beer, why not back in Peñasco? Which is why I’ll point out today some examples, as I’m reading from one menu (online) at this moment from one ‘establishment’ here where consumers are being charged the following.

  • One “Mixed Salad with dressing”: $5 Dollars (plus tax and gratuity. Add 25%).
  • One serving of “Chicken Noodle Soup”: $4 Dollars (plus tax and gratuity. Add 25%).
  • One “Mini Hamburgers”: $13 Dollars (plus tax and gratuity. Add 25%
  • One serving of “Cheese Quesadillas”: $13 Dollars (plus tax and gratuity. Add 25%)
  • Scrambled Eggs with Fried Tortilla Squares in Tomato Sauce: $12 Dollar (plus tax and gratuity. Add 25%).

Sure there are places here where you can also get a Taco for $1 (tax included, not the tip) but the point is that there is no shortage of ‘establishments’ in Peñasco that charge rates/prices comparable to the overhead (such as labor costs) their counter parts in the U.S. and Canada have to include in their prices.

To make the comparison clearer, a ‘burger-flipper in (e.g.) San Diego working at one of the national ‘Brands’ is paid $64 for an 8 hour shift while the same worker here flipping burgers is paid $5 dollars for the same 8 hours. Yet, the cost of the burger at the ‘Brand’ in San Diego costs much less (in most cases) than a burger costs here!

And on top of that, when the local ‘Taco Dude’ here sees the bigger establishments getting (e.g.) $4 (plus plus) for a Taco or $15-$20 + for a Breakfast buffet they become inclined to raise their prices as well, thinking, “Why not? If that is what people are willing to pay then I, too, shall increase my prices.”

I want everyone in business, regardless of how large or small their establishments are, to make gobs of moola but come on boys and girls, play nice so that when visitors return home not only will they talk highly about our community they’ll tell their friends, “It’s the best bargain we’ve come across anywhere in Mexico for a very long time and we can’t wait to go back— and back— and back!”

A Gypsy can always dream!

¡Viva Puerto Peñasco y México!


Awaken your inner beachbum
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