Thursday, February 3, 2011

Rancho Buena Vista Closing January 25th Part 1 and 2

Rancho Buena Vista Closing January 25th
Six Decades later

When the email subject flashed on my screen Rancho Buena Vista Closing Celebration, I couldn't believe my eyes.

After surviving countless numbers of devastating Chubascos and other calamities, this historic hotel that literally put the East Cape area on the map was closing…in the end, it was taken down by the Tsunami of the economy.

In part,  the email notice read,
"Josh Martz, Russ Jones,  Christi Jones and the entire Rancho Buena Vista family
WHAT:  A closing celebration at the historic Rancho Buena Vista bar.

As many people may have heard, Rancho Buena Vista has peacefully gone to Baja’s Golden Age Resort in the Sky.  There are many reasons for shutting down the hotel, but it really boils down to whether or not we are able to give our customers the absolute best experience they deserve for their hard-earned travel dollars.  RBV has aged well, but we no longer foresee the ability to keep the hotel in good enough shape to offer that experience.  So, after six decades of operation, we no longer feel we can provide that experience."

I suspect that as the news gets out the thousands of guests who considered RBV their personal retreat and returned time after time over the years are feeling a twinge of age remembering their first visit to this unique piece of history.  I know I am.

I also suspect that many of the early principals, Herb Tansey and Joe GarcĂ­a and WON columnist Ray Cannon and Sports Afield writer Chris Dufrense who wrote the early stories that drew attention to the hotel…those who were there for what was described as a "goat ranch" in the early fifties would be shaking their heads in disbelief that after all the hardships management endured over the years, their dreams could be destroyed so casually.

RBV has been part of our family's personal Baja history since the mid-seventies and honestly I need to step back and reflect a bit. Once I have, I promise there will more…soon

Gary Graham
January 25, 2011

Rancho Buena Vista Closing? Hold on just a sec…

In an unusual email on Monday afternoon of this week, Seby R. 'Russ' Jones, President of Davidson and Jones Corporation of North Carolina, announced the permanent closing of Rancho Buena Vista Hotel in East Cape, adding yet another chapter to its colorful history.  The email invited one and all to celebrate the closing in the bar the following afternoon.

According to the email signed by Jones,  "RBV has aged well, but we no longer foresee the ability to keep the hotel in good enough shape to offer that experience.  So, after six decades of operation, it’s time to say goodbye."  

Telephones rang, emails flew and many that heard the news shook their heads disbelievingly.

The shocked reaction was swift as the emails reverberating across the internet. East Cape locals and hotel owners expressed disappointment that the stately historic hotel would be no more.
Axel Valdez, Hotel Buena Vista Beach Resort, summed it up best. "It’s tragic for both the area and the hotel industry here."

Then early Tuesday afternoon a second email arrived from Mark Walters, one of the partners of Rancho Buena Vista Hotel and grandson, son, and third generation Baja entrepreneur.  Mark, paraphrasing Mark Twain, quoted, "The reports of RBV's closing are greatly exaggerated."

He continued, "The Davidson and Jones Corporation has been managing/operating the hotel for the past few years and they have decided to call it quits. The actual owners, the Hermosillo family and myself, are currently reviewing our options. The hotel will be closed only until another management company is located. Thanks for your interest."

So It seems for the moment the old girl has a reprieve. It appears that the whole incident was nothing more than a spat between owners and operators who resorted to the internet to negotiate a management position.

Next week's column will explore this story in more detail.