Saturday, September 8, 2012

East Cape: History in the making

SINCE LAST YEAR, dredging, earth moving and construction has continued, resulting thus far in a rock-lined channel leading into the partially completed marina with home sites surrounding it as well as some docks.
Just a click over a year ago, I wrote a column entitled, "Old East Cape Fading." Click here to read article. A recent article on the 13th Annual Bisbee’s East Cape Offshore Tournament caught my eye and the following portion of the report once again emphasized the ever-changing East Cape.

"One of the new wrinkles to this year’s event is having two start locations. The first is at tournament headquarters, the Hotel Buena Vista Resort, while the second is just outside the marina entrance to the presenting sponsor, Cabo Riviera. This new golf and boating development, located about 10 miles south, has recently completed dock slips and other amenities. Several of the tournament boats are staying in the marina there, while others anchor off the beach just off from Buena Vista."

Talk about history in the making! For the first time ever, visiting sportfishers can actually tie up at a slip in a marina here at East Cape.  An email from Nydia Altamirano, Cabo Riviera promotional marketing manager, confirmed that they were hosting 16 sportfishers during this year's tournament.

“Jeremy” posted on a Baja forum, "Plenty of room for our 48-foot Riviera, Amelia Marie, a non-tournament boat. Plus, they had electrical hookups and a nice restroom with showers.  There is also a dock with a tanker truck alongside selling fuel.” 

Just down the beach from Hotel Buena Vista Beach Resort stand the remains of what had once been our family’s home for 18 years, Rancho Deluxe.  It had stood at the edge of a trailer park, La Capilla, overlooking the Sea of Cortez. The American owners had promised an elaborate seaside-gated community with 200 lots and 100 condominiums as well as a community beach club with a pool, restaurant, and bar. The gringo developers are long gone, the property was sold to Homex, a large Mexican development company, but the land remains as bare as it did in 2006. 

Another mile or so farther down that same beach is the site of El Anhelo Marina and Resort Project. Last year, I was told that construction would begin as soon as the permit process was completed … within the year. Another ambitious project with a proposed hotel, villas, 500 boat slips, marina village, residential lots and an 18-hole golf course. This was to be built by a partnership of the local Van Wormer family and the El Cid group from Mazatlan. It, too, is still unchanged with no sign of construction or development.

Another 10 miles farther down the beach is the 900-acre Cabo Riviera … a proposed 285-slip full-service Marina Harbor for boats from pangas to super yachts. I was told last year that it, too, would be open in 2012. Of all the projects that were promised to become part of the East Cape landscape, this is the only one moving forward. It is actually under construction with condominiums, apartments, boutiques, shops, harbor house restaurant and exclusive yacht club planned along with a five-star 150-room hotel and a championship golf course for guests and residents. 

Since last year, dredging, earth moving and construction has continued, resulting thus far in a rock-lined channel leading into the partially completed marina with home sites surrounding it as well as some docks. 

Of course, the project is years from completion, but true to their word, it is open. The owners seem to be dedicated to completing the project and are certainly willing to put their money where their mouth is, pouring incredibly large sums into the venture. 

Of course, a project of this magnitude attracts critics, skeptics and doubters … all willing to voice their personal opinions of the flaws and mistakes that are certain to result in its failure. 

Though location and engineering are among the most common of the complaints heard, most seem to be anchored in the resentment of progress. You know that old "NIMBY" attitude – Not In My Back Yard! 

I sure understand that! I have been traveling in Baja for over four decades. I have witnessed progress in East Cape with all its fits and starts … some welcome, some not; some successful, some not.   

This is not the place to debate the pros and cons of Cabo Riviera. It’s here, bringing changes. Experience has taught me that in this land where mañana is a mantra, meeting a projected deadline is almost a miracle. The owners of this project lived up to their promise to have the Marina open in 2012, which speaks volumes of their intentions. 

If they can match that with equally strong implementation, Cabo Riviera will be leading East Cape into the next era.