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FONATUR, a Mexican government Tourism development fund presented 5 new projects for Puerto Vallarta. The new projects will continue to boost Vallarta's tourism infrastructure and will open up new areas for both visitors and locals to enjoy.

Puerto Vallarta is currently among the top 3 Mexican tourist destinations, so this new investment, that will be part of the Downtown Vallarta's integrated urban development program, is very welcome and has been expected for a long time.

Fonatur 2012 & Puerto Vallarta

The idea is to boost Vallarta to the top destinations worldwide and these projects will be a step in that direction, though it's doubtful FONATUR Director Adalberto Fügemann y López's predictions of PV in the Top 5 Worldwide is a bit over the top, just consider destinations like Paris, Rome, London, New York, Bangkok, Hong Kong and even Mexico's own Cancún and it's hard to imagine our beautiful Vallarta could overtake them. It's nice to dream though :-)

The total investment will be around 39 million dollars in five different branches within the local tourism, these include sport and leisure, recreational and public spaces, markets, museums and art, and a retirement residential development.

The list includes:

  1. Metropolitan Sports, Recreation and Culture Complex (METRO COM), to be located in the Hotel Zone, close to Sheraton Buganvilias. A large sports, leisure and culture complex. About half of the budget will go to this part, including a new stadium, an aquarium, a park and a beach club plus a pedestrian bridge for easy access, will include a Federal sea-land zone and a sculpture park.
  2. Lázaro Cárdenas Sculpture Park and Amphitheater, some 3 million dollars will be used to recover the current park in Vallarta's Romantic Zone and offer more cultural activities in the area. Anyone that's seen the poor dried up park can see it needs urgent help.
  3. Sea Mall, around 2 million will go to creating a new fish & shellfish market at Hidalgo Park, it will include restaurants offering the same products.
  4. Cuale River Island Natural & Archaeological Museum. A bit over a million will go to the development of an outdoor museum and improving the park vegetation.
  5. Retirement Residential District, will include buildings, a new hospital, a spa and park areas.

The Vallarta Historical Center Tourism Improvement Program is in charge of many of the most recent improvements in the city, including the impressive changes to the Malecon and the new Los Muertos Pier that will be ready this December.

The goal is to create impressive and iconic sites in this beach destination, which will in turn boost tourism to Puerto Vallarta and the surrounding areas.

Anybody that knew Vallarta in the 2000's and compares it with Vallarta in the 2010's can see improvements in many parts of town, specially impressive is the Malecon, that now start off by Hotel Rosita and you can stroll comfortably all the way to Playa Los Muertos, but there is still a long way to go, specially with the impressive flops such as the Molino de Agua Condos, that have cut off the view and made it look, in my opinion cheap, like a Mexican style Miami. I'd tear it down immediately, but no one's asking my opinion, anyway :-).

A new and fabulous attraction for locals and tourists was inaugurated on November 4, 2011 in the Puerto Vallarta, the Bay Night Club (El Club Nocturno de la Bahía) that from now on will open every Friday, offers visitors an unforgettable moment of dancing and fun under the light of the stars with the cool ocean breeze refreshing the dancers who want to spend a great night out.

The event was co-sponsored by Club Vallarta and The Bay Night Club (Club Nocturno en la Bahía), part of last Friday's earnings were donated to the Women's Shelter of Banderas Bay (Refugio para Mujeres de la Bahía de Banderas).

More than 30 supporters were directly involved making the event a complete success. The Night Club and the cruise trips were designed to help each week the community and charitable organizations while providing a new form of entertainment in Puerto Vallarta and the Banderas Bay area.

Come and enjoy the Bay Night Club, you'll guaranteed enjoy it and you will not only have fun but you will also help to raise funds to help the local community. There are two support platforms each with 100 passenger capacity, open bar, snacks and an memorable evening under the stars. The music that fills the air includes a healthy dose of salsa, merengue, and Latin rhythms of the eighties, classic, Rythm and Blues, Blues and US popular music all night long.

Those who are new to salsa dancing, there is no reason to be worried or distressed, since there is a wide variety of music for everyone to enjoy and all levels of dancer can feel comfortable. However, if you worry about your dance moves and want to enter the competition, Marcela Castellanos, co-organizer of the event and also a dance instructor is available for training. She offers a complimentary lesson to encourage people to fill up the dance floor and subject their bodies to the healthy and smooth Latin rhythms.

Both residents and tourists can meet up at the Marine Terminal for a very pleasant evening and test their new dance moves or learn some new skills from those that participate in the event.

The cruise of the Bay Nightclub takes off exactly at 7:00 pm from the terminal and returns at 11:00 pm. Please arrive at 6:15 pm because the cruise boarding begins at 6:30 pm. Tickets are priced at $500 pesos and locals will also enjoy a discount.

(Oct. 2011) The Puerto Vallarta Malecon renovation is noteworthy due to the construction and structure's quality, minute details are taken into account during the construction process, stated the Vallartan mayor.

Brand New Malecon in Puerto Vallarta

All this is important within the remodeling process mainly because they are creating an enjoyable new space that both visitors and locals will be able to enjoy for a long time.

According to the mayor, Salvador Gonzalez Resendiz, the citizens have widely accepted the new malecon, based on their comments, they have recognized the good work that's visible in this city project.

Care has been taken in the building of the steps of the amphitheater, which were redone a few times as the concrete steps and finish was not up to standards established by the city's municipality authorities.

He also commented many details have been modified regarding the final touches, not structural issues, but details, all this with quality in mind so that the Malecon would be world class, so that Vallarta can enjoy and be proud of it's seaside walkway.

He added that future administrations will only need to take maintenance into account and emphasized that if they detect any errors or issues in time, there is a guarantee from the builder and relevant repairs will be made if necessary.

Visitors can now enjoy this new walkway, hundreds of them already gathered at the site, which although it's not one hundred percent complete, it was cleared of materials and machines to allow passage to a large number of people who decided to visit and verify the quality and beauty of this renewed tourist attraction. The renovation of the Puerto Vallarta malecón left a good impression on visitors and tourists, who expressed their approval of this new project.

It should be noted that the inhabitants of Puerto Vallarta not only want to renew the boardwalk, they want a more profound renewal that would even include the attitude of the local Vallarta inhabitants and their habits within the city every day, and a renewal of the private initiative, so that the latter invests in better products and facilities that suit the demand of globalized tourists that visit Puerto Vallarta every day.

Initiatives that also support improvements in all services, jobs, worker protection, increased productivity and performance of activities and an improvement of the respect for the environment as beautiful and generous as the one in Puerto Vallarta.

Weddings in Paradise

by Peter Wells Scott

Everyone thinks of Puerto Vallarta as a perfect vacation spot, and as encompassing all the ingredients for the idyllic honeymoon, but more and more folks are looking to Vallarta as a place to get married. The weather, the ocean breezes, the friendliness of the people, the accessability by air, and the general economies are all attractions.

From south to north around the bay, there are untold enclaves and coves that have proven to be "the perfect spot" for many that have tied the knot.

Not wanting to steal anyone's thunder, we nevertheless offer seven suggestions that have met the needs of many.

1. Le Kliff in Boca de Tomatlan. Described as the "largest restaurant palapa" in Latin America, Le Kliff has been a perrenial favorite for diners seeking out of the way elegance. Waves crashing against the rocks below add to the ambience. Receptions can be held right on location. Can easily handle up to 200 people.

2. Moving north up the coast, Villas Mar a Lago has 6 comfortable villas with enticing names. Boca Raton, Desiree, Copa Cabana, Capri, Monaco and Don Juan. The wedding party can be housed right in the villas. Again, the ceremony can be performed followed by a reception. Norma Molinar has an excellent chef, and also makes available wedding consultations.

3. Lindomar is a time share resort that is cradled between a series of rocks The waves lap against the rocks and makes for a very romantic setting. There are many strategic locations for the ceremony, and dining for up to 100 persons is no problem.

4. Moving to the marina area, several leading hotels have extensive grounds and capacity to accomodate up to 200 guests. Four in particular are noteworthy. Westin Regina, Marriott Magna, Velas Vallarta have all been favorites. Next to Velas, Bay View Grand has a bodega right on the beach which offers a very romantic setting. Receptions can be held at one of the previously mentioned hotels.

5. In Nuevo Vallarta, Paradise Village, Marival, and the new Rio hotel all can accommodate up to 200 people.

6. The Four Seasons Resort in Punta de Mita is where many folks flying in on their Lear Jets end up. It offers every exquisite extra for the most discerning.

7. Sayulita, like Lindomar, has beach settings that are unique. Don Pedro's Restaurant sits on the beach, and surfers ply their trade nearby.Puerto Vallarta is a leading destination for vacationers, honeymooners, and, yes, for those choosing a site to exchange wedding vows.

When fact merges with fiction

by Peter Wells Scott

The road from San Sebastian to La Bufa is treacherous, taking 45 minutes but seeming like 4 hours, or 4 days depending on your penchant for risk. The views looking down on the shoreline of Puerto Vallarta make every inch of the ordeal well worth whatever personal price is paid. Or so they say. But what happens if it is cloudy and you are stuck in the middle of them? Then you can't see 4 feet in front of you. So let it be with Cesar.

It is true that Mr. Luster was in Puerto Vallarta. For 5 months he had been on the lam after jumping bail in his trial in Los Angeles for rape and other sundries. In absentia, the jury gave him 124 years. CBS, CNN and others were quoted as saying that Mr. Luster had escaped to Mexico, then began to redefine Mexico to mean Guadalajara, and after three days the lens focused on Puerto Vallarta.

Sometime early in the morning of last Tuesday, he left his 34 dollar a night room at Los Angeles Motel to replenish his energies at a nearby taco stand. It was there that he was confronted by the "Dog." The latter is a bounty hunter, who skirmished briefly with the runaway. The fact is that taking the law into your own hands, call it citizen's arrest, is also a crime under Mexican law. Here it is called kidnapping. So, local papers including El Sol, Meridiano and others next feature pictures of Mr. Luster, Dog and his loyals taken from a local downtown prison. Legend, or is it fact, has it that there are 7 people lodged in Mexican prisons on charges of unlawful kidnapping.

Meanwhile, FBI folks from the U.S. are sent down to Puerto Vallarta to reunite Mr. Luster with his stateside obligations. He is whisked off to a Federal jail in central California. He precariously holds on to his proclaimed innocence, saying that whatever sexual acts that were committed were consensual. Speculation has it the the fugitive also visited the Los Angeles Motel last year. Left behind were 15 pages of notes outlining his activities, and yes, his victims were inebriated, and that he was a player, alleging, "no harm no foul."

Meanwhile Dog is out of jail after posting bail and under his own personal recognizance. He says that his reward is sufficient if limited to redressing the plight of Luster's victims. But one would doubt that. In fact, it was the Mexican police that turned the assailant over to U.S. authorities. Speculation as to any award had dwindled from one million dollars to a possible ten thousand dollars. Left behind in the motel was a list of "Paybacks" and a list of Spanish pickup lines. Also was a list of names that might contribute money to accommodate Luster's new found lifestyle. He was also reviewing resort property north of Vallarta.

Luster's stateside attorney is claiming that the trial was unjust. The trip to Vallarta has certainly faned the fires of curiosity, and whether a new legend has been framed remains to be seen. Winston Churchill has said to say something about him, be it good or bad. Certainly something has been said about Puerto Vallarta. We will have to await the clouds to clear before we can tell whether it is good or bad. Undoubtedly the beaches and byways have received exposure that money couldn't buy.