This article about Puerto Peñasco (Rocky Point) in Sunday's Arizona Republic was hard to miss. I am posting a letter below I wrote to writer Dennis Wagner in response to his article. It is a bit long, but worth reading for some clarification to his article.
Dear Mr. Wagner:
I want to thank you for your article Sunday about Rocky Point in the Arizona Republic. It was the most thoroughly researched article I have seen to date about the North Beach litigation (which many of us locally in Puerto Peñasco have know about for quite awhile) and I commend you for taking the time to work to get several angles to the story. Many of the articles or news reports I read or see about Puerto Peñasco are usually pretty quick and dirty where it is apparent the reporter hasn’t taken the time necessary to properly research the issue (pretty easy to do when 200 miles away often with a language barrier). So thanks for doing the extra leg work on this report. I have heard various people grumbling about the legal issues in North Beach for awhile now, but the rumors and innuendo about what was really going on far outpaced any facts. So hopefully your article sheds some additional light on the dispute for people who have limited access to this type of information, gives a voice to people who feel slighted and helps serve as a catalyst for dialogue and a settlement between the parties to the lawsuits (and/or causes the Sonoran or Mexican government to try to step in and mediate the issue). Sometimes it takes a bright spotlight on a problem for it to be resolved.
I am, however, disappointed that you failed to make a better distinction between the North Beach development area and the rest of Puerto Peñasco, particularly in the first several paragraphs of your article. I understand that part of writing newspaper articles is creating a hook to get people to read the rest of the article – but I think the title and first paragraph in particular should have clarified that this dispute is an isolated incident in one small area of Sonora and not a widespread problem. I also think more attention should have been paid throughout the article to letting readers know that most of the land in Puerto Peñasco does not suffer from the legal disputes in North Beach (problems which frankly also occur in the U.S.), and to better emphasize that thousands of American investors have made safe, secure, legal and profitable investments in Peñasco real estate which are not in any jeopardy. While you occasionally threw in a reference to these successes and included a sidebar about property buying guidelines, I think the article unnecessarily broadly generalizes what is an isolated (but admittedly important) legal dispute.
While I would like to give Republic readers more credit, I suspect that many Americans after reading your article today will be tempted to not take any chances and to forego a potentially profitable investment in Mexico despite the safe and simple ownership rules for Americans. As you know, there are many Americans with financial interests of varying sizes in Puerto Peñasco. Negative articles in such a widely circulated Arizona newspaper without the balance of positive articles about the area have the potential to cause collectively as much or more financial loss for Americans as the disputes happening in North Beach today - due to a loss in investor and buyer confidence in the area.
So I hope that you also take the same time and effort to cover many of the extremely positive developments in Puerto Peñasco, including the strong commitment by the state and federal governments to building Puerto Peñasco into a world class vacation destination, development of the new international airport, the new coastal highway, commencement of commercial air service to Los Angeles International Airport, new licensing rules for real estate agents, a renewed commitment to the commercial tourism infrastructure of Peñasco by local developers and the local government, and the other strong vacation market fundamentals that will propel Puerto Peñasco through the infant stages of a sustainable 25 year growth period. Puerto Peñasco will grow steadily over the years hand-in-hand with Arizona and I hope the Republic commits itself to objectively covering this important resort town to the south – through both its growing pains and its successes.
I hope you will stay on top of this particular story to flesh out additional details (of which I know there are many) - especially from governmental officials and the Mexican courts. And I trust you and the Republic will treat any favorable resolution of the situation as news that is worthy of receiving the same type of publicity and placement as your article today. I would only request that you better clarify the limited scope of this particular dispute in future articles and work to better reassure current and future American investors that if they follow proper procedures and do their due diligence, their investments in Puerto Peñasco will be safe. For more information about the many positive developments in Puerto Peñasco, I invite you to visit my business, tourism and real estate blog at www.puertopenascopost.com and I would be more than happy to assist you in collecting additional information about the many positive developments in Puerto Peñasco.
Please share my thanks and concerns with your editors and best of luck as you pursue these stories.