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I've been spending most of my time in Phoenix recently and therefore haven't been able to post quite as much of the happenings down in Puerto Peñasco (Rocky Point) as I'd like. So expect updates a little less frequently over the next several months.
An article from the Arizona Daily Star [free subscription required] about the long-term feasibility of desalinated water for Arizona (mentions Rocky Point). The same environmental and energy issues exist for the feasibility of a desalination plant to supply all of Puerto Peñasco (a study of this has been commissioned).
ALSO: Dutch DJ Fedde la Grand showed up in Puerto Peñasco last month and drew a few thousand to a couple of shows. Probably the first internationally recognized electronica DJ to come to town (hopefully the first of many). I missed the shows but video can be seen here and here.
An interesting interview by Business News Americas with Claudia Velazquez, the market studies director of Softec, focusing on the Mexico real estate market. Softec is a real estate consulting and market study firm in Mexico.
President Felipe Calderon's speech this past week submitting his new energy bill to the Mexican Senate. The major goal of the bill is to allow state-owned Pemex to enter into joint ventures with private companies to increase capacity for deep water oil exploration in the Gulf of Mexico and to increase refinery capacity for Mexico. Mexico currently does not possess the technology for this deep sea exploration and drilling. As expected, the bill is running into major opposition from the leftist political parties in Mexico.
OuttaTown Productions from Phoenix puts on a beach volleyball tournament in Puerto Peñasco (Rocky Point) twice a year. These tournaments have become quite a popular sporting and social event for vacationers, drawing nearly 80 teams of all competition levels to last year's October tournament. The spring tournament this year is on April 19, but the registration deadline for teams is April 2nd.
The event is held at Playa Bonita Resort on Sandy Beach and OuttaTown assists teams with hotel reservations and other arrangements. The theme for the spring tournament is "Cannonball Run." More information about the tournament registration and event can be found here. And for a bunch of pictures from last October's tournament in Puerto Peñasco, click here. Rocky Point is Puerto Penasco.
For those of you who are big Roger Clyne & the Peacemakers fans, Adam Klawonn from The Zonie Report has a few quick notes about his experience backstage Saturday night at their "Turbo Ocho Launch Party" at the Celebrity Theatre in Phoenix. Sounds like the band preferred to keep the pre-concert partying to a minimum so they could indulge fans while onstage (and so they had a few extra minutes to memorize lyrics). A video clip from the concert can be found here. Looks like a good time was had by all.
RCPM's new Turbo Ocho album was recorded during a marathon nine day session in Puerto Peñasco (Rocky Point) back in January 2008, which was of course memorialized on video by the band. I have created a separate page with the entertaining behind-the-scenes videos of their recording experience in Mexico. The new page can be found here.
Their next Circus Mexicus concert in Puerto Peñasco is scheduled for May 17, 2008.
The Puerto Peñasco (Rocky Point) growth over the last several years has brought with it an influx of well-educated young Mexican professionals moving to town. Possessing advanced degrees from colleges and universities in Mexico, the U.S. and Europe, these professionals form the backbone of the new workforce that is crucial to Puerto Peñasco's growth. Their expertise ranges from engineering to accounting to construction management to law to tourism, real estate and beyond, and most are as proficient in English as they are in their native Spanish.
It has been a pleasure getting to know many of these young professionals and hearing more about their experiences growing up in Mexico and then ultimately moving to Puerto Peñasco. For many of them, the move to Puerto Peñasco isn't too different than moving from a major U.S. city to Puerto Peñasco. Many of them grew up in the major modern cities of Mexico (e.g., Guadalajara, Hermosillo, Mexico City, etc.) and have spent time living and working in other resort areas (e.g., Puerto Vallarta, Cabo, Cancun, etc.). So moving to a still small, but developing, resort town is often a bit of a culture shock for them. They no longer have many of the amenities that they (and we Americans) take for granted - large grocery stores, movies theaters, high end clubs and bars, name brand shops and a wide range of restaurant choices (not to mention pavement).
So it has been fun to observe the social patterns of this growing group as various new venues have opened in town that are more catered to their tastes. Two years ago, I think they had resigned themselves to house parties and poker nights. But with the introduction of venues that cater to a little more "cosmopolitan" crowd (such as Club Elixir, Bryan's, Capone's and now Blue Buddha), they have started to venture out on the town a bit more. They all still crave the big beach clubs and shopping of other more developed resort towns, but appreciate that it will take a little time for Puerto Peñasco to get there (but that it is coming). Their experiences living and working in other major resort areas will no doubt have a great effect in shaping the future growth of Puerto Peñasco - for the better I feel.
Along with expanded options for socializing are of course great social/event websites catering to the local social circuit. A couple have sprung up in Puerto Peñasco over the last year that take the requisite club night pictures and keep everyone up to date on the latest and greatest on the social scene. So far they are catering exclusively to the Mexican crowd (all in Spanish), but hopefully they will eventually expand to include versions in English. Either way it is fun to click around and see some of the happenings. Check out VivePenasco.com and Fack.us for the latest.
I just wanted to give a quick shout out to fellow Puerto Peñasco (Rocky Point) blogger Myaann Roland, who has been blogging for the last several months about happenings in Puerto Peñasco. She covers a lot of the social/events side of things in Puerto Peñasco that I don't have as much time to keep up on, so her blog gives a great sense of the community in town (particularly the local realtor community). Myaann is currently a realtor for Remax and has been living in Puerto Peñasco for over two years now.
Her blog can be found here and I encourage everyone to add it to their reading list.
The Spring Break season starts this coming weekend in full with Arizona State University having their break from March 9-16 and then University of Arizona having theirs the following week. Usually, ASU and UA have their break on the same week and it creates one rather large spring break week in Puerto Peñasco (Rocky Point). This year, the first week should be a little less crazy - but the bigger Spring Break season should extend for two weeks instead of one. Students from various other colleges and university travel to Puerto Peñasco during these two weeks to enjoy their break, but the largest groups are always from these two schools.
Overlapping with the second big Spring Break week will be Semana Santa (Holy Week), which draws a very large group of tourists to Puerto Peñasco to enjoy more of a family holiday.
Puerto-Penasco.com also has a great Spring Break rundown with lots of information about travel arrangements, booking rooms, ets. It can be accessed here and I encourage everyone coming down for Spring Break to read it.
The number one thing I would stress to vacationers is that crossing the border back into the U.S. this year REQUIRES A BIRTH CERTIFICATE AND DRIVER'S LICENSE or a PASSPORT. Read more about this here. Not having these documents will greatly slow down your travel back into the U.S. and will significantly back up the already long border lines coming home from Spring Break.
For those of you in Southern California, a good way to learn more about what all Mexico has to offer in the way of travel, real estate opportunities and places to live and/or retire is to attend the Mexico Expo in San Diego this weekend. It includes a variety of exhibitors and also free seminars on various topics related to Mexico tourism, travel and real estate.
The Expo is at the San Diego Events Center (Scottish Rite Events Center) in Mission Valley and is open to the public on Saturday, March 1, 2008 from 10:30 AM until 5:00 PM. Admission is $3 and includes access to all exhibits and seminars. Directions can be found here and here.
More information on the event can be found at the Expo website here. A majority of the exhibitors focus on the Baja market, but I'm sure there will be plenty of representation from Puerto Peñasco there as well.
I've been meaning to post about PuertoPenascoTV.com for awhile now. A group has gotten together to post video clips covering news and events happening in Puerto Peñasco (Rocky Point) and to also provide video tours of condos, resorts, hotels, etc. The site is in its infancy so appears to have a few kinks to work out still, but it is fun to click around and see what they are putting together. From a tourist standpoint, probably the most interesting (and updated) sections of the website are "Fun News TV" and "Entertainment TV".
Pro Desert Racing held their biannual Puerto Peñasco (Rocky Point) desert race this past weekend, the La Carrera 200. Looks like the weather was much better than the previous weekend (when we received some much needed rain) and the event was a success. Some good pictures from the event can be found here and more information on Pro Desert Racing and the future events can be found here. Next race in Puerto Peñasco is scheduled for May 10, 2008.
My business partner snapped a few shots around town on Saturday - a day featuring perfect weather in Puerto Peñasco for the 7th Annual Rocky Point Rally.
Over the past several years, the annual event has become a favorite for southwestern bikers to attend (drawing approximately 7,000 riders last year). It is a unique weekend where the average vacationer can see some sights only seen once a year in Puerto Peñasco. Hopefully everyone had a good time and stayed safe. I'm sure we will hear some great stories and additional accounts about the weekend, attendance, etc. over the next several days.
In the meantime, enjoy a few pictures from the weekend. Looks like the bikers enjoyed displaying their rides in the new Governor's Square on the Malecon in Old Port. It also sounds like the border crossing home on Sunday wasn't too painful with wait times maxing out around one hour in mid-afternoon. Border patrol designated a special lane for bikers and again opened up the commercial lane to handle RVs and vehicles with trailers. So by early accounts, a great weekend was had by all.
A reminder for visitors this weekend that the 7th Annual Rocky Point Rally starts today and runs through Sunday in Puerto Peñasco (Rocky Point). I have heard estimates that anywhere from 7,000 (last year's approximate attendance) up to 15,000 motorcycle riders will be in town. Already today the town is teaming with riders and hundreds more are arriving by the hour. For many of the bikers, it will be a fun weekend to see all of the new restaurant, lodging and nightlife options that have opened in Puerto Peñasco since they were here last year. Should be a fun weekend for all.
For more information on the event check out the event website here. Check back after this weekend and I will try to post some pictures.
The Arizona Star has an article here warning about the expected congestion at the border crossing on Sunday. My advice is to leave early Sunday morning (before 9 am) or stick around until Monday as the border is expected to have a long wait on Sunday afternoon coming back into the U.S. Or if you aren't a rider and could care less about the rally, make a trip next weekend when the weather is still expected to be great and it should be a little less crowded in town.