Reported Sunday, October 23: One month and one week ago this morning, Baja Weather Service predicted the impending, inevitable disaster in Southern Baja. During this past week, BajaRacingNews.com has provided Baja Safari a space to obtain updated, often real-time information.
Now is the time to re-build and re-experience the Cape of Baja South! "The Friends Of Old Cabo" announced on Monday, September 22, a new way to experience adventure. A new way to recreate for the future! At 4PM on OFF-ROAD LIVE! you'll discover a new way to give, in Baja Mexico.
Gary Newsome, Editor
The Party In Cabo Has Changed, Find Out On Monday
Thursday, October 2
Reality Vs. Perception
Damage to perceptions of the Los Cabos destinations' readiness to receive guests is the greatest threat to local citizens overcoming lack of long term water, food and housing.
Wind caused the largest share of Odile's damages at Los Cabos. The event knocked out all utilities. The area now suffers from some structural damage. The beaches survived intact, the main pier and airport are structurally sound, and many shops, stores and restaurants are already back in business.
Sadly, the newly built piers at San Jose, will need to be rebuilt. The Transpeninsular Highway, south of Las Cuevas will need to be rebuilt. Desalination plants are being replaced at this moment. More structural reconstruction will be reported here, on BajaRacingNews.com
Hotels have been warned not to delay reconstruction of properties in anticipation of collecting business-interruption insurance payments, citing that those who did that in 2005 after Hurricane Wilma hit Cancun recovered more slowly than those who moved quickly.
To reassure airlines that demand will be restored quickly to prevent aircraft from being reassigned away from the destination, Fernando Bosque, director of airport operator Grupo Aeroportuario del Pacifico, said that Delta, Southwest, Virgin America and Spirit will restart service from some markets on or within a day or two of Oct. 8, when the airport reopens to commercial traffic.
The local hotel association issued forecasts showing that, of the 12,000 rooms in inventory, 5,103 would be open by Oct. 15. The number would move up to 6,500 by Nov. 1; 7,225 by Nov. 15; and fully operational by Dec. 20.
Bahia Hotel and Beach Club
Best Western Aeropuerto
Hotel Suites Las Palmas
Holiday Inn Express Los Cabos
Quinta del Sol
Cabo Villas Beach Resort & Spa
1st Pueblo Bonito Los Cabos Resort
1st Villa Del Arco Beach Resort & Spa
1st Villa Del Palmar Beach, Resort & Spa
1st Villa La Estancia Beach, Resort & Spa
1st Wyndham Cabo San Lucas
6th Pueblo Bonito Rosé Resort & Spa
8th Casa Dorada at Medano Beach
8th Montecristo Estates by Pueblo Bonito
8th Pueblo Bonito Pacifica Holistic Retreat & Spa
9th Riu Palace Los Cabos
11th Grand Solmar Land’s End Resort & Spa
11th Hacienda Encantada Resort & Spa
11th Marina Fiesta Rsort & Spa
11th Playa Grande Resort & Grand Spa
11th The Ridge at Playa Grande
11th Solmar Resort
12th Los Cabos Golf Resort at Country Club
13th Pueblo Bonito Sunset Beach Resort & Spa
15th Hacienda Beach Club and Residences
15th Tropicana Inn
16th Posada Real Los Cabos
16th Riu Santa Fe
1st Bel Air Collection Resort & Spa Los Cabos
1st Sandos Finisterra
1st Royal Solaris Los Cabos
1st Sheraton Hacienda del Mar Resort & Spa
3rd Barcelo Grand Faro Los Cabos
5th Marbella Suites en la Playa
15th Esperanza an Auberge Resort
15th Fiesta Americana Grand Los Cabos
15th Secrets Marquis Los Cabos
15th Secrets Puerto Los Cabos
20th Decameron All Inclusive Resort
1st Holiday Inn Resort Los Cabos
15th One & Only Palmilla
Sirena del Mar Welk Resorts
Melia Cabo Real All Inclusive Resort
Cabo Azul Resort & Spa
Me by Melia Cabo
Hyatt Place Los Cabos
STILL WAITING FOR CONFIRMED DATES FROM:
Capella Pedregal Los Cabos
Dreams Los Cabos Suites Golf Resort & Spa
El Encanto Inn
Hyatt Ziva Los Cabos
UPDATE September 28Telephone, Internet and potable water have been fully restored in Cabo San Lucas, and electricity, currently reaching about 35% of the resort town, is on schedule to be 95% restored toward the end of next week, Mexico Tourism Board CEO Rodolfo Lopez-Negrete said in a recent interview.
About 3,000 workers from CFE, the national power utility company, have been sent to the area to work on restoring lines.
Cell phone service is fully operational in Cabo San Lucas and Cabo San Jose, but is "sketchy" between those larger towns, Lopez-Negrete said.
Cruise ship tours are currently being rescheduled. The cruise ship terminal and the marina area are both undamaged, Lopez-Negrete said. The Star Princess is scheduled to call in Loreto on Oct. 5 and La Paz on Oct 6. Princess Cruises said the itinerary is under review. Also, Carnival Cruise Lines is reviewing the schedule of the Carnival Miracle.
The area's high-profile upcoming event, the CABO SAFARI Off-Road Tounament at Los Cabos, will take place as planned, in January 2015.
In another indicator of the return of normalcy, the local Walmart and Home Depot have reopened, said Ruben Reachi, secretary of tourism for the state of Baja California Sur.
Lopez-Negrete and Reachi were in town to meet with hoteliers, airline executives, officers of travel agency groups and associations, tour operators and online travel agencies on Thursday evening to discuss a plan of action to aid the destination's recovery.
The federal tourism department and state tourism departmentare concerned that hotel rates may be affected, but believes they don't have to be, saying the destinations hotel industry, will recover more quickly if value-added services are offered rather than rates lowered. "This is not a rate problem," he said."
UPDATE Friday, September 26
Health issues for the locals are now the greatest challenges. Other than the immense rebuilding challenges. 'Dengue Fever' fumigation has begun throughout the state. Standing water and drinking water quality issues threaten everyone on the ground in Baja Sur today.
Moving forward, as the cool breezes from up North make their way south, the cooler temperatures will kill the mosquitos and reduce some of the water borne health threats in Los Cabos. Those breezes won't arrive en masse for another month. So until October 15, widespread anti-dengue spraying (insect killing) and removal of standing water are the primary actions of health officials in the hurricane impact zone.
UPDATE Thursday, September 25Air operations in La Paz are online. Airlines are expected to announce flight plans next week.
Operations at San Jose del Cabo are closed until further notice. This airport, which normally handles most of the tourist operations in southern Baja is now dedicated to rebuilding efforts.
San Lucas regional is open, but heavily restricted.
There are several private, resort based airstrips. STATUS LOADING NEXT>>>
UPDATE: September 24
"Odile virtually collapsed the sewage system, filling it with sand and
dirt and destroying lift pumps. It is estimated that 60% of the sewage
system has collapsed. When reading comments from Mexicans on the social
networks, it is very clear that the whole place smells like shit.
Furthermore raw sewage is everywhere and when it dries up, the bacteria
blows into everything. There is no way to stop it from settling on food.
There are many people presenting to the hospitals with gastrointestinal
problems. The ocean water is unsafe and it will be some time until
nature cleans itself. The first thing that has to happen is that raw
sewage has to stop flowing into the ocean.
The damage they show in the news photos at the tourist area pales when
one looks at the shantytowns on (in) Los Cabos. There are thousands of homes
made from (of) plywood and cardboard that were destroyed. These people will
get little help from the government, as they don't own the properties,
they just squat and many are in arroyos and washes where homes should
not be built in the first place. The government is directing its first
efforts on the tourist areas, to get them back into operation. There are
a massive number of federal police and military to keep a lid on the
population. They will not stay there forever.
When they leave, security will be left to the state government, which is
one of the most corrupt and ineffective state governments in Mexico. As
a destination resort city, Los Cabos sells hotel rooms. Their inventory
for sale is a room-night. One room for one night is a room-night. A
substantial percentage of their inventory of room-nights was destroyed.
As a consequence, no matter what else happens, the gross revenues
flowing into Los Cabos will drop significantly. The employment demand
created by that inventory of room-nights will also drop. There is going
to be a huge shortfall of jobs and revenues for a long time to come. It
is inevitable. No amount of charitable donations is going to change
that. There will be a large disruption in the local economy."
Fulano doesn't mention that the system in question never worked in the first place! Remember that 'puddle' in front of Gigglin' Marlin?! Known by locals as the 'CaCa Lago', it was the never ending sewage eruption in the main streets of San Lucas.
When the Baja 1000 finished in San Lucas in '07, Sal was going to hold the 'Award Ceremony' there, at the Gigglin' Marlin. Until Monster Mike mentioned SCORES mistaken plans to the host hotel and they explained to Senor Fish what a disaster it would be, Sal changed his event site to Monster Mikes favorite beach, El Medano de San Lucas.
We are posting thoughts on this subject, today, stay tuned.
UPDATED! Tuesday, September 23, 7:30 AM LOCAL
In interviews with resort owners and operators, the executive summary of the destination Los Cabos, is most general operations will be online by January 15, 2015.
Other services may be available prior to January 2015, but the destination as a complete service will not be available until all water, electrical and food support services are operating.
The Baja peninsula is recovering, north to south, quickly. But, the Los Cabos destination has a little less than a billion dollars (US) of rebuilding to accomplish.
As an example, many of the desalination plants of the Los Cabos resorts were destroyed, by flooding. These will be replaced, during this construction period, onsite tourist water resources are unavailable.
In interviews conducted this morning, officials at (SJD) San Jose del Cabo International Airport report, "evacuation efforts and all commercial flight operations will be suspended in the next few days to give priority to humanitarian and reconstruction efforts".
"Anyone considering departing from the Los Cabos airport should do so as soon as possible or be prepared to travel to the airport in La Paz...". The road between Los Cabos and La Paz is open (on the Pacific side RTE 19) and fuel is available but cash is required for purchases and few ATM machines are working. "...Flights are leaving from the La Paz airport and additional flights are being added as demand rises".
Local infrastructure in La Paz including roads and restaurants are in good condition. U.S. citizens in La Paz should remain there and not travel to Los Cabos due to functioning infrastructure and good flight options. "...Flights from both the Los Cabos and La Paz airports are primarily to other cities in Mexico, where travelers can book flights to the United States".
U.S. citizens are strongly discouraged from taking Highway 1 (Highway One, the only paved road that connects the entire peninsula) north from Los Cabos to Tijuana for the time-being; while the road is technically "open", it has numerous wash-outs (broken pavement and other obstacles), a gasoline shortage, and other challenges making the journey on this route very dangerous and arduous. Cash is required for purchase (often in pesos) and very few ATM machines are working.
International citizens wishing to provide charitable assistance to victims in Baja South should note that complicated customs and clearance requirements govern such assistance if originating abroad. All charities seeking donations for this disaster have checkered results. Just ask them what % of your donation gets down there. Then, ask them to prove their claims!
Most of your contribution will not get to the people who really need it!
The most efficient way to provide real assistance and disaster relief that makes a difference, is through cash purchases with your local Cabo locals, households, business and service providers. Friends of Old Cabo is directing contributions to the people, families, ranches and communities of your choice.
Contact Today: firstname.lastname@example.org
# # #
UPDATE, Monday, September 22
UPDATE, SUNDAY, September 21 4 PM Cabo Time
***American Airlines has cancelled all flights into Cabo until at least September 30***
***Frontier Airlines has cancelled all flights into Cabo until October 25***
***U.S. Air, United, Delta, Virgin America, West Jet, and AeroMexico Airlines are anticipating tourist travel the first week of October.***
***The Juan Maria de Salvatierra Hospital has resumed normal operations. Clinics in La Paz are also operating normally. Authorities have been spraying for dengue and no report of disease issues, at this time***
***Report from the Airport Operator Grupo Aeroportuario del Pacífico"SJD's runway, taxiways, and aprons were quickly repaired to accommodate the humanitarian flights (inbound with relief supplies, outbound with tourists being evacuated), and cleanup efforts are currently underway to facilitate resumption of regular commercial ops.
Both of the terminals handling commercial flights at SJD - the older Terminal 1 and newer Terminal 2 - suffered extensive damage and will require several more days to become operational again. We expect the airport to reopen to regular commercial service "within...approximately 10 days", which puts the official expected reopening date of SJD at Saturday, September 27th."
The Los Cabos community at large, may take months - and in some cases years - to return to normal. Just about everything needs to be extensively repaired, from devastated hotels to grocery stores and other businesses that were heavily looted and now need to be resupplied.
Of course, Cabo will no doubt fully recover from this disaster in time, just as Cancun did after Hurricane Wilma. Cancun in 2006, took 5 months to recover after a similarly destructive hurricane, and it was clear that the city had made painstaking efforts to have as many businesses (hotels, restaurants, clubs, attractions, etc.) reopened for the seasonal crush of American tourists as possible.
Cabo may be getting back to normal by the Thanksgiving/Christmas holidays and more or less back in full swing by Spring Break, 2015.