Que Pasa in Baja?

This edition we discuss the beginning of the low season for tourism, the huge fire that broke out in Ensenada, how the Ensenada police is equipping to detect high-volume noise offenders, the new hotel being developed in Cuatro Cuatros, the donation of K-9 agents from the US to Mexico, new investments in alternative energy generation and what the SWAT spring-breakers tourism company is preparing for next year in Rosarito.

High season is over. Labor Day weekend marked the end of our tourism high season, which was highly successful, according to our state tourism office.

Just over the holiday weekend, about 80 thousand tourists were said to be visiting Baja, generating 12 million USD in sales related to tourism. Even with the travel alerts, about 58% of those precious tourists were from the US.

Rosarito was announced as the favorite destination this weekend, especially among the American tourists, whose presence showed a significant growth compared to last year.

Baja has seen a positive growth of tourism in the last few years, although this growth seems to be threatened by the drug-related violence that has increased exponentially this year.

Fire breaks in Ensenada. Starting on the Labor Day weekend, there was a huge fire that started out in Piedras Gordas, east of the city.

The city police reported that a couple of vandals who stole a car and wanted to get rid of the evidence decided to burn the vehicle in the middle of a huge dry grassland. The dry winds made the fire grow out of control until fire personnel were able to control it a few days later. By then, the fire had already consumed about 5,000 acres of vegetation, mostly grassland and small bushes, but it did destroy about 100 acres of a full-grown pine forest.

Unfortunately, a dad and his son were caught in the middle of the fire when they got lost while they were trying to return to the city from a trip to a local campground. The dad died from his injuries a few days later, and his son is still being treated at the Shriners Hospital in Sacramento.

About 20 houses were also completely consumed by the fire, but all of the people that lived there were able to get out before their places caught fire.

Better to turn that volume down. The Ensenada city council recently agreed on equipping the local police with sound level meters in order for them to measure the levels of volume in residential zones where they get reports.

Although the rules have been in place for a couple of years, it’s been up to the police to decide whether or not the volume was excessive. With these new devices, the police won’t have to rely on their ears anymore.

Only 12 devices were bought for the whole city on this first stage, so you better hope one is available when you submit your noise complaint. You can submit a noise complaint by calling 911.

New development in Baja, sort of. Cuatro Cuatros, which has been here for around 6 years, located on KM 89 in the free road, has just announced that they are finally starting to develop their hotel that will have 30 rooms, cabins, store, spa and a restaurant by the beach.

Cuatro Cuatros was announced as a huge country housing development that included a hotel which never really started and morphed into a glamping (glamour camping) site, with cool zip-lines, a restaurant and a bar with an unsurpassed view of the bay.

The local real estate boom has seen a couple of projects that had been halted resume their activities. Some of these are Pacifica and Viento in Ensenada and Las Palmas in Rosarito.

K-9 agents donated to Baja. The US embassy in Mexico has donated 9 dog agents to the state penitentiary system. These K9 agents are trained to detect drugs and firearms in the prison.

Baja was selected by the US embassy because they feel that the programs related to public security and the technology and infrastructure related to it are being well implemented.

Baja has around 11,500 interns in its penitentiary system, and has been known to collaborate with the US government on many occasions in order to capture international fugitives.

The state government was heavily criticized a few years back because they were selling parts of two Blackhawk helicopters donated by the US government, claiming that they were “too expensive to maintain.” Let’s just hope we don’t find these dogs at the local pet store because they eat expensive kibble!

New solar farm in Baja. IEnova, a subsidiary of Sempra Energy, announced that they will develop the first solar farm energy project in Baja California. The project, located in the Laguna Salada in Mexicali, will produce 41 megawatts that will be used only for the Baja region, not exported like their nearby wind-generated energy project in the Juarez Sierra.

The energy reform, passed last year, allows for private companies to sell energy to the state-owned CFE that supplies electricity to all of Mexico.

SWAT is coming back to Rosarito. Not the special forces team bunky, we are talking about the American tour operator that brought us all those spring breakers this year.

The company stated that they were happy with the result of their tours this year and that even though they did hear about violence and crime around town, they don’t think Americans are being targeted.

They are promising to bring two-times the number of spring breakers next year. Maaan that would be like Rosarito 12 years ago. Let’s light a candle, even though I know most of us actually dislike all the noise and behavior of spring breakers, they are the ones that start transmitting to other people the confidence to come visit Baja.

Author: Oliver Quintero

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