February 2009

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The girls at the Sky Bar

Yesterday The Girls were getting restless so I suggested we go have a sunset cocktail at the marina at La Cruz de Huanacaxtle. That place really mystifies me. It’s gorgeous. But there’s never anyone there. There must be at least a 100 berths here, yet except for a few Ha-Ha boats, the docks are empty.

The idea was that all these glamorous yachties were going to come in with their big powerboats and stuff and so they opened up first-class restaurant and bar in a palapa-covered round building at the end of the marina but business is so slow that the outdoor Sky Bar, with its over-sized couches and chairs is basically shuttered for lack of customers (it does, however, make for a nice setting for a photo shoot).

The restaurant downstairs is almost as sad. Here we were, half an hour before sunset, in this gorgeous setting, and there were only four other customers in the place.

When I went up to the bar to place our order I talked with the marina manager, Christian Mancebo, who is a very nice guy. He admitted business was slow and blamed it on the $10 dinghy docking fee recently imposed on the marina. This is to prevent yachties from anchoring just outside the marina (and, thus, not paying for docking fees) and then bringing their dinghy in to take advantage of services like the showers, laundry, etc. The trouble is that these anchor-out boats had to pay $10 every time they brought their dinghy in. Which might add up to $40 or $50 a day. So a lot of them said Screw it, and moved on to Paradise Marina or Vallarta Marina.

And thus, the La Cruz marina—and its lovely restaurant—sits empty.

I think the marina owners need to think about an economic stimulus package (such as lowering dinghy fees to a few bucks a day). Unless they don’t mind losing a boatload of money.

I wish Señor Mancebo well. But I wouldn’t want his job. 

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