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Hotel Association: 62 Hotels on the Ropes

By: Staff | Real Acapulco News - 07 June, 2011

(Acapulco, NA 7 June) The president of Acapulco’s association of hotels and motels, Javier Saldívar, warns that according to his association’s information, as many as 62 hotels in Acapulco are at risk of closure or repossession. As many as 12 may be converted to condominiums by their creditors. The reasons are unpaid bills, uncollectable payables, back taxes and fees, and debts to employees. All of these problems arise from the precipitous drop-off in tourism since 2007.

One executive said that the trend really began as early as 1994, and only now is beginning to claim its victims. “Villa Vera was the first,” he said. Association President Saldívar agreed. He said, “The situation has become critical, but it is nothing sudden. The problem of unpaid bills has been with us for a very long time.” Then he showed a little optimism: “There is some investment in the traditional zone, though. I feel it is the time for the authorities to create a trust to help rehabilitate and rebuild these great and historical centers of hospitality. Today many hotels are closed or for sale.”

The condo-hotel phenomenon is especially worrisome to the members of the hotel association. It represents the change from a tourist economy to a beachside bedroom community economy, in which there may be 100,000 living units, but only 5% of them occupied at any time, and by people who do not come to Acapulco for tourism.

Rodrigo Ramírez Justo, general secretary of a local labor union for hotel workers, revealed that the closure of the Villa Vera was essentially caused by cancellations of reservations from the United States, as would-be vacationers were frightened away from Acapulco by the news reports of violence and the State Department travel advisory. “The market for the hotel was 100% American,” he said.

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