Puerto Vallarta, Mexico - Convened by a direct invitation from municipal officials, downtown area residents, merchants and businesses owners met with Mayor Salvador Gonzalez Resendiz to discuss the renovation of the Malecón in the city's historical center.
Representatives of clubs, restaurants and jewelry stores who pay high rents for their Malecón locations strongly supported the plan. However, discussions on how to enliven Calle Morelos, which runs parallel to the Malecón, are still pending.
Although it was not specified when the Malecón renovations might start, it was discussed that the construction period would be between two to four months, or an estimated 100 days.
Employers whose sales would be affected by the closing of the street during the four months of work have been offered some support. However, it was not specified exactly what kind of support, whether it would be a Fojal credit or other stimulus.
At the end of the meeting, entrepreneurs, mostly restaurateurs, disclosed that the main question was whether the street be closed to vehicular traffic or not. They were pleased to know that this would not be so. The Mayor stated that, at this time, they are still planning to retain the existing two lanes of vehicle traffic.
Although most said they were satisfied with the city's plans to renovate the Malecón, many felt that it was necessary to make certain adjustments and clearer commitments - especially on the issue of closing the street to vehicular traffic. These entrepreneurs offered to conduct weekly meetings to assess the progress of the work.
Comments from Area Merchants
"I think the project is fantastic and hopefully will be better. We have a jewelry store, the important thing is not going to close the street, only about two months, and that only work that is required is one."
- Entrepreneur jeweler
"The meeting was very positive, very pretty, looks like the government is doing something important and well planned. We will have meetings every Monday to see progress of the work."
- Paulo, La Dolce Vita
"It's an interesting proposal. The pier itself needs restructuring, and hopefully this project will have the support of federal and state government to assist companies in paying employees, rent and everything else that they did not tell us when the street was closed."
- Victor Martinez, Bubba Gump
"I think the project has yet to define some things. We are tenants of Pier Plaza, selling handicrafts, and in the case of the Plaza de los Pescadores we want a commitment from the authorities regarding street vending permits. This is a good project."
- Carlos, Plaza Malecón
"It's the second meeting, and even though people are skeptical, it is clear that something has to happen on the boardwalk."
- Sergio Orozco, Punto V
"I think it was a very purposeful meeting. The will improve Vallarta, but it must do so as soon as possible. In general, I think we are satisfied. Yes we asked for support, and though nothing was signed, we will look for ways to support businesses that require it."
- Raul Serna