This past week has been an active one for the owner/members out in Punta Mita, the gated residential community situated at the far end of the bay about 45 minutes from Vallarta’s airport. For lack of a better term, its referred to as “HOA Week”, as this is when meetings take place for the Master Homeowner’s Association, along with the HOA meetings for many of the sub-developments within Punta Mita. All week long there are special events and cocktail parties. Last night it was the gala dinner for the Punta de Mita Foundation, held at the St. Regis’ Caroline restaurant. It was an amazing event, with people dressed to the 10s – something you don’t often see in this laid-back environment. Do they actually have these clothes in their Punta Mita closets?
At this particular event it was announced that the Foundation was very close to reaching its target goal to fund refurbishing the sports facilities located in Punta de Mita (actually “El Nuevo Corral del Risco”, but that’s a mouthful). The last $27,000 needed was raised during the evening ($45,000 to be exact), meaning this project will now move forward.
Attending many of the events over the week, it was quite obvious that no one was concerned about security, or buying in to how Mexico is being portrayed in the media in the USA and Canada. It was a concern when they first started arriving in November last year, the snowbirds who arrive then and leave again sometime in April or May. And that made sense; they’d been listening to mainstream media’s take on the situation for the past six months. But once they arrived back in Vallarta, they realized the violence they had been reading about was not taking place near their neighborhood, town, and in some cases, not even in their state.
I think the truth, sensibility and rationality is starting to emerge. Its becoming old news, at least for those who are here, experiencing Mexico. They can witness firsthand what the actual situation truly is, rather than buying in to the unjust portrayal of life in this country. People are realizing that there are not chopped off heads regularly rolling down the streets of their town, or people being shot at and killed. And if it is happening, it certainly doesn’t involve anyone they know, or taking place at any place they frequent. The truth is most of the violence is happening between the drug cartels themselves.
There is violence, unfortunately, everywhere. Many of us come from communities which have neighborhoods where you just don’t go, no matter what time of the day. You are asking for trouble if you do so. Well, its the same in Mexico – there are places you are best not to go to, especially at 3:00 in the morning.
Back to Punta Mita, this development has managed to avoid what has happened to many large gated communities back in the USA, in places like Florida, Arizona, Vegas and California. DINE, the developer, has managed to not only maintain the development well, but actually continued to add amenities, such as finishing a second 18-hole golf course, a member’s gymnasium, new tennis club, and a wonderful new addition (adults-area bar) to the resident’s beach club.
Currently there are only about 250 owners in Punta Mita, out of an eventual 1,000. But it hasn’t stopped the developer from providing most of what was initially promised, and certainly hasn’t stopped them from maintaining it extremely well.
What I did hear from owners quite often this past week is they felt these are probably the best years to be in Punta Mita. There’s never a problem getting a golf tee time (you don’t even need one, you just show up), surf spots aren’t that crowded, the beach club is rarely overcrowded and the community is a comfortable enough size with 250 owners that you can really get to know nearly everyone. A lot of new friendships have been created and with this amount of people it allows for quite a lively and vibrant dinner party scene throughout the high season. And what about the construction? There used to be thousands of migrant workers here, huge trucks traveling up and down the highway and dust everywhere from the constant ongoing construction – that’s all gone.
This will pass, however. People will start to understand they’ve been hoodwinked by the media and will return to enjoy what Mexico has to offer; a great, affordable place to escape the winters of the north. Construction will start up once again. Until then, it will be hard on the local economy, the restaurants, realtors, shops and galleries. For those who are fortunate to be able to just enjoy Vallarta and Riviera Nayarit without having to work, enjoy it now before it gets busy again – these are great times to be in Vallarta and Riviera Nayarit!