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Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Spring Break-up: San Felipe's Loss is Palm Spring's Gain

This article is telling, as we fear the reasoning behind the decision more than we fear the onslaught of the youth invasion, even though it would provide the much needed shot in the arm for San felipe. Mexico Living's web site & blog, and talk around town has centered on the question of are we safe in Mexico...I believe the resounding answer has been yes...yet the media continues its relentless campaign based on the herd mentality...read it and grieve. Also see this response from Mexico

Spring Break-up: San Felipe's Loss is Palm Spring's Gain
March 10, 2009
Patricia Marroquin--HispanicBusiness.com

Citing growing crime in Mexico, a major West Coast travel company has canceled its student trips to Baja California for the upcoming spring break. Costa Mesa, Calif.-based Summer Winter Action Tours (SWAT) has substituted the south-of-the-border destination of San Felipe with a new one: Palm Springs.

For more than a year, the U.S. State Department has had a travel alert in effect tied to escalating drug cartel-related crime in northern Mexico. The alert was renewed on Feb. 20. And last week, the Los Angele's office of the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms urged students not to travel to northern Baja California over the break.

On its Web site, the travel company said it had been "bombarded the last few weeks with a barrage of negative media reports about the travel alerts in Mexico." Even though it said "San Felipe is one of the safest destinations in all of Baja California and Mexico," SWAT made the decision Friday to alter the plans because of increasing safety concerns expressed by its customers and their families.

Thousands of students from 50 colleges had planned to go on air and luxury bus trips to San Felipe, which is on the east coast of Baja California. Now they'll head to the California desert resort of Palm Springs, whose tourism industry has been dealt a blow by the recession.

Palm Springs was a spring break hot spot in the 1980s, but then-Mayor Sonny Bono cracked down on the public nudity and parties fueled by alcohol consumption. Bono's successor, Lloyd Marynov, instituted an ordinance in 1991 that closed Palm Canyon Drive, the city's main thoroughfare, to partying.

But now the spring breakers will be back. Keith McCormick, chairman of Palm Springs' Business Improvement District, told the Desert Sun newspaper: "I think this would be the shot in the arm that we need, badly."