Rosarito’s New Convention Center will boost local economy
Former Rosarito mayor Hugo Torres had a twinkle in his eye and a smile on his face when he talked about the Baja California Center, Rosarito’s new convention center. This is the large, modernistic building you see as you head north on the toll road. Set on a low hill overlooking the ocean, the structure is designed to represent the terrain and rolling waves of the nearby Pacific that frame the facility. The governor of Baja California (Osuna Millán), politicians, and local dignitaries will attend the grand opening, and ribbon cutting ceremony on April 23. Although it has not been confirmed, there is talk that the president of Mexico, Enrique Peña Nieto, may make an appearance.
According to Torres, the new center “will offer a diversification for tourists. Not only will the tourists have the sun, the beach, swimming pools, and so forth – there will now be another reason to come to Baja.”
He said that Tijuana hotel owners and businessmen requested such a center more than 30 years ago. The governor finally determined that it was going to happen. The state government then created the design and the blueprints. They kept in mind that they wanted a convention center that would be as diverse as the people it serves. The first event will be the ‘Narration Ceremony’ for the National Olympics. It is expected to attract 5,000 people. The former mayor and owner of the Rosarito Beach Hotel, Torres said that boxing matches, an international Amway convention and a variety of concerts are in the offing for the new facility.
Torres noted that, “The convention center will boost the local Rosarito economy, as well as bring the city to the forefront in Baja.”
The executive director of the center, Jair Lopez, says the Baja California Center will seat 10,000 people. It will offer an exhibition area of 100,000 sq ft, and will have an additional 20,000 sq ft of rooms, varying in size. The center will have parking for 754 cars, with an adjoining area that will allow for an overflow. However, except for concerts, boxing matches and similar events, most people are not likely to drive to the center. There will be buses and shuttle buses available to transport convention guests to and from the center. Buses will also be available to transport guests to San Diego and to airports.
According to Torres, “convention scouts” are expected to attend the opening of the center. The group of 55-60 scouts, mostly from Mexico with some from the United States, will officially visit the area on April 24-25 in order to visit numerous hotels in the region, as well as the convention center. According to Torres, the scouts will provide a strong impetus for future bookings given that they will accrue firsthand knowledge of the area and the services available. This information will be passed on to convention planners in Mexico and internationally.
The Baja California Center, once a dream, is becoming a reality. The building, costing approximately $600,000,000 pesos ($50 million), will offer new roads for entrance and exit. It will also provide state-of-the-art technology, and bring entertainment to Baja unlike any before available. And, perhaps most important, the Baja California Center will attract thousands and thousands of visitors to Rosarito, who will hopefully help the local economy flourish.
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