Sunday, April 20, 2014

Semana Sante in Loreto Bay

Semana Sante, or Holy Week, is one of the biggest Holidays on the calendar here in Mexico, and as I begin to write this on Good Friday here in Loreto Bay that fact is apparent from the absence of almost all of the maintenance and construction workforce that would normally be here, but are now on holidays for this long weekend.  In the town of Loreto, Government Offices and many businesses including Banks are  closed for the 3 - 5 day weekend as well.  On the other hand, the Hotel here in Loreto Bay is busier this weekend than any other time since Christmas with mainly Mexican guests, and there are also a number of local Loreto families who have come to Loreto Bay just to enjoy a day at the Beach.   

Coincidentally, this weekend also marks the approximate beginning of the exodus of the "snowbird" residents, some of whom have started to leave Loreto to return to their summer homes back north and so there is an air of preparation for their departure in the community.  This can be seen as some people who drive back and forth are loading their vehicles for the drive north, while others store their cars for the summer months and catch flights departing from Loreto or Cabo.

The topics of some casual conversations have changed as well.  Earlier in the Season it was common to hear people meeting each other on the street asking "When did you arrive?", while now more often the question is "When are you leaving?"  There are of course many others who have arrived more recently and are staying longer, or who come and go several times throughout the year and operate on a different schedule.  But the trend is clear, and it will continue over the next month or so as this Season begins to wind down and the Summer Season begins.

As someone who stays here longer than most, this transition time leaves me with several impressions.  First of all, I am struck by the fact that the weather here at this time of year is about the best it has been since I returned here in the Fall - mainly calm sunny days and mild evenings that are even more enjoyable since we have "sprung forward" only a couple of weeks ago, joining the rest of North America on Daylight Saving Time, with the extended hour of late afternoon/early evening. 

The warmer weather also brings with it milder water temperatures and a resulting increase in water sports like snorkeling and paddle boarding, along with other water related activities like fishing.  I have heard recent reports of prized Dorados being caught along with more people chartering for fishing trips as the warmer waters attract the summer species of sport fish to the Marine Park surrounding Loreto.

While some of the winter residents prepare to leave, another segment of the population is becoming more
and more noticeable, and that is the Visitors whose numbers have increased significantly this Season, due in large part to the increased availability of flights to Loreto this winter, as compared to the past several years.  This influx of people renting Loreto Bay homes has been one of the biggest changes this Season, made more obvious now as Homeowners who have been here for months begin to leave.  This has also brought about a shift in the ages of the people who we see in Loreto Bay - from a mainly retired early Baby Boomer demographic, to a much more diverse range including young families with pre-school kids and younger "Boomers", many of whom are scouting possible future retirement options.    

In my Real Estate work I have met many more such people this Season than in previous years, and I continue to enjoy the almost unanimous enthusiasm they express about having "found" such a unique and beautiful destination.  These positive impressions are due in part to the fact that our Community has never looked better than it does now that many of the infrastructure features have been completed in the past couple of years.  This was a result of the Home Owners Association's initiatives to complete landscaping and build additional Community Pools and generally improve the overall appearance of Loreto Bay.

There are also other signs of progress that help to create the positive impressions that many first time Visitors have, like the progress on the two Posada buildings at the center of the Founders Neighborhood (as described in a recent Guest Blog by Nellie Hutchison the Broker/Owner of Loreto Bay Homes: ) and the continuing work on a growing number of Custom Homes that are now being completed.  On a smaller scale, but in greater numbers, there is also the continuing work being done to maintain and/or renovate existing homes, with cosmetic plaster repairs and fresh paint as well as bigger projects like tiling terraces and adding other custom features. 

Importantly, there have also been some homes that have been in "limbo" for a number of years, that have been purchased by new Owners who are making the necessary improvements to turn what were vacant, and in some cases deteriorating homes, into beautiful assets that add to the overall positive impressions of Loreto Bay.  With this transition, new ownership brings enthusiastic and committed people into our Community - whose influence and energy will continue to build on the positive atmosphere that has been one of the most important attributes we have had since the uncertain days that followed the sea change that affected most Real Estate developments like this four or five years ago.

And so, as one Season draws to a close as yet another begins, and the growing population of winter Residents begin to take their leave of their Loreto homes, while more and more Visitors experience the appeals of this special place for the first time.  This change of Season is a good moment to take stock of how far we have come, and how bright a future we will enjoy, as we continue the adventure that is . . .  "Living Loreto"!