Looking at Dome's Beach from El Faro Park

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Season's Around the Corner....

I've been away from Blogspot for awhile, working on other projects, so here's a few updates...
The hurricane season has been very kind to PR, so far, Earl brought a lot of wind and our power was out for about 24 hours, but for the most part Rincon didn't suffer much damage.  I know a few people had their power out for quite awhile 4, 5 days in some cases and that is a concern as the storm wasn't a direct hit, what's gonna happen when we get one that hits us head on?  There were lots of palms down on Corcega Beach and lots more erosion on all the beaches, but that's what storms do.

Igor went north of the island, but brought some fantastic surf to Rincon and all of the west coast beaches.  I hadn't seen Tres Palmas break like everyone says it can, but Igor brought it out.  See the picture above.  Not a surfer, I was able to get some nice photographs though.  Hopefully this is just the start of a big surf season.

People are starting to trickle back into town, the "snowbirds" who move between the states and here, you can see it on the roads and restaurants and bars.  I know the economy is everyone's minds these days and things are no different here in Rincon.  I have seen some new construction, most notably a townhome project near the marina and what looks like an apartment building down the street from our house.  Like most vacation destinations, Rincon is struggling to draw the amount of tourists it had a few years ago and businesses who thought those times would last forever will fall by the wayside.

When we came here last year I was surprised at how many businesses were for rent in the plaza.  This past year we lost 2 more, West Coast Surf Shop and Ice Chill n Grill.  Superfoods, an organic market and deli a few miles away in the Pueblo may be closing or up for sale and The Spot, a restaurant in the marina has closed with a new owner hopefully taking over. 

On a good note, there is a new Thai restaurant opening in Puntas called Ode to the Elephants and Club Nautico, in the marina has been remodeled and has much improved food done by the people who own the Shipwreck. Surfrider has moved their offices above and Rincon Sailing has set up shop there as well. The Black Eagle Marina will benefit from these moves, in fact already has as Surfrider has focused on cleaning it up and planting new trees. (see video here)  But I would really like to see our town Plaza revived.  The renovations completed a few years ago are being wasted by a lack of use, especially during the evenings.  More restaurants, art galleries, live music and events in the plaza will help change the perception of the downtown area of Rincon, but we need business owners willing to set up shop and we need a government that will work to bring them here.

The Rip Curl Pro Search Surfing contest is coming to either Isabela or Aguadilla at the end of October and will bring great recognition to the west coast of Puerto Rico.  Rincon may have been able to draw on its own history, beaches and surf in the past, but to survive as a tourist destination this town need to ride on someone else's coattails for awhile, be it Aguadilla or Isabela and while we're at it, let's pair up and promote all 3 towns as a destination for surfers, beach goers and people seeking a Caribbean experience without a passport.  The Porta del Sol, is how the folks at the Puerto Rican Tourism Company is marketing this area of the island and that's great, but their marketing dollars are spread between the other areas of the island as well, I suggest a tourism organization centered on these towns that have similar offerings and cater to similar travelers.  Maybe a good idea, but like most things nothing that will get done unless someone leads the charge....