Hot on the trail of Krispy Kreme, two new businesses on the Peninsula will be familiar to American expats and visitors.
Adding to a growing list of hamburger outlets in Mérida, Elevation Burger on Saturday opened in San Ramon Norte. The fast casual restaurant chain originated in Falls Church, Va., and has franchises in over 50 locations, from Texas to Maine in the United States, and throughout Middle East. This is Elevation Burger’s first Latin American outpost; there are plans to open branches in Campeche and Quintana Roo.
On the menu are organic beef burgers, vegetarian/vegan burgers, and grilled cheese sandwiches. Fries are cooked in olive oil and meat comes from grass-fed, free-range cattle; it is ground in-house and cooked on steam griddles.
The Mérida restaurant seats 110 people including 25 on the terrace; a “drive-thru” window accommodates motorists on the run.
Hamburgers are a taste of home for expats. One Mérida expat blogger and his friends spent months in a quest to find a perfect burger, and they came up with mixed results.
Another familiar name is rising within walking distance to the Siglo XXI Convention Center. The Hampton Inn’s first peninsular hotel is readying for a grand opening in the second half of July.
Aimed at business travelers, the Hilton franchise is five stories tall and has 130 rooms, five of them suites. Employees scoured yesterday’s Biciruta along the Paseo de Montejo to promote the venture.
Hampton Inn will offer a free shuttle to and from the Manuel Crescencio Rejón International Airport. It’s also positioned to be close to the Jack Nicklaus Golf Academy and the Grand Mayan World Museum. A spa treatment room and 3,000-square-foot event space are also part of the hotel, features not necessarily expected in a Hampton Inn north of the border. Rooms are posted at 800 pesos nightly, including high-speed internet, breakfast, parking and transportation to a seven-km radius of the property.
Although the first on the peninsula, Hampton has 18 hotels throughout Mexico. Market studies indicate that the city has great potential in the business tourism segment, a spokesman told the media last April, justifying a reported 150-million-peso investment and the hiring of 50 employees.
Like Elevation Burger, the hotel will face lots of competition. There are already 89 hotels in Mérida in all price ranges. The Holiday Inn Express, City Express and Fiesta Inn also court convention business in the same neighborhood. Moreover, the Paseo de Montejo — where employees were handing out leaflets and flavored ice pops on Sunday — is home to several established hotels.