61 F
Tuesday, January 18, 2022

Hotels lobby for hotel-zone convention center

Latest headlines

Omicron strain now dominant in Yucatán

The Omicron variant of COVID-19 now appears to be the most common form of the virus in Yucatán.

Exploring Tazumal and Casa Blanca in Western El Salvador

Though part of the Mayan world, archaeological sites in El Salvador have largely remained unvisited by all but the most avid adventurers. But this tiny country boasts several interesting sites full of unique features and blends of cultural traditions. 

Mérida slated to build nearly 100 new highrise towers

Housing and business developments in Mérida have historically been fairly “close to the ground,” but that seems to be changing.

Yucatán’s COVID hospitalizations begin to creep up

Over 3,000 new coronavirus infections were reported this week in Yucatán. On Sunday alone, 652 new cases were detected, and that's likely...
Yucatán Magazine
Sign up to get our top headlines delivered to your inbox twice a week.

Land behind the Hyatt and Holiday Inn in Merida's Hotel Zone: A new convention center site? Photo: Google Street View
Land behind the Hyatt and Holiday Inn in Merida’s Hotel Zone: A new convention center site? Photo: Google Street View

Conferences at Siglo XXI are not convenient to guests in Merida's Hotel Zone.
Conferences at Siglo XXI are not convenient to guests in Merida’s Hotel Zone.

As part of the group that promotes the Historic Center, Carol Kolozs Fischer, vice president of Tourism for the local Chamber of Commerce, urges the state to build a convention center in the city center.

Today, downtown hotel guests have to shuttle north to the Siglo XXI, nearly 7 km from the Hotel Zone, and slightly farther for guests of Rosas y Xocolate, Kolozs Fischer’s hotel-spa-restaurant. Siglo XXI, a 898,800-square foot facility built in 1997, is served by some distinctly unromantic hotels that are closer, principally the 125-room Holiday Inn Express. But despite the Gran Museo del Mundo Maya and Galerias mall, the Siglo XXI is hardly in a tourist destination.

About $400 million in federal funds are available for tourism infrastructure in the Historic Center of Merida and in his opinion the government must act quickly to develop the project, he told Diario de Yucatán, which the day before published a similar article quoting Hyatt manager Richard Westell.

The convention market, already significant, is poised to attract even more and larger events whose organizers have a strong preference for accommodations to be adjacent to conference space. Shuttling guests is not only inconvenient, but it adds significantly to each convention’s costs.

“I believe that 35 percent or 40 percent of Merida tourism is conventions, meetings and conferences,” said Kolozs Fischer. “We have tremendous potential, so you have to bet and invest. The new enclosure must be downtown.”

Aside from convenience, bringing the convention trade from its present nondescript locale to the historical downtown would also be more appealing to international visitors.

“We have an attractive historic center and Paseo de Montejo invites walking,” said Kolozs Fischer, citing the museums, the planned train station and the park that’s proposed at La Plancha.

A meeting between entrepreneurs and the secretary general of the government, Victor Caballero Duran, had everyone in agreement that the project would attract more tourists. The meeting, held at the Pasaje Picheta on the Plaza Grande, did not settle on an exact location for a new convention center, but Kolozs Ficher said former parking lot behind the Hyatt and Holiday Inn hotels that would be ideal. Another location, identified by local newspapers, was a vacated property a block away on Calle 62, at Avenida Colon.

- Advertisement -

Subscribe Now!

More articles

Yucatán wakes up to a cold and windy ‘Mukul’

Mark Callum, a Mérida resident originally from England, helped this Chevy's owner move a huge branch behind the Paseo de Montejo...

Mérida Fest to go forward despite COVID-19 surge

The Ayuntamiento has confirmed that in-person events scheduled for Mérida Fest 2022 will continue as planned.

Building in Yucatán to get even more expensive in 2022

Over the past several years, construction costs in Yucatán have risen sharply and all signs point to even higher prices in 2022..

Yucatán’s top 8 street junk food favorites

Walking through virtually any city or town in Yucatán a wide range of food vendors can be seen peddling goodies out of push carts, mobile stands, food trucks, and just about every other configuration you can think of.

Mexico prepares to begin human trials of its Patria COVID-19 vaccine

Federal health authorities are calling on adult volunteers to take part in human trials for Mexico's Patria COVID-19 vaccine. 

Yucatán back to tougher restrictions as COVID continues to skyrocket

Yucatán state health department numbers show a dramatic change in coronavirus data. Yucatán recorded 459 new coronavirus...

The new Mayan Train director says the project is 7 months behind schedule

Javier May Rodríguez, the Mayan Train’s recently appointed director, says the rail project is seven months behind schedule.

Citigroup to sell off Banamex, owner of historic Casa de Montejo 

Multinational investment bank Citigroup has announced that it will sell off Banamex.

Carlos de la Barrera — international experience and local expertise

Architect Carlos de la Barrera is well known in Mérida for projects that blur the line between interior and exterior and challenge established ways of doing things locally. 

Yucatan governor predicts an end to the ‘green’ light

By Thursday, Yucatán's easy-going restrictions under the "green" light will be no more, Gov. Mauricio Vila Dosal predicts.