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Getting On The Map

Cabo San Lucas Continues Its Development As Resort Destination Market

Wednesday, February 07, 2018
Steve Pike
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The landmark Arch of Cabo San Lucas that guards the entrance and exit to the harbor at Cabo San Luca, Mexico is one of the great natural wonders of the western hemisphere.

The three-story “El Arco de Cabo San Lucas" has for years welcomed and inspired generations of fishermen and tourists to the tip of Baja California, Mexico, and helped make Cabo San Lucas and its environs one of the top resort destinations in the world. Sea lions like it, and in the winter season, humpback whales seem to like it, too.

One of the people the arch inspired was Ernesto Coppel, Chairman of Pueblo Bonito Hotels & Resorts. Coppel came to Cabo San Lucas some 26 years ago with an idea to create resorts on what was at the time little more than sand and surf backdropped by a rocky, cactus-filled mountain and a lighthouse building that marked the point of demarcation between the Pacific Ocean and Sea of Cortez.

“That’s when Cabo San Lucas really started in the international tourism market," said Armando Garcia Martinez, director of operations for Pueblo Bonito Resorts in Los Cabos. “Pueblo Bonito has been part of that story."

Over the past 26 years in Los Cabos, Coppel, who co-founded the company in 1987, essentially created diverse resort destinations within one of the world's more popular resort destinations.

Coppel has built five resorts in Cabo in San Lucas--Pueblo Bonito Los Cabos; Pueblo Bonito Rose Resort & Spa; Pueblo Bonito Sunset Beach Golf & Spa Resort; Pueblo Bonito Pacifica Golf & Spa Resort; and Towers at Pacifica.

Opened in December 2016, the Towers at Pacifica is an all-inclusive property with only 47 guest rooms and 24-hour butler service. Each butler, by the way, is trained by the British Butler Institute.

Pueblo Bonito’s Cabo San Lucas portfolio also includes timeshares and luxury communities within the 2,000-acre Quivira Los Cabos property that holds the Sunset Beach, Pacifica and Towers at Pacifica hotels, as well as the Jack Nicklaus-designed Quivira Golf Club, generally regarded as one of the top courses in the world.

A St. Regis-flagged hotel is scheduled to open within the next three years inside Quivira Los Cabos, and a second Nicklaus-designed golf course is on the drawing boards to open in 2019.

But Pueblo Bonito’s properties in Cabo San Lucas are about more than golf, the Pacific Ocean, luxury living and butler service. As a company, Pueblo Bonito Hotels & Resorts employs approximately 15 percent of the workforce in the Cabo San Lucas area.

“That’s a big number considering there are almost 200 hotels in the area," said Mizraim Corpus Espinoza, general manager at Towers at Pacifica, which opened in 2016. “Our goal is to treat every co-worker with respect. As a company, if we treat our employees with respect, they will do the same to our guests."
As a major player in developing Cabo San Lucas, Martinez said, “We want to help the town focus on being a great destination."

The best way to do that, he said, is to focus on Pueblo Bonito employees. “Pueblo Bonito is all about its employees," Martinez said.

For example, the company has a development center for its employees and family members that features schooling and health-related programs. Martinez said each employee—called a “co-worker’’ within Pueblo Bonito—is entitled to meals and transportation. Pueblo Bonito even has on-site psychologists for its hotel employees.

The philanthropic Letty Coppel Foundation focuses on creating settings that increase the quality of life both within and outside of the company, for its employees as well as for citizens of Cabo San Lucas.

“The way we have been educated by our ownership is to get involved. In Cabo San Lucas, we clean the graffiti; we clean the streets. We visit with people who are less fortunate than we are."

Just as “El Arco de Cabo San Lucas" has been there for hundreds of years, “We want the people in Cabo San Lucas to know we are there for them," Espinoza said.

Steve Pike
Hotel Interactive® Editorial Division

Bio: Steve Pike is an award-winning golf writer and author who helped define golf business reporting in the early 1990s as the first Golf Business Editor for Golfweek magazine and later at Golf World and Golf Shop Operations magazines for Golf Digest. Pike further pioneered this genre at the PGA of America and Time Warner as the golf business writer and editor for PGA.com. He started in newspapers more than ...
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