Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Mum no more

The news coming out of Loreto Bay this past month has been depressing, disheartening and downright scary. But no matter what life throws at us, there's always a spark of hope. And that we do have.

First came the news that Citigroup - that bastion of fiscal mismanagement and greed -decided to bail on the project, leaving home owners, contractors and workers scrambling to salvage the dream of Loreto Bay. While Citigroup reaps billions in federal bailout monies (along with many, many other financial institutions), those with a personal investment in Loreto Bay are left to pick up the pieces.

But the damage goes much farther than those with a personal stake in the project. The town of Loreto has been damaged by Citigroup's failure to live up to its promises. Businesses in Loreto are suffering. Some businesses haven't been paid for work done on the project. Locals who worked in Loreto Bay lost their jobs with little hope of finding new employment. Who will frequent the restaurants and shops? How many of these small businesses will have to close because of Citigroup's decision to bail?

It's difficult to describe all the ramifications that are possible with this turn of events. The multi-million dollar Troon golf course - one of the centerpieces of the project - may be reclaimed by the desert due to Citigroup's decision. The Inn at Loreto Bay is now empty, the pool drained and the property fenced. Thanks Citigroup. Flesh and blood people worked there. Where are they now? Summarily discarded, tossed aside like yesterday's garbage.

The town of Loreto will survive as it has for centuries. There is income from sport fishing and other recreational activities to keep the town alive. But this is still a terrible blow to the whole community.

There is a bright spot in all this. The Mexican government has gotten involved in finding a buyer for the development. The home owners of Loreto Bay have banded together - with the help of Beck International, the company overseeing construction -to make Loreto Bay a living, breathing reality. To finish the hundreds of homes that stand partially completed. But the fact remains that Citigroup and its arm, TSD Loreto, have dealt a devastating blow to many. And that should not go unnoticed or unmentioned.

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