Sunday, September 12, 2010

Costa Rica Bailouts: Arenal Hotels in La Fortuna...

Live SimpleDon't even get me started on bailouts. I did not think my Costa Rican Travel blog would take me here but apparently it has. Just last week hotel owners in La Fortuna area (I will not mention Hotel names I would rather not get in a fist fight next time Im in the Arenal area) went to the government asking for bailout money to payback their loans. I thought this was hilarious and if the Costa Rican government thinks for a second to bail these hotels out I think its ridiculous. Not only because I've seen a few of these owners hanging out in the Disco and scooting around in their Jetskis on weekends (I can say this about some of the hotel owners not all)  but we are talking about hotels people. These are big business's but my gosh they are not that big where the government and tax payers money needs to step in. There are also some simple living hotel owners I'm sure that just decided to take a gamble and they lost and thats life. But others just dont want to let go of the lifestyle of luxury they have started living.

It turns out that a number of hotels in Arenal got GREEDY. There is no other way to put it. Things were going good and they wanted more. What happened is they over extended themselves, started living lifestyles they shouldnt, and got dealt a bad card (which the whole world gets everyonce in awhile).  Do I feel bad for them? Honestly? Yes,  I do. It sucks to lose money. I dont want to throw my sob story out there but I lost all my money in my first business which I did very well for myself and what had to happen as a result of losing it all: A LIFESTYLE CHANGE!

I feel like the Dali Llama's next book should be the secret to the recovery of a world recession which apparently nobody is getting it: A LIFESTYEL CHANGE! The USA didnt get it because they went ahead and bailed most of those companies out that showed up in their private jets to ask for their bailout money. Its funny from what I heard the hotel owners in La Fortuna are still driving around in their fancy SUV's which is no private jet but you get the picture.

Drawing sessionEven after President Obama fired the CEO Wagoner of GM he still made out with millions. Thats what bailouts are. Put government money where it should be and not in the haImage by Jean-Sien Kin via Flickrnds of risk takers that have lost. Put the money into education, healthcare (we are going to need the money in healthcare with all the new fast food chains in Costa Rica in about 15 years, 29 new fast food chains in 2010), and whatever else you want but paying a hotel so a tourist can enjoy their hot-tub and massage and not paying a school so kids can not be crowded in a classroom and learn under adequate conditions is just craziness (keep inmind the tourist in hot tubs is what pays my bills so  I want the best for them but lets think level headed on this).  

Somebody asked me if the banks take the hotels what are they going to do with it. Our reservations office just spent 3 days last week trying to find space in Fortuna for two different groups next March and April. This is a good indication that things will be improving next year an estimated 2 million or more tourist will be arriving in Costa Rica. My advice for the bank would be to flip it or even better work something out with INA where they operate the hotel (the government educates locals in tourism) and they pay back the loan. Just a thought.

As for the hotel owners, shit happens and sometimes you have to walk right through it before you smell it. Maybe its time for a little lifestyle change in La Fortuna. There is a freakin Burger King in La Fortuna you cant tell me you didnt see this coming. If you have thoughts on this we would love to hear?

The gap between rich and poor in Costa Rica is spreading FAST. I dont want to talk negative but I do feel there needs to be some voices. Just drive through San Jose: Its RICH or POOR for now where in years to come it could be SUPER RICH or SUPER POOR. Again, I feel bad for these hotel owners but I dont think bailouts for society as a whole is going to fix the big picture which is learning a lesson and living a little bit more simply. Let me be clear. If you have the money and you want to live it up a little its fine. But understand if you dont have the money it is also fine to not have to live it up. I just feel if people gamble and they lose they lose. Thats why you shouldnt gamble with money that isnt yours.

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