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Catalina

by Curly! @, Great Pacific Northwet, Sunday, December 01, 2019, 13:15 (222 days ago)

I’ve heard of sad happenings at the Catalina. Some of my favorite people got the axe? Is anyone there that can shed some light? Thanks in advance.

--
Curly!

Catalina

by Seamag51, Monday, December 02, 2019, 21:47 (221 days ago) @ Curly!

My husband and I are longtime Catalina folks and are currently here. It is true that many things of an unfortunate nature are currently happening. Good employees are being fired and the overall mood is one of gloom. They are bringing new and rather inexperienced people in to replace those that are being let go. There are some maintenance issues that are being ignored that are really affecting guests’ comfort. I don’t want to get more specific here but some fears that I’ve had for years about the Catalina’s survival might be playing out.

Catalina

by Oeste Hermoso @, Zihuatanejo, Tuesday, December 03, 2019, 05:06 (221 days ago) @ Seamag51

It has been for sale for years.

Catalina

by Gregorio M. @, Rocky Mountain House, Alberta, Wednesday, December 04, 2019, 00:16 (220 days ago) @ Seamag51

So very sad. The people who made the Catalina such a wonderful place being fired. Management must have lost their minds. I’m sure (I hope) they’ll regret their decisions.

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Catalina

by Timmac @, Steilacoom, WA, Wednesday, December 04, 2019, 07:58 (220 days ago) @ Curly!

My understanding is that Eva's son, Alejandro is now in charge. It appears he has fired many of the senior staff. This is very concerning. These folks were the heart and soul of Catalina. My wife and I regarded them as friends. While the Catalina itself is a marvelous spot to vacation, I worry that other changes he might make in the future would cause us to consider other winter vacation plans.

--
-Tim McNair-
timmac@mac.com

Catalina

by northbay @, Wednesday, December 04, 2019, 08:57 (220 days ago) @ Curly!

We arrived a few days ago. Guessing we have been here well over fifty times, we feel qualified to comment on the changes. Over the years, we have marveled that so many of the staff stayed on year after year. That seemed to us the very essence of the place. That makes the recent changes all the more incomprehensible. The old friends still here greeted us with unaccustomed warmth. The new hires seemed eager to prove themselves. Otherwise, things seem about the same. Except for the pervasive climate of gloom and uncertainty.

Catalina

by maggie, Wednesday, December 04, 2019, 09:32 (219 days ago) @ northbay

If the grey hair and the gasping valiantly up the stairs is any indication I can safely assume the majority of the clientele at the Catalina have been returning every year for decades :) ~~like the turtles~~
A few years ago Eva's health started failing and I too have been concerned for this lovely place and the people working there, many of whom have become friends~ some I have known since the Sotavento days. I was there recently and when I left I had a strong sense that this would be the last time. No Eva, no Catalina or certainly no Catalina like the hotel we all have grown to love over our lifetimes. A haven, a comfort when stressed, a place to go to heal and to celebrate or to just step off ordinary life, return to a simpler time. This place on La Ropa feels like a second home and Eva and all the wonderful people working there made it so.
Sad news indeed.

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Catalina

by Roberto!, Wednesday, December 04, 2019, 12:10 (219 days ago) @ maggie

Beautifully said Maggie which mirrors our feelings having spent 22 plus years at the Catalina.
Roberto!

Catalina

by JJK @, Wednesday, December 04, 2019, 22:34 (219 days ago) @ northbay

Is Hiliberto still working there? He is definitely one of those loyal employees mentioned, and made it feel like family there.
Even though we don’t stay there anymore( due to the stairs) we still try to stop by to visit.

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Catalina

by Timmac @, Steilacoom, WA, Thursday, December 05, 2019, 07:42 (219 days ago) @ JJK

I have heard that he is working at the beach restaurant at Sotavento. Xavier is the manager of a new hotel. It seems to be near Palza Kyoto. but I am not certain of it's exact location

Catalina

by JJK @, Thursday, December 05, 2019, 16:21 (218 days ago) @ Timmac

Thank you! We won’t be there until next summer, so I’ll try to find him there.

Catalina

by Cleo, Thursday, December 05, 2019, 23:32 (218 days ago) @ JJK

The employees at the Catalina have always made it the special place it was. We have been to the Catalina over 15 times but we cannot support an owner that would fire these good people. We knew it would come to an end at some point and it looks like this time has arrived. Thank you to Eva and all her wonderful employees that made the Catalina like coming home. I wish will all my heart that the person making these decisions would see the error of their ways.

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Catalina

by CountryDancer @, Vancouver, Washington, Saturday, December 07, 2019, 10:52 (216 days ago) @ Curly!

We have been here since Monday, will be going home Tuesday.
Celso is the only person I recognize from prior years. There are varying stories as to what's up with Xavier and with Eva

[sensitive personal information regarding Eva and Javier has been removed by ForumAdmin per request]

Her son is supposedly running the hotel from Berlin Germany.

As far as the hotel, maintenance is not up to par, we do see people doing maintenance, but in general it's not the Catalina that I've known.

1 thing specifically the stairs are not as well-lit as they used to be, most of the lights that used to be along the wall are missing.

The food is still very, very good and the pool of course it's wonderful. The restrooms in the restaurant area have been out of order since we arrived. there is a very large ant hill at the top of the stairs as you enter into the restaurant.

Our room as we arrived wasn't very clean, we had a couple of cockroaches visiting, and there's a massive number of ants behind a picture below the air conditioning and they've been very busy.

The area around the pool is sketchy, there are very sharp edges where concrete has broken away. ( this is at the surface outside of the pool.)

I don't know about last night, but Thursday night there was no sunset bar. If you made your way to the restaurant the waiter did make some drinks. The table next to us, wasn't happy with their drinks and one, quest returned her Tequila Sunrise, saying it was undrinkable.

I am fairly certain I will go back to Villa Mexicana next year.

--
~ ~ Country Dancer

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Catalina

by seattlejim, Sunday, December 22, 2019, 14:27 (201 days ago) @ CountryDancer

Just reading this update on the Catalina I am not surprised as I can imagine the operating costs to keep this up year-round as well the staff from what I was told (they keep the staff on year-round, which means in months when the place is next to being empty.) I love the Catalina for many reasons, charm, Eva, the staff, the grounds, and the great vibe. I have been a regular since the next door shut down in 2009/10 and yes its been up for sale for many years, they had a buyer a few yrs back but it didn’t work out. The property is overpriced based on what I saw and did some basic math, the added in how building gets done/permits, etc. in ZIH based on feedback from a few local restaurant owners and you upside down really fast.
I was asked in the past as to suggestions by them as to what they could do to help drive more revenue (was in the restaurant business for many yrs.) so I offered up some low-cost items. My suggestions involved marketing, improving the beach bar and restaurant process and ops (outsourcing that space or lease it to a new restaurant thus would drive more clients to the hotel) suggestions around filling up the hotel in off market periods. The food/bar there unfortunately is not very good compared to nearby establishments, in fact we rarely eat there and the bar is under leveraged (the don’t even ask their guests on the beach if they want a drink, etc. which they could 5x revenues with an active waiter), they could be pulling much more $$ in daily revenue from a multitude of sources all of which would not create a capital infrastructure cost.
We always stay up near Eva so the rooms are nice and clean, never had an issue there. I personally love the atmosphere there, it’s very old school, 50’s style and the lush green plants/forest are amazing (as it was next door prior to the new owners). The stairs are great, the pool is fine and the views are breathtaking as well the beach. The staff of course are all wonderful people, but things change and revenue is key. My hope is Eva’s son can stabilize this business as if not then you will see it get shut down, then everyone will be out of job and us regulars will have to find a new place when this one is irreplaceable. My biggest concern is this, there is a Global financial tsunami coming our way in the next 24 months, so I hope/pray they can get this together prior to when this hits..

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Catalina

by ZihuaRob ⌂ @, Zihuatanejo, México, Sunday, December 22, 2019, 15:57 (201 days ago) @ seattlejim

Just reading this update on the Catalina I am not surprised as I can imagine the operating costs to keep this up year-round as well the staff from what I was told (they keep the staff on year-round, which means in months when the place is next to being empty.) I love the Catalina for many reasons, charm, Eva, the staff, the grounds, and the great vibe. I have been a regular since the next door shut down in 2009/10 and yes its been up for sale for many years, they had a buyer a few yrs back but it didn’t work out. The property is overpriced based on what I saw and did some basic math, the added in how building gets done/permits, etc. in ZIH based on feedback from a few local restaurant owners and you upside down really fast.
I was asked in the past as to suggestions by them as to what they could do to help drive more revenue (was in the restaurant business for many yrs.) so I offered up some low-cost items. My suggestions involved marketing, improving the beach bar and restaurant process and ops (outsourcing that space or lease it to a new restaurant thus would drive more clients to the hotel) suggestions around filling up the hotel in off market periods. The food/bar there unfortunately is not very good compared to nearby establishments, in fact we rarely eat there and the bar is under leveraged (the don’t even ask their guests on the beach if they want a drink, etc. which they could 5x revenues with an active waiter), they could be pulling much more $$ in daily revenue from a multitude of sources all of which would not create a capital infrastructure cost.
We always stay up near Eva so the rooms are nice and clean, never had an issue there. I personally love the atmosphere there, it’s very old school, 50’s style and the lush green plants/forest are amazing (as it was next door prior to the new owners). The stairs are great, the pool is fine and the views are breathtaking as well the beach. The staff of course are all wonderful people, but things change and revenue is key. My hope is Eva’s son can stabilize this business as if not then you will see it get shut down, then everyone will be out of job and us regulars will have to find a new place when this one is irreplaceable. My biggest concern is this, there is a Global financial tsunami coming our way in the next 24 months, so I hope/pray they can get this together prior to when this hits..

I’m mostly in agreement with you, but I see the Catalina’s biggest threat from overbuilding and the too high-density goddam timeshares that have been allowed to operate at La Ropa. The overbuilding of condos is bad enough. I’ve seen this movie in other tourist destinations where I’ve lived and it never ends well for the local community, its culture or its flora and fauna.

"Florida can never really come to grips with saving the environment because a very large percentage of the population at any given time just got there. So why should they fight to turn the clock back? It looks great to them the way it is. Two years later, as they are beginning to feel uneasy, a few thousand more people are just discovering it all for the first time and wouldn't change a thing. And meanwhile the people who knew what it was like twenty years ago are an ever-dwindling minority, a voice too faint to be heard."
John D. MacDonald, "The Empty Copper Sea" (1978)

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Catalina

by Talley Ho @, Playa la Ropa, Sunday, December 22, 2019, 16:17 (201 days ago) @ ZihuaRob

:megusta:

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Catalina

by seattlejim, Sunday, December 22, 2019, 17:25 (201 days ago) @ ZihuaRob

Yes, I would love to keep ZIH in a capsule protected and rare, I love it so much. Eva is one of the last that represents old Zihuatanejo
I dreamed about buying her place and keeping it pretty much the same but I don’t think that’s in the cards
I’ve traveled enough to realize just how special that place is.
I pray for it to continue and that someone can help

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Catalina

by mosesk @, Ojai, CA, USA, Sunday, December 22, 2019, 19:01 (201 days ago) @ seattlejim
edited by mosesk, Sunday, December 22, 2019, 23:05

Yes, I would love to keep ZIH in a capsule protected and rare, I love it so much. Eva is one of the last that represents old Zihuatanejo
I dreamed about buying her place and keeping it pretty much the same but I don’t think that’s in the cards
I’ve traveled enough to realize just how special that place is.
I pray for it to continue and that someone can help

Admittedly I'm a major newbie and only been to Z a few times and only in the last 2-3 years.
But I know just a little bit of the history of the time when the Catalina housed the major "psychonauts" on the planet in that experiment in the early 60's.
I also know that the few times I have walked by the beach part of the Catalina I have seen very few people, very little activity to the point that I wondered if it was still functioning?
Are the steps down to the beach such an impediment to people actually getting down there?

Im case you are not familiar:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zihuatanejo_Project