Dear Editor

Puerto Vallarta maintains its banana republic image at its international airport. The first indicator of this continues to be the gauntlet of time-share hacks accosting every visitor at the arrivals door. A simple fix would be to not allow them to do their peddling on the property. After fighting through this melee, the visitor quickly encounters the second sign when he has to relinquish his convenient international-style baggage cart to the porters for reloading of his bags onto their carts for the final 50 foot push to the exit doors.
The visitor is then immediately confronted with the third banana placard–the airport taxi booth. Rather than being able to catch the first city cab in the line (Puerto Vallarta is excellently served by modern, well-priced taxis), he is forced to pay double for an ‘airport’ taxi. All of the above begs the question of whether there might be enhanced income for some officials while doing the city a disservice.
Then, also worthy of mention is the new parking lot fiasco. There is now room for enough tourist buses to serve most of central America, while the automobiles are pushed to the extremity–and that’s the good news. The payment, which for years was adequately handled by one girl in the ticket booth, is now managed by the two guards who hide behind the black glass at the new booth–who send us back to the terminal to pay at one of the two machines, each of which which usually has another guard standing by to show us how to use it. Somehow the four-for-one upgrade plus automation is difficult to understand. The writer, a ten year PV resident, has observed many welcome improvements to the city’s amenities. It has become a cosmopolitan community to be proud of, but for the entry port. The upgraded modern facility needs management equal to its physical attractiveness.
Truly,
Glenn Walsh

2 comments

  1. This entry into our beautiful city gives off a very bad impression to new visitors and is the only place in Vallarta where you did not experience the warmth of its locals. Would like to see this revamped. After 20 yrs we know how to navigate the aggressive people trying to sell a time share but those who don’t get a negative first impression.

  2. Anyone who has traveled to Puerto Vallarta over 30 years ago with the early primitive airport and dirt roads from the airport to the hotels and the Malecon, might think more about the new additions to the PV airport, and the roads leading to town.

    I remember flying to PV then from San Francisco upon Mexicana Airlines, indirectly via Mexico City with 6 hour layover, and landing on the PV Airport tarp and walking over to the terminal. Then there was the ride by taxi on the worst awful road full of muddy puddles to our hotel.

    One had the same bad ride back to the airport when leaving, and before boarding your airplane when they opened the terminal doors, running out to the plane for a seat because they were not pre assigned, and often there were more tickets sold than there were seats.

    Then back at the hotel, you were warned not to drink the water from the faucets, which often ran brown. And when shopping at the markets for food, the vegetables and fruits , etc., looked like that thrown in the garbage back home. Consequently we brought a separate big suitcase full of food for three weeks of cooking,with us from home for the longest time until the food in PV looked safe to eat.

    The timeshare salesmen were sometimes a good thing. Most all the boat and car trips we have taken were paid for by gifts provided us for taking time share presentations. They also included dinners to some great restaurants. However today, with so many new hotels being built, there are so many timeshare salespersons, that they have become quite a problem staying away from them.

    And, many a time when you signed up for a trip, it included a stop at a hotel for a timeshare presentation, or the taxi took you to a restaurant that offered him a kickback, even when you had asked to be taken to another restaurant .

    So overall, today in Puerto Vallarta, is not so bad when one considers to old days.

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