PUERTO VALLARTA, Mexico -- If you didn't know a hurricane hit
Puerto Vallarta last fall, you wouldn't guess it today.
The damage from Hurricane Kenna has been cleaned up, and the
city is forging ahead with plans to make itself even more
A replica has been constructed of Los Arcos, the historic arches
on the waterfront and a symbol of the city, which was swept away by
the hurricane's high waters.
The sculpture "In Search of Reason" was damaged but has been
restored by artist Sergio Bustamente, and the cast-bronze sculpture
"Rotunda del Mar," upturned by the hurricane, soon will be
Amazingly, not a single palm tree was lost in the town, according
to tourism officials.
Among the hotels that needed sprucing up following the storm is
the Premiere Hotel & Spa, a stylish property at the northern
end of the town center.
The main floor's public areas had to be partially redecorated,
according to Pilar Vazquez, general manager. The result is
impressive, with fresh, contemporary Mexican artwork gracing the
For Puerto Vallarta today, the focus is on new attractions,
including an extension of the waterfront walkway, the Malecon.
A new pedestrian bridge across the Cuale River, part of the
walkway extension, means clients can stroll from the town center to
Los Muertos beach, another popular tourist area.
Also new is the downtown Cuale Cultural Center, which opened in
March on an island in the middle of the river. The theater stages
performances by drama and music groups, and the adjoining open-air
plaza hosts dance performances. A flea market will be held each
weekend during high season.
On the nightlife scene, clients now can enjoy Hilo, a nightclub
that opened its doors early this year on the Malecon.
And clients interested in holistic treatments soon will be able
to spend a night or two at Terra Noble, a Shanti healing center
offering massage, facials and body treatments.
The facility plans to construct clay "huts" to be used for
over-night stays; the first two are to be ready by year's end.
Puerto Vallarta also may add an event to its busy year-round
schedule: the International Film Festival of Puerto Vallarta.
Plans are under way, and local officials have gotten Angelica
Huston and Danny Huston involved in the discussions.
The Hustons are the actor/director offspring of the late
filmmaker John Huston, who helped bring Puerto Vallarta to
prominence in 1964 with the film "The Night of the Iguana." No date
has been set for the event.
For more information about Puerto Vallarta, call the Convention
and Visitors Bureau at (888) 384-6822 or visit www.visitpuertovallarta.com.
• Keep up with Puerto Vallarta. Before meetings with clients,
check some local Web sites to find out the latest happenings.
• Know your clients. Hotels are in several distinct zones. Send
clients interested in elegant, all-inclusive hotels or resorts to
beachfront properties; send clients who like to be in the middle of
it all to downtown hotels.
• Suggest tacking on Guadalajara, a short flight away but a very