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Las Vegas comes to Ajiijic, Lake Chapala

Officers of the Arizona-based Palacio Development Group were in the Chapala area this week to break ground in the construction of a full service “Las Vegas-style” hotel-casino complex projected for opening in one year.

The complex will be named Lake Chapala Hotel and Casino Resort and is located on eight hectares of land just to the east and slightly above Chula Vista Norte. It will be set in the heart of a fifty hectare spread called Tierra Salada, also now undergoing development as a residential subdivision.

It will be the first of its kind in Mexico and is costing approximately $40,000.00 dollars is designed to appeal to the high-en clientele from Guadalajara. The blueprints show a casino with 50,000 square feet of floor space to be outfitted with 3,000 slot machines and 24 gambling tables for blackjack, poker, roulette, craps and bingo (bingo?) plus three five-story towers to accommodate 300 hotel rooms and 30 suites.

The facility is also being designed to house an entertainment show room with theater seating for 3,000 spectators, spa and swimming pools, a sky bar nightclub disco built on top of the hotel, three gourmet restaurants and a food court adjacent to the casino.

This project will generate 1,000 temporary jobs during conception and 500 full-time employees once it goes into full operation. The new “full blown Las Vegas-style” hotel and casino complex is touted to be eco-friendly and is being built in close harmony with the natural setting, with an internal system for sewage treatment, and grey water recycling as well as application of solar energy.

It is interesting that in this economic climate in the US the Palacio Development Group from Arizona has chosen lakeside to build this huge project. Obviously, these business people believe that Mexico’s economy is, indeed, on the rise.

This, of course, is going to affect our lifestyle here in Ajijica, Lake Chapala but not necessarily in a bad way. More people with money coming to lakeside means more income for the small business owners, more interest in local real estate and more awareness in general of our village in the sun.

No paradise stays hidden forever (just ask Puerto Vallarta) and this project certainly appears to be going forward so we all might be better served by adopting a “glass half full” attitude.

I, for one, am adopting the attitude that progress is good for everyone. However, there will be more traffic and if you have a gambler at home you might want to hide your credit cards. After all it will be much easier to take a ride up the Libramiento Bypass than to get on a plane to Vegas.

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