The conclusion of the Chalacatepec airport in the Costalegre region of southern Jalisco is virtually assured.
A final, outstanding payment of 15 million pesos for purchase of adjoining land was made this week to a local farming cooperative (ejido), Jalisco Tourism Secretary Enrique Ramos Flores announced.
The state government has promised to complete the two-kilometer runway and adjacent infrastructure within 18 months, when the facility will be handed over to a private concession for its operation.
The Chalacatepec airport will be located midway between Careyes and Punta Perula, 15 miles from the inland town of Tomatlan, 17 miles north of Chamela and 40 miles north of La Manzanilla.
It is hoped the airport will be able to cater to scheduled and charter flights, as well as many private planes belonging to wealthy patrons vacationing in the area’s upscale resorts.
The airport is designed to tie in with a host of new projects and act as a detonator for further tourism investment.
In February, French company Luis Vuitton began work on the Cheval Blanc hotel, villa and golf course complex in Chamela. Reports suggest the firm had demanded completion of the airport before committing to the project. Initial investment in the development is around 150 million dollars and the first stage is expected to be ready in two years.
Another project, the 160-room Four Seasons Tamarindo, is awaiting environmental impact studies to be concluded before work can begin, Ramos Flores reports.
In Chalacatepec itself, which boasts a pristine eight-kilometer sandy beach, the Rasaland Group plans to build the One&Only development with 75 private villas. A marina is also planned.
Other long-term projects include Desarrollo Vistas in Chalacatepec, which envisions 8,000 hotel rooms and a golf course. Meanwhile, the upmarket Hotelito Desconocido eco-resort is planning an expansion.
Ramos Flores reckons total investment in the region over the next five years could reach US$1.5 billion.
Infrastructure improvements in the zone will benefit at least seven marginalized communities, he notes. Water and electricity service will be upgraded, while new schools and health centers will be built.
Meanwhile, federal authorities are widening coastal Highway 200 between Puerto Vallarta and Manzanillo.