Rincón, like many places around the world that are attractive to many, is undergoing intense pressure to build up to accommodate more and more visitors and their pleasures. Our town has become the poster child of the Puerto Rico Tourism Company’s advertising campaign, some sort of resort town, and the results are evident.
Fifty years ago, a historical event changed Rincón forever, mostly for the good and for economic prosperity. The 1968 World Surfing Championship showed the world the fine waves of our town and the northwest of the Island in general. But Rincón has the geographic peculiarity that, given waves, the winds will mostly be favorable for surfing.
And from that realization was born a new industry: Surfing Tourism.
For all those fifty years, surfers came, year after year, and then with spouses, and then with their families. Many stayed, and continue to do so. And every year, new visitors come.
Much like after 1968, Rincón has welcome one and all, with graciousness and open arms. Rincón’s prosperity is evident, but things are changing very fast, and likely for the worst…
You see, a project for a large (200+ room) hotel and casino has been announced for Rincón. The proposed site is in the marina area of Rincón, which is already the target of intense pressure to develop and possibly the worst possible location for a project of this size.
We, the residents of Rincón, are not willing to let the personality and vibe of our town to be transformed into something that we are not. We are not ready to risk our homegrown tourism industry to attend to a different kind of tourist, and we are not willing to be driven out by gentrification. And we are not willing to let our town become a crime-infested, 24/7 circus. Many of us have already written off going out on weekends, especially Sundays, on account of the traffic.