Tampa Bay / Progreso Ferry Update
Posted 12 May 2012 - 07:09 PM
If I had an extra 15 million dollars I doubt I would invest it in a ferry here.
However if anyone would like to invest me with $15,000,000 I'll give it a try.
My e-mail is on my avatar..............
Posted 12 May 2012 - 08:40 PM
Like most of you mentioned. There's a place for comment, I filled out the importance of being able to transport pets.
Yep me too.. I really really hope that it happens,,
Posted 12 May 2012 - 11:05 PM
Because we all would truly love for that to happen. The beach house renters, the guest house owners, the local restaurants, everyone. It would be a great benefit for Yucatan.
For everyone who wishes to send in the Email, please do so.
It won't hurt the prospects of getting a ferry and as Tamara, mxgrammy and Lynette point out, may help them tailor their services.
Bitching comes in all forms!
Posted 14 May 2012 - 11:48 PM
Translation courtesy of article on Yucatan Times:
Managers from Progreso Port Authority fired for corruption
In the middle of a corruption scandal and complains of favoritism from users and businessmen at Progreso, the managers of the Port Authority were fired by the Secretary of Public Function.
Even though the Port Authority has not issued and official statement, several sources within this body have confirmed that the manager of finances and administration Ana Lucia Parra Vega and the manager of commercialization Fernando Pereira Flick were fired, after an internal investigation.
The involvement of Parra Vega and Pereira Flick in “shady business “ in their own favor that affected the interests of the clients and trade dealers in port of Progreso were the results of the investigation and the main cause for their removal . So far, it is unknown if the sanctions have reached the head of API(Port Authority) Rafael Mena Lire
Or another version, in Spanish:
Escándalos de corrupción, malos manejos y tráfico de influencias empañan la historia de la API Progreso
Or another in Spanish:
Gerentes de la API en Progreso, son acusados de corrupción y favoritismo
Anyway, there's a lot about it:
Cesa SFP a dos funcionarios de la API en Progreso
PROGRESO, Yuc.- Fernando Pereira Flick y Ana Lucía Parra eran acusados de un supuesto tráfico de influencias.
It's the second article, I think, which goes into the history of the Port and difficulties in keeping people honest. As per required form in Yucatan, it is frequently pointed out that corrupt people were from elsewhere in the country.
Posted 15 May 2012 - 10:09 AM
Clearly, Tamara and others truly wish this would happen. I would like other options, too, now that Continental, which I formerly admired, has sunken so low in my estimation (due to various situations regarding my own personal travel, let alone the whole pet situation).
I admire Lynette's enthusiasm and Mxgammy's dedication, too. Clearly, Tamara has a lot of information regarding these efforts. I wonder if she would share with us her role. Tamara, are you an interested expat, an employee, a tourism official for Progreso or Yucatan, contracted to provide services to United Caribbean Lines, etc? Maybe others already know this information. I do not.
It seems what Bruce Nierenberg has reportedly said about not wanting publicity doesn't seem to match up with his public actions, including promoting the concept in trade fairs, giving press interviews, etc. He was giving media interviews as far back as Feb 2011 and gave them all year long. Want to stay private? Don't give media interviews.
Example of conflict in BN's other claims:
A few things which stand out to me:
1) Tampa to Progreso is not the shortest, most direct route between Progreso and the USA. Houston/Galveston and New Orleans are similar distances. I do agree that Tampa has much more East Coast tourism and traffic and that mid-America Gulf points like New Orleans, Houston, Galveston likely do not have the same scale of regular tourism as East Coast destination Florida. So, that's the likely reason: just tons of people always traveling to Florida by the millions from both the US and Canada.If the Emails received are used for designing rates and services, that is wonderful. My personal belief is that most lenders or investors are more interested in hard data, which does not include anecdotal data like Emails. In my earlier post, I had a couple paragraphs (deleted because I decided it was boring. ) about constructing a business case and sources of data which are available. Having written corporate finance business plans over two inches thick for several years involving many millions of dollars, I have a bit of experience with what gets you thrown out of an office and what is accepted.
2) The speeds mentioned are interesting. As fast as a 12 hour crossing? Ferries have been operated in Europe theoretically capable of making the trip from Tampa to Progreso in 12 hours, but those ships were discontinued over longer distance routes. Tampa to Progreso is a longer distance than most routes in Europe. That's important because high speed ferries use massive amounts of fuel.
When one ferry system sold their high speed catamaran (capacity 900 passengers, 208 autos), it was because they calculated that one ship was using as much fuel as seven other conventional ferries of similar size. So, it was replaced by a normal ferry with drasticaly lower fuel expenses. Fuel is even higher today and it is difficult to carry enough fuel for high speeds over greater distances.
Long story short: it is unlikely that a low cost trip will take place at high speed. The faster the trip, the more expensive it will have to be. Low cost trips will likely take around 30 hours or so, perhaps longer, on a conventional ferry.
Briefly, there are two main sources of potential clients: those already traveling between destinations (airline bookings, visa issuances, tax collections, tourist site admissions, etc) and stimulated new growth in travel (demographics regarding potential markets combined with supportable assumptions of targeted stimulation, advertising response rates, etc). In both cases, investors want to see documented data from third party sources.
Again, I would love to see a ferry. I think it would solve a heck of a lot of problems with crappy airline service, compete on price point with both airlines and driving yourself, detour around the scary stuff, open up new tourism business for Yucatan and on and on. I'm sure Yucatan and Progreso private and govt organizations would love it as much or more than I would.
- My apologies for an earlier misstatement: There is a company: United Caribbean Lines, LLC filed as a Florida Limited Liability on Tuesday, September 27, 2011 in the state of Florida. The company does not appear to have start-up capital and seeks $15 million for start-up (not including operational) expenses.
My husband and I have lived in the Progreso area full time since 2008. I write the monthly newsletter for Beach Gals and I was contacted by the Progreso Port Authority after an article on the possible ferry service was included in a newsletter. The folks at the port authority were specifically looking for numbers relating to expatriates because as mentioned before no one has any real data on the true number of expatriates. We then did research and the first survey and presented the information collected to the Port Authority. We were then asked to join the port authority in their presentation to United Caribbean Lines.
I guess you could say I got involved by default. When I was first contacted I thought I would do a survey give the port authority some numbers and that would be that, however, there is a great deal of interest and I receive emails every day about the ferry service. Every time I think that's it nothing is ever going to come of it I get an email or phone call from the port authority or another new cruise/shipping company asking for information.
I agree with you completely that emails and anecdotal information is never part of a good financial presentation, however, what they have allowed us to do is collect an amazing amount of information about people living some or all of the year in Mexico and other areas. "In my earlier post, I had a couple paragraphs (deleted because I decided it was boring. ) about constructing a business case and sources of data which are available." The problem is the lack of sources and data available for expats specifically. According to the US consulate who cannot release the names of expatriates registered with them (thank heavens!!!!)they feel they only have about 10% of expats registered and once a person becomes a resident or citizen of another country they have no way of knowing numbers. Even less Canadians register with their consulate when out of the country than Americans. So the big question everyone is asking is how many expats actually live in Central America and how do we reach them? At this point the only answer has been by blog/website/email asking the questions we have been asking. If anyone was interested in developing and doing an expatriate census for Central America they could sell the data to a lot of governments and businesses.
All the people involved are business professionals. They have constructed a business case using all the data available to them. The Progreso Port Authority has a very high tech impressive presentation with all the available data!!!! When they do the presentations the directors of tourism, the port, shipping, etc. are all present and contribute to the presentation. They are all well educated professionals most of whom have worked in ports and businesses all around the world. UCL has an impressive business plan. The expat information is one very small portion of the whole and nothing can be judged by the expat contribution. If you have sources and data for expats I would be happy to put you together with a number of CEOs and the Progreso Port Authority because everyone is desperate for that exact information!
Whether or not there will ever be another ferry service crossing the gulf is any ones guess. I imagine it will happen if and when it is financially viable for whatever reasons. The driving force behind the ferry service initiative in Progreso up until this point has been the commercial development branch of the Progreso Port Authority. They have not only pursued United Caribbean Lines but any other shipping cruising business and have done at least 3 presentations to 3 different candidates that I know of. In my opinion it isn't fair to vilify Bruce, UCL or expats in the "dream" of a ferry service because if you take all three out of the equation the "dream" still exists and is being pursued by a completely different set of people.
Personally I'm just like everyone else; traveling back to the US and Canada by vehicle or air, especially with a pet, has become a nightmare and any other viable option would make life easier. I tend to be a glass half full person and figure if I can do something to help make the ferry service a reality, then why not. I am not paid by any parties involved (which drives my husband nuts!!!) but then again I don't have any loyalties either. Whether UCL or some other company ever succeeds, or a better travel option comes about, makes no difference to me. My bottom line is I would like an inexpensive, convenient, fast, easy to use method of transportation but I'm not holding my breath either!
Posted 16 May 2012 - 10:15 AM
Personally I'm just like everyone else; traveling back to the US and Canada by vehicle or air, especially with a pet, has become a nightmare and any other viable option would make life easier. I tend to be a glass half full person and figure if I can do something to help make the ferry service a reality, then why not. ... My bottom line is I would like an inexpensive, convenient, fast, easy to use method of transportation but I'm not holding my breath either!
My sentiments exactly. Thanks for all this helpful info.
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