Guadalajara is ramping up for the 2011 Pan American Games, an event scheduled for Oct. 14 to 30 that is expected to draw thousands of visitors to watch athletes from 42 nations compete, including 275 competitors from the U.S.
This marks the third time that Mexico has hosted this event; it was held in Mexico City in 1955 and 1975.
“This is a very big event for us,” said Rodolfo Lopez Negrete, COO of the Mexico Tourism Board.
In addition to Guadalajara, the games will draw for visitors to the nearby cities of Puerto Vallarta, Ciudad Guzman, Lagos de Moreno and Tapalpa, which will all play host to events.
The organizing committee expects to sell more than 1 million tickets to games events; tickets have been on sale since May.
The presence of the games this fall boosted plans to build new hotels, sports centers and stadiums; re-engineer Guadalajara’s downtown area; improve public transportation systems; and construct a second terminal at the airport, according to Horacio de la Vega, marketing director for Guadalajara 2011.
The city will have 22,000 hotel rooms to house visitors, including 557 at the new Riu Plaza, which opened in June.
By Gay Nagle Myers