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#430459 - 02/14/12 09:23 AM San Ignacio breaks ground for new Welcome Center  
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 57,816
Marty Offline
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San Ignacio celebrates ground breaking ceremony for new Welcome Center

Ground breaking ceremonies were held for a Welcome Center in San Ignacio back in August of last year. At that ceremony, Mayor John August said that the project would also address many of the issues of parking and congestion and inadequate sewage currently experienced in the Coronation Park area. Those works have been progressing over the months and we spoke with Mr. Mendez who is the head engineer on the project.

Mr. Mendez, Head Engineer
We have a two phase construction going on. The first stage, which is the bottom part, has been completed with respect to the piping. The other phase in that same site, BEL will dig their own pipes and will put up all of the wirings. In addition, the post will be broken down and they will put up new post. The wirings will be on the ground - the same like WASA and cable, so that is what we are seeing right now and that is the next phase of that area.

Mendez explains how traffic will be routed once the project has been completed.

Mr. Mendez
Vehicles will be able to pass, however only small vehicles; busses and trucks will be turned around into the terminal that we will construct there. We will put some signs so as to regulate the traffic. Trucks will go in and they will park behind the theater. The theater will be an open theater, somewhat like a terminal. There they will pick up the passengers, swing to Benque and swing to Belize City and when the next bridge is built over there, everyone will go that way.

Besides addressing the flow of traffic, all electrical and communications for the area being upgraded is being placed underground. Theodore Chavarria works for Belize Electricity Limited.

Theodore Chavarria, Belize Electricity Limited
We are doing an expansion, running from this area onto Kings Street, Eves Street and Mossiah Street. This entire area will be paved and it won’t be until the next twenty years that they will dig it up again. So that is one of the reasons I am out here, to represent BEL and to put up some more pipes. We have gone into that hole already, so after that we will be ready for them to do their part.

The facility is being built 2.5 acres of land. The project is being implemented by the Government of Belize through the Ministry of Tourism, Civil Aviation and Culture after having received financing from the Inter–American Development Bank. Works are expected to conclude by May 2012.


#440107 - 06/08/12 09:24 AM Re: San Ignacio breaks ground for new Welcome Center [Re: Marty]  
Joined: Oct 1999
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Marty Offline
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San Ignacio Tourism Development Project nears Completion

San Ignacio Tourism Development Project nears Completion

From the middle of 2010, The Sustainable Tourism Program began to Artists rendition of completed project in San Ignacio advertise various contracts that will see tourism developments in 4 major tourism destinations. The program will improve tourism infrastructure on the Placencia Peninsula and village, San Ignacio; San Pedro, Ambergris Caye and Belize City.

After the tendering process was completed, work in all areas commenced and in San Ignacio, the work has moved apace and is nearing completion. Christy Mastry, project director of the Sustainable Tourism Development Project explained to The Guardian that the project is worth 2.7 million dollars and will see improvement on what was known as Coronation Park in downtown San Ignacio as well as the upgrading of Burns Avenue, which is also in the heart of the town. The project, says Mastry, will see development of 2 and 1/2 acres of land on which a tourist welcome center, two small business areas and four vending spaces will be constructed. The area will also have a large stage and amphitheater with seating spaces. Buses will also be able to unload passengers in the area and allocations are being made for bus operators to sell tickets as well. Parking areas are being constructed for private parking and for taxi operators. Restrooms and other amenities will also be put in place.

Along with the redesign of Coronation Park, Burns Avenue will also be completely redone with an underground storm-drain having already been put in place. Burns Avenue is well underway to being complete with pavers having been installed on the street. All utilities, such as electricity and telephone, are now underground and at the completion of the project the lamp-posts will be removed making for a more aesthetic area. Mastry says that the project is 8 months into construction and work is slated to be completed by October of this year.

For those who have recently visited San Ignacio, the transformation is very pleasing, truly giving the downtown area a touristic feel to it. And Mastry says that is exactly what the project is all about. She says that the idea behind the project is to promote the downtown area of San Ignacio turning it into a local cultural activity hub for tourists and locals to enjoy. As it is, there are a lot of tourists, who make their way into downtown San Ignacio and the plan is to have them spend the evening in a relaxing area that will feature a food court and outdoor entertainment facilities. Added to that, Mastry says the upgrade in the area will hopefully give existing business operators the drive to make improvements on their businesses. She concluded that the project will give residents in San Ignacio a sample of what can be accomplished with a little bit more investment and hopefully spark opportunities for other businesses to be created.

The entire Sustainable Tourism Project is worth over 27 million dollars that will be spent in four key areas across the country.

The Reporter

#440873 - 06/18/12 07:12 AM Re: San Ignacio breaks ground for new Welcome Center [Re: Marty]  
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 57,816
Marty Offline
Marty  Offline

Cayo Welcome Center Progressing
The Cayo Welcome Center is looking great! Downtown is getting a major facelift with this project.

#443761 - 08/02/12 07:33 AM Re: San Ignacio breaks ground for new Welcome Center [Re: Marty]  
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 57,816
Marty Offline
Marty  Offline
Cayo Welcome Center pictures

The Cayo Welcome Center is close to finishing. The new bar, Bamboo Bar, is almost done too.

#445434 - 08/29/12 08:41 AM Re: San Ignacio breaks ground for new Welcome Center [Re: Marty]  
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 57,816
Marty Offline
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Cayo Welcome Center and San Ignacio town center rehabilitation

The Cayo Welcome Center's ultimate look is really majestic. Downtown's facelift will be great for everyone, and it will be safer too.

The project Site for the new Cayo Welcome Center was chosen as a core area within the community with good pedestrian and vehicular links to the surrounding town and beyond. Already in use as a public park this prominent location is currently under utilized and has a lot of potential for future development. Positioned between Burns Avenue and the New Market area, if dealt with properly the site is ideally situated to help ease congestion and restore vitality to the historic town center. Parts of Burns Avenue will also be include within the scope of the project as the section from the junction with savannah street down to St. Andrew’s Anglican Church will be renovated in conjunction with the work to Coronation Park. Work will be done to Upper burns Avenue at a later stage.

Current criticisms of the existing park center largely on its lack of safety at night, due to the inadequate lighting and security, and a lack of comfortable shaded seating areas during the day. Surrounding the green space are large expanses of dilapidated hardscape with poor drainage and no clear division between pedestrian and vehicular spaces.

The objective of this project is to design a Welcome Center and supporting facilities where visitors can engage with the cultural heritage of San Ignacio and the Cayo region, as well as providing strong vehicular and pedestrian links through the site to surrounding areas so as to help knit the town together and ease congestion.

The Welcome Center will display cultural information and act as a tourist information point, orientating visitors and providing information on lodging, places to eat and other local tourist destinations. It will be one of the towns focal buildings, built in a Modern/Colonial style in keeping with the rest of the town’s urban fabric. In addition to the tourist information and cultural displays the building will also incorporate two anchor tenants. Planned provisionally as a bar/restaurant and an internet café/coffee and pastry shop, these businesses are designed to extend the use of the building into the evening and provide an extra source of income for the project.

The surrounding park space will consist of; increased green space, an open air venue, amenity fountain and four food stalls, all designed to bring more visitors into the park. Improvements in safety will be made through good urban design and the provision of sufficient lighting so that the space functions well at both day and night. As well as being a tourist attraction the project as a whole is intended to provide additional local leisure and recreational facilities and act as a catalyst for future town beatification and the promotion of civic pride.

The plaza in front of the open air venue is designed to be able to accommodate sufficient removable seating for concerts and performances but can also be cleared to an open space that is very flexible in its uses. A wooden trellis provides shade around the plazas perimeter and the amenity fountain is recessed below grates in the plaza hard scape. It is designed to be operated at a couple of key times during the day and evening to draw people into the park.

With the exception of a new parking lot and taxi rank, traffic ingress into the site is limited to a new road along the West side of the park, the entrance to which is accommodated by the removal of the San Ignacio Cultural Center. This road forms part of a new bus route allowing buses to pick up and drop off along the side of the park, thus creating a new first impression of San Ignacio for those travelling by bus and allowing visitors to quickly orientate themselves at the welcome center. The new route also allows all East bound buses to double back along Savannah street rather than having to travel along Burns Avenue keeping heavy traffic off that road.

The connection between the park and Burns Avenue will be strengthened and the street improvements to Burns Avenue will happen in two phases. Renovations to the section from the junction with Savannah Street down to St. Andrew’s Anglican Church will be constructed in conjunction with the Welcome Center and park. The work will include reducing the traffic down to one lane and changing the road surface in order to slow traffic movement through the area. No trucks and buses will be able to pass down this section of street and there is a possibility of making it only for pedestrians at certain times of the day. The pavements will be significantly wider than they were previously with space for street cafes as well as additional planter boxes and street furniture.

Upper Burns Avenue, the section from Scotia bank to the junction, will be treated in a similar way but with double parking bays set into the East side pavement. The work for this section will be started at a later date.

CLICK HERE for more images

Cayo Welcome Center Nearing Completion

The Cayo Welcome Center is really close to being finished. All the buildings have their walls and roofs completed. They've finishing the bus entry, which will be right across from the market. Is that a toucan statue?


#448996 - 10/18/12 07:47 AM Re: San Ignacio breaks ground for new Welcome Center [Re: Marty]  
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 57,816
Marty Offline
Marty  Offline

Cayo Welcome Center Nearing Completion

The Cayo Welcome Center is almost finished. They've started planting in the flower beds, and are setting up the electric meters. The sidewalk arches are mostly in place now too. It should be done just in time to welcome all the visitors and tourists in high season. Great job renovationg downtown!

Click here for lots of photos!

#449095 - 10/19/12 03:35 AM Re: San Ignacio breaks ground for new Welcome Center [Re: Marty]  
Joined: Apr 2005
Posts: 1,435
Cooper Offline
Cooper  Offline
So Sad, we just came back from San Ignacio and the Center is in the face of the township but sits empty with no work being done.Yes the walls are up but in the last month or so nothing has beeen done. We talked to Pact and other residents, shop owners and the opinion was that this project as all politictal with the election and nothing has been done since. The town is to far away for cruise ship tourist to have anytime to spend in San Ignacio.Most all business owners agree on that, Alot of locals are angry about the disruption, The outsourch of not hiring the locals to do the work but relatives of politicians. The feeling in San Ignacio about this project is bad.

Last edited by Cooper; 10/19/12 03:40 AM.
#452514 - 12/02/12 08:24 AM Re: San Ignacio breaks ground for new Welcome Center [Re: Marty]  
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 57,816
Marty Offline
Marty  Offline

The Cayo Welcome Center Grand Opening Today!

The Cayo Welcome Center is ready for its grand opening today. The BTB will be having the Taste of Belize BBQ competition there. Go see the competition taste some great BBQ, and have some fun.

"30th of November, right before the grand opening weekend."

#452780 - 12/05/12 09:11 AM Re: San Ignacio breaks ground for new Welcome Center [Re: Marty]  
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 57,816
Marty Offline
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Cayo Welcome Center Grand Opening | Cayo Scoop!  Best of Cayo's E-Mag. |

Cayo Welcome Center Grand Opening

What a way to celebrate the grand opening of the new Cayo Welcome Center! During the day they had the Taste of Belize BBQ competition. At night, they had Panerrifix playing the steel drums, along with other live music, and a beer tent in front of the new Bamboo bar. The drinks were flowing.


#453160 - 12/10/12 07:55 AM Re: San Ignacio breaks ground for new Welcome Center [Re: Marty]  
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 57,816
Marty Offline
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BBQ Competition at Cayo Welcome Center | Cayo Scoop!  Best of Cayo's E-Mag. |
More great pictures from the opening of the Cayo Welcome Center, which corresponded with the Taste of Belize's BBQ competition. Thanks to Mariposa for the great pictures.

"The sun was hot, the beers were cold and the environment was welcoming. The kids had the opportunity to ride a small train and their smiles brighten the environment even more. As the evening took over many presentations took place including the lighting of the Christmas tree. It was a great day for the San Ignacio people and for those that visited from other districts and other countries."

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