Authorities from the SPTC reportedly told the vendors that they were to relocate by Monday, November 30th. However, the vendors do not want to move, as they argue that the new location is not viable for business and the conditions are not what they were promised.
In a press release issued on Tuesday, December 1st by the SPTC, the general public was informed of the artisans’ relocation, which was expected to be before the Christmas Season. However in order to get the right measures in place, the artisants will now be relocated on the first working day of 2016. The release continues to say that after a meeting between the SPTC and the artisans, some of them were placed on the beach, directly in front of the park. This was done to ensure that the vendors were not disenfranchised for the Christmas Season.
Months ago, Mayor Daniel Guerrero had indicated that the vendors from the Central Park were to be provided with colorful booths along the Boardwalk. “We will have the Mennonites build the booths and then bring them to the island on the barge, where we will proceed with giving them a touch of beautification before they are distributed. They will have different colors, something similar to what has been done in the Bahamas,” said Guerrero at the time.
According to the vendors, they do not feel optimistic about the advantages businesswise with the new location. They demand what was promised, proper facilities, a good marketing plan, and most importantly, parking space for their customers. The vendors added that some time ago, Guerrero told them that he was not going to move them until everything was ready at the Sunset Boardwalk. They are now upset that they are required to relocate when nothing has been prepared. They are willing to move if and when the adequate conditions are provided as promised by Mayor Guerrero.
The SPTC has commenced the process to have various open structures built and each artisan will be allowed with equal space to operate. The structure will be equipped with proper electrification, bathrooms for the artisans and night security. The release added that the SPTC will be unveiling measures that will be taken to direct tourists and visitors to the new vendors’ area. When the process is complete, no vendors will be allowed at the park, and any other persons selling in public areas will be relocated to the official site.
Guerrero admitted that it might be challenging at the beginning, but according to him it has and will work. “All the hotels will direct their customers to where the vendors are, the taxi drivers will also know where they are, people driving around will see them as well, and we will have banners and signs directing everyone to their new location. So it will benefit them and with music entertainment on weekends, things will eventually work,” stated Guerrero. He added that the fact that the San Pedro House of Culture sits in the same area, it will increase the potential for business as well.
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From the Town Council:
The San Pedro Town Council is in the process of restructuring and renovating the San Pedro Central Park as well as relocating the artisans. It was the intention of the SPTC to have completed the process before the Christmas Season but after re-evaluation and in order to put the right measures in place, the artisans will be relocated on the first working day of the year 2016.
Following a meeting with the park artisans, The SPTC has decided to place some of the artisans on the beach directly in front of the park. This was done to ensure that the artisans were not disenfranchised for the Christmas Season since it is considered one of the busiest time for them. All parties are cognizant of the need to have the park completely free for the entire month of December and available for our families to enjoy during the Christmas Season. As such, the artisans were asked to temporarily relocate to the beach for one month. In addition, the delay will give The SPTC enough time to ensure that the new artisan area is completed with the right facilities as was originally envisioned.
The new artisan area will occupy part of the open space directly in front of the Hon. Louis “Cuz” Sylvestre Sports Complex. The space will eventually be transformed into the official artisan area and in the first phase, priority will be given to the legally operating park artisans. Because of the growing demands to have better presentation and a more welcoming environment, The SPTC is in the process of drafting an operational guideline that each artisan will be expected to uphold if they desire to conduct business in the designated artisan area. In addition, the SPTC has commenced the process to have various open structures built and each artisan will be allowed with equal space to operate. The structure will entail proper electrification, access for bathroom for the artisans and night security. The SPTC will be unveiling measures that will be taken to redirect tourists and visitors to the new artisan area. When the process is complete, no artisan will be allowed to assemble in the Central Park and eventually, all artisans operating in public spaces will be relocated to the official site.
The SPTC is therefore requesting the cooperation of our residents, the park artisans and the general public as we transition into the relocation process of our artisans operating in public spaces.