Tourism and Visitor Assistance Office—Its History and Importance
Puerto Peñasco is lucky to have a conduit for our visitors to lean on, call upon, or stop by to learn more about how to enhance their fun and knowledge while visiting our stunning seaside sanctuary.
Since it opened in September of 2009, the Tourism and Visitor Assistance Office (TVA) has come a long way from an empty space on the second floor of the blue building just past the Santander Bank on Benito Juarez. The building is owned by Manny Sanchez and also houses his popular Tequila Factory, the only place in the state of Sonora with a permit to offer samples of tequila to the public.
In the summer of 2009, Manny, who owns the iconic Manny’s Beach Club, realized that the Rocky Point business community needed something to counteract the negative perception of Mexico. He called on his good friend Rosie Glover, a local business woman, a popular “mover and shaker” who owns ProAlliance Insurance Company that caters to the auto and homeowner insurance needs of the many foreign property owners who frequently visit for love of the beachside atmosphere. They exchanged a few ideas and Manny left it to his friend to come up with a plan, generously offering the space in his building rent free for the first year if it was needed.
Excited and flourishing with ideas, Rosie took it from there and a few days later, on a cocktail napkin, she drew up her plan for a visitor assistance office. She explained how it would help the businesses in three needed areas: 1. Tourism promotion, 2. Visitor Assistance, and 3. Encourage and help the local businesses to become more active in promoting the destination. Manny loved the idea as did everyone else—and the rest, as they say, is history.
If you know Rosie Glover, or have even casually met her someplace on the town, you’ve experienced the quintessence of extraversion, an overachieving visionary with the experience to remain organized, motivate volunteers, encourage involvement, recognize contributions by individuals as well as businesses, no matter how small—and still accomplish an incredible number of commitments in an astonishingly short amount of time—and make it all look so easy.
Within a few weeks after opening the office, and with a budget of $0.00 (Zero) money, Rosie had the office furnished and air conditioned, well supplied with brochures from most tourist oriented businesses in the area, a web site, and at least a dozen volunteers willing to assist in any way possible, including one who helped in the office full time. Rosie had garnered the support of most local businesses, City Hall, the police department, the hotel association, the Mexican Chamber of Commerce and had drawn up a membership plan to present to local businesses in order to start generating operating funds through membership dues.
Over the last two years under Rosie’s direction all the original objectives have been met or exceeded. The membership dues and other revenue generated by Rosie have funded several specifically targeted marketing trips to the U.S., mainly Arizona, with documented results of increased visitorship to Rocky Point.
Even as the economy continues to stagnate and payment of membership dues has slowed consequently curtailing plans for any aggressive promotional activities, Rosie continues to create cost effective ideas that encourage visitors to either stay longer or see more of the area while they’re here, which means they spend a little more at local businesses.
Rosie’s commitment to the TVA is evidenced by the fact that when the year of free rent was up, rather than take the rent from the lagging dues, she moved her business office into the TVA office including her administrative assistant and supports the rent through her ProAlliance Insurance business.
In the important area of visitor assistance, the TVA has interacted in numerous incidents involving injury, alcohol related accidents, driving under the influence, fights (during Spring Break mostly), even incidents of Americans being incarcerated here.
“General tourist inquiries are fairly consistent either by office visits or by phone or email,” says Rosie, “but the incidents where we are involved in assisting visitors who get into a jam while here seem to come in spurts. We help them no matter who’s at fault because most of the time it is an emergency and not knowing the system or what to do next, our service is crucial to their wellbeing. We are available 24 hours to assist in emergencies.”
Rosie has even secured authorization to visit Americans while they are in jail. On one special occasion she arranged for a frightened young lady to be kept separate from the other inmates. She has brought snacks or cigarettes to them in jail, and has made emergency calls to the states on behalf of many young people as well as adults visiting here. Rosie made it clear that she does these things out of empathy for their fear and is careful not to give an impression that their breaking the laws of Mexico are in anyway condoned.
Even though Rosie Glover will quickly give the credit to others, it doesn’t take long to see that it is she who takes care of those in trouble, and she who makes the phone calls necessary to the families. In at least one case, it was she who personally drove some teenagers to the border at Lukeville after arranging for their parents to meet them there when they had destroyed their vehicle while in Rocky Point.
The trait that makes Rosie Glover so committed to helping others to the extent that she so willingly does is a trait possessed by only a small percentage of people. A trait they are born with; one that can’t be taught. And in almost every case, these individuals wind up in the service industries, mainly tourism or hospitality, both of which are purely service based. That trait is a natural understanding of the value and meaning of service as an act and a philosophy.
Even Rosie’s business and life philosophy is based on her service-oriented psyche. She says, with a wisdom that could only evolve from a most colorful and intense immersion in life, that “in my life, I just want everyday to be a good day, and I know that for me to have a good day I need to make sure everyone around me has a good day, too” and in her business, ProAlliance Insurance, her philosophy is based on a realistic observation that “there are many similar businesses, even in the small town of Puerto Peñasco, and the only difference between them is service. I realized that when I opened my business and base its success on the essence of that philosophy to this day.”
Look for another article on this blog next week that will focus on the colorful path of Rosie’s life from an early age to the present. It promises to be a great read!
You can contact the Rocky Point Tourism and Visitor Assistance Office (or ProAlliance Insurance) between 8:30 A.M. and 5:30 P.M. Monday through Friday and from 10:00 A.M. to 2:00 P.M. on Saturdays. You can call the office while in Puerto Peñasco at 638-388-6624. The emergency number if you find yourself in a jam is 638-386-9081. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org .
This blog is brought to you by Sonoran Resorts Sales Group, Jim Ringquist, Director of Sales.