Two key presidential proposals seem to lack certainty

Two proposals by President Luis Guillermo Solís might not be as sure as he suggested.

Both the $35 million convention center and a ferry service between Puerto Caldera and El Salvador have been in the works for years.

The ferry service was supposed to start last January. This is a $14 million project of  Naviera Odiel, a Spanish shipping company. The initial approval was given in 2000. El Salvador’s vice president, Óscar Ortiz, has been promoting the plan since he took office. He sees a ferry route as a tourism draw.

The shipping firm has been hard to pin down, according to local press reports. One early report promised a ferry that would include restaurants and even a casino.

The convention center has been promised for years. The Solís administration has been trying to resurrect the project. Plans already have been prepared, and the government owns the land. The center is supposed to accommodate 4,500 persons.

The convention center is a business, not just a public work. Feasibility studies are said to exist.  A.M. Costa Rica has reported that to justify the $35 million debt, the center would have to have a continuous flow of income.

In addition, the government would be in competition with its own Estadio Nacional and private venues such as the nearby Centro de Eventos Pedregal.

For international conventions there are competitors in other countries who have locations close to beaches and other attractions.

Rendering of proposed convention center.

Rendering of proposed convention center.

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