After 21 years in its current location, the Vallarta Yacht Club (VYC) of Nuevo Vallarta, Nayarit, Mexico, is relocating its clubhouse and facilities after months-long negotiations ended with the termination of its lease, two years before its expiration. The club and its facilities are well known to and loved by many Mexico cruisers who’ve enjoyed the well-appointed facilities, which included showers, a Jacuzzi and pool, along with restaurant and bar facilities overlooking the marina. While it comes as a shock and brings immediate feelings of “Oh no!” VYC commodore Randy Hough says, “I’m very excited about the change and I’m starting to see it as a good thing and not mourn the end of an era. It is a new chapter and a blank page.”
The location, which was leased from Paradise Village Group, is being taken over at midday on September 12 by the state-run agency FIBBA, which Randy explained is “the agency in charge of development in the tourist zone.” And while it’s unclear what the agency has in mind for the site, Randy expects public access to the launch ramp and the docks used by the charter boat operations will continue. “Beyond that is anyone’s guess,” he adds.
The yacht club is working closely with the management of Paradise Village Group and Paradise Village Marina to find a new club space. Randy says they are close to reaching an agreement and hope to announce the new location in the next few days, adding, “Paradise Village has supported both the vision and reality of the Vallarta Yacht Club from the very beginning over 20 years ago. Our partnership with them has been mutually beneficial for over two decades and we are very pleased to be able to continue it.”
Randy expressed the club’s gratitude to Paradise Village Group and Paradise Village Marina.
“Paradise Village has kept us informed as their lawyers sought to sort out the issues with Lot 15. Paradise Village has provided security and maintenance of the property for almost 30 years. Paradise Village constructed the building and included public restrooms that they maintained at their expense, they also maintained the public dock space that is under Federal control with the blessing of our Port Captain. Vallarta Yacht Club has worked with Nayarit agencies over the years to promote the area and promote sailing and sport. Access to our clubhouse was allowed during the dispute partly on the strength of the relationships VYC has forged with Nayarit over the years.”
The Vallarta Yacht Club location is recognized worldwide through events like the 2007 J/24 World Championships, the 2011 Pan American Games, the 2016 and 2022 Laser World Championships and four Optimist North American Championships, as well as many others.
VYC says the Junior Sailing School will not be affected. Randy says the club has assurance from FIBBA that they will continue to have access and control of the staging area for small-boat regattas. “Our schedule includes Regata de Revolución in November, Banderas Bay Blast in December, Vallarta Cup in January, WesMex International regatta in February, and of course the Banderas Bay Regatta in March.”
We spoke with Paul Martson of J/World Performance Sailing, which is located along the dock near the VYC. “This will be profound as the VYC location was so good. Sail right up and grab a lunch. Walk over from J/World and grab a Margi. Always bustling with traffic between the Junior Sailing Program and the proximity to the public launch ramp.” Paul acknowledges that a new location could have some benefits, such as better visibility and more traffic and parking, maybe even a bigger kitchen for the restaurant, but is nonetheless concerned about what the new facilities will mean for races and events.
“VYC is not the clubhouse,” Randy tells us. “Our club is almost 200 members and as a new plan is taking shape we see great new opportunities to explore. Many of us have years of great memories that include the old clubhouse, those will live on with us. Developing a new location is a born again opportunity for our members that haven’t been with us as the paint was drying on the then new yacht club building.”
We wish the Vallarta Yacht Club the very best in finding and relocating to a new premises, and look forward to many future regattas and gatherings with its members and visitors.