Owning a hotel in a place like Costa Rica gets kind of scary when your largest market starts to have financial problems. One of the big wild cards in all this game is the US tourist market. But so far, it seems to be holding even though evidence of financial meltdown is in the air.
I was just in a hotel in San Jose and met 2 gay guys (separate travellers) that changed destinations from Europe to CR because of cost. You know the economy is bad when even the freshly 'fake n baked' homos are cutting back.
So, welcome to the reality of first world living. I am back in Canada for a couple weeks visiting family and friends. I needed a reminder me why I had to make so much money to live before I left to Costa Rica.
I was at San Jose airport and bought an Economist Magazine. It was $10.75 and the bag of chips I bought was $3.25. I am surprised that they did not have to board me in a wheel chair after that sticker shock. I guess I was spared because I passed on the soft drink and the 20 measily chips in the puffy bag were organic.
Too funny... Last night I went out with friends to a nice classy lounge. I bought the first round of drinks. Almost $100 for 7 people. (includes tax and tip). $100 was all I had. Thank God, I am an recovering alcoholic and bought just a soda. It was all I could afford. At least it was in a classy place.
I noticed that the price of beer was $6 (before tip). And to think I was agonizing 2 weeks ago for raising our beer price at the hotel from $1.80 to $2.25. Would our guests feel I was gouging? It is such a price difference from drinking on the steps of the corner store where the locals and budget-minded expats drink and enjoy beer for just over $1. I had to remind myself that a clean glass with ice served by a sexy latino bartender, does not come cheap. (Maybe we could charge more if I had him take his shirt off?)
Then the taxi ride home ($8 - no tip. who could afford it?), I had to stop off at bank machine to get money, only to have my card refused. (They assured me it was international. I should have known better). So I had to wake up my house hosts to borrow money to pay the cab driver.
Now, that is not classy.