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High Hotel Drama in Mexico Involving Stolen Sand

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  Site Where: Boulevard Kukulkan, Km. 11.5, Cancun, Mexico, 77500
July 31, 2009 at 12:59 PM | by | ()

One time at a beach on a family vacation, we were building a sandcastle and our brother ran up and snagged a big bucket of that good, wet, sandcastle-building sand that we'd had to walk all the way down to the water to retrieve and we threw a hissy in response to the stolen sand.

So we can sort of relate to this story a little bit: environmental enforcement officers and Mexican navy personnel "closed off hundreds of feet of powder-white coastline in front of a hotel accused of illegally accumulating sand on its beach." Yes, a hotel stole some sand.

According to the AP, the Gran Caribe Real Hotel is the resort in deep water:

Mexico spent $19 million to replace Cancun beaches washed away by Hurricane Wilma in 2005. But much of the sand pumped from the sea floor has since washed away, leading some property owners to build breakwaters in a bid to retain sand. The practice often merely shifts sand loss to beaches below the breakwaters.

[...]Five people were detained in a raid for allegedly using pumps to move sand from the sea floor onto the beach in front of the Gran Caribe Real Hotel. The hotel is also suspected of illegally building a breakwater that impeded the natural flow of sand onto other hotels' beaches.

The AP article said that "a knot of angry tourists gathered around the closed beach" — which we can sort of understand; how seriously annoying that your hotel's beach gets closed down in the middle of your vacay because of stealing sand. Especially since rooms are sort of pricey to begin with: they start at $213 tomorrow night. Um, at least the pool's still open...?

[Photo: AP / Israel Leal]

Archived Comments:

Closed Cancun Beach Reopened

The beach at both the Gran Caribe Real and it's adjacent sister resort The Royal Cancun have been reopened after an agreement between officials and the hotel owner. The hotel owner agreed to start removal of the breakwater/ jetty on August 5,2009.