Almuñécar Seeks Private Backing

Almuñécar has three tourist-orientated, public enterprises that are dead in the water owing to a lack of funds, which is why it is putting out feelers to private companies to run them.

Both of the public ventures are situated in the old town: El Palacete del Corregidor, which is a small training hotel, the El Horno de Cándida, which is a catering school and the other is the Casa Morgan, which is a restaurant funded with public funds.

All three public ventures came into being at the beginning of the 90’s when Almuñécar was on a touristic roll (winning streak). The general political consensus was the town needs hotels, hotels and more hotels, together with qualified workers for the sector, which is where the Palacete and El Horno came into being.

El Horno de Cándida, as it name implies, was a large bakery which came into hands of the Town Hall. After renovations to adapt the premises to its new end, the municipal catering school was opened in 1998. It soon produced a couple of head chefs for restaurants around the province, but in 2007 it closed and that is how it had remained.

However, it will soon be opening for a catering course for 15 pupils, which will last twelve months. She hopes that another course will come along so that it will not have to close again.

As for the Palacete del Corregidor, although it was recently re-painted, it is only opened occasionally to house groups of official visitors. The building has ten rooms and even a spa. The hotel was finished shortly after 2003 but has never operated as a training hotel.

The new Mayoress, Trinidad Herrera, is contemplating two options; either for it to operate as an ordinary hotel, run by the Town Hall; i.e. publicly run, or lease it out to a private company to run as a normal hotel.

ALM Casa MorganFinally, we come to Casa Morgan, which has controversial undertones, which we will come to later. The Town Hall opened this once private chalet as a ‘gastronomic museum’ in 2007. The idea was for a restaurant incorporating art and historic exhibitions, typical of Andalucia. The Town Hall was not shy on splashing out on a decor to recreate a rural ambiance belonging to the early 20th Century. A year ago, however, it closed its doors because as the Mayor explained, it was too far out of town and they haven’t really cracked how to promote it effectively.

As in the case of the other two establishments, the idea is to turn it over to private enterprise, functioning as a normal restaurant.

The controversy, however, stems from the fact that this chalet was donated to the town by its owner, Mrs Morgan, with the condition that it be used in connection with children; i.e. a playschool or something of the sort. She did not contemplate that the Town Hall should turn it into a restaurant; museum-orientated or otherwise.

(News: Almunecar, Costa Tropical, Granada, Andalucia)

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