American Expat’s Eclipse Experience in Mexico: The Opportunity I Passed Up

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Janet Blaser, an American expatriate, had been a resident of Mazatlán

Mexico, since 2006 but relocated just before the total solar eclipse on April 8. Mazatlán, renowned for its resort amenities, was poised to offer a prime view of the eclipse, attracting a multitude of eclipse chasers.

The anticipation of the event sparked a staggering 1,000% increase in Airbnb searches for North American locales in the eclipse’s path, with Mazatlán ranking as the second most sought-after destination, trailing only Austin, Texas. Sinaloa’s tourism authorities anticipated a deluge of 120,000 visitors, and the city’s accommodations were nearing full capacity. Online marketplaces and social media were awash with rental offerings.

Yet, I chose to distance myself from Mazatlán and the astronomical profits I could have made by renting out my apartment. Here’s the rationale behind my decision.

The Lucrative Week I Forewent

The buzz about exorbitant rental prices during the eclipse began three years prior. Stories of properties being snapped up at premium rates were commonplace. A friend’s family capitalized on this, quadrupling their usual rates for their vacation rentals.

Eric and Jenna Streit, who had settled in Mazatlán from Los Angeles with their child, could have rented their Airbnb units for $400 nightly during the eclipse—a significant markup from the usual $40-$50. However, they declined the offers due to visiting family.

A colleague suggested I could make $300 per night by renting out my two-bedroom apartment, which would cover several months’ rent. The temptation was there, but I resisted.

Mazatlán: The Festive Epicenter

Mazatlán is no stranger to hosting grand festivities that attract throngs of revelers, from Carnaval’s vibrant parades to International Motorcycle Week’s enthusiast gatherings. Even traditional celebrations like Día de Los Muertos and Easter week swell the city’s population.

Despite this, the constant influx of tourists and the ensuing disruptions gradually wore on me. The eclipse, despite its significance, was yet another event to navigate.

Choosing Peace Over Profit

With the eclipse nearing, I was already envisioning a quieter life away from Mazatlán’s bustling atmosphere. I decided to move to the tranquil town of San Antonio Tlayacapan, close to Guadalajara.

An opportunity arose when my best friend expressed interest in taking over my lease and purchasing my belongings. The landlord agreed, and the house I found offered a flexible move-in schedule.

Ultimately, the choice was mine. I could have profited from the eclipse, but I opted for a new beginning, leaving the potential earnings behind.

Source: BNBC