A grim future for San Miguel de Allende is predicted by nine-year resident and U.S. native Ivar Schacke, who says that in 10 to 15 years many of the current residents will abandon ship and “may also have left town and their houses used for B&B or hotels or restaurants.”
Schacke says that the sudden fame acquired by the still picturesque city has brought about urban growth and decay along with good business.
For the future, Schacke foresees more bars, restaurants, banks and tourist shops to serve the expected needs of the tourists.
“Likewise, more hotels will appear while the small shops catering for the day-to-day needs of the residents will disappear.”
An already noticeable growth in the number of vehicles rolling on the cobblestone streets is nothing compared with what is to come.
“Traffic problems will be horrific as all visitors will seek first a free space and then a proper parking lot, which will quickly be full, leaving more circling of cars to end at the Cardo parking lot, from where the short walk to the center is hampered by extremely narrow sidewalks, further troubled by electricity poles.”
The postcard picture of SMA, the central parish or La Parroquia, may in the future be swamped and receiving tourists by tickets to ensure a certain controlled number of visitors every 30 minutes. Some churches may be turned into museums or restaurants/ bars as there will be fewer residents in the center to go to mass every Sunday, he said.
The many processions for which San Miguel is well-known may slowly disappear as the local citizens will have moved away. The traditions will shift from present history and culture to future entertainment needs of tourists, Schacke predicts.
The type of tourists most likely will also change from people interested in history and culture to people for whom a good restaurant and bar is the object, not museums or shops.
“The above-expected change will not take place over night, but more likely during the coming 10-15 years. Then many present residents may also have left town and their houses used for B&B or hotels or restaurants.”
BY RICARDO CASTILLO
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