“No-tell motel” buyers pay up to $3 million USD because of motels’ big profit potential.
MERIDA — In Merida, the ‘hidden love’ of couples is a lucrative business that generates a profit of more than 620 million pesos per year ($34 million USD). Just in the 50 kilometers of Periferico alone, and the exits to Tizimín and Cancun, are located more than 20 motels that offer couples a private space, in addition to others in various parts of Merida that function as hotels that are rented by the hour.
They are so profitable that the person who wants to buy a motel in operation will have to pay as much as $3 million USD, since the justification is that they generate monthly income from 400 thousand pesos ($22,000 USD) to more than one million pesos ($55,500 USD), depending on the season of the year.
Enrique Loeza Canul, who has more than three decades of experience as manager of one of the most prestigious motels, recalled that ten years ago, the motel clientele were adults and they were heterosexual couples.
Nowadays these “nests of love” that could reach 50 in all the city, are the preferred ones of fiancees, married couples or lovers, who prefer to spend their intimate moments in a room rented privately, with the service and the facilities offered. Average prices are 170 pesos for the first hour, and 40 to 60 pesos the following, depending on the category.
Being a conservative city, in Merida, until a few years ago the number of motels was very limited, being limited to El Maracaibo, Señorial, Paraíso and San Rafael, where its main clients were heterosexual couples.
Now, due to various circumstances, the number of these accommodation centers increased and diversified in their services and categories throughout the city, but the most visible belt from where they are established is the Periferico (Peripheral Beltway of Mérida).
Along with the growth in the number of businesses, the type of clients also changed, as currently couples of heterosexual, same sex couples, transvestites and young people between the ages of 16 and 20 visit these places.
The increase in demand for the motels is derived from the development of the city and the increase of the population.
In this service segment rates are the factor that makes them attractive to customers, mainly in the center of the city, where motels are disguised as hotels with a cost of between 80 to 100 pesos per hour, and 40 pesos the additional.
On the other hand, in Periférico the situation is different, because the cheapest cost of one hour is 180 pesos, and 60 the following, in a standard room, although there are luxury ones, with jacuzzi, with a cost of 320 pesos an hour.
In addition, in this area there are various categories, ranging from so-called standard to thematic, where couples spend intimate moments in a room with furnishings and accessories to their liking.