mill-relity-chk1Now that the hoopla over the Pope’s visit to another country is over, it is time to go back to the hidden truths that the politicians are hoping you missed. The politicians are still basking and back slapping each other over the “success” that is that nothing happened while the Pope was next door to El Paso. The key being that nothing happened. You see regardless of the chaotic pontifications about security and economic prosperity for El Paso because of the Pope’s visit, the end result is that nothing happened.

That’s right nothing happened, other than some people made money, taxpayers footed about $1 million in security precautions and some of the politicos got special treatment. Oh, and buried in the news is an economic indicator that the politicos are hoping you missed.

First, let’s look at the simple reality that the Sun Bowl gathering was just a money making venture for someone. That someone is the El Paso Catholic Diocese that hasn’t met a congregant it doesn’t take money from. The Pope came with a message of hope but the local diocese saw a money making opportunity on the backs of the taxpayers that coincidently paid almost $1 million for “security.” Yes, that’s right, El Paso taxpayers footed almost $1 million for security because “millions” of people were expected to trample through El Paso to see the Pope across the river.

However, the diocese wanted its part of El Pasoans’ wallets – so with the help of El Paso officials, they sold almost 30,000 tickets to witness the Pope via a television screen. Yes, almost 30,000 parishioners paid for the privilege to watch the Pope through television. That’s about $300,000 that went into the diocese’s coffers. Even if you take away the fee for the use of the Sun Bowl, the diocese made about $200,000 for letting you watch television.

That is in addition to the $1 million coming out of your taxes to address “security” concerns. The politicos were all over the news media telling you how wonderful this exposure was for El Paso. Never mind that it was Juárez’ time to shine, the El Paso politicos were telling you that millions would be coming to El Paso. Well, as you know, the “millions” was not even close if you include Cd. Juárez. This leads us to another inconvenient truth about the concerns the police chief had.

The sad truth is that the El Paso Police Department is ill-equipped to handle masses of people congregating together. The Montwood riots and the subsequent court ordered settlement proved that. Chief Allen knew that that last thing his police force could do was keep thousands of people under control unless he could bottle them up into a contained area like the Sun Bowl.

By closing off the streets and the border levies, the police chief figured that bottling people up in a contained area would be easier to handle than out in the streets. That his strategy resulted in a money-making venture for the diocese the better it was for all concerned.

And if you still don’t think it was about money, consider that Claudia Ordaz was pimping her house online for hundreds of dollars for one night! She, like the hotels, didn’t have much luck.

As if that wasn’t bad enough, remember how the ballpark is supposed to be paid? You know, the HOT taxes that hotel guests are paying? During the bowling tournament, El Paso officials were happily touting their foresight on the HOT taxes for the ballpark. They were secretly hoping for the “millions” trampling through El Paso to see the Pope but as you know by now, that never happened.

Instead the latest reports from the hotels is that occupancy rates are down. Significantly down by some reports. If the magic of the Pope wasn’t enough to bring people to the hotel what makes anyone believe that the HOT taxes will be able to pay for the ballpark this year, and the next?

Maybe that is why some of the El Paso politicos were happy to get preferential treatment to see the Pope. They were probably hoping to get a miracle from him to resolve the ballpark debacle that is about ruin their façade of “it’s all good El Paso.”

Did I tell you that you paid almost $1 million to force people to pay the El Paso Catholic Diocese for the right to see the Pope via television? And here is the mind sobering reality of it all, not only did you pay for “security” but the city and county also lost in work productivity and incurred additional expenses because the politicos thought it was better to close down the city, county and some of the schools because the Pope was in the country next door.

Martin Paredes

Martín Paredes is a Mexican immigrant who built his business on the U.S.-Mexican border. As an immigrant, Martín brings the perspective of someone who sees México as a native through the experience...

8 replies on “Reality Checks Behind Nothing Happening”

  1. The Papal visit was good for the people’s spirituality. It did nothing for El Paso and little for Juarez. That’s it !

    The Religious stores might have well by selling Papal memorabilia. Maybe cabs. It didn’t make sense to pay to see the Pope on a super sized TV when you can see the event in the comfort of your home. Unless for some reason you needed to be around others.

    Whether the politicians and refuse to accept reality, that reality being a tourist destination is gone forever. The only reason tourists came before, was to have easy access to cheap food, wine and sin. There was peace during the Papal visit. The cartel leadership war continues ! Corruption continues and the poor still do not receive help from the Mexican government. Nothing has changed!

    El Paso, trollies, over sized TV screens and Mexican museum in a Mexican predominant city is NOT going to cause a tourist stampede. I can see a Mexican in the mirror for free or just look outside. Why Peter Pan believes that tourists will come to an isolated city to ride a trolley is stupidity. If I lived in New York, San Fran would be my choice for a visit and a ride. Look at the tramway, lack of tourists has forced reduced hours. Heck, the airport has reduced traffic. What keeps it going is the military and their families.

    Sorry but the Pope came and went, streets on both sides of the border are still in dire need of repair. Still poor economy, no real jobs, the poor still are hurting and the corruption remains. So nothing changed ! Maybe there is something to the sister city thing. Both cities have the same chaos, problems and failed leadership.

  2. KVIA is reporting the diocese lost money on the Sun Bowl because apparently they couldn’t even sell 30000 at $15. I know they dropped the price to $8 the week before the event and then starting giving them away free week of event. Plus they are giving $84,000 to the diocese of Juarez to help offset their Popemaggedon costs. In short, it appears the Pope’s visit cost a ton of money for what was essentially a photo op pushing open border and organized labor agendas. The lowered hotel revenue is because Juarez factories shut down and told visitors to avoid coming that week. And the lack of bridge traffic suggests a majority of El Pasoans still consider Juarez unsafe. The sad thing is that once again a ton of money has been spent with zero long-term results. Net-net, the Pope’s has actually cost the poor money. Kind of hypocritical from my perspective.

  3. He should have come to Palomas instead. Easy in easy out and they have a little plaza outside the Pink Store where he could hold mass. The best margaritas, too. It’s just 70 miles west and looks like a Clint Eastwood movie set from those 1980s spaghetti westerns. Palomas could use the business, too.

  4. So some one explain why the El Paso diocese does not want what was made on the Sun Bowl public. Also UTEP and the El Paso diocese does not want to say what the real cost for the Sun Bowl was just a general number between 50 to 60 thousand dollars.What was the real number paid for use of the Sun Bowl?
    When El Paso diocese wants to keep everything security and then gives a poor mouth statement to the public something is fishy going down along the Rio.

  5. I wonder who paid the Pope to come be a guess speaker in Juarez, question did he talk bad about the Cartels? One has to wonder if he sold an indulgence to a cartel leader.

  6. If he was selling indulgences to cartels I wonder if the Gandaras got in on all that action? I hear they are all now “devout Catholics” after hearing their sentences.

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