An Exciting Year Ahead for San Antonio Ibiza
With a month to go until the people of Ibiza go to the Polls and with the emergence of several Parties/Groups who want to end the one-trick-pony of San Antonio as a party hotspot and clubbers paradise, what is the future for this resort with such a bad reputation?
San Antonio has always been attacked and invaded historically by Pirates and the Turks, to the mid-90s with “lads on tour” through to the modern day clubber and 18 year olds who are looking for their right of passage.
It has evolved and changed to suit the times, with today being no different as the next generation of Ibizan residents, ex pats and foreigners with business interests in the town realise that the “take their money and don’t care” attitude has to be a thing of the past.
Over the last few years with the world wide recession Ibiza as a whole has still been able to bring in the numbers of tourists and this year it is expected to peak at 7 million.
Ok, so people haven’t had as much money in their pockets, and haven’t spent as much as previously but with the exchange rate in favour of the tourists this year you can feel a sense of hope and uplift within the town that 2015 is going to be one of those great years.
I even heard one hotelier say that he hadn’t seen bookings like this since the days of the peseta – a bold statement indeed, but as such is the optimism of the people and the town.
There also seems to be a great sense of care and civic duty, and whilst some of the ideas are bold it is good to aim for the stars, even if this is a transformation which will take many years to achieve.
The music that brings the majority of the tourists to the town will evolve, the Super Clubs will book the big names and charge the price they decide is fair. I have previously likened a trip to a Super Club to a one day Festival and personally don’t believe the prices they charge are that excessive bearing in mind that nearly 200 people work at Amnesia and with the DJ’s fees it’s not a cheap venue to run.
Club Eden is back in the hands of the Dutch this year, bringing good quality nights back to the venue after last year’s disaster with Gatecrasher which left a bad taste in everyone’s mouth. However, it did prove the point that San Antonio and Ibiza are way bigger than any single brand and it takes hard work and dedication to make it in Ibiza.
The emerging style and luxury for all, at an affordable price has slowly taken hold with the Ocean Beach style venue, and this year the Exodus Boat Party is bringing the quality of the product forward but at a price point most people can afford.
The West End will still have its place, as it always has done. I see a few more controls being put in place and a lot more being done behind the scenes to promote a safer environment for all. More education is needed for those coming for their right of passage about drink, drugs and the sunshine.
Tony Truman the man behind Ocean Beach has continued to invest heavily in San Antonio bringing Ocean Mania to the bay last year, and this year changing the workers accommodation scene completely with his involvement with the Apolo. We are already hearing rumours of more being done by him and his team this year and next.
The Mambo Group are also investing and although nothing is concrete, rumours are afoot that they may be moving into the hotel sector. Even if this is not true, they are great visionaries of the town and Javier the father who is an immigrant of sorts, (he originates from the Spanish mainland), has a true passion for the island and understands the product they have.
Several hotels in the area have been refurbished and the idea of “take their money and run” seems to be fading with a “let’s reinvest it in our product” and a “let’s deliver a great product and service” coming to the fore.
With the possibility of ex pat Martin Makepeace being part of the soon-to-be-elected team, the working together for a better San Antonio is growing momentum. Even if Martin doesn’t make it into office, the first steps of Ibizan, ex pats and foreign businessmen joining together has begun, this can only mean great things for the town.
The ultimate goal I believe is to try and find a balance between the young, the slightly older couples, the families and even possibly the pensioners by improving the image of San Antonio, its core product and at the same time keeping the price realistic and investing in the future.
Could we ever see a time where one day a week during the school holidays Ocean Beach opens up to families only with the laughing and splashing of kids playing in the pool while the parents enjoy some great music and service?
I heard that sharp intake of breath from you all, but those that love the music now will soon grow up and have kids, and why should they miss out on Ibiza in years to come?
The story will unfold over the coming months, but it is without doubt that there is an air of excitement within San Antonio and Ibiza as a whole as this season gets underway, and although the journey will be a long and difficult at times every journey starts with just one step.