Sudden Closure of LGBTQ Hotel Mercurio in Puerto Vallarta Shocks Community

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Sudden Closure of LGBTQ Hotel Mercurio in Puerto Vallarta Shocks Community

Mexican authorities abruptly shut down the long-standing LGBTQ hotel, Hotel Mercurio, in Puerto Vallarta on Friday night, leaving some guests with their belongings thrown out onto the street. The hotel, which had operated for 22 years, is located in the popular LGBTQ-friendly Zona Romantica neighborhood, south of downtown. The American owner, Paul Crist, is well-known for his support of the LGBTQ community. The closure occurred just days before Puerto Vallarta Pride, scheduled for May 22-26.

The forced shutdown on May 17 seems to stem from a long-standing lawsuit related to the sale of the property from a German owner to Crist in 2002. In an open letter published on May 19 by the Puerto Vallarta LGBTQ publication “Out and About Puerto Vallarta,” Crist explained that his financial difficulties began due to the previous owner granting him a two-year mortgage to pay off part of the $400,000 purchase price. According to Crist, the former owner eventually refused to provide the receipts necessary for tax deductions on the mortgage payments, possibly to avoid paying taxes on those payments.

This unexpected closure has caused significant disruption, especially with the impending Pride celebrations, and highlights the ongoing legal and financial struggles faced by Crist since acquiring the hotel.

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