Proposed Hard Rock hotel faces a court challenge. Proposed Hard Rock hotel faces a court challenge.

Environmental group wants to stop hotel

Irregularities claimed in federal environmental permit for Cancún project

Environmentalists have filed a legal challenge against the federal government’s authorization for construction of the Hard Rock Hotel Riviera Cancún.


The Mexican Center for Environmental Law (Cemda) claims the hotel site is located in the area of influence of the National Parks of Isla Mujeres, Punta Cancún and Punta Nizuc, the Arrecife National Park of Puerto Morelos and the Nichupté protected area.

“The project includes a desalinization plant but it lacks a study on the impact of the 360 cubic meters of brine it will produce every day for 50 years,” Cemda said.

The organization believes the brine could become a source of pollution for the park in Puerto Morelos, damaging the endangered elkhorn coral.

Other threatened species include four different varieties of mangrove, three kinds of coral, three types of sea turtles and local plant life including Florida thatch and Mexican silver palm trees, all protected by federal environmental regulations.

“The environmental impact authorization was granted under evidently erroneous criteria, without a proper technical and scientific assessment of the effects on coastal wetlands, mangroves and sand dunes, on the federal maritime-terrestrial federal zone and the adjoining marine zone and its coral reefs,” Cemda said in a prepared statement.


The NGO also claimed that the developer presented an environmental impact study that “suffers from important deficiencies that were not taken into consideration by Semarnat [the federal Secretariat of the Environment and Natural Resources] . . . .”

One factor is the hotel’s projected height of 49 meters, which could affect air currents and become a triggering factor for erosion of the beach.

The planned construction of a pool on an area exceeding one hectare could also affect the sand dune ecosystem, “essential for its protection against storms and hurricanes.”

Plans for the US $225-million, 1,800-room hotel at kilometer 17.5 on Kukulcán Boulevard were announced in early 2015, and the project was approved by Semarnat in July.

Source: Reforma (sp)

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  • WestCoastHwy

    If you don’t know business practices in Mexico, this is a 101 course in bribes and extortion. Obvious someone didn’t get his or her cut or the October Surprise. Either way if not another, Mexicans are the most difficult people on this planet when it comes to plain black and white logic. Read the contract and consider the terms of limitations you F@#k idiots!

  • Happy Girl

    In Mexico you live in the moment and everyone is pursuing the all mighty dollar. No one is thinking about what could possibly happen…it doesn’t even enter one’s mind especially if a huge profit is involved. Environmental concerns are for pussies. The sad thing is, Cancun has a terminal disease. It has grown too large, because it has only one reason for existing…tourism. Build, build, build….money, money, money. Cancun now has the drug cartels to deal with, tainted alcohol, rapes and exploitation of tourists – all in the name of making a dollar. It all begins at the airport where tourists are met by scammers…time share salespeople, van and taxi people steering you to over priced shuttles…pickpockets and those looking for the newbies…Cancun is scary. Even those passing thru Cancun are at risk…example, the gringa who was murdered by her taxi driver on her way to her home in Merida, all for her camera and her money. Investing in Cancun is for fools…one summer a hurricane will wash it into the ocean. Who knew cutting down the mangroves, paving the floodplain would destroy and undermine the land?

    • Bonnie McCarthy

      I disagree with you stating that Cancun is scary. It’s no more scary than any large US city or tourist area. Have been going to Cancun every year since 1988 and I do agree about the hotel zone being overbuilt. I remember all the small restaurants scattered throughout the zone. Most are gone now except for those in the party area. And the gigantic hotels, mostly all-inclusive, have ruined Cancun. I still enjoy going, but now I spend a few days in a non-all-inclusive in the hotel zone, then head downtown to spend the rest of my vacation with Mexican friends that I had the privilege of meeting many years ago.