A new convention center will open in Torreón, Coahuila, late this summer just in time for an international chile fair.
A campaign promise by then-presidential candidate Enrique Peña Nieto, the Torreón Convention Center is now 99% finished and gearing up for its opening event in August.
Construction of the first two phases is near completion while a third phase, a 2,000-square-meter awning, is to start soon.
The president of the La Laguna Convention and Visitors’ Office (OCV) explained that the center, which has been estimated to cost more than 150 million pesos (US $7.6 million), is a much needed infrastructure project because the city’s travel industry is mostly business-related.
María Eugenia Villarreal Abusaíd said that with a modern venue the city will be able to host large-scale events such as the pepper convention, which is expected to bring 5,000 visitors to the city.
The event will attract not only the general public, she said, but also scientific, business, farming and industrial communities from Mexico and abroad.
Along with the financial benefit the event will have for the city, Villareal hopes for another spinoff benefit. By bringing the most important producers of chile peppers in the world, there is hope that interest will be sparked in renewing local chile production.
The proposal is to grow jalapeño chiles before venturing into other varieties in the greater La Laguna region, which is comprised of large expanses of arable land in the states of Coahuila and Durango.
“Peppers are no longer used only as food, they can be used in medical treatments . . . and in the manufacture of automotive coatings,” Villareal said.