Mexican authorities abruptly shutter LGBTQ hotel in Puerto Vallarta

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05/20/2024

Mexican authorities abruptly and without warning shut down a longtime LGBTQ hotel in Puerto Vallarta Friday night, leaving some guests with their belongings tossed in the street. Hotel Mercurio had been in operation for 22 years in the heart of the resort city’s gay-popular Zona Romantica neighborhood, south of downtown. The hotel’s American owner, Paul Crist, is well known for his work in support of the LGBTQ community. The shutdown came days before Puerto Vallarta Pride, scheduled to run May 22-26. The May 17 forced closure was apparently the result of a long simmering lawsuit stemming from the sale of the property from a German owner to Crist in 2002. In an open letter published by the Puerto Vallarta LGBTQ publication Out and About Puerto Vallarta on Sunday, May 19, Crist wrote that his financial issues cascaded as a result of the previous hotel owner granting him a two-year mortgage to pay off part of the $400,000 purchase price. Crist wrote that the owner eventually refused to give him the receipts he needed to take the tax deduction for the mortgage payments. Crist believes that may have been done so that the previous owner could avoid paying taxes on those payments.

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