Jul 29, 2020 | Ibiza Blog | 0 comments

The San An Pirate Report

Written by The San An Pirate

Ocean Beach San Antonio has grown extensively over the past twelve months,  having taken over both the Surf club next door, and the well known local hot spot Cebos across the road next to Thomas Greens British Supermarket.  Whether this is a good or bad move has yet to be seen.

What I can see is International Investment groups taking over many businesses in San Antonio at a time when local politics including the present ruling socialist party in the Balearic Islands, are pushing to return the financial power of the island to the land owners and fishermen.

With their moto “Ibiza for the Ibicencans” I feel they wish to remove as much mass tourism as possible and return to the old days.

So What has this to do with Ocean Beach Club?

Recently, the owners of Ocean Beach, have been making the headlines because of the Surf Club they have now acquired . There are rumours, just as there are press articles. If there’s one thing we’ve learnt this year then it’s that the press cannot be trusted to tell an unbiased truth. Here in Ibiza it is no different.

We could even say that it’s worse. Piracy is engrained in the Ibicenco Culture, the famous stone watchtowers that are dotted around the island were built to protect the locals against raids from notorious Pirates such as Barbarossa. who sailed and plundered the seas around Ibiza. Anybody living here permanently or with businesses on the island may well have experienced it in some way or another

A clear example was the bouncy castle play course that was floating in front of Ocean Beach Hotel the past years. Now being a pirate I talk to many different types of people,  from many different countries,  businesses and walks of life.

For many years locals have tried unsuccessfully to obtain concessions for such play parks in the bay. Then the water park appeared owned by the same people as Ocean Beach.

Which caused a stir of course, not as much as the mayor at that time, naturally a local from here, completed the time as mayor a lot wiser than before. The old Pirate way? Biggest buried treasure wins the deal maybe?

According to the grape vine, it’s one thing. According to the press it’s political hypocrisy, piracy or attention seeking politicians using every chance they get to attack all who do not support them?

There’s talk of licences and permissions. What we do know is that its not supposed to be a Beach Club. Even the new advertising, which I picked up in Spanish, describes it as a family space with family entertainment- definitely not a Beach Club

We know that the present rule of the Balearic Government has forbidden dancing and opening the clubs and we can also see that the look of the place has changed immensely. It is no longer recognisable as the venue it was last year.

Who will be next? The Beach Clubs?

Licenses and permissions normally are dealt with before any construction or deals even take place in Ibiza. The disputed permissions would have been authorised last year with the socialist mayor and his political crew in the town hall, one of which is still sitting at the top table, having defected to the new council. This year we have a different mayor, different party and they appear to be making waves of their own at the family venue which is apparently licensed as a restaurant, which in turn permits the sale of alcohol. No problem.

Unless you can hear the grapevine, feel what the locals are feeling, this is where it gets interesting. I have passed by many times this season, what I have seen has made me support the locals’ view even more than before. An establishment full of skimpy bikinis, high heels, fake eyelashes and more makeup than the craziest pop stars of the eighties – muscles, tattoos, cocktails, bottles and many many shots. All served by scantily clad young English girls, all more alluring than the Spice Girls. Definitely not a place to take your children for a drink, let alone a day.

But the law cannot tell anybody which customers they may have or not have, and this is the loophole that allows interpretation – a common practice employed by nearly every Bar business in Ibiza. Where this argument is being fought over rests with the permissions. Building permissions to be exact. As we know, Ibiza has a long history of new buildings being demolished due to licensing irregularities, a number of times, after the owners have paid for their permits only for the next mayor to revoke them. Navigating the shark infested waters of Ibiza requires a shrewd and tough captain who will often employ the services of a local guide that advises and maps out a path around the rocky shores of licences and permissions. However, not every Guide can deliver on what they promise, something that many rookie investors find out to their peril.

Licenses and permissions normally are dealt with before any construction or deals even take place in Ibiza.

of But this was an existing venue that Ocean Beach took over. How can this be wrong? That depends on which building permissions they had. According to the town hall, a building permission was issued for renovations, light adjustments, nothing serious. What happened?
Well a complete restructure of the sea view terrace and shop front. Including a new entrance/exit to where the clients must queue to enter Ocean Beach Club. Everything but light adjustments and renovations. It was a number of months worth of construction with a large number of construction workers.

So we have an International Investment Group, taking over as many local businesses as it can get its hands on in San Antonio, catering mainly to the 18-30 British party tourists. Because It has managed to plunder so many licenses and permissions in a Pirate bay like San Antonio, the locals are now asking questions. We have a new Mayor and Government in the Town Hall, who are investigating anything the previous Mayor did, which just happens to be the old surf club, a licensed restaurant in a family venue overlooking the main beach, operating just like a beach club. It’s all very strange to the locals

I passed by today. No music, no DJ. Still full of young party tourists and very few children. I hear the financial group who own it are fighting the closure based upon the fact that 150 people are employed there. Which from what I have seen is mainly touristic seasonal workers from the UK.

What will we see happening next? Will the old Pirate code be respected or will the non contentious alterations remain?. Will the town hall and courts recognise the income and taxes generated by its 150 employees as a good reason to keep it open at a time when Spain has five million people unemployed. Will the recent Balearic ideology of “Ibiza for the Ibicencos” affect the outcome? The recent scenes of drunken behaviour in Magaluf will not help, as after all, at the end of the day a foreign business, owned by a foreign enterprise, catering mainly, if not solely, for British tourists, importing British staff. Or will it be the next West End , shut down and hung out to dry under the guise of health guidelines under the New Normality? Its not as if the owners of Ocean Beach are doing anything that hasn’t been done before, but this year the owners brought unwanted attention to themselves by opening against the Balearic Governments wishes, handing them an easy stick to beat them with.

Either way, local authorities and people have shown their anger of having to suffer what they are now calling “excess tourism”. Entire streets or areas catering solely for foreign customers, hiring only foreign staff to basically get as drunk as possible, as cheaply as possible . Showing no remorse or respect for the local culture and their towns. Ibiza is no longer the free and open island it used to be and the British Fleet moored in San Antonio since the 80’s are now under siege from the same growing mindset that has aspirations to reclaim Gibraltar for Spain.

Its no secret that if you closely examined the licencing permits of business in Ibiza, you would probably find “rule bending” by most, so the owners of Ocean Beach are not doing anything that some others are already getting away with.  What is really significant about this case is the people behind it and the message of intent it will send out if they try to restrict its trading, which the Balearic Government has already stated it will. This saga is sure to rumble on I will be keeping a close eyeglass on developments there.

Who will be next for scrunity? The Beach Clubs?

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