Longtime Vail local headed to Argentina
Vail, CO, Colorado
VAIL, Colorado It’s always fun to hear from Vail’s Mark Cervantes, usually because he’s involved in some new business venture.
For the 15 years he’s been in Vail, Cervantes has sold real estate, handled marketing campaigns and helped run hotels, among other jobs. He’s also had his own business, Concierge Cervantes, a business for Spanish-speaking tourists coming to Vail.
Now it’s time for a new adventure.
Cervantes and his girlfriend, Marisa Doporto, are flying to her native Argentina in the next few days. During the coming, and quite short, Patagonian ski season, the couple will help run a bar they’ve bought a piece of at the Villa Langostura resort.
“It’s like Los Amigos (in Vail) right under the Centennial lift (in Beaver Creek),” Cervantes said. “You can ski right into it.”
After the ski season ” which runs from June through September in Patagonia ” Cervantes and Doporto will move to a place she owns in Buenos Aries. Cervantes said he’s mostly using a slack time in the U.S. economy to take a foreign adventure, but anyone who knows him knows he isn’t going to just act like a tourist. He has plans for a couple of ventures while he’s in Argentina.
One is a mirror image of Concierge Cervantes that he’s calling Tours Through Argentina. He and Doporto can act as concierges for Americans visiting Argentina, arranging lodging and recommending the best places to eat, drink and, of course, catch a tango performance.
“It’s a great time to go there right now,” he said. “Flights are cheap, and dollars go a long way.”
Good salesman that he is, Cervantes is enthusiastic about all there is to see and do in Argentina. Patagonia is a recreation haven ” some of the best fly fishing in the world is there,” he said ” and Buenos Aries is the eighth-largest city in the world.
He’s also enthusiastic about the prospects available in that large city.
Buenos Aries is home to about 100,000 American expatriates, from retirees to people who’ve decided, for whatever reason, they simply like life better in the southern hemisphere.
Now, 100,000 people in a city of 20 million isn’t a big chunk of the population. But it is a lot of people, and Cervantes thinks there’s opportunity in that American outpost.
Since he and Doporto are fluent in both English and Spanish, they’re going to start a business called Speak It Argentina. One side of the business will be teaching Spanish to business people, expatriates and others. The other side will be teaching American English to people who need to talk to Americans.
“The English they teach in schools is British English,” Cervantes said. “They don’t want that.”
And, it turns out, there’s no English-language radio station in Buenos Aries, so Cervantes is trying to take a page from local Spanish-language radio.
“I’m working on a business plan for just a few hours (on the air) to talk about football, politics, music, whatever,” Cervantes said.
While Cervantes is already planning to make a living down south, he’s also fairly certain this move will be temporary.
“I’ve got all my stuff in storage here,” he said. “This is where my roots are now. I’m coming back to Vail.”
Business Editor Scott N. Miller can be reached at 970-748-2930 or email@example.com.