Standing in the midst of the thriving IGY Marina, shrouded in darkness as small pangas dart to and fro crossing the wakes of both modest sportfishers and mega yachts heading out for the day’s fishing in the fertile waters surrounding Baja’s tip, it’s difficult to imagine that in 1955 Cabo San Lucas was a “Cannery Town” — population about 100.
That was the year Don Luis Bulnes Molleda and his wife Conchita accepted the assignment and transferred to Cabo from Ensenada to assume the operation of the Empresas Panado tuna cannery, the only tuna cannery throughout Latin America.
Born on August 25, 1928 in Llivia, a village on the coast of Spain, Bulnes immigrated to Mexico City on June 5, 1948 for a job as a warehouse helper working with Myrurgia Perfumes and Colognes, a subsidiary of Pando. Although he found the metropolitan city exciting, it was also overwhelming.
His future wife, Conchita, the third of four children of Maria Ausencia Hernández and Francisco Malo Sautto, was born in San Miguel de Allende, Guanajuato, and attended the primary and secondary schools in San Luis Potosí, where her love of music blossomed. Lacking a piano, she improvised, using tableware to create an imaginary keyboard. Realizing her passion for music, her parents surprised her with her first piano. Later, Conchita enrolled in the National Conservatory of Music in Mexico City where she wrote the music and lyrics of the first of many compositions.
Hotelier Interview with Don Luis Bulnes Molleda, Los Cabos Magazine, Issue #11, Jaunary 22, 2007 (1929 to October 10, 2011)
Walking into the lobby of the luxurious Playa Grande Resort, my eyes immediately look upward to the five-story domed ceiling. Massive columns encircle the expansive great room, beautifully appointed with marble floors, beveled glass, Mexican winged sculptures, and lovely murals. This is a far cry from what Cabo San Lucas was a few short years ago, especially for the developer behind the scenes, Luis Bulnes Molleda. https://www.loscabosmagazine.com/2007/01/hotelier-interviews/
ADIOS A LUIS BULNES , EL ‘REY DEL MARLIN’ Este año que termina pasará a la historia en el concejo de Ribadesella por acontecimientos grandes y pequeños que sus vecinos evocarán con el tiempo de muy diferentes maneras. Pero el 2011 también merece ser recordado por un hecho que ha pasado desapercibido para la inmensa mayoría, la desaparición del último indiano, Luis Bulnes Molleda, fallecido en un hospital de Los Angeles el 10 de octubre pasado. Este emigrante de fortuna nunca regresó al terruño salvo para descansar. https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.312516088780867.78435.212465575452586&type=1
Cabo developer and sportfishing pioneer
Don Luis Bulnes Molleda dies
He was one of the most prominent resort builders in the Cabo area and a champion for sustainable fishing
Cabo San Lucas hotelier and sportfishing pioneer Don Luis Bulnes Molleda has died.
Don Luis, who was born in 1929 in Spain and moved to Mexico as a young man to run a tuna cannery, eventually rose to be one of the most prominent developers in the Cabo area and a champion for sustainable fishing.
You can read a notice of Don Luis’ passing here at Cabovision (link provides English translation), where there are also a number of video interviews (Spanish only).
Los Cabos lost one of his founding fathers when Don Luis Bulnes Molleda died at age 83 in a hospital in Los Angeles, US on October 10, 2011.
Don Luis Bulnes is the mastermind behind the Solmar empire which includes the “Solmar Beach Club Resort” “Playa Grande Resort”, “Hotel Quinta del Sol”, the “Solmar Sport fishing” fleet and the restaurants “El Galeon”, “La Fonda”, “Hacienda el Coyote” and “Romeo y Julieta”.
He arrived to Cabo San Lucas with his bride Conchita in 1955, to an obscure fisherman town with 400 inhabitants, no paved roads, electricity or restaurants. Despite the desolating welcome, Don Luis Bulnes saw the potential and helped turn Los Cabos into one of Mexico best destinations.
In 1969 joined forces with Luis Coppola and started the construction of the Hotel Finisterra, a few months later he sold his interest and started the first phase of the “Solmar Beach Club Resort”.
He was also a great advocate of responsible fishing and his employees remember him as wonderful boss, many of them have been with Don Luis since the very beginning.