An Interview with Ernesto Coppel

He has a household name. Whether it’s because he launched a new business, created new job opportunities or written a new book, we’ve heard that name for decades. Ernesto Coppel is well known. As a successful business man who’s always made sure to give back to the community he’s a part of, his story is worthy of telling and an important part of Los Cabos’ history. We sat down with him and he told us everything; why he chose Cabo, what it takes to run an empire, what he reads and what his guilty pleasures are.

THE FIRST MILLION 

Back in the day, Mazatlan was booming. Timeshare sales were off the charts and the future looked incredibly promising. Ernesto Coppel had just made his first million when he set his eyes on Cabo. “As I stepped off the airplane and took my first breath of fresh air, I realized it smelled of 100 dollar bills,” he told Destino. Ernesto Coppel had arrived and nothing would ever be the same. He’d never been here before but after taking his friend’s advice and a loan, he embarked on the project that would not only change his life but the landscape in Baja California Sur, as well. At this time, cows pastured on the unpaved streets. Infrastructure was an unknown word. In order to succeed in his plans he would have to bet on this destination and invest in concrete streets and a coat of paint for the whole town. 

WHAT IT TAKES

Making Cabo a first class destination came with its difficulties. Like anywhere else in the world, launching successful businesses takes courage and a lot of tough decisions. Ernesto recalled the time he took initiative and brought down every single billboard from San Lucas to San Jose in efforts to preserve the rustic scenery and natural beauty, an action that ended up turning into a law still in place today. When you come across a place as valuable as Los Cabos, you treasure it and take care of it which is exactly what he did and part of the reason for his success. Ernest Coppel was noble to this land and the land was noble back to him. “Why waste efforts in places that aren’t worth much? Cabo is priceless,” he said. Although his hotels, restaurants, golf course and residences have stood proudly and strongly in this town for decades, it is only the beginning for this shark.

Shark Tank Mexico put our beaches on the map for a whole new audience. Ernesto Coppel is one of seven sharks in the newest season. By sharing his expertise on television, he has shed a light on his empire. What he wants people to know is that this is the land of opportunities, whether it’s real estate or the hospitality industry. He urges people to consider Cabo first. “It is safe, it is small and it’s near the U.S. That’s why Americans love it here,” he told us.

MORE THAN BRILLIANT

Napoleon Bonaparte is an important figure in Ernesto Coppel’s life. Not for his actions but for his mind. Ernesto is an avid reader and a collector of interesting historic artifacts. He’s the kind of person you could sit with for hours and learn a whole college course worth of history, art and philosophy. 

He also mentioned a quote by Jordan Belfort. “You have three seconds to prove to your prospect that you know your product more than anyone else. That you’re honest and that you’re sharp as a tack” he said. Ernesto Coppel knows Cabo and has known how to sell it. 

When we asked him who his main influences have been in his life, he answered “I have quite a few but I would name my first wife and my actual wife.” He shared a reflection about growing alongside a partner. “The best education a man can receive is from his wife and vice versa” he commented, which really does say a lot about him. It comes down to reciprocity, and evolving hand in hand which is what he’s done with this destination. 

THE EPICENTER OF WEALTH

Cabo and Ernesto have an important word in common: wealth. Why does he love it here? It all comes down to quality. The services, the facilities, the rooms! They are first class and unlike anything anywhere else in the world. “We are all so lucky to be here,” he said. The peace and quiet and the beauty are everything to him. The fact that millionaires and Hollywood stars vacation here completely anonymously is evidence that we are, in fact, the epicenter of wealth. Locals are used to celebrities in their everyday lives. In return, the VIPS feel at home and return year after year. “Keep them coming,” Ernesto said. We live where millionaires vacation.

ABOUT HAPPINESS

When we asked him about a happy memory, his response was as shocking as it was relatable. “When they installed air conditioning in my house when I was ten. I’ve never been happier in my entire life! We would all sleep in the same room because we couldn’t stand the humidity in Mazatlan,” he recalled. The image of Ernesto Coppel as a child enjoying the A.C. is an image we won’t forget and a testament to his humble beginnings. Rome wasn’t built in a day and neither was his empire. This man enjoys Cabo so much he urges new tourists to count their blessings and to enjoy as much as they can. “You’re in the best place in the world!”

Ernesto Coppel is always moving forward and always looking for opportunities to grow. Where can you find Ernesto Coppel on any given Friday? If he happens to be in town, because he travels so much, you might find him checking in at a different hotel. He likes to experience what tourist’s experience and often stays the night at hotels he’s curious about. 

Ah cabron!” he exclaimed when asked about his guilty pleasures. His answer was nothing more than the perfect example of one of his best traits: his sense of humor. “To have two vodka martinis and think about getting a third one.”