On what was almost one anniversary to Naval Station (NAVSTA) Rota installation and Kingdom of Spain entering into a lockdown due to the global pandemic, a small group gathered in front of the new El Patio complex for its grand opening, March 12, 2021.
“This facility that we’re about to open is a culmination of eight years of planning, dedication and hard work by Rota MWR and NAVFAC professionals here in Rota,” said Capt. David Baird, commanding officer of NAVSTA Rota, during the opening remarks. “The vision that we had when we started this project was to create a ‘main street’ or town center of our base. A place where family and friends could meet. A place for our community to come together. We feel that we have achieved that goal.”
Baird reflected on the past year – a year of minimal manning, shutting programs and facilities, home confinement, curfew and more.
“As a community, we’ve endured an extremely challenging year and now we see a light at the end of the tunnel,” said Baird. “It just seems fitting that we christen this new facility providing additional hope for our future here.”
The El Patio complex is operated by Rota Morale, Welfare and Recreation (MWR) and features Bombers Fresh Mex quick-service restaurant, adults-only Tower Pub with southern BBQ menu, and Flix with two 71-seat state-of-the-art cinemas.
Throughout the opening weekend, NAVSTA Rota community members enjoyed trying the new menus at Bombers, enjoying a drink and Southern BBQ on the outdoor patio space, watching movies, or giving a try at the climbing wall. If this weekend was any indication, the facility will live up to its goal of being a town center for the base.
“I think quality-of-life initiatives such as this only enhance Rota as one of the desirable duty locations in our Navy,” said Baird. “Certainly facilities like this helps our entire community to ‘live their best life’ here in Southern Spain.”