GOLF: FUEGO MAYA SEEKS FOR TOURISM
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US$ 50 Million were invested in La Reunion. The resort will include a one hundred keys hotel managed by Hilton’s Waldorf Astoria.
By Rosa María Bolaños, Prensa Libre, March 29th of 2009
Within the country’s different tourism destinations and segments - in this case a product specialized in the sports tourism segment-, Guatemala now offers La Reunion Golf Resort built with an initial investment of US$50 million Dollars, which will increase to a total investment of US$200 million Dollars –comments by Richard Aitkenhead, Investor.
The project’s initial phase was inaugurated yesterday, which includes the Fuego Maya Golf Course, converting it in the largest course in the country with an area of 259 acres, compared with the other existent courses, which have an area of 112 acres maximum, explained Manuel Ríos –General Manager.
It also offers 26 suites, a condo complex, tennis courses and a restaurant, added Aitkenhead, who is one of the main investors.
An events and conventions center with a capacity of 600 persons will be inaugurated the next October, Ríos explained. The rest of the project will include residences and three hotels in total. The resort will include a one hundred keys hotel managed by Hilton’s Waldorf Astoria, according to Aitkenhead. This next phase will take about two or three years.
There are currently 300 members in the real estate component of the project, but this number will increase with the second phase of it, up to 900 residences/members in the resort/club.
The project is located in KM 91.5 in San Juan Alotenango, at the skirts of four volcanoes. With the club, hotel and golf course as its main attraction, it is projected to have 5,000 golf players in the first year, said Aitkenhead. Although there will be capability to receive up to 20,000 players per year.
For this year, a 40% occupancy rate is expected for the first small boutique hotel recently inaugurated in the project, said Ríos.
The entrepreneur explained that golf players are attracted by the difficulty that the design of the golf course implies combined with the landscape of it. “It is a very challenging golf course and with and extraordinary scenic design. There are players that say that they don’t know whether to play golf or take pictures”, explained Ríos.
“With the launching of this project, an increase in tourism and sports tourism is expected and the country will be able to host high level international tournaments”, Rafael Espada, country’s Vice President and Roberto Robles, Guatemala’s Tourism Board Director, affirmed.
For this reason, a Golf Commission has been created with the objective o promoting Guatemala as a destination for golf tournaments and tourism, integrated by hoteliers, tour operators, golf clubs and Guatemala’s Tourism Board Commission, explained Ríos.
At the moment, they will start promoting in the US, Mexico and Central America, expanding then to Europe; although they have already received the visit of nine European large scale tour operators, from the 400 they expect to receive and are also seeking to bring to the country the “Nation Wide” event, which is one of the largest international events along with other tournaments.
Combination of Activities
The Fuego Maya Golf Couse includes:
• 259 acres and 18 holes
• It is called Fuego Maya (Mayan Fire) because it was designed based on the antique Mayan Solar Calendar
• It was designed by Pete Dye and his son Perry Dye, internationally renowned
• Pete Dye has designed golf resorts in countries such as the US and Dominican Republic
• The Green Field fee is US $150 Dollars, including the golf cart and others
• The room rate per night ranges from US $250 to US$300 dollars