One of Nicaragua’s most anticipated big-name development projects has just added another impressive feather to its cap.
Seaside Mariana, a 2-kilometer stretch of central Pacific coastline that will become Central America’s first Jack Nicklaus-signature golf resort, announced last week that it has teamed up with Wyndham Worldwide Hotels & Resorts to build the $30 million, 330-room Wyndham Mariana Resort.
The addition of the world’s largest hotel franchise to the Seaside Mariana brand is expected to give the luxury project an important boost and provide a stimulus to Nicaragua’s Pacific coast real estate market.
“This will inevitably create a boost in momentum that will get us through the development phases quicker and result in even better results for our investors,” said Grupo Mariana Chairman Kevin Fleming.
Spread across 923 acres of prime Pacific coast real estate, Seaside Mariana will feature a variety of golf-course and oceanfront villas, homes and condominiums, a luxury hotel, an equestrian center, a spa and an ocean club.
By the end of 2012, Fleming expects Seaside Mariana will be “the largest project in the country” (NT, July 18, 2008).
The project has already sold 274 of 282 home sites and 28 of 86 condos – all in preconstruction. The project announced this week that it is about to release another phase with some 180 golf course homes, bungalows and condos.
The Wyndham Hotel will have 125 hotel rooms on five floors, plus 44 luxury condos in two 10-floor towers, Fleming said.
Though the project hasn’t broken ground yet, Seaside Mariana has already invested $15 million in land, plans and development costs, Fleming said. The first phase will be $3 million in roads and water infrastructure, $6 million for the golf course and $30 million for the hotel.
If all goes according to schedule, golfers could be teeing off by June 2012, Fleming said.
Enthusiasm Paying Off
Since first coming to Nicaragua in 2005, Fleming, a 39-year-old Canadian, has exhibited unwavering enthusiasm for the country’s development and tourism potential, even during the country’s tougher moments in recent years.
With the recent addition of the Wyndham brand name to his project, Fleming now has more reason than ever to be optimistic.
In addition to selling real estate under the Wyndham name, Seaside Mariana’s partnership with the international hotel franchise will give them access to the chain’s central reservation system, vacation ownership and global sales and marketing department, Fleming said.
Wyndham will not provide direct funding for the hotel development, but will provide brand-name feasibility studies that Seaside Mariana can use to secure funding from big institutional lenders.
“Obviously, having the largest brand hotel in the world adds to the credibility of the resort and the studies presented to these high net worth individuals and equity/debt institutions can rely upon these studies in the decisions to lend or invest money,” Fleming told The Nica Times in a email.
Once the hotel is built, it will be managed by Kemper Sports Management, the same group responsible for managing the Nicklaus golf course and Seaside Mariana homeowners’ association.
Kemper Sports Management is the third-largest golf course operator in the United States.
The Nicaraguan government has also expressed its enthusiasm for the project.
In a 2008 interview with The Nica Times, Tourism Minister Mario Salinas called Seaside Mariana “one of the primer investment projects in Nicaragua” and said it had the government’s full support.
And Nicaragua has good reason to support such a project. With internationally recognized partners such as Jack Nicklaus and Wyndham, Seaside Mariana will provide brand-name stamps of approval for the country’s nascent tourism and development markets.
“With the number one hotel brand in the world and largest vacation ownership, having Wyndham will certainly increase the visibility of Nicaragua on a global scale,” Fleming said.