In December of last year we told you about the sale of Caye Chapel to a Mexican group - which already has resorts in Northern San Pedro, Playa Del Carmen And Acapulco. That's a good resume, but it hasn't translated into very much on the ground in Caye Chapel where things seem to be at a standstill.
But today, those developers got a shot in the arm from the visit of pro golf hall of famer Greg Norman. Norman won 20- PGA Tour Titles in his career and is now one of the most sought after golf course designers in the world. And that's what Caye Chapel is all about. It already has an 18 hole golf course - albeit a very run down one - and today Norman visited to sign unto the project: he says he will build a world class golf course on Caye Chapel.
7News was in Caye Chapel for his arrival:...
Jules Vasquez reporting
Golfer Greg Norman - seen here with the sling - and his entourage arrived on Caye Chapel this morning. After a quick flyover and meeting the ministers of Tourism and Trade, It was over to the clubhouse where a gaggle of newly minted ministers of state were waiting as well as the Michael Ashcroft's son, Andrew and the Prime Minister's wife, Kim Barrow.
As close as you will get to an A-list event on a Thursday morning. After niceties and well wishing's about the recent election. Norman, the developers and government glitterati took the head table to talk about the development of a luxury resort:
Jaime Fasja, Developer "One step closer to materialize a luxury resort. Thanks to the collaboration of Greg Norman in the design in which undoubtedly be one of the striking gold course in the world. Caye Chapel will have one of the most important gold courses in the continent. Thanks to Greg Norman's collaboration. It will undoubtedly be a mandatory destination for the most important and renowned golfers in the world. With an investment with over 250 million dollars on the first phase, the project is being developed by three top Mexican groups."
Those names, like Thor Urbana may sound foreign but they have millions to invest - and while this is still just a concept, the one thing that everyone is waiting for is a luxury brand name:
Jaime Fasja, Developer "The remaining of 2015 and most of 2016 will be a year dedicated to completing the design for the gold course for completing the master plan. Selecting the hotel plan we have more than 9 different luxury brands interested in being part of this project. So we will be selecting which brand we think suits better this development. 2016 is a planning year and we are aiming to begin construction towards the end of the year."
Jules Vasquez "Probably for 15 years we've been hearing that a luxury brand will arrived. Tracey knows it well. The minister knows it well, but again they somehow never reached fruition. Are you confident that these luxury brands that you are engaged with will finally come to Belize?"
Jaime Fasja, Developer "Yes. We are really confident. We have great relationship with luxury brands. We are engaged with them in 4 different project today and we brought many of them and the decision making people of those brands to the island already. For confidentiality reasons I can't share which ones yet. But there is a lot of appetite for this type of product."
Hon. Manuel "Juniour" Heredia, Minister of Tourism "I believe that the Caye Chapel project will be a reality. I believe it will one a first class that will really open the doors for the tourism industry."
Hon. Tracey Taegar-Panton, Min. of State Investment "We are confident that as partners, you will be able to see a meaningful return on your investment. But also that we will be able to create opportunities for many Belizeans."
Luxury brands and big jobs, but what about the environment? The putting greens of Caye Chapel are within sight of the reef:
Greg Norman, Golf Course Designer "The priority here is basically is to protect what Mother Nature have given us. Mother Nature given this place Caye Chapel a beautiful place to be and you only have to fly in here to look at it. Belize is the benefactor of that because it's the country's beautiful assets out there. So their responsibility is to protect that."
Hon. Manuel "junior" Heredia, Minister of Tourism "We support your project and I am sure that after your EIA is completed, we will be able to give it final blessing."
Greg Norman, Golf Course Designer "We are extremely environmentally sensitive. I said I was a chairman of the board for the environmental institute for golf and one of the key issues that I focused in on was the sensitivity of golf courses. So I am completely aware of that. Another issue that I am very aware of is prepping the run-off of golf courses and where do that run-off go? Can you contain that? If you can contain it and you can filter it up, then all the impurities which are very few nowadays compare to back in the 90s from fertilizers added on the golf course - it's basically minimized. So we do that today."
Sounds good, but it's a looong ways off - this one is surely a fixer upper and Isiah Mortar's old coconuts know about fortunes lost on this island and the investors can only hope that their big plan is a hole in one.
Norman says he has visited Belize for diving and tourism many times over the last 27 years. Again, the timeline says that work on the project will actually start in late 2016.
Caye Chapel Set for World Class Golf Course and Luxury Resort
Caye Chapel, an exclusive property, is on its way to becoming home to a world class golf course. The island was acquired by a Mexican group of hoteliers last December after being on the market for some time; they will be investing two hundred and fifty million dollars to upgrade the facilities. The two hundred and sixty-five acre island is located ten miles off the Belize City coast and already boasted an eighteen-hole golf course. But the new owners are going bigger and have brought in Australian Greg Norman, a well-known Open Championship Winner, to move the project along. News Five’s Isani Cayetano was on the island today when Norman unveiled the plans for Caye Chapel.
Isani Cayetano, Reporting
Australian professional golfer Greg Norman, along with an entourage of enthusiasts, arrived on Caye Chapel this morning. The two hundred and sixty-five acre private island, among the foremost pieces of real estate in Belize, is being developed into a world class tourist destination.
Jaime Fasja, Developer
“Caye Chapel will be the most exclusive and spectacular tourist destination in Central America. The hundred and fourteen hectare island located only eighteen kilometers away from Belize City will offer breathtaking lots and beachfront houses, a luxury hotel with over-water bungalows that are unique in this part of the world.”
Since being purchased by a leading Mexican luxury hotel development group in 2014, plans have been underway to transform Caye Chapel into a golfer’s dream. To achieve that end, Abraham Roffe and business partner Abraham Saade have enlisted the services of Great White Shark Enterprises, famous for having designed many of the best golf courses in the world. The multinational corporation is headed by Greg Norman, two-time Open Championship Winner.
Greg Norman, Professional Golfer
“We are here for a specific reason but the decisions we make on the golf course are going to impact everything that happens within the development. So we work extremely closely with the developer, with the land planner, even with the government officials to make sure that the impact is zero, number one, but the outcome is something where people will come to this destination and come to Belize to experience what Caye Chapel is all about.”
What the island is intended to be is the country’s first luxury resort. Abutted on the windward side by the barrier reef and Caye Caulker just a short plane or boat ride north, Caye Chapel is ideal for the golf and tourist lifestyles.
“The private landing strip that allows for arrivals within minutes to the island that come from international airports, an outstanding yacht marina that holds yachts up to one hundred and forty feet surrounded by a select mix of stores, restaurants [and] bars that will create our village. And a golf course with no match that only an island like Caye Chapel can offer. Caye Chapel island is just one kilometer away from the second largest coral reef in the world and just a few kilometers away from the Blue Hole, the most coveted place for diving lovers. Once Caye Chapel opens its doors it will allow those who visit this idyllic and exclusive resort to enjoy an unparalleled offer to unique attractions worldwide.”
To do so, the Government of Belize must first approve the master plan, including all its accompanying blueprints pertaining to the mammoth undertaking and its potential environmental impact. Minister of Tourism Manuel Heredia, a member of the Cabinet Subcommittee gives the project his blessings.
Manuel Heredia, Minister of Tourism
“We have really looked at your project and believe that it will be, it will materialize and this subcommittee reported to Cabinet that we support your project and I’m sure that after your EIA is completed we will be able to give a final blessing. And now we bring a guy that is an expert on the environment, Dr. Omar Figueroa who is along with us and I am sure that together we will be able to make your project a reality.”
The initial investment of approximately two hundred and fifty million dollars is rather significant.
“The project is being developed by three top Mexican groups; Thor Urbana Capital, Inmobilia and GFA.”
While its financiers are undoubtedly expecting a return from such a huge venture, government is equally concerned about economic and employment opportunities for Belizeans. Minister of State in Investment, Trade and Commerce Tracy Taegar-Panton:
Tracy Taegar-Panton, Minister of State, Investment, Trade & Commerce
“We are committed to facilitating important investments such as this one that will happen here on Caye Chapel. We are confident that as partners you would be able to see a meaningful return on your investment but also that we will be able to create opportunities for many Belizeans. For that we are grateful. I look forward to working with you very closely and working very closely with the investment group.”
The project will remain in its conceptual phase for the better part of 2016 pending the necessary clearances. Construction is set to begin immediately thereafter. Reporting for News Five, I am Isani Cayetano.
Mega project for Caye Chapel Island: Un macroproyecto con sello yucateco According to the "Diario de Yucatan" News,Thor Urbana Capital is in Belize today to assess and sign plans for the new development. Con una inversión de más de 250 millones de dólares, Inmobilia, la empresa yucateca de bienes raíces premium detrás del Yucatán Country Club, Country Towers y Vía Montejo, entre otros, desarrollará, en asociación con Thor Urbana Capital, su primer macroproyecto fuera de las fronteras mexicanas al anunciar Caye Chapel, un exclusivo y lujoso complejo turístico, residencial, ecológico y deportivo, localizado a unos kilómetros de la costa de Belice.
Enclavado en las cristalinas aguas del mar Caribe, Caye Chapel se convertirá en poco tiempo en un destino exclusivo, armado con casi 4 kilómetros de playa, un majestuoso campo de golf de la firma Greg Norman, un hotel gran turismo de renombre internacional, residencias beachfront, y bungalows asentados sobre el mar turquesa, se informa en un comunicado.
Ubicada a unos minutos de Belice por avión, la isla de 114 hectáreas contará también con un private landing strip disponible las 24 horas del día al servicio de los residentes y visitantes, permitiendo conexiones en minutos con los aeropuertos internacionales de San Pedro y Belice.
The Astounding Revelation of Caye Chapel's Luxury Golf Course Project
Travelers and tourists all over the globe are being frantic in visiting the country of Belize that has been known for having over 450 offshore islands that provide great outdoor activities for the whole family. The place is truly a tourist destination but that is not the reason for its recent popularity. The public is stunned by the news that golf legend Greg Norman is adopting and will be re-designing the Caye Chapel Golf Course as part of their huge proposed development project on the island.
Greg Norman a professional golfer and a full-time entrepreneur is a renowned golf player for being the #1 ranked golfer in the Official World Golf Ranking in the 1980’s and 1900’s. Aside from his fame with golf, he is also entitled from having a great reputation in designing numerous golf courses all over the globe. That is just the start, with his enormous talent. He has been planning to build a world-class golf course on Caye’s Chapel that already has an 18-hole golf course. With his undoubtful fame and social status, Belize officials are thrilled as they believe that his project can bring huge benefits to the islands tourism industry.
Although Greg Norman’s revelation is still on the move, travelers and tourist should explore the island for a weekend getaway as the whole family can spend some time playing and discovering the beauty of the island.
The Golf Course
The Caye Chapel Gold Course is composed of great mixtures of both challenge and picturesque, where the course is mostly covered with a spit of sand as they move north and south from the massive clubhouse in between the saltwater pond and swaying palm trees. Every hole on the course generally offers a Caribbean ambiance. With holes positioned near the sea floor, golfers can have a quick swim if they want to. With the course being on an island, they can expect to have the course all to themselves. As they plan for a swim, they should avoid the ponds for they are home to saltwater crocodiles which are indigenous to the Western Caribbean.
Place to Stay on the Island
As the play golf on the island and they choose to stay for another day or two, the island offers a beautiful bench fort villa that can accommodate 4 persons and a marina front casitas for 2 people. Although the villas are built with kitchens, they are no market in Caye Chapel. Guests have to get their meals at the very elegant clubhouse restaurant. As they seek for a fun and exciting nightlife and shopping extravaganza, they should stay as Ambergris Caye which is the busiest tourist island with a 10 minute fly on a plane and a 40- minute ride by boat.
Caye Chapels other breathtaking attractions
From a huge and fabulous golf course, indulge with their great coastal area. For the country is known to have the Second Largest barrier reef in the world. Caye Chapel Island Resort can assist all their guests’ aquatic activities. Aside from that, they can also facilitate some mainland adventure on visiting Mayan ruins and Belize Zoo.
So, plan that weekend getaway and indulge on the beauty of this great island complete with marine and mainland activities perfect for the whole family and friends looking for adventure. Aside from the fun and excitement the place provides, guests have a great chance to meet celebrities and most famous individual as they all want to enjoy the luxury the island provide.