New Resort/Casino/Marina for North Ambergris Caye

The Island Newspaper, Ambergris Caye, Belize            Vol. 11, No. 28            July 19, 2001

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Plans for Resort/Casino/Marina on
North Ambergris Caye

Information received this week revealed that the enterprise, The Royal Belize Village Resort, Hotel & Casino may soon become a reality on the island of Ambergris Caye. The proposed development will be located in the Punta Azul area and is being carried out by the owner and principal investor, Mega Theme Resorts, a private development management company in the United States. The complex is described as "A unique place where Beauty & Luxury are combined with Elegance & Style to produce the finest in a Five-Star setting with a spice of Casino action and private luxury residences."

Plans include 150 private residences haciendas, villas and one-bedroom casitas that will be sold as condominiums as well as a 150-room hotel. The name of the chain that will manage the hotel will be named at a later date. Additional recreation facilities will feature a casino with a government approved 25-year exclusive gaming license, a nightclub, yacht club and marina. Employee housing will be provided on this acreage as well.

Reportedly, this resort area was an idea originally proposed by two different developers, McIntosh Alliance and Dolphin International and has been in the planning since 1996. It was stated that all infrastructure including water, electricity and sewer will be self-provided on an estimated 200 acres of land. Royal Belize Resort, Hotel and Casino is reportedly approved and welcomed by the government of Belize with open arms. This totally self-supporting project includes a 25-year corporate income tax exemption as well as duty and sales tax exemption on building materials. A new airport, adjacent to the development, will service the resort.

In a brief interview with Mega Theme Resorts' founder and chairman Peter Oliver Estrella Jr., he stated that "all licenses, permits and approvals" have been procured from the government for the "go ahead" on this endeavor. When questioned regarding the size of the operation, Mr. Estrella replied that all the "numbers" are included in their feasibility study and that his company would issue an informative release sometime in the future. He further stated that as soon as his company secures the financing, reportedly a total of some $US50 million, construction will begin on Phase I of the project which should be completed within 12 months of that date and will include the hotel, casino, night club and 96 private residences. Inquiring as to the positioning of the proposed marina, the founder informed that his company has employed engineers to design this structure and no other information was available to him.
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