Friday, December 19, 2008

Marinas: Building on the Waters

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It seems that marina projects grow like grass in Costa Rica. If projects continue being approved and developed, Costa Rica will be the leader in marinas in Latin America. So far, there are 21 projects that have been announced, approved or already finished. These projects cost from $10 to $40 millions each and will hire at least 1,000 people each. From those 21 marinas, 9 projects belong to Guanacaste. The rest are located in the Central Pacific, the South Pacific and just one in the Caribbean Zone in Moin port.
Eight of these projects are pretty advanced. The Marina Papagayo, in Papagayo Golf is already being constructed. Marina Pez Vela, in Quepos, and Marina Golfito, in the south of the country, are already in progress as well.
With all these marinas, Costa Rica might as well become the country with the most dock places in the continent. This is happening because of the growing tourist interest in Costa Rica. Tourists come to this country not only for its wonderful flora and fauna but also because of the treasures that are hidden under the water. The convenient climate and the fact that this country is in the middle of the continent make this destination very attractive. Here, boats can stop to get new provisions and fuel to continue their trip towards the south, north of the continent or to cross the Panama canal.
Another reason why marinas are blooming in Costa Rica is because a lot of foreigners are buying condos and properties on the Pacific Coast. Many of them are bringing down their boats and yachts to enjoy the year round good weather
There is a marina already operating in the Pacific Coast in Garabito, Puntarenas. Marina Los Suenos was opened and functioning since 2001. It has created more than 1,000 direct jobs that include 500 sailors, yacht captains, mechanics and people to fill up the tanks. This marina was a key element to the development of the area. According to the CIMAT (Comisión Interinstitucional de Marinas y Atracaderos Turísticos), it fomented the arrival of foreign investors as well as the building of condos and commercial centers that generated hundreds of jobs. This marina created about 3,500 indirect jobs. 25% of the boats docked at this marina belong to Costa Rican people. Also, public services as phone lines, water and electricity improved a lot in this area thanks to this activity.
Marina Papagayo is expected to be finished by mid 2009. Its cost is going to be more than $15 millions when finished. It alone offers 382 docking places.
Marina Pez Vela will be built in Quepos and its final cost will surpass the $16 millions. It will hold up to 300 boats and yachts. This marina will offer all basic services including fuel and drinking water.
These marinas will serve small boats as well as $1,000,000 yachts. Yacht sizes may go from 12 meters up to 42 meters long. Tourists coming on yachts may spend about $6,000 a month or even more depending on the number of the crew and the special needs required.
All of these marinas together will be able to dock more than 5,500 boats. Prices per month will go from $150 to $1,300 per month.

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