Getting warmer in Mexico
Ex-Olympic skier trades snow for Vivo Resort in Puerto Escondido
Although a series of concussions closed down Cary Mullen’s life as a competitive skier, they opened the door to new challenges. After suffering three concussions from on-hill crashes — one of which prevented him from competing in the 1998 Olympics in Nagano, Japan — the Calgary downhiller and two-time Olympian announced his retirement from the sport in 2000.
Sadly, the break had been made and competitive skiing was finished.
Now it was time for some doctor-ordered R and R — and there aren’t many better recovery rooms than hanging out on a beach on Maui in Hawaii.
Not only did the white sand and blue waters of the Pacific serve to soothe Mullen, they spawned the germ of an idea in his healing head.
He liked the beach scene and after the rehab session ended, Mullen says he set out to find the “best beachfront location for lifestyle and investment” in the world. He found it in Puerto Escondido on the Pacific coast of Mexico, where he is developing Vivo Resorts. It’s a community of 81 beachfront condos, 104 villa lots and a clubhouse.
“I wanted to live on a beach, period,” Mullen says about the resort.
“My parents are in Palm Springs, but that wasn’t what I was looking for. I wanted to be near water,” says Mullen, who was braving winter in Calgary for a sales and information seminar — the same day he was invited to help welcome the arrival of the Vancouver Winter Olympic torch in Calgary.
Selecting Puerto Escondido — Spanish for Hidden Port — was more than just a fly-in/fly-out scenario. As part of his recuperation and subsequent decision to find the best beach development, he undertook an extensive five-year search of 13 countries, as well as doing in-depth research on another 20.
At the end of this process, it was this quiet Mexican beach town that came out the winner. “Surfers and artisans have discovered it, but not too many others,” says Mullen.
After identifying what he terms the “44 critical factors for buying oceanfront, retirement or investment property,” he was determined to find the place with the highest rating in each of the 44 factors.
Based on this, he discovered “the spot” about 14 kilometres from Puerto Escondido.
“It’s the best Mother Nature spot I could find,” says Mullen. “The weather is absolutely perfect.”
Vivo Resorts offers beach frontage that runs along the Pacific for slightly more than 1,300 feet.
Condos range from 468 to 3,886 square feet, with full ownership priced from $70,000 to $337,000 US. Oceanview villa lots are priced from $60,000, while beachfront lots start at $250,000.
Mullen says planned amenities will include a restaurant and lounge as well as a full-service spa, kids club, general store, fitness facilities and business centre.
There will also be tennis courts and a barbecue pavilion, as well as pools and sports fields.
“This will be the first beachfront resort in the area,” says Mullen. “There’s a laid-back lifestyle that just can’t be matched.”
To date, there have been six confirmed sales, with another three conditionals. Just one more confirmed sale and construction will begin.
From that point, it will take 15 months to complete the firstphase condos, says Mullen, add- ing construction will begin on clubhouse facilities shortly after.
The condominiums will come with stainless steel appliances, as well as a washer and dryer, granite and travertine tile countertops, and a kitchen island or eating bar.
They will also have air conditioning, sliding glass walls in the living areas, custom cabinets and tile flooring.
“We’re geared to the successful individual, families and retirees — and as such, the resort offers a high-quality, healthy, socially active and enthusiastic environment,” says Mullen.
There has been plenty of interest from Alberta and B.C., he says, adding people wanting to find a place where they can enjoy some peace and quiet and warm weather.
“We’re seeing baby boomers — active retirees who are young at heart and still have gas in the tank — and what we call Generation Mex: affluent Generation Xers who can be flexible with their jobs,” says Mullen.
But regardless of the demographic, they all have a couple of things in common — a desire to chase the warm weather and look for good value in a beachfront property, he says.
“I’m a fortunate guy. I was able to find and enjoy my passion in two different aspects — skiing and development.”
Condo buyers relax near the in-pool bar in this artist’s rendering of the Vivo Resort at Puerto Escondido in Mexico. The condos are in the background.
This condo unit in the project includes window walls that open fully.