Get­ting warmer in Mex­ico

Ex-Olympic skier trades snow for Vivo Re­sort in Puerto Es­con­dido

Calgary Herald - Calgary Herald New Condos - - Recreation & Investment Properties - MARTY HOPE

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.

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