Cal­gar­i­ans flee snow for beach in Caribbean

Pri­vate beach at Hon­duras re­sort one of largest in Cen­tral Amer­ica

Calgary Herald - Calgary Herald New Condos - - New Condos - JOSH SKAPIN

Perry McLean’s re­tire­ment won’t just be the end of his work­ing days. It’ll also mean say­ing good­bye to snow and ice.

In three years, the fa­ther of three and his wife, Lise, will flee to a sun-soaked beach in the trop­ics. It’s been long enough coming, he says.

“I’ve done win­ter for 52 years,” says McLean. “I’m a born and bred Cana­dian and when I re­tire, I don’t plan on do­ing win­ter for the rest of my life.”

Orig­i­nally from Kam­loops, B.C., he has worked for the City of Cal­gary for 32 years. Perry and Lise will trade in their toques and win­ter boots for sun­glasses and flip-flops on the sand on Tru­jillo Beach Eco-Devel­op­ment in Hon­duras.

At 4.5-kilo­me­tres long, the re­sort’s pri­vate beach on the Caribbean is one of the big­gest in Cen­tral Amer­ica.

The cou­ple bought a 0.10 hectare lot at the project, which is owned by Cana­dian firm Re­cap In­vest­ments.

When the McLeans started their search for a trop­i­cal get­away, they nar­rowed their fo­cus to prop­er­ties in the Caribbean —and, of course, some­thing close to sand and surf. This project had both, with their res­i­den­tial lot about 100 yards from the beach.

“I had been down to the Caribbean many times and really en­joyed it down there,” says Perry.

But Hon­duras was more than just a tried and true hol­i­day des­ti­na­tion for the McLeans. They see it as a pur­chase that will pay off both as a sec­ond home and an in­vest­ment.

Perry looked into ac­tiv­ity in the re­gion and was pleased to hear of plans that in­clude a cruise ship ter­mi­nal at Tru­jillo Beach. With that in mind, he sees the re­gion as ripe for tourists and got in be­fore the area reached its full po­ten­tial — which means buy­ing low.

“That’s go­ing to be a gamechange­r,” says McLean.

“I think the next cou­ple of years, I think you’re go­ing to see a dra­matic dif­fer­ence there in terms of just tourism over­all. But just through the re­search I have done and peo­ple I have talked to and such, you can see where this is go­ing to take off.”

“I think it’s com­pa­ra­ble to what Costa Rica was about 10 years ago,” he says. “There is a lot of po­ten­tial, that’s for sure.”

McLean walked Tru­jillo Beach last Au­gust and re­mem­bers be­ing en­chanted by the area’s many nat­u­ral at­trac­tions.

“It’s spec­tac­u­lar,” he says. “It’s lush and trop­i­cal — moun­tain­ous to one side and ocean to the other.”

Tru­jillo Beach Eco-Devel­op­ment is a 243-hectare prop­erty with 121 hectares de­voted to build­ing space, which is part of the de­vel­oper’s ef­fort to leave a small foot­print.

“The re­sort is geared to­ward mod­ern, eco liv­ing,” says sales di­rec­tor David Otanez of Re­cap In­vest­ments.

This in­cludes or­ganic plan­ta­tions that en­com­pass more than 1,500 species of trop­i­cal plants.

The com­mu­nity boasts trails for na­ture walks, horse­back rid­ing and bird watch­ing. “Bird watch­ing in Hon­duras is a huge ac­tiv­ity,” says Otanez.

About 500 buy­ers have pur­chased homes in the re­sort since it opened in 2009, says Otanez.

The re­sort in­cludes one- and two-bed­room vil­las rang­ing from 720 to 950 square feet, along with lots meant for sin­gle­fam­ily homes. Th­ese lots start from 0.3 hectares.

Th­ese homes may reach 3,500 square feet. Both the vil­las and sin­gle-fam­ily homes may come with a fur­ni­ture and ap­pli­ance package and qual­ify to be in­cluded in the re­sort’s ren­tal man­age­ment pro­gram.

Other ameni­ties at the prop­erty in­clude a water canal for ca­noe­ing, kayak­ing or fish­ing. It also in­cludes pools, a gym and a spa.

Michelle Hofer/for the Cal­gary Her­ald

Perry and Lise McLean look for­ward to re­tir­ing to Tru­jillo Beach in Hon­duras. ‘I don’t plan on do­ing win­ter for the rest of my life,’ says Perry.

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