Vivo is a sunny slice of paradise
Southern Mexican amenity-rich project lures winter-weary Calgarians
When Doug and Pearl Lautermilch land in Puerto Escondido, Mexico, it’s as if they collectively exhale.
For the Calgary couple, there’s nothing more relaxing than time spent at their second home at Vivo Resorts.
“When we go down there, it’s sort of a revitalization,” says Doug, who manages an engineering company. Pearl is in the health care profession. They’re both in their mid-50s.
The amenity-rich project is by Olympic athlete-turned-developer Cary Mullen, who broke ground at the site on the southwestern tip of Mexico in 2011. Vivo is developed and operated by Canadians and has an office in Chestermere. The project’s second phase of development is now complete and its third phase — which includes two condo buildings — is now under construction. Buyers at the resort can pick between buying a condo or building a villa; the Lautermilches went the condo route.
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW
PROJECT: Vivo Resorts. AREA: Puerto Escondido is on the southern end of Mexico. PRICE: Villas are available from $135 per square foot. DEVELOPER: Cary Mullen. Information: Visit mexicorealestatecondos.com
“It’s big enough for our family but it’s the amenities that go along with it,” says Doug on what stood out about the home. He says he likes the lock-and-leave lifestyle.
“Someone is there taking care of it and it’s totally worry free when you leave,” he adds. “When you arrive, everything is prepared for you, taken care of and ready to go.”
Condos at Vivo range from 903- to 2,147-square feet and are offered in two-, three- and four-bedroom orientations. Villas are offered through a custom home building program, says Chuck Ashton, Vivo’s sales and marketing director.
“When someone decides, ‘I want a villa and I am not a condo person,’ they can pick a lot and we will do a custom design on a home for them,” says Ashton, adding the resort has an in-house home building team. “We also have some sample plans that people can choose from, but the majority of people who are looking at villas are looking to have something custom built.”
Villas are offered from $135 per square foot, which Ashton says buys “a very nice level of finish.”
The Lautermilchs have years of experience vacationing in Mexico and after reading articles about Vivo and investigating further with staff at a recreation property show in the city, they felt it was a good fit for what they were looking for.
“It was a bit of a lifestyle investment,” says Doug. “Seeing that we really enjoyed Mexico … as my wife says, ‘it gets in your blood.’”
What sold the Lautermilchs was the area. As mentioned, Doug and Pearl are no strangers to Mexico, so they’ve seen the more crowded parts of the country.
“It’s much more quaint,” says Doug of Puerto Escondido. They’re also fans of the weather. Between November and April, temperatures aver- age between 28 and 32 C, says Ashton.
“We didn’t end up at Puerto Escondido because we tossed a dart at a map,” Ashton adds. When considering where to develop a resort, there are many considerations and weather patterns are a big part of that.
“It is literally T-shirt and shorts 365 days a year and 24 hours a day,” says Ashton.
Doug likes the diversity of the region, which includes everything from coffee plantations and other types of agriculture to mountains — and of course, the water and everything that comes with it. While the Lautermilchs aren’t surfers, they enjoy watching from the shore.
“Just watching the surfing is incredible — then the whole vibe that comes around the surf ing and the community,” says Doug. “It’s an exceptional place.”
Things to do aren’t in short supply at and around Vivo. Doug’s even taken up birdwatching at a large lagoon near the resort. More activities are on the way, with a clubhouse building now under construction. It will have a restaurant, lounge, f itness facility, yoga zone, general store and kid’s club. There’s even a business centre.
“It’s not a common amenity to have at a resort, but many of our owners are not yet retired and lots of people these days have the ability to work from home,” says Ashton. “It’s an amenity that would allow an owner or guest to connect with work and potentially get some work done while they’re there.”
Another perk to Vivo is its rental-management program, now in its second year of operation. Rental activity at Vivo is brisk, says Ashton.
“Many of our owners aren’t at retirement age yet, but are buying in advance. They want to generate some cash flow from the investment until such time as they’re wintering there or living there,” adds Ashton.
BUYERS: Doug and Pearl Lautermilch AGES: A couple in their 50s. BACKGROUND: Doug manages an engineering firm and Pearl is in the health care profession. The couple has spent many years vacationing in Mexico and learned about Vivo through newspaper articles and a recreation property show in the city. The couple liked what they learned about the area which they call quaint and laid back. The couple mainly uses time at the resort to relax but they also enjoy exploring the area. Doug has even taken up bird watching.
Pearl and Doug Lautermilch at their home in Calgary. They also have a condo at Vivo Resorts in southern Mexico.
The Vivo resort offers both condos and custom-built villas and has an in-house building team.
Inside a condo with a view of the ocean at Vivo Resorts.