Vivo is a sunny slice of par­adise

South­ern Mex­i­can amenity-rich project lures win­ter-weary Cal­gar­i­ans

Calgary Herald New Condos - - New Condos - JOSH SKAPIN

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.

ABOUT

THE BUY­ERS

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.

Adrian Shel­lard/For the Herald

Pearl and Doug Lauter­milch at their home in Cal­gary. They also have a condo at Vivo Re­sorts in south­ern Mex­ico.

Pho­tos: Vivo Re­sorts

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.

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