Five Question for New Cape Breton Golf Developer

In December, a group calling themselves Cape Breton Island Developers Inc. announced they would be developing an ambitious project near Fort Louisbourg. My original post is here. The resort will include lodging, as well as a Nick Faldo-designed golf course, and appeared aimed at the same European market that Humber Valley Resort in Newfoundland has been so successful in attracting. The announcement received little coverage outside of the Martimes, so I sent Christian Reinisch, director of CBI, a series of question to get a better sense of the project.

Here are his responses:

1) Cape Breton seems to be garnering a lot of attention from the development community. What attracted you to the site?

Reinisch: Both me and my fellow director Henric Bauermeister were captivated by Cape Bretons charm and character when we first visited the island several years ago. We both have extensive experience of developing and marketing world-class golf and vacation resorts and immediately recognised the potential which the 2,500 acre parcel of land in Louisbourg had to offer.

Cape Breton Island has the potential to become a world class visitor destination offering a wide range of all-year-round leisure and recreational facilities. Its natural beauty and breathtaking landscapes leave a long-lasting impression on anyone who visits the island which is already recognized as one of the worlds favourite international golf destinations. Travel + Leisure Magazine readers voted it as number one island in mainland USA/Canada and number four in the world, beating many more fashionable destinations.

The Louisbourg site appealed to us in particular because it was the largest piece of land of its kind available in Nova Scotia and, more importantly, has the potential to be developed into one of the worlds premier golf and spa destinations.

It is also close to many visitor attractions, just 25 minutes from Sydney and 35 minutes from Sydney airport.

2) Why choose Nick Faldo to do the design?

Reinisch: Winner of six golf majors, Nick Faldo is one of the most respected names in the world of gold and is firmly established as one of the worlds top course player-designers. Nick is renowned for making the very best of the terrain and landscape available to him and was eager to work with us on his first project on the Canadian Atlantic Seaboard.

Nick is determined to exploit the resorts stunning landscape and will incorporate a route that makes the most of the varying wind directions and natural hazards, ensuring that the aptly named ËœFortress provides golfers of different abilities with a true test of their character and resilience.

3) Can you give my readers a sense of the scope of the site “ what is planned in terms of golf and other amenities?

Reinisch: Louisbourg Resort Golf and Spa is a 2,500 acre site that incorporates the 2.8km long Grand Lake and is located 1km from the resort of Louisbourg.

The resort will comprise up to 400 luxury homes that will range in price from $400,000 (Canadian) to in excess of $1 million and the first 12 homes are expected to be constructed by the fall 2007.

The 18-hole Fortess will be the centre-piece of this world-class golf and spa development, scheduled for completion by 2009 and complemented by a par 3, 18-hole course.

Other amenities will enable owners and visitors to enjoy the very best all-year-round leisure and recreational pursuits. These include a European-style spa, state of the art gymnasium, tennis and squash courts, an equestrian centre, a restaurant, beach house, water sports, a major conference centre and extensive winter activities such as snow-mobiling, ice skating and cross country ski-ing.

The resort will also incorporate its own private airstrip for private aircraft.

4) What is your strategy for promoting the resort and real estate? Is Europe where your marketing push will be aimed?

Reinisch: Initially the main marketing campaign will focus on Europe, and the UK in particular, but we believe that that the resort will appeal to a world-wide market and this will be reflected in the scope and nature of the marketing programme. Part of our marketing strategy will be to promote Cape Breton as a whole as we believe that the island has the potential to attract visitors from many different parts of the world.

5) Other East Coast courses like Humber Valley have successfully attracted Europeans, but havent really resonated with Canadians. Do you plain to market the course and facilities to Canadians?

Reinisch: We will certainly be promoting Louisbourg Resort Golf and Spa to the Canadian market, although the specific content of our marketing programme and its timings have yet to be finalised.

There has been a lot of interest from Cape Breton Island already and we are confident that in the longer term Canadians will invest in the resort, with most interest expected to come from Toronto and Halifax.

Canadians recognise Nova Scotia and more especially Cape Breton Island for its natural beauty and charm. We firmly believe that many will regard the resort as a second home purchase opportunity and a world-class vacation destination, with many choosing to live permanently at the resort.

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Robert Thompson

A bestselling author and award-winning columnist, Robert Thompson has been writing about business and sports, and particularly golf, for almost two decades. His reporting and commentary on golf has appeared in Golf Magazine, the Globe and Mail, T&L Golf and many other media outlets. Currently Robert is a columnist with Global Golf Post, golf analyst for Global News and Shaw Communications, and Senior Writer to ScoreGolf. The Going for the Green blog was launched in 2004.

8 CommentsLeave a comment

  • Maybe I missed something, but when did Nick Faldo become “firmly established as one of the world’s top course player-designers”. Was that due to his work in designing The Rock? Or due to all of his courses that are in the top 100 rankings?

    I take it that this course is aimed at Europeans who, outside of Brits, have no idea what a decent golf course is.

  • CBI does not have the 100M themselves. Notice the web site isn’t up. If they are building such expensive homes you would think they could finance a basic web site. Dobblin fired them from Humber Valley, so this project will take years in Cape Breton. Cabot Links will be running a long time before Louisburg Golf Course and will not be geared to Europeans.

  • To Chris: it seems to me that you know more than the developers do? Cabot Links will be an other very good project on CBI, but remember when it was first announced, that was a long time ago. A few more high class golf courses on the island will help to promote the island as a golf destination and will increase the tourism numbers for the good of all Cape Bretoners. Less competional thinking would help a lot more. One Island, one destination, together we succeed.

  • It is only natural for this type of development to reach Cape Breton. There are very few places left in North America which has the tranquil attractiveness and the pristine land available to build such a project. I for one am confident this resort will help turn Cape Breton island into one of the most sought after tourist destinations on the eastern seaboard. Keep building it and they will come!! Nick has a lot of friends!!

  • Risk is the reward!
    Developers who have the gumption to deposit 100M into Cape Breton have likely carefully reviewed the bottom line. The long term benefit of a project of this magnitude will not harm our fair Isle. Exposure, in any fashion, on the International stage will cement our place as a tourists dream. Best of luck to the developers and to those lucky few who might experience one single day in Cape Breton. “I have travelled around the world, seen the…(shortened due to space)……..andes and the alps…..but for simple beauty…Cape Breton outrivals them all.” Alexander Graham Bell.

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