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.