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Jack Nicklaus Begins Work on a Signature Golf Course in Istria, Croatia
May 19, 2006 - Jack Nicklaus’ organisation doesn’t invest in dud deals. Any wise investor would do well to note where he is building his golf courses.

A few days ago Jack travelled to Zagreb, Croatia, to meet with the Prime Minister, Dr Ivo Sanader, and other government officials. They agreed on a plan and now Jack is set to begin work on a Jack Nicklaus Signature Golf Course. 

Right now Croatia has only three working courses catering for a population of 4.4 million. If they all decided to play on the same day I guess there would be a longish queue!

The decision to build the course in Istria, the north-western region of Croatia, is significant, though not immediately apparent to onlookers. This is because Istria is the only current development area in Croatia, with far-reaching tourist plans for the near future. It stands to reason that a Nicklaus course will attract a large number of golfers to the area, and that is why investors with savvy will sit up and take notice.

His 18 hole course will be a suitable addition to other plans for the area, which will become its own small town. Known as the Porto Mariccio Resort, it will have a luxury hotel and spa, with a wellness centre and conference facility. In addition there will be 460 private units plus a 350 berth marina. It is being built on the coast between the beautiful town of Rovinj and Istria’s capital, Pula. The developer is AB Maris, who specialise in estate investment.

Since 1993 Croatia’s growth rate has been phenomenal; the best in central and eastern Europe. Room nights are up bya staggering 35% since last year alone! Tourist experts predict Croatia to be the fastest growing tourist destination in Europe.  The best place to build another hotel! (But note that Istria will not allow high-rise developments).

Nicklaus says “This area is beautiful, and has so much untapped potential…with the combination of the shoreline and the gentle colours of the property, we have a chance to create something special.”

And that’s not all, because Croatia intends to create a total of 22 gold courses in the country. I can assure you that the investment opportunity created by Nicklaus is only the tip of this hot Mediterranean iceberg!

© May 2006 Barry Napier 


Barry Napier

Also See: Golf Industry Set to ‘Tee Up’ in Central & Eastern Europe; Currently Fifteen Golf Courses Under Construction / KPMG / December 2003
Nicklaus Investments Teams With Guggenheim Partners to Finance High-Quality Residential, Golf Resort / Residential Communities / July 2005


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