Xavi Baldó joined PGA Catalunya Resort in April 2014 as financial controller, but within a year had become our CFO. Here, he explains how you’ll see your investment grow and develop in the coming months.
What makes the PGA Catalunya Resort different to other resorts?
First, it is a really prime development on three levels: five star golfing standards, a luxury hotel and distinguished real estate developments all of which have been integrated sympathetically into a stand-out natural environment. We have always insisted that each property must conform to certain standards and aesthetics because we believe it makes all the difference in terms of the lifestyle experience. By securing these standards we secure safeguard of your investment not only in your own property, but in the overall resort experience.
What investments are you making right now to evolve the experience?
Right now the development has reached about 60% of its total capacity. In the pipeline we have a number of semi-detached and detached villas priced around 1.5 – 2 million euros. These act as a strategic filter in ensuring that the high quality of the properties remains a key factor.
But one of our key milestones is that we are currently developing 52 units between the 10th and 18th holes on the Stadium Course, averaging around 160 square metres per unit, which is opening up the resort to a new entry-level market, starting from around 780,000 euros.
Overall we have sold more than 230 units, of which 180 are now in use, which means a community of 360 people more or less. And this allows us to continually innovate and improve the services we can offer our residents.
Can you give us some examples?
Food and beverage add massive value to the overall experience, and it’s been a key factor in the evolution of the Hotel Camiral. To compliment this, we have created an organic kitchen garden managed by our in-house biologist Oriol Dalmau who also does workshops and tours with the residents so they can participate in the management of the gardens, influence what is planted and pick their own fruit and vegetables. Last year we also opened Pure Food Market where residents can buy premium regional products such as freshly baked bread, fresh eggs, locally made wine, cheese and charcuterie. And this year we’ve planted our very own organic vineyards. We have also acquired more land with plans to build a lake where you will be able to do fly fishing and water activities.
On average, residents spend 5-6 weeks per year at the resort. When they are here they like to participate and feel like they are part of the community so it is very important to us that they feel involved in the operation.
How do residents keep up to speed with all of this?
Each year one of my tasks is to host an annual owners meeting. We show financial results, appreciation of property, what we have spent on development and what new budget is proposed for next year along with the investments we are planning to make.
Our relationship with residents begins when they say ‘yes’ to buying a property and is ongoing from there – everyone has my direct email and telephone number. We also take care of the legal aspects of the purchase, ensure quality control during the lifetime of the contract and our dedicated resident service department co-ordinates activities and community events on a regular basis.
What are your plans for 2018?
The big change in 2018 will be the opening of a second hotel. It will be a small 50-room property with a chic modern design, but also very functional. It is squarely aimed at people who want to come here to really dedicate their time to playing golf. We will also hand over the rest of the 52 units between 10th and 18th Stadium Course (half are already contracted) to new residents. And now that Girona Football Club has achieved first division status, we are working on an agreement with Girona FC for owners to have access to tickets.
We are also investing heavily on the landscaping of the whole resort, to take it to the next level in terms of environmental sustainability. We are in the middle of natural parkland and it’s important to protect it while enhancing the golf experience.
While we want to continue to be known and celebrated for exceptional standards in golf, we are also opening a window to new activities so that the PGA Catalunya Resort is a world-class experience that works for everybody.