(Note: This message was sent to our email mailing list on May 5)
Dear Friend of Las Catalinas,
We have just wrapped up a great winter/spring season at Las Catalinas. It has been busy – year to date occupancy of the houses that are in our vacation rental pool is 65%. Highlights included a marvelous triathlon day, the beginning of our weekly organic market, and lots of happy people. We have been surveying our rental guests beginning this year, with the key question being “How likely is it that you would recommend renting a residence at Las Catalinas to a family, friend, or colleague?” On a scale of 1 to 10 the average score we have received thus far is 9.7! I’m awfully proud of that, and see it as a great tribute to our staff and also to what we have built.
Our team is growing and getting stronger. We have 88 fine and capable people on our Las Catalinas staff. Increasingly the things that should be routine for us are routine, and we are working hard to get good systems in place that can scale up with our town and our organization.
The distribution of our staff by functional area is:
- 18 in housekeeping
- 13 in maintenance
- 18 in security
- 17 in Agroforestales (tending to our 1200 acres, planting trees, forest fire prevention, trail building, etc.)
- 18 in security
- 22 in development and administration
Counting construction workers and employees of The Green House and Pura Vida Ride, about 265 people come to work at Las Catalinas each day. That is a lot of activity!
I’m sorry to say that Jim and Julia Berry will be returning to Atlanta this summer, so we will be losing two very special members of our team when that happens. Jim has been with us almost since the beginning, and has been our primary leader for most of that time. Julia has been a key person in our hospitality team and a key personality in our town. The whole Berry family has been a tremendous addition to life at Las Catalinas. We are grateful for their years of service and friendship, and we are going to miss them. Please join me in wishing them well in their next chapter!
We have been busy with new construction. The infrastructure work for Beach Town East is now complete, and looks superb. We have begun construction on the next four homes on Calle la Ronda, with several more to follow. All is going well there and Calle la Ronda is well on its way to being an exceptionally beautiful street in a great location. We do have four houses for sale there currently and several more coming soon. Please contact our sales team to learn more. Other recent construction includes putting the finishing touches on 27 Paseo del Mar and continuing work on The Flats at Avenida la Antigua which are heading towards completion in August.
Unfortunately we have not yet been able to begin construction on the new phase of Beach Town surrounding our upcoming Beach Club, and area which we have taken to calling Beach Town South. We are extremely eager to begin. Our plans are set and have been for some time, but we lack one key permit. This permit seems to be caught up in a problem at the national level that is affecting many others in Costa Rica as well. We are hoping for a rapid resolution so we can get moving on this wonderful new phase, and the Beach Club!
Real Estate Sales, Full-time Residents, and Planning
Real estate sales are proceeding well so far this year, with eight new sales contracts so far and four additional reservations pending. All twelve of The Flats at Avenida la Antigua are now sold, and only two lots remain on Paseo Punta Penca. I believe we are now at a total of 42 properties sold at Las Catalinas. Our next batch of flats are in the design pipeline now, and we look forward to unveiling them to interested buyers soon. If you may be interested, please make sure our sales team knows by contacting them at email@example.com. We will likely release the next batch of flats using a process similar to the one we used last time, where customers who are on our list of interested parties get first shot at making purchases.
One thing at which we have not been particularly successful thus far is attracting full-time residents to Las Catalinas. In fact, the Berrys are the only ones we have, and we are about to lose them! I do think having a significant cadre of full time residents is necessary in order for Las Catalinas to become all that it can and should be, and one of our projects for this year is to attract a number of full-time residents to Las Catalinas. We are motivated!
In a related topic, we are about to get deep into planning work on the large part of Beach Town that lies on the other side of Camino Las Catalinas. We have taken to calling this area El Prado. Among the things we expect to see in El Prado are a large park, some homes that are designed to be especially appealing to full-time residents, and dramatic stair streets oriented towards the fantastic ocean views available in this area. More news to come on this.
Finally, I can’t end this letter without reminding you how wonderful the June-August season is at Las Catalinas. It is my favorite time of year here. The land is green and gorgeous. Temperatures are mild and gentle, with daily highs around 85 degrees. Mornings are typically sunny, and afternoons are likely to have a delightful sea breeze with some clouds moving in and sometimes some rain. Evenings typically clear up again. It is a lovely, gentle pattern. I love it – including the tropical, luxurious rain. It is my favorite season, for sure. Take some of your summer holiday and come to Las Catalinas this year! Contact firstname.lastname@example.org right now!
Thanks for your interest in and support of Las Catalinas.
Managing Partner, Las Catalinas