Crystal Lagoons Closes Historic Public Access Lagoons Contract: 18 Amenities in Central America

Crystal Lagoons® public access lagoons, PAL, projects have been growing in strength since 2017. They now account for 80% of the company’s activity, surpassing private real estate initiatives.

According to information from the Chilean newspaper, El Mercurio, the company founded by biochemist, Fernando Fischmann, has closed a major contract for PAL developments. By partnering with important Central American investment companies, it has announced the construction of 18 projects in eight countries throughout the region.

It is a large-scale operation within the entertainment industry, which projects annual sales of approximately US $360 million once all PALs are operational. The initiative will span eight countries: El Salvador, Honduras, Panama, Nicaragua, Dominican Republic, Belize, Guatemala and Costa Rica. The latter two nations will account for seven projects. The construction of the lagoons, to which the general public will have access via ticketed entry, will begin in the coming months in the capitals and most populated cities of those countries. It is estimated that the attendance to these complexes will exceed 18 million people annually. The development of these PALs will be carried out by Blue Water Ventures, a company specifically created for that purpose.

“They provide capital and development, and Crystal Lagoons the know-how, technology and patented concept,” says Cristián Lehuedé, Executive Director of Crystal Lagoons. Lehuedé admits that this is the company’s largest PAL development contract, although he specified “we have several others in the pipeline for even larger ones, which we hope to make public by the end of the year.” Due to confidentiality agreements, Crystal Lagoons did not reveal the identity of the partners in these projects, although Lehuedé hints that among them are some of the families pertaining to Central America’s top 10 richest families, according to Forbes. Each development considers a total investment of US $10 million, of which US $2.5 million correspond to the lagoon.

What are PALs?
Cristián Lehuedé explains that PALs are highly regarded due to the capacity they have to regenerate underutilized areas, shopping malls, and since they can intensify the use of public parks, unoccupied spaces in the center of racetracks or golf courses, zoos, and racetracks, to name a few. He adds that these lagoons are designed to include other amenities such as restaurants, beach clubs, water sports, retail stores, amphitheaters as well as recreational and cultural activities, such as concerts, shows and cinemas. Blue Water Ventures’ partner, Cristián Roberts, says that PALs will improve the quality of life in Central American cities.

This week Blue Tree opens in Phuket, Thailand’s first PAL. Cristián Lehuedé explains that before the vast majority of the company’s projects were mixed use, that is to say “private residential amenities that have a designated public access area to the lagoon.” Now, however, the tendency is for developments to solely offer public access. In the case of Central America, Crystal Lagoons will receive a percentage of tickets (associated to sales and events) of each development.

Crystal Lagoons is an international innovation company, founded by scientist Fernando Fischmann, which has developed a patent-protected technology that allows the construction and maintenance of unlimited-size clear water lagoons at very low costs.

El Mercurio

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Ascensions on Lake Travis marks the latest Public Access Lagoons® venture signed by Crystal Lagoons in Texas, adding to the multinational innovation company’s array of complexes across the state. 

The project’s standout feature is a sprawling 2.1-acre crystalline lagoon suitable for swimming and water sports. The lagoon will be the centerpiece of a high-end hotel development, solidifying the foothold of Crystal Lagoons in the hospitality industry. Notably, it will be the first Public Access Lagoons® project—also known as PAL® developmentsin Austin, promising a completely new and unique entertainment offering accessible to all through ticketed entry.

Located in Spicewood, a mere 45 minutes northwest of Austin, this development, in partnership with Austin Real Estate Ventures, promises more than just pristine beaches. Luxury residential units, retail boutiques, restaurants, and bespoke services will complement the lagoon, epitomizing the quintessential PAL™ experience.

Crystal Lagoons® technology will not only bring beach life to this area of the Lone Star State but do so sustainably, alleviating the need for Spicewood residents to travel far for coastal recreation and thereby reducing the carbon footprint.

Derek Diaz, CEO of Austin Real Estate Ventures, affirms, “We’re thrilled to partner with Crystal Lagoons to curate the ultimate resort destination, bringing white sand beaches, vibrant blue water, and luscious palm trees to the most desirable location in the state, Lake Travis, in the heart of Texas Hill Country.”

“Every hotel project incorporating a Crystal Lagoons® amenity becomes the most attractive destination in the area. These bodies of water change the paradigm of vacation developments with world-class hotel and resort standards”, explains Iván Manzur, Senior Vice President of Sales at Crystal Lagoons US Corp.

The United States stands as the primary global market for Crystal Lagoons, with over 275 projects in various stages of development and negotiation. Texas, in particular, boasts over 70 complexes, including notable successes like Lago Mar, Balmoral, Windsong Ranch, Sunterra, and Sierra Vista, among others. 

The inauguration of Crystal Lagoons project in the United StatesEvermore Orlando Resort, featuring its impressive 8-acre crystalline lagoon and extensive beaches, steps from Disney World and Universal, has captured the attention of the global press. Nearly 500 media outlets from various countries, including Yahoo!Associated PressNBCFoxABCCBSWashington Daily NewsFinanzen y Benzinga, have covered the news, emphasizing the significance of this tourism milestone.

Since then, numerous articles have highlighted this iconic development, considered one of Florida’s most significant tourism projects. It is located in the heart of Orlando, the most visited destination in the US, with 75 million tourists annually. With over 10,000 rooms surrounding the lagoon powered by Crystal Lagoons® technology, this amenity marks a before and after for the city, which lacked a beach despite its comprehensive entertainment options. Crystal Lagoons solves this problem by introducing a monumental body of water that brings idyllic beach life, redefining hotel standards, and consolidating its presence in the hospitality and entertainment industry.

Surrounding the crystalline lagoon is Orlando’s first Conrad hotel, a luxury brand of the Hilton chain, as well as various homes, villas, and apartments. In addition, there is an 18-hole golf course designed by Jack Nicklaus, one of the greatest golfers in history.

“Every hotel project incorporating a Crystal Lagoons® amenity becomes the most attractive destination in the area. Conrad, one of the world’s leading hotel chains, understood this and decided to make a qualitative leap concerning the existing offer in the most touristic area of the U.S.,” said Iván Manzur, Senior Vice President of Sales of Crystal Lagoons US Corp.

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Around the world, the concept and technology of Crystal Lagoons® have become the leading sales attraction, positively impacting its commercial success. Despite the credit and real estate challenges in the current economic conditions, Crystal Lagoons projects continue to defy the market with very impressive sales figures, particularly in the United States. The rankings from real estate consulting firms RCLCO and John Burns on the best-selling master-planned communities once again demonstrated that crystalline lagoons are a powerful purchasing driver. SunterraMiradaWindsong Ranch, and Epperson secured prominent positions in 2023.

These projects ranked among the top 50 best-selling communitiesFlorida leads the ranking within the list, representing close to 40% of the sales for all top-ranked developments, followed by Texas with 37%. In both states, Crystal Lagoons has a significant presence.

In Texas, Sunterra stands out as a project that, even though the crystalline lagoon has not been built yet, serves as a commercial driver within the community, generating sales rates higher than the average, with a significant increase of 63% compared to 2022. This placed it 3rd nationally in both rankings, further boosting the strong performance of Houston, the top-selling metropolitan area in the country. Sunterra’s positive sales results had already been recorded in previous reports.

With the largest amenity powered by Crystal Lagoons® technology in the United States, Mirada in Florida, inaugurated in 2023, sets another record. With an 89% increase in sales, it ranks 17th. Its 15 acres of turquoise waters and white sandy beaches are a buying trigger.

Another notable project in Texas is Windsong Ranch, which has consistently set sales records, ranking 29th in the John Burns ranking. The project has also been nationally awarded as “Master Planned Community of the Year,” among other recognitions.

On the other hand, Epperson in Florida also ranked prominently in both studies, a commercial trend registered since its inauguration as a real estate project. The interest it generated was so significant that it had to be opened to the Public Access Lagoons™ model, also known as PAL™ developments.

The United States is the main operation of Crystal Lagoons worldwide, and it has more than 275 projects at different stages of development and negotiation. Among the most important are Mirada, Sole Mia, Balmoral, Windsong Ranch, Beachwalk, Southshore Bay, Aqua, among others. The recent joint venture to develop four Public Access Lagoons™ complexes, also known as PAL™, in Texas stands out and will add to the successful public access developments Epperson (Florida) and Lago Mar (Texas).

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