Casino resort development unveiled on Costa Rica’s Caribbean coast


Following the recent announcement of the Casino City Caribe resort, Casino Review spoke to the project’s architect Patti Rao about his plans for the development.

Eight years in the planning and approval stage, Patti Rao Projects’ Casino City Caribe integrated resort aims to emulate “the successful business model of resorts like Club Med”.

“This is the only major non-infrastructure project approved and licensed to be part of the economic rejuvenation of the Caribbean coast and to meet the market demands created by the mega infrastructure projects in the area,” explained Patti Rao, the company’s president.

Situated in Limón Province on the eastern coast of Costa Rica, the construction-ready planned development consists of seven projects, including three hotels, two waterfront apartment projects, two housing communities with a village centre to cater to tourism oriented boutique stores, a 1800-seat theatre, food and beverage outlets, and a marina.

“Each of the seven development properties are stand-alone projects and will be developed on their own schedule starting in 2019,” Rao stated.

“On a moderate market absorption rate of the local area it is projected for a total build out over eight years.”
At the total build out stage, it is projected that the planned resort community will accommodate an estimated residential population of 1500, in addition to 600 hotel guests at 100 percent occupancy.

In terms of hotels, the Royal Caribe will offer 168-rooms, the Royal Tortuguero hotel will include 94-rooms, and Amapola Lodge will feature 52-rooms. All three developments are already licensed for casino operations.

The resort will also include a small conference area capable of hosting up to 500 people, in addition to 21 meeting rooms.

Rao highlights that there is “no such conference facility existing or planned for the Caribbean coast at present”, and the development would create “much needed conference rooms” in the region.

“It is projected that it will provide a sub-facility or an overflow for the recently opened National Conference and Convention Center in the capital city of San Jose,” he added.

Architect Patti Rao

In terms of supporting infrastructure, the development will benefit from its proximity to Limón International Airport – which hosts a regular connecting flights from Costa Rica’s capital San José – in addition to nearby cruise ship terminals.

The project will also see the construction of a private landing strip for small planes and a helipad, to enable resort shuttle flights.

Patti Rao Projects is currently looking to engage with parties interested in acquiring part of the development, and following the public announcement of Casino City Caribe is hoping to hold discussions with operators and developers to “move the project forward”.