Discovery Costa Rica Project Faces First Setback

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Almost four months ago Costa Rica received the announcement of the construction in Costa Rica of the theme park Discovery Costa Rica.

The construction is supposed to begin early 2018 and in theory environmental requirements and permits are already in order; yet, it seems that the project has hit its first bump in the road as the project is still in a process of “discussion and clarification of legal aspects between the associates”.

The information was given through a press release by local company Sun Latin America, this company is in alliance with Discovery Communications to carry out the project; Sun Latin America would be in charge of the development of the project while Discovery would give its name to the park and act as a concessionaire. Apparently there are some differences between the companies and they are trying to reach agreements.

“We are currently undergoing conversations which we cannot give details on out of respect. We guarantee the professionalism of our company as a developer and our commitment on carrying out this project”, said Tom Turner, president of Sun Latin America.

Costa Rica’s Vice-President, Ana Helena Chacón, commented “The project is still going on. There are aspects that are being discussed among private entities. As a Government what we did was ensure that when they announced they were coming to the country they had all the necessary permits and that the project as viable”.

About the fact that Sun Latin America and CINDE (Costa Rican Investment Promotion Agency) are referring to the project as “Liberia Adventure Park” instead of “Discovery Costa Rica”, Chacón mentioned, “It is common that a development project comes under one brand or the other. For now we do not have any information that the brand has changed, but we do have the certainty that the project remains in Liberia, the owners of the land continue with the interest of developing the project and the conversations continue with the other associates”.

However, Julio Viales, mayor of Liberia, in an interview with local news site CRHOY, stated “The only thing I know is that some months back a couple of young women came in with a presentation in their computer, they showed it to me and said “this is Discovery”, an investment of $400 million and that’s it. It is weird because the Municipality should have received the environmental viability permit and I don’t have any report”.

Yet, Sun Latin America confirms they do have the environmental viability report by Setena and the concession of three water wells.

Back in April, Ileana Rodríguez, representative of Discovery Costa Rica explained that the $400 million came from an investment fund; however, Sun Latin America did not give out information related to the investors, they only confirmed that all of them are foreigners from six different nationalities. The total investment for the project was estimated in over $1 billion USD.

At this point we will all just have to wait and see what happens in the next few weeks.

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