North America’s Largest Rollout of Surf, Leisure and Well-being Destinations
Global developer Aventuur announces its plans for a programmatic rollout of mixed-use surf, leisure and well-being destinations across North America. Having acquired the exclusive rights to nine territories within the region, the company is leading the introduction of Wavegarden’s technology in the United States and Baja California Sur, Mexico.
Aventuur’s rollout has the potential to create a real estate portfolio exceeding US$1 billion, with each of the company’s destinations requiring US$50-100 million in development capital. The company’s North American expansion follows its success in the Asia Pacific region, where it is developing two projects in Australia and New Zealand.
Driven by increasing demand for outdoor recreation (rapidly accelerated by the pandemic) and the proven commercialization of Wavegarden technology, Aventuur is helping democratize the sport of surfing by providing communities with access to perfect uncrowded waves, world-class surf coaching and tailored progression programs for all abilities.
By acknowledging this historic shift and responding through considered, responsible development that incorporates biophilic design principles and leverages the benefits of “blue health”, Aventuur sees a future where wellbeing can be transformed.
“We are excited to be launching in North America and applying all that we have learned from developing projects in Australia and New Zealand. Skiing and golf have long demonstrated how lifestyle sports can create value when thoughtfully integrated with real estate. We see surfing as the next frontier and firmly believe that the Wavegarden offers the most compelling experiential anchor for mixed-use real estate developments. By creating new destinations that encourage people to get outdoors, learn new skills, pursue healthy activities and connect with like-minded individuals, we can achieve our purpose of improving physical and mental wellbeing across North America.”Aventuur Co-Founder and CEO, Nicholas Edelman.
“Through our research, we understand there are currently 28 million surfing enthusiasts in the United States, but less than 10 percent are regularly surfing. We believe this shows that access, not aspiration, has been the barrier to entry. By providing quality uncrowded waves, we can satisfy existing pent-up demand and in inland communities provide opportunities to people who have not yet experienced the joys of surfing,” Edelman added.
Anchored by a 5.5-acre surfing lagoon, Aventuur’s mixed-use developments will also incorporate hospitality, retail, and residential components, including: cafes, restaurants, beach clubs, retail boutiques, fitness and wellness studios, high-performance training centers, functions and events facilities, and creative offices.
“These developments are unique in that they combine a highly cash-generative operating business with long-term real estate value creation,” said Aventuur Co-Founder and Chief Investment Officer, Richard Duff.
“A common misconception is that the surfing lagoon is loss-leading and requires the surrounding real estate to do the heavy lifting, however in reality it more than justifies its cost of capital. Further, what we have seen with our existing projects is that the surfing lagoon’s visitation placemakes the development, driving premium rents and above-market development margins for the complementary wellness, leisure, and hospitality offerings,” added Duff.
Leading the surf park industry in North America
Aventuur has secured the exclusive rights to Wavegarden technology in nine key North American Metropolitan Service Areas: Atlanta; Austin; Dallas; Denver; Jacksonville; Las Vegas; Nashville; Phoenix; Los Cabos (Baja California Sur), and is also planning to develop projects in Los Angeles and New York.
The company has created a proprietary data set to analyze each market and has a clear development thesis for each destination. These “playbooks” include analysis of climate, geotechnical overlays, infrastructure availability, land pricing, catchment areas, consumer surveys, tourism behaviour (including hotel market analysis), comparable attractions and demand for experiential entertainment.
To support its North American rollout, Aventuur has successfully raised US$12 million in funding from a range of high-net-worth individuals, family offices and private investment firms. Its strategic investor base has deep networks in the real estate, capital markets and surf industries, with the ability to also fund project capital.
The company recently added a new Head of Development for North America, Thomas Rubel, to lead the programmatic rollout and add further development experience. Thomas joined Aventuur from Irongate, where he led the development and construction of a range of luxury properties including the Four Seasons and AMAN on the East Cape of Los Cabos, Mexico and the Ritz-Carlton in Waikiki, Hawaii.
Thomas will be working alongside Aventuur’s Chairman and Chief Development Officer, Andrew Ross, who is one of the few people to have successfully developed a commercially operating Wavegarden destination.
The Aventuur team’s experience spans real estate development, private equity, capital markets, project finance, sales and marketing, surf park operations and surf tourism.
Two projects in Asia-Pacific, with more planned across the region
Beyond North America, Aventuur holds the exclusive rights to the Wavegarden technology in the key Asia-Pacific markets of Australia, New Zealand, Singapore and Fiji. Not only do they have some of the best wellness retreats in the USA, but they are expanding worldwide.
Combining the North American exclusivities, the total portfolio represents 18 territories across three continents, enabling Aventuur to service up to 100 million residents and 350 million tourists – positioning the company as the leading global creator of surf, leisure and wellbeing destinations.
In Australia, Aventuur won a 14-acre site via a tender process run by the Western Australian Government in 2021 to deliver a US$70 million surf park in the capital of Perth, located within a newly created transport-oriented development area. The company is preparing to commence construction on the Southern Hemisphere’s largest surfing lagoon in early 2024.
In May 2023, the New Zealand Ministry for the Environment referred Aventuur’s Auckland Surf Park to an expert consenting panel for fast-track permitting consideration. The master-planned development has a significant focus on sustainability, combining a surf, leisure and wellbeing destination with a data centre and solar farm.
In a world first, Aventuur is seeking to capture the heat generated by the data center on site to warm the water of the surfing lagoon. The 17.5-acre solar farm is intended to provide renewable energy for the data center to create a sustainable ecosystem.
Developing and operating sustainably
As responsible and sustainable developers, Aventuur is committed to setting the standard for the surf park industry. The company is targeting Green Star (LEED equivalent) certifications for its projects in Perth and Auckland – a first for any surf parks in the world.
Aventuur intends to use recycled and ”zero embedded carbon” concrete during construction, power its surfing lagoons using 100 percent renewable sources, and use the lowest impact water sources available (including harvesting rainwater onsite where possible).
Aventuur’s selection of its wave-generating technology partner took sustainability into account, with the company identifying that the Wavegarden consumes the least amount of energy of all commercially available technologies.
On average, the Wavegarden consumes 250-450 kilowatts of electricity per hour during commercial operations, which is less than what is consumed by a single quad chairlift at a ski resort. Similarly, the annual water replenishment requirement for a Wavegarden lagoon is equivalent to what is typically required to irrigate three holes of golf.
Delivering transformational experiences to enhance well-being
Enhancing physical and mental well-being is a core focus of Aventuur’s mission. Designed having regard to biophilic and “blue health” principles, the company’s destinations provide a variety of spaces for people to enjoy the water, being outdoors and among nature.
Curated mixed-use amenities will also support community growth, including the formation of social surfing and activity groups, fostering connections between locals, residents and visitors.
Led by former World Surf League (WSL) pro surfer, Adrian “Ace” Buchan, Aventuur’s experiences will combine perfect waves with world-class surf instruction, fitness training and physical recovery to create a virtuous circle of physical health.
As the act of surfing requires deep focus, participants will often find themselves in a “flow state”; a heightened sense of consciousness that leaves people feeling ecstatic, motivated and fulfilled. The company’s mental wellness, resilience and surf therapy programs will further encourage people to develop healthy minds alongside healthy bodies.
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