Trump Ocean Club Panama is about to become the first Panama City project to offer a beach club on a private island. Both residents and guests of Trump Ocean Club will be able to take day trips to the beach club on Viveros Island, located about 48 kilometers (30 miles) from Panama City, part of a group of over 100 islands making up the Pearl Islands archipelago.
The completion of the beach club has been delayed for several years, but construction has picked up. [Editor's note: Trump has also restarted its delayed casino project.] On a recent tour of the beach club with project engineer Victor Hugo Poco it was obvious that most of the grey work has been completed. All the structures now stand with the walls and roofs finished and work underway on the finishes. The pool has been completely tiled and the installation of the pumps is almost done. Tiling has also been completed in the change room floors and walls and they are ready to install the fixtures.
One big accomplishment: 90 percent of the materials required to complete the beach club are already on the island. The logistics of building on an island are always challenging; having everything already on the island will greatly speed up the remaining work, Mr. Poco says. An indigenous wood from Panama called almendro will be used for the decking surrounding the pool. This wood is considered to be one of the densest in the world and required great difficulty and expense to ship it to the island, Mr. Poco said.
The beach club will include three bars and one fully-equipped restaurant, as well as change rooms and activities center. The palm thatch roof of the poolside bar conjures up images of tropical cocktails and lazy days by the pool. However, what most grabs your attention when you arrive, is the 450-square-meter swimming pool overlooking the white sand and blue waters of the Pacific.
The beach club sits directly in front of the beach, so no matter where you are the views are spectacular. Currently about half the property had been sodded and judging by the large pile of grass sod in front of the beach club it will be finished soon. Also, both coconut and palm trees have been planted adding even more to the tropical feel. Many more trees, flowers and plants are ready to be planted over the next couple of months as the landscapers take advantage of the rainy season, the best time to plant in Panama, Mr. Poco said.
The high-speed yacht connecting Trump Ocean Club to the beach club is already operating and has capacity for 150 passengers. Currently the yacht visits a neighboring island that already has amenities in place, while construction of the Viveros Island Beach Club is completed. The yacht does the round trip every day of the week, except Tuesdays. Once the beach club is open the trip from Trump Ocean Club in Panama City to the Beach Club on Viveros Island is expected to take an hour and a half.
The Viveros crew estimates it will take three months to complete the beach club, but that might be a bit ambitious. An opening in early 2014 is probably more realistic. Duncan McGowan is the founder and president of Punta Pacifica Realty, a real estate and investment firm based in Panama City.