Selling Nosara – Part 2 – A Letter from The President
- October 5, 2015
Last week we featured a press release published in a 1973 edition of the American Medical news. This article was based on information provided by the founding father of the Nosara and Playa Guiones we know today – Alan David Hutchison. Hutchison was an American entrepreneur who acquired a sizable swathe of the surrounding area, and then sold it off via American newspapers and publications. To the chagrin of the few, and the relieved delight of many, various aspects of the original blueprint such as the golf course never proceeded beyond the planning stages thus absolving Nosara of becoming the next Tamarindo.
The next installment in Nosara Real Estate Reports’ “SELLING NOSARA” series features a letter sent in the early 1970s by Alan Hutchison to those who replied to the original advertisements. It offers telling insights into Hutchisons personae, his love of Nosara, and his vision of how it would (but ultimately did not) turn out. Enjoy!!
Dear Friend (perhaps – one day soon – Neighbor):
My name is Alan Hutchison and I’m lucky enough to be the president of the company that owns and is developing BEACHES OF NOSARA. But I confess that when our advertising people suggested a letter from the president, I balked. It sounded pompous, pretentious somehow. “Don’t write it that way,” they said. “Just tell people how you came to do BEACHES OF NOSARA, what you think it might mean to them”.
That sounded more like something I could and would want to do. So this is, in fact, a letter from this particular president….
I’ll start right off with a cliché: BEACHES OF NOSARA is a tropical Shangri-La. But there’s this difference – in James Hilton’s novel, “Lost Horion,” Shangri-La was discovered by accident. Nosara was found through persistent and organized searching (plus a certain amount of good luck). I was looking for a perfect tropical setting where my associates and I could develop the kind of lovely community that would be in harmony with its natural surroundings.
For the past five years I’ve been engaged in the development of oceanfront home sites in the West Indies. But the sharply rising costs of land in all of the Caribbean islands has made it all but impossible to offer developed land at reasonable prices. So I set out to look elsewhere – for a spot as benign as the West Indies but not nearly so expensive.
I must admit that I first went to Costa Rica with a certain amount of reluctance. While I had heard nothing but encouraging accounts of its beauty and serenity and of the warmth and friendliness of the Costa Rican people, I did retain, I confess, a preconceived picture of a steaming “banana republic”. How was I to know?
So I went to San Jose, Costa Rica’s capital city, carrying letters of introduction and wearing a protective shield of understandable skepticism. But before the first nightfall I knew I had found the country I had been looking for. What an incredible combination of people and nature! What a land to “discover”!
With soaring enthusiasm I began a careful search of the coastal area for a location possessing a gentle climate, a beautiful beach, and enough land to permit a sensible ecological development. I first saw BEACHES OF NOSARA from the air, just like you can see it in the large aerial photograph in the brochure. My pilot and I landed at the nearby airport and at once I sensed that Nosara was a very special place. There were friendly, smiling people and horses and oxcarts in the plaza and noisy, brilliantly covered parrots in the trees near the brightly painted schoolhouses.
On that first visit, I rode across the broad savanna and when I stopped in the shade beside a cool stream to water my horse, I was astonished to discover a group of curious monkeys watching me from the branches of surrounding trees. Later, I climbed a gentle hill, and self-consciously permitted myself comparison to Balboa, secretly sharing with him the thrill he must have felt as he stood on his hill in Darien and for the first time let his eyes take in the broad sweep of the majestic Pacific. Just as I was doing 450 years later….
And Nosara’s beautiful beaches: Playa Guiones – truly one of the finest beaches in the whole world – broad, flat, smooth white sand and rolling surf (yet absolutely safe even for small children) and the picturesque coves of Playa Pelada – soft and engraved with weather-worn rocks, tidal pools rich in marine life.
Later, as I wandered to the Rio Nosara, I came upon a flock of roseate spoonbills and a raccoon. Overhead, I counted a formation of 66 Pacific brown pelicans flying in a single line (this variety is facing extinction in the U.S.). Oh yes – I knew positively, without question, that this was The Place.
Fortunately, the owner of Nosara ranch was disposed to sell at an attractive price. I was also lucky in being able to purchase several smaller tracts which added up to an additional full mile of fine beach.
While I was negotiating with the various land owners, I brought in professional landscapers to judge the feasibility of developing Nosara. After their first visit, these experts told me that in their combined 45 years of experience in Florida, the Bahamas, and the West Indies. They had never seen a more naturally favored area for a resort community.
At the world famous Tropical Science Center in San Jose I talked with Dr. Leslie Holdridge, tropical forester and ecologist and the author of the much acclaimed “Holdridge Life Zone System”, and with his colleague Dr. Joseph Tosi, an ecologist specializing in tropical land use. After inspecting the site, these scientists told me that they thought our plans for an ecologically balanced development made a great deal of sense and permitted their staff to act as our consulting ecologists and scientific advisers. They made a survey of the natural resources of Nosara – its geology, soils, vegetation, climate, birds and other wildlife. Working with them were our planning team and our topographers from the geographic institute of Costa Rica. Together, these experts have produced a Master Land Use plan. That sounds formidable. What it amounts to this:
The forested mountain area and the heavily wooded banks of the Rio Nosara and the many small streams – a total of about 1200 acres – will remain intact as a forest and wildlife management area.
Approximately 1,000 acres of open grassy savanna like pastures will be preserved for grazing, riding horses and riding.
Only the low hills overlooking the blue Pacific and the valley of Nosara, plus a few special areas like a portion of the palm forest, are to be developed as home sites. This represents less than a third of the total Nosara area.
In the future we hope to provide within the developed area of BEACHES OF NOSARA, in addition to home sites, the hotel, golf course, tennis club, commercial section and the utility area.
After we adopted the master use plan the engineers moved in. They worked out our road, water, electrical and sanitary systems. Our architect drew up plans for a resort hotel, to fit the terrain and climate. And all of these architectural and engineering studies were carried out in strict conformity to the rigid restrictions of the master plan.
Now the first stage of development has been completed. Over ten miles of dirt road have been constructed. The hotel is about ready to accommodate visitors. Two hundred home sites have been surveyed, platted and staked. Each of these home sites is carefully planned to take full advantage of the topography, view, and existing vegetation. On every single one of them we’ve lavished our concern, our love even. I think you’ll believe this statement to be drained of pretentiousness when you see what we’ve done here.
We have home sites ranging from a quarter of an acre with exceptional views of the beaches, to two and a half acre ranchettes. We do not dictate a particular home site size. Rather, we’re trying to develop a community with a certain amount of built-in diversity. All major decisions of community development will be referred to the Nosara Property Owners’ Association, to be organized in the future. But over-riding everything, paramount above all else, is our dedication to the preservation of the environment and the sensible development of Nosara in accordance with ecological principles.
On a personal note I thought it might be of interest to you to know that last summer I sold my residence in the United States and moved to Costa Rica with my family. My children enjoy going to Costa Rican schools, which, according to the Organization of American States, are among the best in Latin America.
But several times a year I go back to the states to confer with my associates and advisers. Each time, I am dismayed by the air pollution. I see it and smell it, as you do. Not just in the big cities but in the countryside I used to enjoy driving through. Some of my associates don’t venture out in city streets at night if they can avoid it; they’re frankly scared. I see crowds everywhere in the streets, on the highways, at the beaches. Even the national parks are jam-packed in season. And I think, as you must, that the technological North is becoming less and less a place for an individual or family.
To return to Costa Rica, with its green mountains and wide open spaces – to our own BEACHES OF NOSARA, what joy it is. In Nosara there are cowboys and horses and wide beaches and I stop and shake hands with everyone I meet on the road. That’s the local custom, and these gentle, peace-loving people are genuine and smilingly friendly. This can become your custom too.
I would like to share Nosara with you if you, too, long for a sanctuary in which man and nature live together in peace and harmony. But there is only limited room in Nosara, and we are not going to make the fatal error of overcrowding it. So, if what we have here sounds to you like the place about which you’ve always dreamed, I suggest you act promptly and reserve a lot for yourself in BEACHES OF NOSARA. All you have to do is fill out and mail the Application to Purchase, together with the $100 reservation fee, which is completely refundable at any time up to 60 days. We will then reserve the very best home site available in the size and price category for which you have expressed a preference. A registered plan will then be sent to you, plus a Sales Purchase Agreement which contains the developer’s guarantees:
Remember: you have one full year after signing the agreement, to visit the BEACHES OF NOSARA and to inspect your home site. If for any reason you are disappointed, we will refund every penny you have paid in.
We’ve made the cost of acquiring a home site at BEACHES OF NOSARA as low and as easy to manage as we possibly could: a quarter acre for only $3000 and on payment terms of only 4% down and 2% a month – NO INTEREST CHARGED. This means that in just four years, your home site is yours, free and clear – and by that time it will probably be worth a lot more than you paid for it.
So here is your chance to make your life and the life of your family richer, fuller and more satisfying then you might have believed possible in this troubled world and time.
I sincerely hope you will avail yourself of this opportunity, and that I will have the pleasure one day soon of shaking hands with you in, to quote our advertising, “this garden of ours,” this anti-misanthropic place where people actually look at each other with glad eyes and smile.
Hasta La Vista
Alan D. Hutchison, President
Inversiones Nicoya, S.A.