Brazilian resort with Faldo design to begin construction

Rio de Janeiro is the site of the 2016 Games, where golf will make its return to the Olympics.

Buoyed by Rio de Janeiro’s hosting of the 2016 Summer Olympics, Brazil is beginning to realize what many industry observers anticipated would be the dawning of a course-development era.

The Summer Games, which will feature golf competition for the first time since 1904, is expected to spark interest in the sport not only in Brazil, but throughout the region. Hoping to capitalize on that Olympic legacy are new golf facilities such as the Rio de Janeiro International Golf Resort.

Led by the UK’s International Golf & Resort Management Ltd. and Rio-based development company JCN, the development has been approved to start construction just outside Petropolis, Brazil. The $300 million project is planned to feature at least 850 hotel rooms and two 18-hole courses. The first of the layouts will be designed by Nick Faldo in association with Steve Smyers Golf Course Architects.

The developers are touting the project as a pioneering effort in South America, in part, because it also will feature a golf academy designed to teach future golfers of various economic backgrounds. The resort also is hoping to become a tourism magnet, especially with its location approximately 30 miles from Rio de Janeiro’s International Airport.

Developers are planning to break ground in the last quarter of 2011 and a phased-opening during the first quarter of 2014.

Said Paulo Mustrangi, the mayor of Petropolis, in a statement: “We have supported the project from the very beginning, especially because of its significance to the economic growth of the municipality and potential for creating long-term employment. Furthermore, the Rio de Janeiro International Golf Resort offers important social and ecological benefits, in that it is a development that preserves and enhances one of our greatest assets, the natural environment.”

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