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SAN JUAN, PUERTO RICO-Construction will start later this year for a $152 million, 416-room resort on Puerto Rico’s Rio Grande, 25 miles east of San Juan. The Coco Beach Resort will include 30,000 sf of meeting space, a 12,000-sf spa, a 6,000-sf amenity casino and 36 holes of golf. Completion is slated for late 2005.

The developer is the largest asphalt producer and paving company in the Caribbean. Investors in the project include Hotel Development Corporation and Tourism Development Fund, both Puerto Rican government entities, and publicly traded Fairmont Hotels & Resorts Inc., which will invest $9.5 million for a minority equity interest in the property. Fairmont also acquired the management contract for the resort and will have the opportunity to participate in the development of a vacation ownership property on a 20-acre parcel of land adjacent to the resort.

The Tourism Development Fund is a subsidiary of the Government Development Bank, created to offer guarantees as incentive to the construction of large hotel projects in Puerto Rico. Hotel Development Corp., under the aegis of the Puerto Rico Tourism Company, is responsible for assisting investors in creating capital structure plans suited to each project’s requirements. Toronto-based Fairmont Hotels & Resorts is an owner/operator of luxury hotels. Fairmont Coco Beach will expand its portfolio to 42 properties in the United States, Canada, Mexico, Caribbean, Bermuda and the United Arab Emirates.

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