Two resort courses planned for Cuba

Government-owned entities from Vietnam and Cuba are teaming up to build two golf courses within a short drive of Havana.

The courses will be developed by HUD Caribe Vietnam JSC, a joint venture created by Hanoi-based Housing & Urban Development Corporation and Palmares S.A.

Housing & Urban Development Corporation is the majority owner of the Tam Dao golf resort in Hop Chau Commune (Vinh Phuc Province), Vietnam. The firm reportedly has a stake in something like 20 Vietnamese companies involved with residential and industrial development and construction.

Palmares has reportedly developed more than 1,000 hotels, restaurants, entertainment venues and other establishments in Cuba, including the nation’s only 18-hole golf course, the Les Furber-designed Varadero Golf Course in Varadero.

There are conflicting reports about what the partners have in mind. Some reports say they’ll build a single 750- to 1,000-acre resort with two golf courses, several hotels, a trade center and an entertainment area. Other reports say that two resorts are in the works, each of them to take shape within 20 miles of Havana. The resorts may be in Bauta, which is just west of the city, and in Varadero, a resort town along Cuba’s northern coast.

HUD Caribe Vietnam JSC’s director is Dinh Nho Hung, who was the general director of the entity that developed the Tam Dao resort. The 340-acre property, which opened in 2007, has an 18-hole track that was designed by Brit Stenson of IMG, the big Cleveland, Ohio-based sports marketing firm. The resort eventually plans to add nine holes to its golf course.

Housing & Urban Development wants to develop other golf properties in Vietnam. It has its eyes on three sites: one is in the vicinity of Cam Ranh Bay, along the South China Sea; another is near Nha Trang, the capital of Khanh Hoa Province, along the nation’s south-central coast and the third is in Bac Ninh Province, in northern Vietnam.

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