East-Central Europe’s largest tourism investment is being prepared by Gábor Széles.
One 160 - acre golf course, a 200 room hotel, a 9,000 – square – foot spa center and a Golfvillage consists of 400 villas, all will have a place in the Zala Springs project – said by Gábor Széles the owner of ’’ Magyar Hírlap (a Hungarian news paper). Of The 265 Million Euros-Investment now it is only a 35 Million Euro-Sum which is remained to be talked over with international investors. The Golf-course may be finished by next summer, although the actual inauguration of the entire facility is planned for 2016. The golf course was designed by the world’s largest engeneering firm. ’’That is why I believe that even Tiger Wood, the World Champion of Golf will also come to play at Zalacsány, and I would be very pleased to have him as a guest in our Hotel Mansion’’ - said Gábor Széles. The thermal centre will also be unique with her special multi-layered bathing houses of three different cultures: the Roman, Turkish and Finnish Baths,all there for the pampering of guests.
An Un-paralled Investment, nowhere else to be found in the World, that is what Gábor Széles-the owner of the Paper, the Hungarian News- has recently been up to. For Zalacsány is the first place ever, where a 160-acre Golf Course with a 200-room hotel a 9,000-srquare-foot Spa Centre along with a Golf-Village of 400 Living Units-Suites and Villas-will all be housed within her territory, in the framework of the huge Zala Springs Project. As soon as by next summer, the entire Golf-Course may be ready, notwithstanding the full accomplish- ment and handing over of this tremendous Investment is planned for 2016.
In the midst of a Grand International Media Fire it was the Irish Prime Minister himself who had marked out the first shooting-point of the golf course, back in 2006, when the constraction of the Playing Field was started. Then, along the way in 2008, in the time of the global crash , the Project - planned and backed by Irish Investors-was stucked.
- But, contrary to all these, last year Sir, you would re-enter and yet went on with the development of the area. May I ask you why?
The Irish were thinking in the right way. As, before starting-and saying yes to-the whole Investment, they had measured up the conditions of the Homeland, and only after that, they would sit and set to the planning of The 160-acre golf course at Zalacsány. Since the rest of Hungary’s golf playing fields are not more bigger than just 50-60-acres in dimensions.
And with circumstancies being such, world-class quality golf players would not come to play in small fields like this, because in that case they had to play in more parts of the course, in ’’opposite” (direction),which would be very disturbing for the competitors when concentra-ting.
Whereas, at the court in Zalacsány-being so huge-the contestants will hardly ever see and hear one another. So, at the end of last year I decided to buy into the project, as the Zalacsány Playing Field was designed by the famous Robert Trent Jones Jr. Company.
-They are quite a big names in this business.
Yes, they are probably the world’s biggest and most reknown designer company. They have built hundreds and hundreds of golf coursies in the world. Just by realizing their plans in the right way of their imaginations, their name itself is already a guarantee for Zala Springs to join the International Golf Life. So it was not by coincidence either,that the Irish had set the complex at Zalacsány into motion, as the CBC and CNN came over and were giving a Live Broadcast. I can only compare it to the domestic Formula 1 runs. Bernie Ecclestone had brought over here his car race not by accident,as the state of Hungary,back int he 80’s was paying out fortunes for the designers who had designed the Race Course at Mogyoród. I’m well convinced that if it was not for the costly buying of the Course Plan in those days, then even Formula 1. would have not come to Hungary, as Ecclestone would not have considered it safe.
-Oh..even Golf is such a delicate kind of Sport?
Yes, it is. As world-class golfers normally are willing to play only in those fields which were designed by internationally reknowned engineers. If they were invited to play in a plain un-famous court, they would never come. But, given a higher-scale course with the dimensions like ours, I think even Tiger Wood himself, the world’s number one player, will come and play at Zalacsány,where we would be more than happy to have him as a guest in our little Hotel Mansion.
-I see..but le tus go back to the Irish subject,where we have left. How much money did they actually invite into the Project?
Originally a Budget of 100,000 000 Euro-investment was planned,but they were not able to scrape up more than just a 17 Million-Euro-Sum, so the construction had to stop.
Although, before that they had managed to shape half of the 18 Sections of the golf course, got all of the artificial ponds ready-had even filled them up with water-and they had also constructed the groundworks of the 2x2 Lanes Main Road,leading to the Round-About int he middle of the Field. They did a tremendous work and it took a great deal of their time to buy up all the desired 160-acre near-by area -plots-by plots-, and obtaining the adequate Licences had required a lot of their energies,too.
At the same time, it is also clear,that they still would have needed a lot of money, just to finish the construction of the Golf Course. So, unfortunately they were still very far from getting the Entire 100M-Euros Project ready. Although, in their Original Total-Up Project they also had the plans of a Golf-Vilage, a 5-star hotel,and the building of a thermal bath, as well. But, sadly-on account of lack of further funds-the latter ones never came to realization.
-In what conditions did you take the area over?
Well, I had bought the region in the middle of January,but the works concerning the merits-because of the long winter-we could only start in March, in the following year.
The first time when I would go and take a walk in the area, the weed was levelled of a man’s height. When we sent out the first scathing traktors, we straightaway bumped into the problem of whether ’’How could we replace their chipped scathes in the quickest way?’’ to be answered question,so as to they could go on with their work. But, finally-still within that wintertime-we managed to scathe the court. Right after it,the next thing to be done was the re-measuring of each and every altitude-point of the whole region, because of the trailes which had been shaped by the resident games, going as far as the Zala-River, to which also was added the ruining, erroding work of the near-by flowing streams, damaging the newly-built parts of the course. So, our followed-on task was the fencing-off of the court,to keep out the wild animals.
- And of course, you had to find a team for the building of the court.
Yes, indeed. And I think we did a good job on it too,as we managed to employ, one of-if not the best-golfcourse-architects of Central-East-Europe. But, nationwide they are definetely th e best, that is for sure,besides they are doing a high-quality work at an acceptable price-range. All of them has had long experiences of the golf business, and can read Trent Jones’ plans pretty well. As a thing of interest,I would mention, that the bulldozers are received their plan-coordinates through a communication satellite,that is, even the basic groundworks of the construction of the golf-course is under computer-control.
It is a peculiar work, as the hillocks of the course are shaped artificially. It is done by a mechanicle excavator, of which machine’s pilot is an Englishman with very serious course-constructing experiences, he is said to be one of the best in this field in the whole world.
-When the golf course will be ready?
According to the contract constructors the practice field and 3 from the planned 18-stage courses will be finished in this year. Originally we fixed the date of delivery of the whole golf course for next summer, but the driving range and two out of the three phase-courses are already finished. We agreed that the 17th and the 18th-track sections there will also be constructed in this year. Each stages of the elliptically-shaped track has to be ready to go by this year. Expectedly, by next spring, the entire course will have been finished. In this case, all of us can play on the 18-hole golf course in Zalacsány next summer. Hopefully,than our competitions will also be included in the 2015 Sport Calendar yet. I hope that the Audi or Mercedes factory will organize golf trophies in Zalacsány,too.
- In What respects will the golf course in Zalacsány differ from other similar facilities in the world?
I’ve modified the original hundred million worth project plans of the Irish. Instead of the thermal swimming pools I’ve planned a thermal center, and doubled the numbers of villas and apartments. The proposed five-star hotel will have 200 rooms instead of 100. If I know well, the largest thermal bathing of the world which has just been built in Dubai, and is 8000 square meters in size . Our thermalcenter will be 1000 square meters bigger.
-Why is this necessary?
Zala Springs will be unique with her special multi-layered bathing houses of three different cultures: the Roman, Turkish and Finnish Baths,all there for the pampering of guests.
-How much will all these cost?
We talk about an EUR 265 Million investment project now, there are investors who operate hotels in China, in America and the Arab world. I hope that these negotations will be completed soon, after which we have to deal only with constructions. As soon as we are agreed,the five-star hotel and spa foundation works can begin. Independently we will start the development of private resources. The infrastructure has been placed (water, electricity, gas, water). I would like to complete all work and we could deliver all the property in the summer of 2016. The installation will have a big impact on the region and across on the country’s tourism.