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Resort Communities Turn to Adventure Sports to Lure New Residents

Resort Communities Turn to Adventure Sports to Lure New Residents

This article is part of our latest special report on International Golf Homes.

Golf has been a major anchor for attracting residents to resort communities since a construction boom in the 1960s. Now, developments around the world are adding adrenaline-spiking pursuits in addition to signature golf courses.

“I’ve certainly seen a trend toward adding adventure-oriented amenities to resort developments, which used to be a fringe concept,” said Thad Layton, a senior golf course architect and vice president at the Arnold Palmer Design Company.

Across the globe, resort communities are doing more than just adding golf courses to entice people. Here’s a bird’s-eye view of four such places, from a Brazilian development with its own wave pool to a Mexican club that’s home to an ax-throwing and archery range.

Last year, Mr. Layton designed a sustainable 18-hole course at Fasano Las Piedras in Punta del Este. The 180-acre golf course is part of a 1,186-acre master plan from JHSF, a luxury real estate development company in Brazil.

While working at the resort, Mr. Layton would spend his free time kiteboarding the Maldonado River, which flows through the property until it joins the nearby Atlantic Ocean. (Private kitesurfing clinics are offered on the river for residents and their guests for $150 per lesson.) Other water activities at the resort include fly-fishing, windsurfing, canoeing, paddleboarding and sailing. Those who want to enjoy water sports in the ocean can take electric boats down the Maldonado River to Fasano’s beach club in La Barra.

“It’s an incredible place,” Mr. Layton said by phone, from the property. “I could easily see myself retiring here one day.” More than half of the golf course is preserved wetlands and riparian areas that function as wildlife corridors for capybara and native birds like southern lapwing and the crested caracara.

Rodrigo Diz and his family moved from Buenos Aires to Fasano Las Piedras in 2017, and purchased a 7,500-square-foot Isay Weinfeld-designed home overlooking the golf course.

“It’s much easier to focus and be productive here versus the city, so I have much more free time for activities,” Mr. Diz said. “I do a lot of canoeing with my friends and family from a small town around 10 kilometers up the river. It takes about two hours to row home, and we finish the day at the Fasano River Club with a private barbecue.”

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