Saturday, September 8, 2007

September 2007 Newsletter

Well, folks, what do you think? My personal assessment was that it could have been more detailed and given an estimate of when the strike will be over, but it was more informative than the last conference call! Here are my thoughts:

Alliances:

GOOD! They need a construction partner, and I see the fact that a US based company wanting to get in the mix is a good sign. I am going to do more investigation on the Gates construction company, but I take this as a positive step.

Of course, if you read the blog regularly, you know how I feel about the alliance with Sam Taliaferro and Paul McBride of Prima Panama. I think this is a wise step and may have had something to do with the decision to bring in another construction parter.

After my last post about my Paul McBride call, but they were scheduled to have another conference call later in that week with Red Frog. I have not heard how that went, though I did get a voice mail from Sam. We have yet to connect.

I was told after their trip to Red Frog that something would be posted about it on their Prima Panama Blog. I have seen nothing yet.

Rumors:

Rumors... we have tried to dispel some of them here, but the latest ones on Red Frog Beach Forum are just malicious. Packing up hard drives and shipping them back to the US? They moved offices in Bocas, and Scott shipped home a hard drive with contracts on it to avoid shipping the whole computer!

I suggest anyone with concerns e-mail Scott Harris first. If you don't want to submit your question directly for some reason, send it to me and I will pose it as my own.

Bocas Notes:

I have a nephew of a good friend whose parents own a resort on the Pacific side of Panama called Mangofish Resort and is now for sale with a price tag of $10M. He visited Red Frog before construction began and was offered some of the land before Joe and the boys purchased. He has some strong ideas about what is going on and will be in Bocas for the festival. Perhaps I can get him to share his thoughts when he gets back.

Client Corner:

As hint at, only a certain amount of work can be done to maintain the structures before it is considered contruction. Paul McBride said they have a crew that is busy "beating back the rain forest" which, as you know if you have seen the sprouting fence posts, can be pervasive.

Legal and Financial:

Sounds like the strike is nearing an end, but they always try and make it sound like that. At least this time the ROP issue was addressed. What they said here is exactly what they reported to me in an e-mail, so I believe it is the government that is holding up this process.

The land dispute becomes clearer now. It was my belief from the beginning that Red Frog being sued in the US seemed odd. I'm glad they took the time to explain this incident a little better. Hopefully we will prevail, but with the current judicial system, who knows? And it means more money that can not be spent on construction.

I spoke in an earlier post about the Florida bank who has visited Red Frog to hopefully provide more traditional financing as we find here in the US. That would put some of the current home owners at ease as they go into the final phases of construction.

I am looking forward to my next trip to Panama and intend on making EJ show me the new "secret spot" next time I'm there. As soon as Janis gets her passport, I want to book a trip so we can see the project first hand and stay in a Tortuga... the model we "reserved" for our beach front lot.

Your comments?

Mick @ Lot 83

1 comment:

Sarah @ 2104 said...

Yes, Mick. Please go down there and check it out for us!

To add to the Gates - Cociege partnership and involvement with Red Frog Beach - when I talked with Dan Cranney, he used the word "quality" several times. Gates is known for quality construction. That will be very beneficial for Red Frog. He said that the Panamanian workers take a lot longer than US workers, and even though the Panamanians are still going to be on the job, they can learn from the Gates foremen and other Gates people in leadership positions. He wasn't sure that they'd use Gates foremen, that was just an example of a possible role. Gates will be motivated to get into foreign markets like Panama since the US real estate new construction market is dried up.

I'm glad of the alliance with Sam and Paul, too. They are very experienced and successful developers.