March 31st, 2014 (InsideCostaRica.com) The Northern Zone Chamber of Tourism (Catuzón) has reached an agreement with the Costa Rican Electricity Institute (ICE) to permit the development of an ambitious plan to revitalize tourism to Lake Arenal, Costa Rica’s largest freshwater lake.
The plan, which was presented late last year, includes the formation of small beaches with sea sand, as well as the construction of a small marina, which would include public areas, shops, restaurants, a conference center and an amphitheater facing the lake for aquatic events, according to Leovigild Villegas, president of Catuzon.
Lake Arenal is the largest freshwater lake in the country and produces about 70% of all electricity in the country. Catuzon’s development plan had been waiting for approval since September of last year from ICE, which is in charge of the lake.
“We want to promote the lake internationally and locally,” Villegas said.
The cost of the project is estimated at $3 million USD.
Though approved by ICE, the project is still in its early stages. Architects must now design plans and blueprints, which must also be approved by ICE.
Once the plans are approved, the process of securing funding will begin.
Funding will be sought from international groups and nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), which must be endorsed by the Costa Rican Tourism Institute (ICT) and ICE.
“The idea is that by the end of this year we will be under construction,” Villegas said.
Villegas said the project is expected to boost tourism to the area by 20%.