By Juliet Benning
Superyacht Business recently met with Oliver Corlette, the MD of Porto Montenegro, to find out more about plans for extension and meeting yachts’ needs for additional infrastructure.
Corlette, who first became involved with the project after meeting the project investor Peter Munk’s son, previously worked on Wall Street as a private equity investor. Corlette demonstrates a great deal of faith in the project explaining that he hopes it will one day become “the Monaco of the Adriatic”.
Corlette was keen to impress upon SB the amount of development currently going on at the marina, which lies close to the UNESCO world heritage site of Kotor. “On July 1 2014 a new boutique hotel will open which will have 90 keys. We’ve already sold 50 condos and only have about five left. We will be adding 170 berths over the winter, taking us up to 430.”
Perhaps more interesting for SB readers are the company’s plans for the state owned commercial shipyard in Bijela, which is a short hop across the bay from Porto Montenegro’s home in Tivat. The company will partner with a Northern European shipyard (at the time of writing the exact identity of the shipyard remains confidential) to tender for the sale of the Bijela shipyard. Should the tender be successful, it is anticipated yachts will be able to book in for marginal works by November 2014.
The potential new shipyard infrastructure would undoubtedly add to the allure of Porto Montenegro as a home port. The facility already boasts an international school, a naval heritage museum, condos and villas, and a substantial amount of bars, restaurants and shops. Additionally, regattas are run every week creating a social and competitive buzz popular with crew.
Corlette tells SB that investing in a berth in Porto Montenegro is significantly cheaper, sometimes less than half the price, of one in the Western Med. The government’s eagerness to exploit the potentially lucrative yachting industry has meant that VAT is extremely favourable to yacht owners.
On the back of Porto Montenegro’s establishment Corlette tells SB, “Further investment in the Bay of Kotor to the amount of two billion euros has been announced.” Apparently much of this funding has come from sources in the Middle East who are keen to supplement this new Adriatic playground with hotels, marinas and retail outlets.
But what are the long term plans for Porto Montenegro as an investment and what lies in its future? Corlette reveals, “This is a long-term investment. We feel like this [project] is one of a kind. We’re basically creating the next Monaco. It’s a trophy project. Sales are doing well and business has increased at 20 per cent per annum.”