AOL Co-Founder to Build Sustainable Luxury Resorts

AOL Co-Founder to Build Sustainable Luxury Resorts

The man who helped create AOL launched a sustainable luxury resort company this month.

The first project of Steve Case and his new company, Revolution Places, is the 650-acre resort Cacique, Costa Rica. The $800 million development will feature environmentally friendly designs that maximize the location's natural amenities.

"After searching the hemisphere, we have selected Cacique, Costa Rica as the ideal location for our first Revolution Places resort community," said Philippe Bourguignon, vice chairman of Revolution Places Group and CEO of its development arm Revolution Places Development.

"We are creating an environment that departs from the gated and manicured environment of conventional developments. Cacique, Costa Rica preserves the essence of the local culture and natural beauty, while offering luxury and wellness. This is a place where people are not only guests, but participants in a uniquely authentic experience."

The design -- to be integrated with indigenous traditions -- also will reduce energy and water demand, taking advantage of the wind and solar patterns for optimal ventilation, shade and daylight.

The company is working to develop a comprehensive recycling and solid waste management strategy to neutralize the development's impact, buy renewable energy and build an on-site treatment facility to re-use wastewater.

“Revolution Places is an entirely new approach to destination resort development,” Case said. “We are bringing together the best of the best to deliver an ownership and guest experience like no other resort in the world. Importantly, we will preserve the local environment and culture when developing resorts like Cacique, Costa Rica to ensure our presence is a positive and welcome contribution.”

The resort, to feature multiple real estate products, will open in stages beginning in 2010. Case expects the project to create more than 2,000 new jobs for the community.

The company will donate one million trees to the Foundation for the Balance between Conservation and Development, a government-chartered entity. It will donate hydro-geological studies of the Panama aquifer and watershed, as well as computer learning centers to the Costa Rican towns of Filadelfia, Hermosa, Panama and Sardinal.

Revolution Places also will create grants of up to $35,000 for individuals and organizations that create environmental initiatives.

The company will offer 300 for-sale real estate products, including estate sites, custom and semi-custom whole ownership residences, club memberships and resort-loft living, the company said.