(CRNS) Playa Matapalo, Costa Rica, May 31, 2012 – The once overhyped Costa Rica real estate project, Hacienda Matapalo, has found itself abandoned and out of cash.
Despite receiving millions in investment and presale figures over $65 million, Hacienda Matapalo appears all but without life these days. A drive by the project and it reminds you of another failed development venture — also based out of Florida — when Paragon Properties jumped ship.
About six months back, WeLoveCostaRica owner, Scott Oliver, let the cat out of the bag about the holding company of Hacienda Matapalo (Centam Partners LLC) filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy on the 20th of December 2011 in a South Florida Bankruptcy court.
This created a stir of panic and activity from the “mum’s the word” directors of Hacienda Matapalo. For which soon after (1 day) they would release PR to try and counter the effects of this damning news going public.
Since then, all the onsite staff like Nathan Posey and Keith Blackburn, who were heading up the onsite sales office at Hacienda Matapalo, have left the country and moved back to the United States to seek employment.
Ed Sklar, the once flamboyant marketing director for the project — the man who made claims of over $65m in presales — has since removed all references to Hacienda Matapalo from his LinkedIn profile and is actively seeking employment as marketing director for any business silly enough to consider him.
Why silly? Well behind Mr. Sklar was a team of highly skilled individuals who made it all possible. This included myself who single handedly took HM from nothing in the search rankings, to being ranked as high as #5 on Page 1 of Google for “Costa Rica real estate“. In fact, still to this day all this work is sustaining despite HM being all but abandoned.
However I can not take all the credit for there were spectacular people who made it possible for HM to sell presales like they did. Canadian marketing firm, Costa Rica Estates, also did a tremendous job of implementing an inbound marketing strategy for HM only to be handed the short end of the stick when HM closed it’s doors.
So for Mr. Sklar to take any credit for marketing (outside of reprinting existing content to LinkedIn) is ludicrous and he should be ashamed of himself.
The following link shows what Mr. Sklar is up to these days and well…to put it lightly it’s a tad amateur don’t you agree? This site of his will sell you anything from office furniture to real estate marketing. Ed Sklar – New Website
Yes…it is true that HM was a client and also an advertiser on this site — and if we’d had a crystal ball to know this would unfold the way it did, we’d have never promoted them to our loyal readers.
With millions of dollars in investment coming in — who’d have thought they would blow it all and end up where they are…bankrupt.
As it would appear, it’s almost as though the directors of HM, Ed Sklar included, are busy dusting over their tracks trying to distance themselves from the Hacienda Matapalo project.
How do investors feel about this? Share your thoughts below we love to hear your perspective.