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Polaris World is a holiday resort company centred on golf courses designed by Nicklaus Design - the golf course design and development firm set up by Jack Nicklaus and his sons. Around each golf course are a number of large-scale apartment, townhouse and villa developments with facilities such as supermarkets, restaurants, laundry services and so on all run by the Polaris World family of companies (although full facilities will be available after the first properties are completed). The Nicklaus designed courses are known as the Polaris World Nicklaus Golf Trail.
Polaris World are the largest golf resort developer in Murcia. The seven Polaris World resorts range in size from 55 hectares up to 900 hectares. Most are around the 100 to 150 hectare size. Mar Menor was the first resort completed although it is currently being extended. La Torre is fully developed and a good example of what Polaris World has to offer. El Valle has been mostly completed and contains mostly villas (whereas the other resorts, apart from Mar Menor, are mostly apartments). Condado de Alhama is the largest development - over 900 hectares with 3 golf courses. Condado De Alhama is situated close to the new proposed Corvera Airport.
Since the financial crisis of 2008, the financing and viability of the Polaris World projects has been called into question. In 2009 extensive refinancing was needed when it became clear that company had overreached itself - like many others during the Spanish property bubble. The financial probity of those involved in the refinancing was also called into question. In 2012, it was reported that prices of the properties had fallen to a third of their original price.
Until its latter troubles, Polaris World were heavy advertisers on UK television. To date, there have been two major campaigns - one using Jack Nicklaus and more recently a series featuring the president of Polaris World, José Luis Hernández. From 2002 until 2006, Jack Nicklaus was used as the figurehead for the company in TV advertising. A series of adverts shown on UK TV were based around a family taking a holiday at a Polaris World resort and being badgered by Nicklaus to play golf, but unable to do so because there were so many other attractions and facilities. Between 2006 and 2009, the president of the company, José Luis Hernández, was featured.
Update - 2014 Polaris World have completed the following golf resorts in Murcia - Mar Menor Golf Resort, La Torre Golf Resort, El Valle Golf Resort and Hacienda Riquelme Golf Resort. All of these resorts have 18 hole golf courses, are gated resorts with 24h security. All have supermarkets, restaurants and bars, golf clubhouses and other facilities too. Two resorts, Mar Menor and La Torre Golf Resort have 5 star Intercontinental hotels (the one at La Torre opened in 2009 and was the final building on the resort)and La Torre has an International School as well.
The other 2 resorts Condado de Alhama and Terrazas de La Torre were both under construction when the World credit crisis occurred and at the moment, though both have 18 hole golf courses, supermarket, restaurants, bars and golf clubhouses, are not completely finished. At the time of writing (August 2014), Polaris are continuing construction at a low level at Terrazas de La Torre Golf Resort. The 7th resort (La Loma) is currently on hold waiting for the property market in Spain to return.
Several of the unsold properties were bought back by the Spanish banks in an attempt to keep Polaris World a viable company for the future. These properties are presently being sold as "bank properties" at reduced prices while the financial crisis stabilises.
More recently the company appears to be on the brink of bankruptcy yet again and there are moves afoot in the Spanish legal system. It owes large sums of money to the resident associations of all resorts it was associated with.