How an Emotionally Charged Investor Stays on Course

Total Croatia News

A golfing investment in the very south of Croatia has become more than business for Maja Ruth Frenkel

The Golf Park on Srđ mountain above Dubrovnik has been a controversial story from the start, ten years ago, when Maja Ruth Frenkel and her husband, Israeli investor Aaron Frenkel, approached city officials with a desire to build a high-class golf resort in an area the local plans designated for such projects. Jutarnji list published an interview with Maja Frenkel on May 31, 2016, detailing the cumbersome load investors carry when it comes to Croatian laws and investment policies.

After a failed referendum, UNESCO was called in to protect the world heritage site, while finally the project is stuck in a bureaucratic quagmire. However, the Frenkels persist and aim to create a “game changer in this part of the Mediterranean. Today Dubrovnik has an average of three and a half overnight stays per visitor and I’m sure neither politicians nor businessmen not citizens are happy with that,” says Maja Frenkel. 

Her daughter was born on the day of the signing of the concession agreement, and today she feels she will go to college before this project is finalized. She talks of the emotional value she invested as a Croatian and that investors of any nation should have open doors, as well as cooperation on all levels. Lower levels of decision makers have no experience and no guidelines to work with, while higher level ones don’t want to take responsibility: “There are much bigger markets in the world than Croatia, business should not be so complicated here.” Their desire is to make the public space interesting for day trips to residents, have theme parks that make people really want to come, year round.

A big obstacle was the use of pesticides to treat golfing surfaces, a danger to drinkable water sources below. “Our golfing grounds will meet highest ecological standards. Studies have shown that nothing will enter the porous terrain,” cites Frenkel.
With 11 current project associates, they hope to have a dream team of 20 highly educated members, with certain segments taken on by local and international companies. The projected new job figure is 1,000 with a very conservative projection.


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