Montenegro Limon Zest

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Montenegro Limon Zest - January 2013

Will a small Dutch company become the biggest player in Montenegro’s slow-growing golf business?

LPGD, an affiliate of Limon Investments, has signed a 90-year lease on 195 acres of government-controlled property in Kavac, along the Bay of Kotor, where it plans to build Tivat National Golf Club. In addition, the company is trying to negotiate permission to build Danilovgrad Golf & Country Club along the Zeta River outside Danilovgrad, a northwestern suburb of Podgorica, the nation’s capital. Both facilities will feature an 18-hole, regulation-length golf course and a nine-hole “academy” course.

But those are merely the side dishes on LPGD’s plate. The company aims to put Montenegro on the world’s golf map with Luštica Golf & Leisure Resort, which has been master-planned with an eye-popping six golf courses. Chris Liebreks, the principal of Limon Investments, believes Luštica will be “one of Europe’s biggest and most beautiful golf and holiday destinations” and that it’ll attract up to 200,000 tourists a year all by itself.

What’s more, he’s keen to get on with it. “This project can start within one year,” Liebreks said at a news conference last year. “Our funders to invest in this venture are already very eager to start up with it.”

These projects are major undertakings for a firm that hardly anyone has ever heard of, especially when one considers that Montenegro doesn’t as yet have a single golf course. But LPGD has shown not just a commitment to golf development in Montenegro -- Liebreks has been laying a foundation for his golf projects for a decade -- but a willingness to take on partners as necessary. LPGD is undertaking Tivat National with a Montenegrin firm, Boka Group, and Luštica with a German firm, PDI.

Tivat National is expected to open in the spring of 2015. Its golf complex, like the one in Danilovgrad, will be designed by Steve Marnoch, an architect based in Derbyshire, England. Both facilities are expected to be part of resort communities with upscale housing, hotels, and spas.

The designers of Luštica’s golf courses haven’t yet been determined. The community, which will include houses and seven hotels, will take shape near the town of Seljanovo, not far from where Orascom Development Holding plans to build Luštica Bay and its Gary Player “signature” golf course. The neighborhood is also the home of Porto Montenegro, an uber-exclusive marina community that’s being developed by Peter Munk, a wealthy Canadian. LPGD had to out-bid Munk for the concession on Tivat National.

LPGD’s projects are fully supported by Montenegro’s government, which has been trying to spark golf development for years, in an effort to promote tourism. While its efforts haven’t yet produced a golf course, the nation nonetheless believes it can support as many as 15.

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