Marne-la-Vallée, May 25th, 2014 – The groups Euro Disney S.C.A. and Pierre & Vacances-Center Parcs, along with their 50/50 joint venture, Les Villages Nature de Val d’Europe S.A.S., announced the signing of financing agreements for the initial stage of Phase 1 construction on Villages Nature, backed by institutional investors, plus minority financing from the two groups. With the signing of these agreements, construction can begin on the initial stage of the development, which is targeted to open to the public in 2016.
Conceived by Euro Disney S.C.A. group and Pierre & Vacances-Center Parcs Group, Villages Nature is a new, innovative European eco-tourism destination designed for short and medium-length stays. Villages Nature is located 32 km (20 mi) east of Paris in Seine-et-Marne. It straddles the towns of Villeneuve-le-Comte, Bailly-Romainvilliers and Serris, set part in the Brie Boisée district and part in Sector IV of Marne-la-Vallée/Val d’Europe.
Villages Nature is a unique, nature-centric vacation experience, close to a major metropolitan area, easy to get to by air, train or car and firmly committed to a transition towards sustainable tourism. It will be a leading example of sustainable tourism and vacation practices that minimize the environmental impact and carbon footprint of tourism development providing a unique getaway destination for everyone seeking to connect with nature in an eco-friendly context. On account of its location near Paris and Disneyland Paris, Villages Nature provides a wealth of opportunities for holiday and relaxation just steps away from two major tourist
Its Charter of Commitment is guided, both at the development stage and in tourism operations, by a “Sustainable Action Plan” that strives to minimize the destination’s ecological footprint through 10 measurable target areas: zero carbon; waste management; sustainable transport; water management; sustainable and local construction materials; protection of biodiversity; local and sustainable food; economic growth and fair trade; quality of life and wellness; culture and heritage. This is the first time a major tourist destination in Europe has sought to harness the power of nature directly to reduce its carbon footprint.
Villages Nature’s development takes its inspiration from the model that has been the cornerstone of Pierre & Vacances-Center Parcs Group’s success for the past 45 years. The model is based on the sale of recreational facilities and accommodation units to institutional and individual investors. The properties are then leased to a subsidiary of the Villages Nature company, responsible for their operation and management.
For this initial stage of construction, the investments related to Villages Nature’s recreational facilities are made by a group of institutional investors. The accommodation units, a combination of cottages and apartments, are mainly sold in bulk to a real estate company to be subsequently sold to individual investors. Some 200 units have already been marketed to individuals by the sales agent Pierre & Vacances Conseil Immobilier, a subsidiary of Pierre & Vacances-Center Parcs Group.
The initial stage of Phase 1 of Villages Nature will involve the construction of 916 cottages and apartments classified as tourist residences as well as recreational facilities such as the Aqualagoon, a large 11,500 m² (124,000 ft²) water complex – one of the biggest indoor water parks in Europe – with an attached outdoor lagoon where guests can swim in water heated to more than 30°C (86°F) using geothermal power.