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Ayia Napa set to become property hotspot September 6, 2006

Posted by grhomeboy in Cyprus Ayia Napa.
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Ayia Napa is not the first place that springs to mind when it comes to overseas property hotspots.

The Cypriot resort has, during the last 10 years, been associated with a burgeoning UK Garage music scene and hordes of drunken Brits on 18-30 holidays.

But Ayia Napa is reinventing itself and is now becoming a serious prospect for investors looking to buy property in Cyprus, according to investment firm Assetz.

The authorities are clamping down on loud music and typical 18-30s antics as the resort transforms into an upmarket holiday destination.

Now, nightclubs and bars that play loud music into the early hours are immediately closed down and their equipment confiscated.

The move to rid the resort of its downmarket reputation is attracting more families with children and more upmarket holidaymakers, and facilities to cater for them are springing up.

There are plans to build three golf courses and two huge marinas that are capable of berthing large yachts, with the aim of turning Ayia Napa into the ‘Monte Carlo of the Middle East’.

Moira Augusti, a resident of Ayia Napa for nearly a decade, said of the change in the resort: “Several years ago, Ayia Napa was a club haven for the young, it was extremely noisy and there was always trouble. There is now a dramatic change. The streets are occupied by families with children eating ice creams and young couples walking hand-in-hand, rather than young drunken clubbers.”

So why should this interest overseas property investors?

To start with house prices in Cyprus have risen by about 15 per cent in the last 12 months, but in Ayia Napa, along with neighbouring Protaras and Paralimni, prices have risen by an additional five per cent.

The poor reputation of Ayia Napa also means that house prices are considerably lower than in the rest of the island, meaning there is room for growth as the area regenerates.

Currently, a penthouse apartment of about 80 to 90 square metres, with a 50 square metre terrace area 300 yards from the beach, with on-site swimming pools, tennis and shops would cost about £110,000 sterling.

An equivalent property at the other end of the island would cost between 30 per cent and 40 per cent more, at about £145,000 to £155,000.

“As the higher quality holiday companies move into Ayia Napa and the world-class golf courses and marinas for business, the potential rental income for investors is significantly improved,” said Assetz managing director Stuart Law.

“They will also benefit from house price growth which is likely to be higher than the rest of the island as the upmarket tourist trade continues to develop.

“When Cyprus adopts the euro in 2008 it will have to decrease interest rates from the current 5.5 per cent to the much lower euro rate, making borrowing cheaper, which is likely to further strengthen the property market.”

All in all this makes Ayia Napa a far more attractive prospect for overseas property investors, particularly those looking for property in Cyprus, than its erstwhile downmarket reputation would suggest.

Cyprus to get new golf course in Ayia Napa September 6, 2006

Posted by grhomeboy in Cyprus Ayia Napa.
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Six more ready for review

A ministerial committee has decided to award a license for the operation of a new golf course in the Ayia Napa area to a consortium of local hoteliers.

This will be the first course in the south eastern coastal area.

Three courses already operate in the Paphos District (Aphrodite Hills, Secret Valley and Tsada) and three more courses lie within the British Bases and the old Nicosia airport controlled by the UN.

A driving range has also been planned for Nicosia, probably in the Athalassa national park area.

Agriculture Minister Photos Photiou, Trade and Tourism Minister Antonis Michaelides and the new president of the Cyprus Tourism Organisation, Panos Englezos, decided to allocate a parcel from the government forest area to the new project.

Photiou said after the meeting that new golf courses “will help enhance our tourism product.”

“We believe that this is the best way to attract quality tourism,” he said, adding that meeting was called to discuss certain problems that arose with the application for a permit. These were related to the duration of the contract and the rent the government will charge.

“We found way to resolve these problems and will give further recommendations to the company. It is now up to them to proceed as we are prepared to give them the go-ahead.”

Photiou said that a preliminary approval has been granted to six more golf projects on the island which will allow the developers to proceed with finalising their plans.

As regards the water shortage, a serious problem on the island that relies on dams and desalination plants for irrigation and public use, the minister said that “this is an important criterion in our discussions (with golf course developers) and we are studying this issue together with the ministry of Tourism and the CTO.”

He added that as a matter of government policy, all golf courses will have to rely for their irrigation on desalination plants and water treatment plants.

Panos Englezos said that “it is important to satisfy the demanding tourists who are constantly searching for new products.

“The issue of creating new golf courses and new marinas is part of the government policy to develop the tourist industry which will boost our earnings from this sector,” he said. 

One night in Ayia Napa July 25, 2006

Posted by grhomeboy in Cyprus Ayia Napa.
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Life must be a party, working as a nightclub DJ, but there’s a bit more to it than that.

If you are out in Ayia Napa without your better half and the kids to worry about and you get that craving to let hair down, get sauced and live it up then a night at Bedrock with Pete and Tony is hard to beat.

Bedrock Bar, which is situated barely two minute’s walk from the square in Ayia Napa, is a Flintstone’s-themed bar. But it’s not Fred and Barney luring the happy drinkers, rather a couple of English-Cypriot lads that have made quite a name for themselves, especially among the tourists.

Apart from performing hilarious dance routines and handling the hundreds of people queuing up to take their turn on the Karaoke, they have the almost impossible task of controlling up to 1,000 holidaymakers. And, let it not be forgetten that they are holidaymakers that have been drinking.

Remarkably, the acts on stage are neither rehearsed or planned but all done on the spur of the moment. The night we were there, these included burying their faces into girls’ breasts, ripping off their t-shirts to reveal their bare hairy chests and getting everybody in the bar to jump about like chimpanzees. I would imagine that older folks like me could be excused from such outlandish activities, but only if they are prepared to be embarrassed.
“We get the people going, they are on holiday, they pay money to enjoy themselves after working hard all year round. They wanna break so we give the tourists what they want,” explained Pete.

And it’s not just about going mad on the stage and getting everyone to follow what you do. “Everybody thinks that it is easy to work in Bedrock and get the people going because it is a busy place but it isn’t. You have to basically be a mind reader – you can’t just pick on anyone you like, you have to find the right buttons to know whether a certain person is up for a laugh or this person is here to watch the show.” A point they went on to prove as the party got started and those dragged up in front of everyone seemed to revel in the attention, including one whose boob job was called into question. (more…)

All about Ayia Napa > clubbing scene July 24, 2006

Posted by grhomeboy in Cyprus Ayia Napa.
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Ayia Napa > Clubs and Bars

With some of Britain’s best DJ’s playing for free in the bars, you might be too knackered to get to the clubs, when they open around midnight. If you do make it, expect to pay up to about Cyp£10 to get in, and around about Cyp£2 a beer. Get the full-on experience at Abyss or The Castle with up to 3,000 ravers. Or downsize with a more intimate crowd at Funk @ Rise. Clubs shut at 4am, then it’s down to the after party ’till dawn.

Mondays
FUNK @ Rise
R’n’B flavours on the dancefloor, plus guest appearances by Trevor Nelson.

Sun City @ The Castle Club

Tuesdays
TwiceasNice @ Club Abyss
DJ Spoony and DJ Natty share deck duties. P.A’s from Dane Bowers, DJ Luck & MC Neat, and MC’s PSG, CKP, and Blakey. A holiday highlight.

God’s Kitchen @ The Castle Club
Hard and heavy, get mental with John Kelly, Lisa Lashes, Brandon Block and Lisa Pin Up.

Wednesdays
Ministry Of Sound @ Castle Club
The Ministry’s Foreign Office kicks off with guests Karl ‘Tuff Enuff’ Brown, MJ Cole, Master Stepz and Jason Kaye.

Rampage @ Black and White
R&B club stays full throughout the season.

La Cosa Nostra @ Gas Club

Cream @ Pure Silk
The sound of UK House comes to Napa, with resident Paul Hillyer, and guests Smokin’ Jo and Lisa Loud. (more…)

Sling shot > Ayia Napa’s famous attraction July 16, 2006

Posted by grhomeboy in Cyprus Ayia Napa.
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If you fancy being flung through the air at high speed, there is a ride in Ayia Napa for you.

“Are you ready?” a voice overhead asks me.

Before I can even reply I am projected vertically into the air at a speed of 160km per hour. My stomach lurches, I feel totally weightless and I am unable to suppress my screams. People on the ground seem miniscule and I have a perfect view of the whole of Ayia Napa stretching out before me. Unfortunately, I am much too scared to appreciate it.

Ayia Napa’s famous Sling Shot is frequently referred to as the world’s hottest new attraction and is often compared to doing a bungee jump backwards. It consists of a round metal launch capsule, attached to four steel cables and is operated by a series of gigantic springs. Before people are launched into the air they are lowered eight feet down into a pit called ‘the volcano’, where smoke is released and the sound system simulates the rumbling noises of an eruption. Then the springs are released. The box that stores all of this energy, termed the ‘Spring Machine’, is capable of storing over 40 tons of energy. Not surprising then that the ride is capable of reaching up to 90 metres at approximately 160km per hour in the space of two seconds. Gulp? Indeed…

I spoke to the man in charge of the ride, William Kinsella.

“The Sling Shot has been here for about nine years now, and it has not lost its popularity. It was invented by the Australian company Funtime, which operates about 60 rides around the world. A total of more than 260,000 people have done the Sling Shot here in Ayia Napa. Anyone can do it; we have had people of ages ranging from four to 80 on our ride! One guy loved it so much he tried it 30 times in one night. Needless to say, we gave him a discount.”

The ride is open from 3pm until about 5 or 6 am. And peak hours are between 9pm and 2am. “People really start pouring in then, there’s a great atmosphere,” Kinsella said.

The ride costs £12 per person but a second go is only £5, while a third go is free. A video of the whole ride can also be purchased for £8. Discount packages for two people are available for the price of £35, which includes a video of the ride and a t-shirt each.

“The video is one of the best things about the ride,” Kinsella said.

“There are often twice as many people watching our live cameras as people actually daring to do the ride. You can watch as people are launched into the air, usually screaming their heads off.”

Asked if people often suffer from motion sickness, Kinsella shook his head confidently. “The Sling Shot is a non-motion sickness ride. If you are sick, you are guaranteed your money back. Hardly anyone is sick, and if they are, they were most likely feeling ill before the ride.

“The speed of the ride is dependent on weight, but we reduce the speed to 50 per cent when there are small children on it. There are also four different harnesses holding each person down, so there is no chance of anyone falling out!”

The Sling Shot really does give you your money’s worth if you are looking for a minute and a half of pure adrenaline rush. I have never been much of a fan of extreme rides, so would I do it again? Probably not, but I am beginning to see where these people are coming from.

WHAT THEY THOUGHT

Markus, 21, from Norway
“I lived here for three years and have done the ride plenty of times, but this time I wanted to bring my friend along too.

Personally I think the price of the ride is fair; the prices at home are far higher. There is no question that I would do the ride again – I’ve done it enough times already! I can’t say I find the ride scary. I do get a knot in my stomach when we go flying upwards, but this is all part of the fun. It certainly feels more secure than a bungee jump too because you’re strapped in very securely.”

Simcha, 18, from Israel
“We saw the Sling Shot when we were passing on our bikes and thought it looked fun, so we decided to try it out. If we come back next year we might do the ride again, but I don’t think we will be doing it again during this visit, once is probably enough. I was a bit scared during the ride. I’m not generally into extreme sports, but I think this was definitely worth the money and it was fun.”

Eva, 19, from Israel
“We have a view of the Sling Shot from our hotel. From the very first day my boyfriend and I wanted to try it! I really enjoy extreme and adrenaline rides. I’m not sure I would do the ride again. I really enjoyed it but I don’t think a second go would be as exciting as the first; it wouldn’t be as special. I would also think twice about the price too. I was nervous beforehand but once I was up in the air I was too shocked to scream. The view up there is wonderful!”

Rune, 22, from Norway
“I decided to do the ride because it looked like a lot of fun. I also thought the price was very cheap. In Norway this sort of ride costs about three times as much. I would definitely do the ride again, but next time I think I would like to do it in the daylight. I wasn’t scared but my stomach did feel as if it had been turned upside down!”

Ayia Napa’s Kool Club celebrates July 13, 2006

Posted by grhomeboy in Arts Events Cyprus, Cyprus Ayia Napa.
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Ayia Napa’s Kool Club celebrates its tenth birthday in 2005 with a host of great nights lined up for the summer season.

The Kool Club is one of just a few clubs in Ayia Napa with something of a history behind it. It opened its doors for the first time in 1995 and is run by Nick Powers – formerly of Kiss FM in London and also resident DJ. Powers is one of the founding fathers of the club scene in Napa and pursues a policy of happy holiday clubbing that you will find outlined on his website.

Powers is joined by fellow resident DJ Coxy and the music policy is a mix over the week, with nights playing R&B, funky house, old skool house & club classics and old skool garage.

Place: Ayia Napa, Cyprus
Where: Kool Club
When: Annual, April – September 2006
Cost: C£5; C£8 with guest DJ from UK
Opening times: 12am-6am
Kool Club, Ayia Napa > http://www.koolclub.co.uk/