Marina d'Or, the holiday town that entrepreneur Jesus Ger raised a few meters from the sea in Oropesa, Castellón, and which in 2014 starred a colossal suspension of payments, has suffered a new setback. The Valencian health authorities have concluded that the establishment that is presented as "the largest scientific seawater spa in Europe" lacks, in fact, "mineral-medicinal and thermal waters for therapeutic and preventive health purposes". The company has appealed the decision in court.
The administrative resolution implies, from the outset, the revocation of the permit to offer medical hydrotherapy services in the clinic that you have in your complex. But the problem may be greater. The National Association of Spas, who urged the opening of the file, will then ask that the company stop using the term spa in its advertising, considering it a hoax.
"Health tourism is an emerging sector and we do not want confusion to arise. To present oneself in the market as something that is not, in the end, is a fraud ", says Miguel Mirones, president of the entity that groups together half of the 120 Spanish spas with mineral-medicinal waters declared of public utility. Its concession, after an analysis of the composition of the water, corresponds to the General Directorate of Mines.
Marina d'Or does not use spring water. The capture of the sea through a driving that goes hundreds of meters into the Mediterranean. Faced with the disavowal of the Generalitat Valenciana, its spokesman, Alberto Viúdez, attacks the concept of thermal waters: "For balneotherapy treatments, mineral-medicinal water is not as useful therapeutically as seawater, which has a much stronger mineralization. In the case of therapies such as heat or pressure, in balneotherapy can be performed with any water, even tap water, which has very little difference with mineral-medicinal waters. Viúdez also defends the use of the term spa: "Spa means place where one bathes, and one can bathe with sea water or with any other".
The setback comes when Marina d'Or is transmitting the idea that recovery has begun. The crisis hit the company and plunged the real estate business, leaving hundreds of apartments unsold. But the group has resisted supported in the tourism division, which includes the spa and five hotels, and this year has reached an agreement with creditors to lift the suspension of payments of its construction company and developer, Comercializadora Mediterránea de Viviendas (Comervi). The bankrupt debt was 221 million. The pact offered the creditors to enter the capital or accept a 65% reduction of the debt with a repayment term of 10 years. A total of 31 million have been capitalized, while the company has reached special agreements with Sareb and the Tax Agency.
To survive, Barcelona-born Ger, 72, started working as a salesman in a mattress store in Castellón. He has had, however, to resize his ambitions. His last resignation, this month, consisted of merging his Constructor Comervi with Marina d'Or Golf, owner of the land with which a decade ago he carried out the largest real estate operation in the Valencian Community, a fertile territory in excessive urban projects. The businessman has struggled to keep Marina d'Or Golf away from the bankruptcy, but in the end he has not been able to avoid it.
The merger makes even more unlikely the reactivation of Ger's plan, which envisaged to multiply by almost 20 the current Marina d'Or by raising, over 18 million square meters, an authentic city: 35,000 homes, six hotels -which would house a ski slope , a reproduction of the Eiffel Tower and Venice-inspired channels; and three golf courses designed by Sergio García and Greg Norman. The project, valued at 6,000 million, was slowed by the crisis and annulled by the Supreme Court.
The businessman has embodied the archetype of the brick king, prone to maintain close relations with politicians who had influence on their projects and with a reputation as a relentless competitor. Now it has once again confused the market. In mid-2017 he started to buy bars and restaurants in Valencia with the aim, he said, of deseasonalizing his business. He collected half a hundred, but this summer he has put them all for sale.
For a decade now, news about the desire of big investors to buy Marina d'Or has happened regularly. Since Sheldon Adelson, the American tycoon driving the never-started Eurovegas, until Wanda, the Chinese business giant. However, the only interest that has materialized has been that of North Korea, which after sending a delegation to Oropesa decided raise your version of the Valencian complex in the Kalma Peninsula.