I ended my last blog post, fifteen months ago, with these words:
“If you have a dream, my advice is simple…
Get out there and go for it!”
Not to be one to give advice I wouldn’t take, let me fill you in on what has been going on with the Kenny family.
We didn’t stop there, over the last fifteen months…
- The family joined me in running my 9th Peachtree Road Race
- We took a family cruise to Cuba
- Chad led his JROTC Raider team to 2nd place at State and 1st at Nationals (small school division)
- Heather and I attended a small, nearly private, Zac Brown concert at Camp Southern Grounds
- Heather and I took a quick, 3-day trip to Las Vegas
- We received 12 inches of snow during Snowpocalypse 2017
- I took the boys skiing / snowboarding in Park City, Utah
- Heather quit her job
- Heather and I attended our first Jimmy Buffet concert with a group of friends
- Chad wrecked his car (he was OK, the car was not)
- Heather and I spent our 21st anniversary at Excellence Playa Mujeres
- The family traveled to Arizona for Heather’s family reunion
- Heather and I attended a Zac Brown concert at SunTrust Park
- I completed my 10th, and most likely final, Peachtree Road Race
- We took a 7-day, family cruise in the Western Caribbean
- Put a new roof on our house
- I completed (barely) the 200-mile Bourbon Chase relay race with 10 other runners
- Chad turned 18 and we attended an Atlanta United game to celebrate
- Heather and I decided to sell everything and move to Belize
Wait, what? Yes, you read that right. Allow me to back up and start from the beginning.
I have had a life-long dream of creating a place where missionaries could spend some time relaxing and recharging. In 2015, while relaxing in the pool at the Iberostar Grand Bavaro it hit me, “Why not build a small beach resort where 10% of the rooms are available for free to those in ministry?” I talked it over with Heather and we agreed it was a great idea to pursue once the boys were out of the house.
I missed the “once the boys are out of the house” bit though, and last year started asking myself, “Why are we waiting?” I brought it up to Heather and she wanted no part of it! A few weeks passed, and with Heather talking to me again, she suggested that we ask the boys. (I believe she secretly was hoping they hated the idea and it was put to rest.) The boys’ response, “Sure, let’s go!”
Although still not 100% onboard, Heather agreed that we should start looking for options. In no time at all, I had located a nice looking, 8-room hotel right on the beach on the north coast of the Dominican Republic. We took a scouting trip. We checked out the area, the schools, and several properties. The 8-room hotel stood out as the best option, so we decided to make an offer and see what happened. The owner accepted, and we started preparing to make the purchase. Three months later the deal fell apart.
I was pretty discouraged. Several months went by. Heather quit her job, and unknown to me this was the last real obstacle to her really being ready to pursue the resort idea. One day she said, “We should take a trip to that little town in Belize that we sailed out of a few years ago and just see what’s happening!” Still discouraged, my response was, “Sure, if you want to plan the trip.” She did.
We spent 3 days buzzing up and down the 16 mile long Placencia peninsula in a golf cart looking at options. There were several things that caught our eye. One was a closed down beach club just north of Placencia village.
Back home we just could not get the beach club option out of our minds. We talked about it, began asking questions, and started dreaming. It turns out that it had been closed for nearly 2 years and the owner was pretty desperate to sell it. Our agent, who also happens to be one of the property’s neighbors, encouraged us to make an offer well below the listing price. We did. The seller countered, we counter-countered, and he accepted.
It took about six months, but we are excited to announce that we are now the owners of 173 feet of beach on the Caribbean Sea! Our plan is to move to Belize this June, and re-open the beach club in July. Once operational, we will turn our attention to building a small, 10-room hotel on the property where 1 room will be set aside for anyone in ministry to use for free.
The best part, everyone is onboard now. The things I have experienced over the last 6 months have re-ignited the vision I had initially. Chad is headed to college in the fall and couldn’t care less what we do. Chase is excited to start at a new school and make new friends, and Heather might be more excited about this move than I am. In fact, if you are friends with her on Facebook, look out. She is about to start selling everything in the house that is not nailed down!
Is it a risky move? Yes. But we couldn’t be more excited about the challenge.
Want to follow along on this project? Like Placencia Beach Club on Facebook.
P.S. There is way more to this story that I could fit into a blog post that people would read. If you want to hear the whole story Heather and I will be happy to meet at our favorite coffee place and fill in all the details.