VIVO Beach Club reopens after hurricane hiatus
SAN JUAN – After months of renovations to recover from damages from hurricanes Irma and Maria, VIVO Beach Club, with its beachfront entertainment complex, officially reopened with new attractions, entertainment and an innovative business strategy, according to company executives and owners Matías and Luis Fernández.
During a media roundtable at the property in Carolina’s Isla Verde community, the Puerto Rico businessmen revealed they didn’t hesitate to reinvest in the property after the hurricanes crippled the island in September, “certain that Puerto Rico’s economy would recuperate, and tourism would come back stronger than ever.”
VIVO opened in 2012 with a multimillion-dollar investment for the non-hotel vacation complex, but was forced to close after hurricanes Irma and Maria.
“VIVO Beach Club is still a lively oceanfront destination designed for people of all ages, featuring an outdoor beach club and pool, unique restaurants and bars, a convention center, retail shops, music venues and a full-scale brewery,” Matías Fernández said.
“However, we can attest today that it’s the best social and entertainment center in the region, as well as the top venue for private parties, large celebrations, festivals, concerts and corporate events. Plus, its located in one of the island’s premier destinations, adjacent to world-class beaches and in the heart of Puerto Rico’s hotel district.”
The beach club reopens with a new look and feel after the refurbishing of the 3.9-acre project. It was originally developed by MLM Corp., the brothers’ primary development firm. After the 2017 hurricanes, they reinvested in the property to relaunch during the first quarter of 2018, and focusing their operations on attracting the corporate and business market, with networking events, as well as the EN VIVO Convention Center.
The 12,000-square-foot convention center features seven banquet rooms, including a 4,500-square-foot Aquamarine Conference Center that can be divided into four spaces, each with a 200-guest capacity. In addition, there is the 8,800-square-foot Diamond Ballroom, which can be divided into three additional rooms.
These spaces also include a foyer that raises capacity by 500 guests and a large array of outdoor spaces, including the Sea Almond Garden at 500 square feet and capacity for 400 people in a cocktail-style setting, and the Beer Garden & Pool Deck for large events with up 2,500 people. All rooms have audiovisual equipment and internet connectivity.
Adding to its corporate networking experience, Ocean Lab Brewing Co., is expanding its facility to include new equipment to produce what they called one of the largest varieties of home craft and specialty beers for in-house consumption and outbound distribution. The Fernández brothers announced a selection of 16 different beers that are all locally manufactured.
The goal with Ocean Lab Brewing is to develop a brand that is distributed to supermarkets, bars and hotels, as well as to export it. The brewery is also an incubator for local home brewers with their own beer recipes.
Visitors can ask for a tour of its “brewmaster,” and explore how these beers are made. Tours are available to cruiseship passengers, and include tastings
VIVO is the result of research that resulted in what the owners refer to as VIVO’s Value Chain, which includes Rest & Relaxation, a Paradisiacal Setting, Entertainment, Business & Social Events, Gastronomy and Networking.
The club employs more than 150 people directly and over 500 indirectly. Membership has risen to 850 families, according to a release.
“Right now, management is considering expanding its available tours, from the already successful Deluxe Beach Escape at VIVO Beach Club to the Ocean Lab Beer Distillery Tasting & Culinary Experience Tour,” said Patrick Tracy, VIVO general manager.
The club puts on live performances with select DJs and bands, and there are “VIP gazebos” available 30 feet from Isla Verde Beach.
The open-air stage was built with audiovisual technologies and effects. DJs, bands and festivals play on a 40-foot-wide poolside stage, with a capacity for 5,000 visitors. The dance floor also has several private areas that can be reserved for VIP guests.
VIVO has a gift shop, a boutique, a coffee shop and an Ocean Lab merchandise store. Customers can find jewelry, outfits and cold brews from the Ocean Lab.
The Voodoo Steak & Sushi beachfront restaurant also reopens in February with sushi chef Jinya and local chef José Ruiz. It seats 110 people.
VIVO’s AT&T Arena, meanwhile, includes a 9,000-square-foot stage “that can cater to more than 30 musicians,” as well as a dance floor and multiple staging areas “that can accommodate over 5,000 people.”
Its spring artist lineup includes De la Ghetto on Feb. 17, Los Cafres on March 3, Cheap Trick on April 6 and Enanitos Verdes on May 5.