In 1979, still recovering from the failed project to build a house on our Pelada property, we received a flyer from Gene Talboy announcing his plan to build the first condominium in Nosara, perhaps the first in Guanacaste. The initial design was lovely, showing three randomly related two story buildings with four apartments in each, beautiful gardens and, up above, a pool with wonderful views of the Pacific looking west and south. Gene was an excellent writer, we knew his reputation as a good and honest builder, and we were ready to buy into a project that promised owning a piece of Nosara without the problems of home ownership. We sent off our deposit and happily awaited progress reports about Condominio de las Flores.
The next mailing included the final design and that was a great disappointment. The randomly placed buildings had been replaced with three lined up like soldiers. Gene responded to our distress with a difficult to believe story about the contractor having changed the foundations while Gene was out of Nosara for a period. We came close to backing out of our deal but the concept overcame our concern for the details and we stayed aboard. Over the next couple of years that did not appear to have been a good decision.
Early progress reports were upbeat, Gene talked about finding a manager, formed a pool committee led by me and one of the few other owners who had signed on and all seemed to be ok, until it wasn’t. It appeared that Gene had run out of money to finish the purchased apartments and that the cost of borrowing money was in the 20-30% range. Terry and I decided to abandon our down payment and to stop throwing good money after bad. We were done but another original investor named Mary Yost was unwilling to let it go.
Mary Yost was a retired Commander in the United States Navy and a professor of Physical Education at Ohio State University who had been visiting Nosara with her OSU friend and colleague, Ann Lilly, a present day CDLF owner, since the mid-70’s. As her background would suggest, Mary had a crusty exterior designed to cover the tender and generous heart we and many Ticos experienced over the years. In any event, Mary called Terry, whom she had never met and said “Terry, I want to live in my condo before I die and I’m going to give Gene the money necessary for him to finish my apartment. Will you do the same?” We were stunned, initially rejecting the proposal, but finally followed Mary’s lead, actually convinced one more innocent to join us, and the progress reports resumed, looking good for occupation in 1982. We called Gene, he said our place was ready and we could come down and move in. We did.