An interview with Mr José Luis Arrom, Director General of Club de Mar Mallorca.
Anyone who is based in Mallorca or visits the island periodically will probably be aware of the ongoing renovation of the iconic Club de Mar. There are many question marks about the project from various stakeholders, so we decided to speak with the man in charge –Mr José Luis Arrom, Director General of Club de Mar Mallorca– to find out more.
The History of Club de Mar
Arrom frames the history of Club de Mar Mallorca: “CdM obtained its concessionary permit in 1969 and opened its doors on the 1 June 1972. It has attracted sports and recreational boats of high level from the Western Mediterranean to our island. We responded to a growing demand for facilities and services related to the expanding recreational boating sector. Since then, the Club has consolidated its main values: excellence, discretion, prestige and commitment”.
Modern Facilities with the Spirit of Tradition
The refurbished marina will give CdM the possibility to continue its work promoting nautical sports. Also, to educate the new generations so that respect and passion for the sea continue in the future: “We are keen to maintain the nautical traditions, especially with the Illes Balears Classics -the spectacular annual regatta of classic boats- that allows us to enjoy these floating jewels. In addition, it allows us to contribute to the economy of the Balearic Islands because the presence of large vessels in our port promotes the Illes Balears brand worldwide”, Arrom explains.
The principles that CdM has always been faithful to are: Elegance, Discretion and the Spirit of Tradition, all of them implemented through the best possible service. Being faithful to these principles, they are building a club with facilities of the latest generation, whilst respecting the environment to the maximum. It will generate more social and networking space, as well as nautical training and recreational sports facilities. Arrom tells me: “In short, we are making improvements to stay true to our principles!”
Pioneers, then and now
Club de Mar Mallorca, with 50 years of history, was a pioneer in accommodating large yachts in the Balearic Islands. In recent years, it has realised that its facilities are not up to speed with the technology of its users. This required continuous adaptation which became very costly and complicated. Arrom explains some of the improvements being made: “This renovation has allowed us, in addition to the social aspect, to adapt to the demands of the market and be able to meet all the needs of our partners and users. This includes technological requirements such as having fibre optics on board, or intelligent security systems and controls. In line with environmental efficiency requirements, controlling the carbon footprint and mitigating it once quantified. Also, preventing boats from emptying their bilges and sewage into the sea by installing a vacuum collection system at their mooring point. These are just some of the improvements being made.”
CdM is fully committed to positive environmental policies and demonstrates this by investing in the future with multiple, concrete actions. Arrom explains how this is happening: “We pay attention to the ecological and environmental education of the children and young people in the different training cycles of the nautical school. During the daily activity of the club, our concern for the environment is present in aspects such as waste recycling. We have even banned the use of non-recycled plastics in the commercial area and the club itself.
The new facilities will provide infrastructure for the treatment of dry–dock water, and the use of grey water for irrigation. In the last three years, we have also certified the measurement of our carbon footprint, articulating procedures for its compensation. In this regard, we are also committed to photovoltaic electricity generation, and lighting with low-consumption devices.” Additionally, they continue to be committed to both ISO 14001 certification for monitoring the correct implementation of the environmental management system and to the European Eco-Management and Audit Scheme (EMAS). Not only is the CdM team fully aware, but it is also prepared and trained for the control and strict compliance with all of these environmental regulations.
An Attractive and Safe Haven for Yachts – All Year Round
The sailing season is long for obvious reasons – even in winter, the temperature does not usually drop below 12C degrees. In addition, the crews of the boats prefer to stay in cities like Palma for the quality of life here. Also, for the advantage of having an international airport, the security of their families, and the opportunity to educate their children in international schools. Arrom is keen to point out: “As for the safety of the boats, CdM is a very sheltered and safe port against inclement weather. There will be additional facilities that will allow the owners to continue with dynamic and integrated social activity in this beautiful city during the winter. All this makes CdM an attractive base for yachts”.
The facilities can accommodate a large number of superyachts and mega yachts, and these are the ones that make it possible to maintain a healthy cash flow. Arrom passionately explains: “Our fundamental objective is to create a circular economy; one day the children who grow up training at CdM will be the ones who continue with their passion for the sea; their main hobby or even their job will be directly related to sailing. They will be the ones who’ll become interested in enjoying boats and may become future boat owners. We cannot and should not forget that the CdM was conceived as a Social Club, with the main objective focused on attention to our members”.
Access to the General Public
The new concept for the buildings area is to open it to the general public during business hours. For this reason, a walkway has been designed connecting the Paseo Marítimo with the Cruise Terminal, allowing free access to the commercial areas of CdM. The pontoons will only be accessed by authorised persons at any time of the day.
Not just a marina, “…a meeting place for both old and new friends of the sea.”
CdM will maintain the concept of a Yacht Club. Consequently, sports and relaxation areas will be created, as well as lounges and meeting places. These will be able to host both congresses and private meetings. Arrom proudly tells me: “There will be a 25-metre swimming pool with a catering service and restrooms. We will also have a nursery within our children’s club where members’ children can enjoy activities and fun. We want members of the CdM to feel proud to belong to a first-class Yacht Club, and to feel at home”.
The intention is to create areas for Members and Owners, Captains and Crew, and adapt them to the needs of each group. The activity on the premises will be directly related to the nautical sector, not only when it comes to the service and attention given to members and users, but also the general public. There will be room for different kinds of businesses; a supermarket; medical centre; brokerage and charter companies.
Arrom tells me: “There are businesses that have been in the CdM before that intend returning. There are also new ones that are interested in being part of this great project. For this reason, we are preparing a presentation of the commercial area with the various spaces and their combinations. Our Marketing and Communication departments are available to communicate with all those interested”.
Club de Mar and the 37th America’s Cup in August ‘24.
The works are being carried out according to plan and on schedule, despite many complications of the project and the work itself. The pandemic and, more recently, the Ukrainian conflict, had a direct impact on the budget and the development of the works. But Arrom confidently assures me: “We count on being able to finish the marina in September 2023 and the construction of the buildings in the first half of 2024. All the services will be ready to receive the boats that will be sailing in the Mediterranean for the 37th America’s Cup”.