Ian Rush was Liverpools record goalscorer, and also played for the Italian giants, Juventus. Since retiring from football, he has turned his attention to property, investing his money into the Mythical Sands resort in Cyprus and developing his own spa.
Youre working with the Mythical Sands resort in Cyprus. How did the project come about?
International Property Group the agents behind the resort approached me to develop a spa at their resort in Kapparis. They are a Welsh company and Im from Wales, so there was already a connection. I went over to Cyprus to have a look at the site and the plans and I was really impressed with what I saw. I havent been to Cyprus in 15 years the infrastructure is better now and its a lot more lively.
What are Mythical Sands main selling points?
This is a year-round resort we want to create a sense of community and provide services for guests that make them feel at home. Its near to Ayia Napa, which everyone knows as the happening place, but there are also great bars and cafes in the town of Paralimni. The properties will be fully furnished and come with parking and air conditioning, so I think they will make great holiday homes and have good rental potential. Prices at the resort are very reasonable they start at 199,950 and I think Cyprus future looks promising.
What will you be doing at the resort?
Im creating Rushes Spa, which will provide residents with the latest gym and fitness equipment, indoor and outdoor swimming pools, a Jacuzzi steam and sauna rooms and cooling tubs. There will also be treatment rooms, massage and relaxation areas and a health-food cafe. Were also including a hair and manicure salon and child-minding services.
Will Rushes Spa be for women only?
No! I think men and women like to be pampered, and when you get older its really important to relax and look after your body. I often have treatments after Ive been training, but you dont need to be a professional sports person to require some r n r. I want both men and women to feel comfortable having treatments at my spa I want the whole experience to be a relaxing one.
Weve heard there may be a football academy at the resort. Is that true?
If all goes to plan, yes. Football pitches with the latest techno-grass playing surfaces are planned. I want to see how Rushes Spa develops and how popular the tennis courts are, then we may create a football academy. Im a firm believer in If youre going to do something, do it right and I want to make sure the football academy, if it goes ahead, is a success.
Have you bought a property there?
Yes, a two-bedroom apartment for me and my family to use. The resort isnt completed yet but weve been over to Cyprus a few times and my two sons Daniel, 15, and John, 19, love it.
What are the things you like most about Cyprus?
The weather, the scenery and the food are brilliant. Cypriots are very friendly people and the nightlife is pretty lively, which occupies my sons! The whole family is excited about this. Its only four-and-a-half hours on a plane and there is a strong English community, which makes you feel at home.
Do you own property anywhere else?
Yes, I have three homes in Parque da Floresta in the Algarve, Portugal. I bought them 12 years ago as investments, but we visit regularly for holidays. Cyprus reminds me a lot of what Portugal was like ten years ago its just starting to take off and if it goes the way Portugal has, I think it could be a very successful investment.
Are you hoping to build up your property portfolio?
At the moment I am concentrating on Rushes Spa, but I am very interested in property and I think if you do your research it can be a sound investment. When I got involved with the Mythical Sands resort, I did all my background checks Ive seen plans for new golf courses and a marina, and Larnaca airport is being extended, so I think it shows a lot of potential.
Words: Mollie McGuigan