Valencia Gearing Up for Formula 1

October 10th, 2006

With the hugely successful launch of the McLaren Mercedes 2007 season car the MP4-22 in Valencia recently, the city has clearly signalled its intention to not only host a Grand Prix in Valencia but to surpass Monaco’s present status as the epicentre of Formula 1 chic.

Valencia has the potential to be not only a bigger version of Monaco but a much more attractive one.The aim of the Valencian government is to stage the event around the harbour which will host the 32nd edition of Sailing’s America’s Cup later this year and the city’s emblematic “City of the Sciences”. McLaren Mercedes launched their new formula 1 car using the “City of the Sciences” as a truly spectacular backdrop. Have a look at it for yourself –

Valencia is more than 70 times bigger than Monaco, occupying over 13,000 hectares as opposed to Monaco’s 195 hectares. Valencia has a population of over 800,000 compared to Monaco’s 30,000.

Accommodationwise, Valencia has more than 7,000 hotel rooms of which 750 are 5 star. Monaco has 2,500 hotel rooms, 1,700 of which are described as being luxurious.

Being more southerly, Valencia has a warmer climate than that of Monaco.The climate in Valencia is a micro climate, similar to that of the Canaries with over 320 days of sunshine a year and just about 2 weeks of rain.

Conferences are big business both in Valencia and Monaco. Monaco has 5 conference centres in total. In 2006, Valencia played host to in the region of 700 conferences in total.

Hotels in Valencia are already at 85% occupancy for this year’s America’s Cup.

Infrastructure in Valencia is much better than that of Monaco. As part of the preparations for the America’s Cup, the Metro has been connected both to the airport and the port. Monaco doesn’t have an airport, the nearest one being in Nice at 22 kms. Valencia should have a high speed train link to Madrid in place by 2010 which will reduce the travel time between the cities to around an hour and 20 minutes.

Formula 1 has been a mainstay in Monaco since 1950. The Valencian government has over the recent past used emblematic projects such as the “City of the Sciences” and the staging of world class events such as the America’s Cup as a means to increase the city’s exposure on the world stage and to give the city its merited place among Spain’s top cities (it being the third largest behind Madrid and Barcelona).

Only time will tell if Valencia can overtake Monaco in the Formula 1 “cachet stakes”. With the completion of the Juan Carlos 1st Marina of Valencia in preparation for the America’s Cup, the marina in Valencia will become the biggest marina in the Mediterranean overtaking Monaco which is presently the biggest marina in the Mediterranean. The fervent hope amongst the Valencian government is to similarly surpass Monaco but this time in the world of Formula 1.

All of this is great news for Valencian property owners, especially city property owners as increasing cachet will undoubtedly mean increasing property values.

Story from Dermot Quinn of Valencia Property Hound Ltd.

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