By Chesney Hearst, Senior Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – With demand for available and affordable accommodations in Rio during the upcoming World Cup increasing, two property developers, Andrew Allan and Steve Pike, saw a business opportunity. Together the English expatriates founded World Cup Camping Rio, a campsite in the Zona Oeste (West Zone) neighborhood of Recreio, that will offer soccer (football) fans from around the world a viable accommodation alternative during their stays in Rio.
The two friends originally meet in school in Seaford, Sussex, England. Andrew Allan was the first to arrive in Rio and launched the Real Property Holdings (registered as RPF Construção Ltda in Brazil), and Steve Pike, who previously worked on “talent identification initiatives” for UK school sports, arrived in Rio in 2012.
“Andrew [Allan] moved to Rio in 2007, married a Brazilian girl, speaks fluent Portuguese and has been active as a property developer since 2008,” World Cup Camping Rio co-Founder and project director Pike explained to The Rio Times; “Andrew’s company [Real Property Holdings] has delivered several building projects in Rio Das Pedras, Itanhanga with multiple projects ongoing in Curicica.”
“We build for the lower to middle Brazilian residential market using investment from expat investors in Brazil and all over the world,” Pike added.
When asked how the idea for the campsite originated, Allan told The Rio Times “Camping at the World Cup is not a new idea and has been very successful in previous tournaments such as Germany and South Africa.”
“So, we were very confident that supporters would be open to the idea, and we knew that demand for affordable accommodation would be high and we are fortunate enough to be in the perfect position to be able to react to the opportunity,” Allen continued.
Charging only R$140 per person per night for tent rental packages, the campsite is located in the neighborhood of Recreio with views of the city’s Zona Oeste forests and mountains.
In addition to the beaches just minutes away from the location, there will also be an onsite pool for guests of the campsite. Bars and television screens showing live games will entertain the campers onsite, while World Cup Camping Rio 2014 staff members will also be available to assist with campers traveling to São Paulo and Belo Horizonte for England’s group matches during the Cup.
To help the campers enjoy their stay and the games safely, the site will also offer 24-hour professional security. “We know that some of the biggest concerns for supporters planning to visit is security and the cost of internal flights for those planning to follow their team,” co-founder Andrew Allan told The Rio Times.
“We will be investing in professional security teams for a 24-hour presence on site, and we also offer cheap coach travel to São Paulo and Belo Horizonte, which can save supporters a lot of money when compared to the cost of an internal flight to these cities.”
“Brazil is the spiritual home of football. The passion for the game here is incredible and so we believe that the 2014 World Cup has the potential to be the greatest ever,” said Pike who says they have had a great deal of interest from supporters and stronger ticket sales than anticipated thus far.
“Rio is a stunning city to visit and our experience of the people has always been warm and friendly,” Pike continued. “The draw backs are high costs for accommodations and travel, which could price ordinary supporters out of making the trip. But we believe that these disadvantages will work in our favor and it is our intention to offer supporters a budget alternative by ensuring our pricing policy if fair and affordable.”
The campsite will open at 10AM on June 8th and close at 4PM on July 15th. It will be able to accommodate up to 800 visitors at a time.