European investors are planning a $300-million resort outside Louisbourg, N.S.,one of the biggest private tourism investments ever in Cape Breton.

The Louisbourg Resort Golf and Spa will feature a convention centre, two golf courses and up to 400 luxury homes on 1,000 hectares of land around Grand Lake.

'We believe in Cape Breton' —Henric Bauermeister, CBI Developers

Three-time Masters winner Nick Faldo will design the golf courses.

Construction has already begun on a number of houses, which will cost between $400,000 and $1 million.

About 300 people crowded into a hall in Louisbourg Friday to hear the details from Cape Breton Island Developers Inc.

Many people were left almost speechless by the announcement. The owner of a local inn said she's amazed at what has been promised, but expected it would be good for business.

The developers say they're targeting Europeans who are looking for the rugged beauty and wilderness Cape Breton has to offer.

"We have a gorgeous lake, we have the fortress here," said Henric Bauermeister, company director. "We believe in Cape Breton, in Louisbourg, and the people here."

The project —billed as the biggest private investment ever in Cape Breton's tourism industry — involves no government money.

Though 40homes are expected to be finished next year, thedevelopers say it couldbe six years before the entire resort is completed.