Tim takes on the turtles

| 26/01/2010

Cayman Islands News, Grand Cayman local news, Boatswains Beach, cayman Turtle Farm, Tim Adam(CNS): The former CEO of Cable & Wireless, Timothy Adam, is the new managing director of Boatswain’s Beach and he takes on the controversial turtle challenge from Tuesday 26 January. Excited about what he acknowledges will not be an easy job, Adam told CNS he is thrilled to be working with what he believes is a passionate team and committed board, but is under no illusions regarding the work ahead of him. Adam said that Boatswain’s Beach is like a “fine ship, with a great crew which has been sailing in rough waters,” and he has vowed to do what he can to make the facility financially viable.

Since Joey Ebanks resigned from the post last April in orderto campaign for a seat in the Legislative Assembly on behalf of the PPM in North Side, the facility has been leaderless at a time when it has been haemorrhaging millions of dollars of public funds. Joe Parsons, the facility’s biologist and turtle expert, has been holding the fort, and Adam commended him and the team for keeping the facility going in such adverse circumstances. “They have all done an incredible job,” he said. “Running such a complex facility when you already have a complex technical job, such as Joe Parsons has, is no mean feet.”

The controversy over the facility’s spectacular losses were almost eclipsed when it was revealed last year that Ebanks, the former MD, had borrowed some $65,000 in salary advances without the knowledge of the farm’s board. A subsequent report by the Auditor General revealed that not only had Ebanks been signing his own cheques for the salary advances over a considerable period he had also run up a $6000 bar bill buying booze and cigarettes on the public dollar, in what Ebanks later claimed was a promotion for the farm’s Schooner restaurant, to try and attract customers to the facility which had failed to achieve anything like the anticipated visitor numbers.

Boatswain’s Beach, which was a redevelopment of the original Cayman Islands Turtle Farm, cost more than $62 million to build and has perpetually drained enormous amounts of public funds. Questions about the facility’s future have ranged from selling all or part of the business to diversifying elements of what is already a very diverse facility.

Designed as a cultural heritage site as well as a tourist attraction, Boatswain’s Beach it is still meant to be home to the Turtle Farm, where the preservation of the endangered sea turtle sits awkwardly with the farming of those endangered species to satisfy the local demand for the meat.

Adam said he recognised the diversity of the facility but he intended to strive towards achieving the vision statement of the farm, which is to make it Cayman’s preeminent cultural attraction. “There is no doubt that some significant changes are needed to make the facility work, but I want to make sure that the changes we make are the right changes,” Adam said.

He noted that there would be many challenges along the way and he knew that expectations would be high as the facility had become the focus of so much public attention. He said he was willing to take it on and he hoped that the community would rally round and offer their support and prayers to make the facility work. Adam also promised to be open and transparent about the changes he would eventually make.

Well aware that he will not be able to turn things around over night, he told CNS that he was really excited about taking up the post of MD. Ever since he stepped down from the helm of Cable & Wireless, Adam said he had hoped to find something exciting in the tourism industry, a sector very close to his heart as a result of his family’s association with the development of Cayman’s tourism product. He said his experience at the helm of the telecoms firm as well as his attraction to the tourism business would stand him in good stead.

Although too early to say exactly what he planned to do to turn things around at Boatswain’s Beach, Adam said he had a number of ideas about the facility’s future and he intended to spend the next few weeks learning everything he could from the board and staff to see if his vision dovetailed with what their on-the-ground experience tells them is viable.

Category: Headline News

Comments (39)

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  1. Common Sense says:

     Good luck Tim, save the Turtle Farm!  Change the name back so tourists return (B Beach meant nothing to them).  Yes, do partner with CCMI, Reef research, and open the venue for learning programs, multi-media…make it a learning destination….and please start with a LOW price to build a tourism base.  Add a few water slides too…loads of fun…just look at Grand Harbour on a Friday night at 7PM…families everywhere spending money on their wave pool and food.  You "RE-build it" and we will come.  Charge $10 and 100 people will come….charge $100 dollars and no one will come, which is better?

  2. Dred says:

    Well Tim has his work cut out for him and let me state this categorically. THIS IS NOT C&W!!!

    There is no MONOPOLY here that forces people to pay for your service and at a rate that was the most expensive in the region. This is what you enjoyed for many many years at C&W. So in this project you can actually loose money.

    Now let’s get past this.

    Without disecting the facility piece by piece I see some potential hazards straight off. The first is the price. Your web site actually says US$45 per an adult. Is that a serious price? Isn’t Disney World a similar price? Do we honestly feel these two attractions are on par with each other?

    The Turtle Farm can be toured in 30 minutes to 1hr. That price is too high. Go for volume not bang. Lower the price for adults to US$20-US$25 per adult and US$10 for children. Visitors will more than likely go for those prices when in their heads comparing back to the US attractions.

    Marketing

    I think you need a multi-faceted approach to this that is larger than previously done.

             Taxis & Tour Operators

    Make a request to the Taxi Association and Tour Operators to push the Turtle Farm during trips and possibly even give them coupons to hand out for a discount at the farm.

             Hotels

    Request that local hotels dispense discount cards to guest (who stay at least 3 days) as they check in. Also see if you can get the Farm logo on the programmable key cards and make it nice bright colors that is eye catching.

            CAL

    I think you need to get with Cayman Airways to push the farm also. Sell it as part of a package.

            Wholesalers

    This should also be pushed with the operators who offer it to their clients as part of their packages. Give them a 10% discount as incentive.

            Cruiselines

    See if you can incorporate this into cruise packages or do some sort of addons. Use same approach as with wholesalers.

    Locals

    Looking at the facility I would think the main group you are looking to attract is kids because they are curious and probably want to go into the swimming pool. On Sundays you could have a Parents Free Kids $8 pool parties.

    On the side you could sell food like Burgers and such but at respectable prices such as $6 per burger and $3.50 hot dogs.

    I think if you keep the prices at levels they expect elsewhere they will buy.

    The face painting and stuff like that is something kids like also.

    The way I see it it’s like this. The tourist keep the place hopping on weekdays and on Sundays (typically slow for tourist) you go local.

    I am not sure you will ever convert the Turtle Farm into a bar hot spot like what the former MD wanted to do. I would stay away from that anyhow. Kids and Alcohol in one location does not sound good.

    After this now you need to look at cost. Things that make sense and things that don’t. This is where you guys come in.

    All I have to say is good luck to Mr Adams because this is a rebuilding project.

  3. Anonymous says:

    To: "HOLY CRAP"  Tue, 01/26/2010 – 10:16.Submitted by Sherlock …

    Why are you living here??  Go back home and tell that to your own people see how they take it.  We need decent people here not people making those stupid remarks!!  No one is forcing you to live here. You must have a job to be able to continue living here – be grateful that our island accepts you. What did your homeland do to you to make you run to someone’s else homeland???  May  GOD have mercy on you  and may HE bless Mr. Adam!

    Cayman did very well before you came here.  Are you crazy?? To suggest that we don’t have enough skilled people here and making jokes at our names  etc. etc.  You need to see a Doctor right away ’cause you’re very, very  sick and try find the rock that you crawled from and go back and hide under it!!

  4. Anonymous says:

    Well lets see.

    Surely Timmy needed a job, but he knows about Telecommunications. Is he qualified to handle the Turtles, give him a chance and lets see, at least he cant do any worse than what was there before.

    I wonder though if his appointment to this job comes with some help from his brother Mike?

    • Anonymous says:

      Please rename this attraction the "TURTLE FARM"!

      The Cayman Islands Turtle Farm was known worldwide! Tourists came here to visit our TURTLE FARM! No one knows what Boatswain Beach is! Tourists do not come to came to visit the Boatswain Beach, the what? The Turtle Farm was known as one of a kind. All it takes is a simple name change (& Mckeeva Bush’s acceptance of the mistake in the first place), but please change it back!

  5. Bert says:

    Finally I can now get some Turtle Meat, there was none sold at Christmas Time at the Farm!!!

  6. Lobsta Hunta says:

    Congratulations to Mr. Tim Adam. Hope he saves a very unique facility.

  7. A.L. says:

    We have family visiting, so went to Boatswain Beach yesterday and we were pleasantly surprised. The lagoons were nice and clean, there was a lovely marine biologist (Brian) who was obviously passionate about his work and gave a very informative talk about sharks, and we really enjoyed the shark feeding.  A very sweet Caymanian attendant told us lots of stuff about the turtles that we’d never known, despite many visits over many years, and the ladies on the front desk couldn’t have been any nicer. Lunch was also good (and served with a smile!). 

    After deliberately avoiding it for quite some time, mainly due to the filth, we had a really lovely trip and will put it back on the list of things to do with the kids on weekends.

    Good luck to Mr Adam.

  8. Dancn Buddy says:

    Congrats Tim!

    I don’t think they could have picked a better man for this position. I know you will do a good job by being an honest man. Don’t worry about what people say about you as if they was so good, they would be in the position. I have not work under you, but my husband worked under you and you are a wonderful leader and a respectful man. Hats off to you! Thanks for being such a wonderful and understanding person while at LIME.

     

    God Bless you in your new role and may you continue to strive for the best for the Cayman Islands.

  9. Anonymous says:

    Three days I called BB trying to find out if it was open on New years Eve so I and a party of 12 could celebrate the new year there. The phone was never answered. To this day I still do not know if it was open or not. We ended up spending New Years Eve in Macabuca. People often end up in Macabuca because they go to BB and it is closed, especially on a Sunday.

    You have a very good bar and restaurant in BB – open the doors! Let people in – not just Friday evenings!! You are never going to make money if your doors are closed.

    Day time be a tourist facility – evenings be a bar and restaurant.

    Mr Adam, I wish you well in your new position and truly hope you suceed.

     

     

     

     

     

    • Anonymous says:

      We are all proud to have  a son of the soil taking up this post. All of the Adams boys are good Caymanians and we wre certainly proud of them.

  10. Anonymous says:

    for starters change the name back to:

    "TURTLE FARM"

    or

    "TURTLE FARM atBoatswain’s Beach" if needs be

    Savy?

    • anonymous says:

      Better yet, change the mandate to "Turtle Preservation" from "Farming Endangered Species for local consumption".  Which of those activities is looked upon more favourably in 2010?

      • Anonymous says:

        Didn’t anyone tell you? It serves both functions. The Turtle Farm helps replenish the wild population of turtles since many are released into the wild when mature enough to fend for themselves and less likely to easy prey for their natural predators.  By providing a source of turtle meat local fishermen are far less likely to poach those in the wild. Believe it or not, it is a win-win situation.

        • Anonymous says:

          "By providing a source of turtle meat local fishermen are far less likely to poach those in the wild."

          It has not stopped them yet – those who claim it is their birthright to slaughter an endangered animal to extinction.

    • Spongepants Squarebob says:

      "Timmy’s Turtle Town" has a much better ring to it.

      • Anonymous says:

        "Timmy’s Turtle Town" has a much better ring to it.  unquote

        Please grow up!  Congrats Mr. Adam, GOD bless you and may you do the Cayman Islands proud.

        • Timmy The Turtle says:

          "Please grow up!  Congrats Mr. Adam, GOD bless you and may you do the Cayman Islands proud."

          Please pull that large pole out of your posterior and lighten up!

          • Anonymous says:

            to: Wed, 01/27/2010 – 13:43.

            Take the beam out of your own eye and your own pos…… first before trying to take it out of someone else’s DUMBO!!  🙁    🙂

    • Anonymous says:

      Anon 01/26/2010 7:53 – How low can you go, but its typical UDP spin. When Mr. Kurt Tibbetts decides to go fishing, its on his time (NOT Governments) and he is not using any Government money to do so, BUT can you, Star, say the same when your leader is vacationing all over the world, using the pretext of attracting business for Cayman, with GOVERNMENT paying for the 1st class Airline Ticket and 5 Star Hotel bills, and NOT ONE new business has been attracted here and infact hundreds of Companys are leaving in the mean while. Any one with common sense would first STAY here and try to keep what we have here, but you so "fool fool" that you fall for all that B__S–T. You should try and grow up Star!

  11. Lachlan MacTavish says:

    Tim….you are a great leader and businessman. I know that you understand that BB will never make any money and will only be and expense for the people. Hopefully your mandate is to trim the organization down and to privitize. Time for the CIG to write off this mistake and cut the peoples looses. Good luck……….

  12. Anonymous says:

    What’s right is going to be tough and expensive and probably will never happen but…..

    It seems pretty simple. The Turtle Farm was, and is, an exclusive and unique thing with no equal worldwide. It was interesting, relevant and important internationally as both a scientific and environmental facility as it was a tourist attraction.  It was ahead of its time, in that environmental and/or educational tourism wasn’t really a big thing until relatively recently. 

    So, how did Boatswain’s Beach end up being what it is? As a world class, or even regional leading tourism experience, it simply doesn’t cut it. It is not a great idea to have designed a pool with minimal shade and landscaping and a snorkeling pool that is filled with green algae and a little spooky at beast.  It’s not my opinion, ask around.  Caymanians, expats AND tourists all say so in large numbers. Ask the cruise tourism people if they wanted or needed a pool for people to visit in the country that has Seven Mile Beach or a snorkeling pool on the top island for real snorkeling, marine interaction and beach tourism in the Caribbean, (and at prices that were entirely unrealistic).  They didn’t and they don’t and unfortunately, any capital project of that size needs the mass numbers of cruise visitors crawling over themselves in giant numbers to visit the place in order to really make it work. 

    Business is a mean game and the customer hits you or hugs you with their wallet.  The financial performance of Boatswains tells you everything you need to know. Quite simply, it’s loosing money, ton’s of it.  If this business had to answer to shareholders it would have closed long ago. Some would say that it does have to answer to shareholders in a way, because the money required to keep it open comes at the expense of other things that could be done for people that live here, much less talking about the fact that it should be a revenue GENERATOR for the country, not an EXPENSE, or, gasp, a true not for profit….  

    Quite simply, this country does not need an ersatz beach and marine experience and the tourists have said so.

    Think for a moment, ask yourself, what if all the money had initially been spent on creating a world class scientific research and tourism facility dedicated to the preservation of the Green Sea Turtle and the greater marine world that is 100% linked with almost all the Cayman Islands stand for in tourism?

    What if all the money needed to really give these scientists the opportunity to have a cutting edge facility that could make a true difference internationally was balanced with creating an interactive tourism experience that educated people about the history of the turtle as it pertains to the Cayman Islands and the world?  Many people say that it is hard for them to understand the harvesting of turtles for local consumption, so perhaps that could be much better presented and explained as well.

    What if this facility was also dedicated to our other national treasure, the stingray? I’ll leave that one out there to let it sink in.  We call it synergy…

    What if this facility was also expanded beyond turtles to incorporate the greater marine marine world focusing on conservancy and protection of fish, coral, etc.  Think of the interactive exhibits, think of a real turtle hospital and coral research facility that people could watch through windows, think of the "adopt a reef" and "adopt a turtle" programs that could be possible.  Think about the international partnerships with organizations like Oceana.org,  much less our own CCMI. Think of the caliber of visiting scientists coming to help, think of the international partnerships with other facilities around the world, think of the international companies that might also support this facility, think of an IMAX theater, dare i say it, think of a swim or dive with the turtles experience, ok maybe not…but think of the local pride that would be exhibited by the emphasis and expansion of this special facility, think of the watersports and dive industry all recommending their guests make sure not to miss somethingso important.

    I could go on, the mind boggles, but I think you can get the picture of what could be. 

    Green is good right now.  Eco tourism is all the rage and environmental tourism is the same. Family tourism and especially interactive/educational tourism is significant around the world as well.  Finally, exclusivity is, without question, a huge driving force behind successful destination tourism products around the world, the chance to do something that can’t be done elsewhere. 

    People want and are willing to pay for something unique and special. People are interested in the marine world and it is in everyone’s  best interest, especially the Cayman Islands, to develop and encourage that interest.  People want to educate their children and themselves, in an entertaining way, on vacations. People happily pay premium prices for merchandise and additional on-site experience upgrades when they know that a portion of the proceeds helps support the facility and the good things it does.   

    "The Turtle Farm and International Turtle and Marine Research Center" ticks all the above boxes and would position the Cayman Islands ahead of the tourism curve. It would be important, it would be supported, it could some day be profitable, if it was actually run like a business, or it could be an international not for profit also, if it were really to be a proper scientific facility

    Can it be done?

    Can we afford it?  

    What is the alternative?

    Think about it.  Would you want to come home from your trip to the Cayman islands and tell people about how you went to a pool instead of Seven Mile Beach or snorkeled in a pool with algae instead of the famous real reefs of the island?  I don’t think so and so far, neither have our tourists.

    Now, what about coming home from the Cayman Islands and in addition to talking about your amazing beach, snorkeling, stingrays, diving,fishing, kayaking, sailing, surfing, submarine, and dining experiences, you can also say you went to the only turtle, stingray and marine facility of its kind in the world and tell everyone something that you learned……

    Can we not do it?

    Can we not afford it? 

    • Sherlock says:

      HOLY CRAP! you have a mind like this (lengthy first poster) and you post anonymously? Jesus! Tim Adam or what ever his name is should be begging someone like you for help! I suspect that you are skilled, intelligent, loyal, knowledgeable (never could spell that one…) experienced, dedicated and willing to give 110%… in other words, everything that Cayman, through it’s poo tinted spectacles, sees as a threat and undesirable and you have been hunted to extinction…. Duck! this place needs to wake up…. there simply is not a big enough pool of skilled people here to run this country.

      How many more ‘dogfart ebanks gets national space program’ or ‘Cousin bob gets genetics lab job’ or ‘jules o’-manderson-connor-thompson-connely-ebanks-bodden-crighton-smith gets minorty rights job’ headlines do we have to bear before the public realises that this is just a little neighbourhood watch captain handing out ‘portfolios’ like some kind of twisted slightly dim Santa?

      • "HOLY CRAP", who the ***** do you think you are, you are a disgusting, slimy, usless ass, with your posting,  if you think that we in Cayman do not have a pool of educated people to choose from to do the jobs here why dont you show your selfish ass self up and do what needs to be done, stop taking what you can out of this country and building your fancy homes and bank accounts in your home land up. I know some of you  came here with only the suit on your backs, today those same people are driving fancy cars, sailing big boats, have a nice home, all of this because the  people of this island accepted you all, so I dont care for your self righteous attitudes, respect this Island and its  people or go back to your homeland. This is how hate starts.

      • Anonymous says:

        Hey Sherlock 10:16

        You are a small-minded, mean-spirited person.  If you don’t like what is going on here, and have no constructive ideas to share, please do us all a favour and GO HOME.

        I am assuming you are an expat, and so am I. It is people like you who are not needed here.  Tim Adam is an intelligent, hard working man and those of us who care about this country wish him success.

         

  13. Anonymous says:

    Good luck to you Timmy and may your name never gets smear by the UDP connections. Please remember to charge the UDP for their drinks, their turtle meat and NO salary advancements.  May God Bless you and May God Bless the Wickswill (Huh! Boatswaine) Farm (huh! Beach) survival plan.

  14. Anonymous says:

    This is excellent news! If it is at all possible to turn this entity around Tim Adam is the man to do it. He is one of the smartest guys I know, from school days, and I congratulate him on this new appointment.

  15. anonymous says:

    Good luck Timmy.  Very difficult job as we are not even sure the facility will ever be able to make a profit. At least we know the turtle meat is safe in your hands.

     

     

  16. Anonymous says:

    More UDP family favors? My oh my, it sure is good to be friends with tyhe UDP!

    • Anonymous says:

      Did it ever occur to you people that Caymanians can be chosen for appointments on their own merit and not because of family or political appointments?  For the record I am not a relative of Tim Adam but I have known him for a very long time and he is a brilliant guy and more than capable of managing this entity. For God’s sake guys, stop and think before you post some of the comments that you do.

      • Twyla Vargas says:

        Did it ever occur to you, Yes, a very  good statement.  Mr Adams is an intelligent and brilliant Caymanian, who  know will try his best to make it work;  and yes, Caymanians can be chosen  for appointments on their own merit without political intervention.  You go Tim, Turn it arround and make it work what ever it takes, just keep informing the people of the strides you will be taking.  Good luck.

      • Dred says:

        Quite true. However likewise it can be said especially when there are obvious connections that the opposite is also possible.

        There is no doubt that Mr Adams is am intelligent man.

        I am curious if there were other candidates for the post and who they were and what made him the ideal person for the job seeing that his area of expertise is actually Telecommunications.

        Now that’s not to say that many business principals remain the same so he can in fact do this job and probably be effective at doing it.

         

    • Anonymous says:

      Stop the crap! Mr. Adam is a good and intelligent man.  At least we can count on him being honest.  How can you even mention politiical favours in this when that the only reason Joey Ebanks was given the job by the PPM.  You sore loser PPM people need to get a life!  If there is anything you should berate is that people like Kurt Tibbetts spend their life fishing when he should be earning the huge sums of money we the people have to pay for. THAT is a disgrace!

      • Anonymous says:

        Holy crap, someone must have hit a nerve with you for you to react that way, cor blimey mate! The writer of the comment talking about political favors did NOT at any time say that Tim Adam was not a good & intellegent man! I do not even think he/she mentions if they are a PPM supporter or not. I think the writer simply mentioned that it is "good to be close with the UDP," & I agree with that, as in let’s say, 2 getting low cost housing, 1 in newlands getting scrap metal deals, 1 in the east getting the port,1 in ja getting sewage, etc etc & the list goes on & on! Now a family member of a Minister getting such a nice post, & as good & intellegent a man as he is, I hope this move did not deprive other more ‘qualified’ & experienced persons in that business being overlooked for brothers sake. Is it a crime to ask that? I too am asking!

        I wish you would quit with your partisan politics & open your eyes! Answer me this: just because the PPM gave this position to a friend & colleague of theirs does it make it RIGHT for the UDP to give the same position to a colleague or family member? NO! It was wrong of the PPM to give their colleague a position as a political favor, & likewise it is wrong to give a brother a position as a political favor. I support what the writer said, & I think it is time that the UDP & people like you stop with the political bull & get a real life. You proved just what type of person you are with the stupid comments you made about Kurt Tibbetts. What a man does in his leisure time is his business, but thank GOD all you can say about the MAN is that he fishes, & not that he is stealing, wasting other peoples money, selling illegally, or selling country! You admit that he is honest, XXXXX CASE CLOSED!

        • Anonymous says:

          That was one of my main points, that Kurt Tibbetts should be fishing on his own leisure time, not during the week and during the days when he should be earning his salary.  You see him out on his boat almost daily during the day or at a local watering hole!  He should step down and quit wasting the country’s money!  Look how he left the country’s finances!  That is what hits a nerve my friend and it has nothing to do with politics.

    • Why are you all so simple minded?  so if I am a UDP supporter my and son a minister, I am a doctor and you need my professional expertize and the government ask for my time and oppinion, I must let you die because I have a family member in the ministry and I support that government? how lame can you get, stop the whinning and get on with living and try to do something to assist your country and stop trying to create more of the same old bulls***. This country need good men and women that can lead and get us out of the mess that we are in that both the UDP and PPM put us into, so be productive and put your time and words where it can make a difference.

    • Anonymous says:

      This commenter just had to post a Negative and Ignorant comment as usual.

      All the best to Tim Adams!

    • Paul Reynolds says:

      You want to go find a guy with more integrity, more experience in business and a greater attention to detail? Good luck with that.  

  17. Anonymous says:

    So eloquently stated, Tim!  Atta’ boy!  Good luck, best wishes on your new endeavor!