Go to cruise lines, capts told

| 07/12/2011

cruise ship at port_0.JPG(CNS): The local partners of GLF Construction, who were in talks with government to develop cruise berthing facilities before they were terminated by the premier, have warned the sea captains and their supporters that the Red Bay alternative has no chance of becoming a reality unless the cruise lines give it the thumbs up.  Howard Finlason of Royal Construction said that regardless of the pros and cons or the local support, if the cruise lines and their ship captains don’t like the idea then they will not come. He advised the group to go no further with their plans until they had engaged the cruise lines directly but warned they were unlikely to support any cruise project outside of George Town.

At a public meeting on Tuesday evening at the Seafarers hall, hosted by local architect Burns Conolly on behalf of the sea captains, Finlason pointed out that the alternative location had to get cruise line support as it would be their ships using it.

The GLF local partner said that in the months his firm was in negotiations with the cruise lines and government over their plan for the cruise port they learned a great deal about the expectations and importance of the cruise industry to the project.

“We must remember that it is their ships that we want to come and if the cruise lines or their captains don't like it then it is not going to fly,” Finlason warned.  He explained that when GLF did the simulations in Miami for their plans, the cruise ship captains made it clear that they preferred ports like George Town that are open without channels and basins. With the advent of larger cruise vessels, the captains said that turning the mega ships in a basin, even in a slight wind, is not something any of them enjoyed.

He also spoke of the importance of the retail outlets being close to the ships because people did not want to be bussed to go shopping. One of the most successful cruise ports in the Caribbean is Bermuda, he noted, where the retail area is lined up directly in front of the port. By contrast, in St Thomas, although their port is only fifteen minutes away from the shops, the country has regretted the decision ever since, Finlason added 

“Cruise ship passengers are a strange lot. They don't want the hassle; they are not going on a bus to go shopping,” he said, and warned that with so much retail lost in George Town already, any effort to move the port away from the capital would kill it altogether.
In short, he said, the Red Bay project was unlikely to be welcomed by the cruise lines because the captains like George Town harbour and the cruise line management like the retail.

Conolly acknowledged the issues Finlason raised and said they intended to discuss them with the cruise lines but they had already received positive feedback from some captains coming to George Town as one of the local pilots had been handing the proposals to them for consideration.

During his presentation the architect said that the supporters of the Red Bay location had no vested financial interest and he too had volunteered his time, but they all believed it was a far more superior location for the future of the cruise tourism industry, despite the scepticism about who was set to benefit from the alternative location.

Burns said the supporters had done a lot of research and spent time with the Department of Environment and the National Roads Authority. The captains believe George Town is the poorer of the two locations for a number of reasons, from its exposure to the weather and major traffic problems to the environmental damage, which they say will have a greater economic impact than the environmental damage in Red Bay, as well as the fact that there is no room for expansion and ships will still have to tender at the Spotts jetty in bad weather.

The alternative, Conolly said, was an all-weather 365 day berthing with no traffic issues and where the dredging of the fill could cover a significant part of the cost of the project as it was estimated to be worth some $180 million.

He said the breakwater would protect the property in the area and the 2000 x 3000 foot basin could become a home port for a smaller cruise ship for a full western Caribbean itinerary. Although the port would require passengers to be shuttled to George Town, the capital would be assured of business every day and there would be no retail competition at the facilities.

He admitted that there were some cons, not least that the location is a marine replenishment zone, that there would be a loss of reef habitat and the view in Red Bay and South Sound would be altered. He acknowledged that George Town had the retail and port facilities already in place.

Conolly and the captains received some criticism for endorsing CHEC, the Chinese firm in negotiations with government to develop the alternative port. 

Bo Miller said that after the presentation he believed the location presented a viable alternative but he had concerns about bringing the Chinese in to do the work as he described it as being akin to putting a whale in a swimming pool. He believed there was no need for Cayman to search outside its own shores for the investment.

“We need to tap into the local interest and ask people on island to invest in it,” the former political candidate said, adding that there were lots of people with money in Cayman and there was noneed to ask China to rescue Cayman. “We have to stop and change our thinking. The premier doesn’t own Cayman, the people do. We have to start being owners and not workers.”

A number of people in the audience echoed the sentiment that the captains should not be endorsing the Chinese as developers. Conolly said that it was not a necessary part of the proposal and they had merely suggested that CHEC should be asked to consider the proposal in order to avoid any further delay to the start of the construction and were more concerned with ‘where’ rather than ‘who’.  

Not everyone backed the idea, however, and local resident in the area, Consuelo Ebanks, a fearsome environmental advocate, said that there was nothing that could make the project compensate for the damage that would be done to South Sound if it was allowed to go ahead. She insisted that Conolly stop referring to it as Red Bay as it was South Sound.

“It really is a stupid idea,” she said.

Category: Local News

Comments (99)

Trackback URL | Comments RSS Feed

  1. Anonymous says:

    Let me get this straight…we want to build a pier so passengers can avoid the tendering process and walk directly on to land…then load them in a bus and drive them downtown to the shops.

    Now call me crazy but WTF. Wether passengers line up for a bus or a boat we haven’t eliminated the tender process at all. If anything we are now creating an insane amount of traffic on the already busy roads leading into GT in the morning. I can see it now parents taking their kids to school, folks going to work, and bus loads of tourists all sitting in traffic every morning.

    All I can figure is that I missed the part where we are installing a magic portal that will instantly transfer tourists from Red Bay to GT.

    People need to wake up and stop dreaming up BS ideas.

    And really… Burns Connoly representing sea captains…BS..let’s not forget where Emerald Harbour sits in all of this…Enough said!!!

    • anonymous says:

      Whats your problem?…they line up to get on a bus to go to turtle farm, sting ray city, 7 mile beach, Tortuga rum cakes, pedro st james, kayaking and elsewhere. they even go on a bus to drive around south sound! Are you saying they won't take a bus to go shopping?

      You are just being spoon fed a line by those merchants downtown.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Burns… your an architect, not a marine engineer…. best stay builing condos….

  3. Anonymous says:

    Forget Red Bay for a moment. What I want to know is where are the government public meetings on this China Harbour project?

    Have they done the environmental study? What were the results? Even Mr. Imporato published his.

    Are they just going to sign this thing with the Chinese without the people even seeing it?

    That will definately be the last straw for me!

  4. HumminaHummina says:

    Why not investigate a better way to tender passengers?  Maybe something like large, shallow drafted ferry boats designed to dock with cruise ships that can accomodate hundreds of passengers, while also being able to dock at an existing ot retro-fitted pier.  

    If I correctly understand the impetus for the new pier creation, it is because of the time it would take for mega ship passenegers to disembark onto the current tender boats, not the tendering process in and of itself.

    Would surely cost less than a pier and be better for the environment.  Plus, it would save the jobs of the current tender captains.

    • anonymous says:

      Yes the larger ships cannot easily tender in a reasonable time but the key to this issue is passenger safety and guaranteed berthing when they arrive (no northwesters or wave action) not so much the capacity of the tenders. But I like your thought process.

    • SpongeBob says:

      An undersea tunnell would be much more fun.

  5. cayman star says:

    CNS, you should do a poll on the Berthing Facility.  Who wants it at Red Bay?  Who wants it at the North Sound?  Who wants it in Town…. et cetera….. Maybe if our leaders did a survey, they could get a hint as to how everybody feels about it as well.

     

    CNS: Good idea – the poll has been created.

  6. Anonymous says:

    What are those so called captains smoking to come up with an idea to dig up south sound!!! One has to wonder…………

    • Anonymous says:

      10:58. What do you mean by "so called captains"? What, in your opinion, qualifies a person to be a captain?

      • Anonymous says:

        A sea captain (also called a master or a shipmaster) is a licensed mariner in ultimate command of the vessel. The captain is responsible for its safe and efficient operation, including cargo operations, navigation, crew management and ensuring that the vessel complies with local and international laws, as well as company and flag state policies. All persons on board, including officers and crew, other shipboard staff members, passengers, guests and pilots, are under the captain’s authority and are his ultimate responsibility.

      • Anonymous says:

        what are their 'qualifications'?

        • Burns Conolly AIA says:

          We will post Captain Arlen's McCoy's Resume on "www.caymancruiseport.com" website to end these comments. This location and design has been his brainchild for years.

           

          Let us concentrate on where it is best to spend our $300,000,000 over the next 50 years. If that is the capital cost and it is being compounded annually at only 2% over that time the return is in the order of a $900,000,000. At 4%, it is in the neighbourhood of $2,000,000,000. And of course, who should benefit from that investment?

           

          These are the issues we need to debate rather than if these gentlemen are real captains or not. They are.

           

           

          • Anonymous says:

            Burns

             

            Glad you stuck to architecture and not actuarial studies.

            Capital cost = outgoing, return = income. You don't compound a capital cost to arrive at the expected a return. What a good wheeze that would be – the more money wwe waste the more money we get back!

            All you have shown is that if inflation runs at 2 pc pa for the next 50 years, today's $300m project will cost us $900m(actually even that maths is wrong – more like $800m)

            If the business case you are promoting relies on this as support we can save a lot of money by not having KPMG do a feasibility study, just give it to a High School maths class!

  7. Anonymous says:

    Correct me if I am wrong, but did anyone else pick up on the point mentioned by Mr. Connolly in the meeting, that CHEC's proposed plans include over 130,000 sq. ft. of new retail space to be built right at the Port, to help pay for the cost of the increased scope of work that they plan to do which will take about 51 years to pay back?   Someone looks like they are planning (or hoping) to make a killing off the retail end as the passengers alight and walk right into these shops first and probably won't even venture much further into town.  Somehow I don't think it will be Kirk and Island Companies group who already have established their retail business operations in G/Tn and on the waterfront?   Either the Chinese themselves, or other new Caymanian merchants, or other foreign investors will be opening up new retail businesses and renting the new retail facilities from the Chinese, or possibly Kirk, Island Companies and smaller Caymanian merchants will be encouraged to give up their current stores and move into the new Chinese facilities.  If so, what happens then to all the vacant space that will be created in the other stores in G/Tn if the latter takes place?  What happens to those landlords?  Will the rest of G /Tn become like a ghost town? Or will other new businesses spring up (both local and foreign) and rush in to fill the empty stores that might be left vacant?  Will those landlords have to drop their rents to compete better with the new Chinese retail facilities?  Or will they become vulnerable and fall prey to vulture capitalist(s) – I can think of a few who come to mind –  who will swoop in and rescue them by snapping up / buying a lot of thevacant stores or buildings at reduced prices?  Has anyone done an assessment to see what economic impact this huge amount of new retail space to be built by the Chinese, will likely have on the previous established businesses in G Tn?   Something about this whole grand plan / increased scope of works the Chinese plan to do, doesn't seem right.  But then, if you google things, you will see that the Chinese are now building their own cruise ships so that they can go more into cruise tourism themselves and their people will be travelling on these ships, and then suddenly, things start to make sense.   There is a plan indeed, but whether it is good or bad for Caymanian merchants, remain to be seen. 

    • Anonymous says:

      The GLF proposal only had a maximum of 20,000 sq ft of new retail. Why not go with them and their plan which was only US$185million vs. the CHEC US$300million plan. The only reason the CHEC plan is so large is because they want to suck up all the benefit that berthing will bring!

      • Anonymous says:

        Not to mention that CHEC is 51 years payback with management and control of the port operations plus the retailfacilities, whereas GLF was 25 years, with the Port Authority still retaining management and control of the port operations.  It is not rocket science to me, to see which is the better deal.

      • Anonymous says:

        Whoever pays the biggest 'consulting fee' ….

  8. Anonymous says:

    Building a mega-expensive port should not be a priority with the all the other more pressing issues facing these islands and our pockets at this time.  The cruise ships will ALWAYS come here with the dock we have if we continue to maintain a clean, safe and visitor friendly island.  The number of cruise ships that call here have increased over the years with the same port we always had.  My guess of late is that we will fast lose that appeal with our visitors because of the recent increase in violent crimes occurring and the lack of prosecutions and also the unfriendly and haughty encounters many of our visitors have here which will make more of an impact on our overall tourism product than the lack of a dock.  I agree we could upgrade our dock facitlities in town and especially at Spotts and at a much less expensive cost to our pockets and especially on the environment.  We also need to consider we have a lackluster, inefficient airport that any spare funding we have should be used for.  That my friends is long overdue and was a short-sighted design of an airport to begin with when it was constructed.  Having said all this….it would also be in these islands best interest to hire someone to design a customer service based training manual and then train the Immigration and Customs Officers, Taxi/Bus/Tour Operators, and every other soul who works in any aspect of  the tourism environment here to instill in their heads the value of each and every visitor here.  I embarrassingly witness on a daily basis the incompetence and unfriendly and unwelcoming way some of our guests are treated by some of our supposed ambassadors and it is appalling and disheartening to someone like myself who has been in the tourism industry for my whole life.  The PRIDE training has not worked unfortunately because some people simply cannot be trained to be outgoing and friendly and also because some people don't care how they treat others and they still expect to get a paycheck.  Granted we have some amazing tourism ambassadors that I am proud to work alongside of, but trust me they did not get their professionalism and friendliness from PRIDE training and they would all agree with me that there are some people in these lines of duty that have no place dealing with the general public period, much less insulting our bread and butter.  No matter what our port looks like, it is these flaws and shortcomings that will destroy our tourism here as it has in other places, one visitor at a time……FORGET ABOUT A NEW PORT FOR THE NEXT 100 YEARS OR SO….  

    • Anonymous says:

      Most of your points are quite sensible and logical, the only item I disagree with, is the number of cruise calls – it has been reducing quite steadily, and this has been having a huge impact on the GTn businesses who have spent much time, energy and resources to build their businesses.  A berthing facility is necessary if Cayman wants to attract the larger ships with the wealthier passengers back here i.e. Royal Caribbean.   I know quite a few of the retailers downtown, and they complain steadily how things are slow, and even when people from the cheaper Carnival ships come aboard, they are not even spending as much as they used to, and it is getting worse each month.   The sales staff say that everyone is watching how much they spend and looking for the best value.  The Royal Caribbean passengers, on the other hand, spend more. 

  9. Anonymous says:

    Yes there are other ports where you dock outside of town .. they built outside of town as they didn't want to ruin their beautiful countries ..

     

    do you know how long it takes to walk from the very end of a cruise pier to get onto an island properly?

     

    Then add in a taxi or water taxi to get to town ..

     

    You are winning if you give people a nice tender ride and you keep your country and main town looking pretty.

     

    Royal Watler already made GT look like a concrete slab .. don't make it worse the guests already have it good on the tenders and the cruise ships will not change their schedules or routes just because we build a dock. I have said this before and will keep saying it.

  10. Anonymous says:

    Mr Conolly's previous explanation about his involvement in the Reb Bay Port proposal – when questioned by a CNS commentor on the apparent contradiction of his being the spokesperson for Emerald Sound and then his appearance at the first public meeting for the Reb Bay port –   in a CNS comment – was that he was 'watching with interest'  or something like that. 

     

    and now he's the Red Bay or should we say Emerlad Port spokesperson.

     

    Right. 

     

    I know some sectors of the public barely have two grains of sense to rub together, but how stupid do you think we are???? 

     

    Stop the maddness please. Consent defeat. The people have won this one. You're only digging a deeper hole for yourselves. 

     

    Or what IS the purpose of this. 

     

    Trying to distract everyone from the proposed NRA roadmove which is now under consideration – paniced by the possibility of the total destruction of South Sound – they pay less attention to the road move – and you at least get your seaside lots increased in size????

    • Burns Conolly AIA says:

       

       

      Just for clarity, the seaside lots at ES are there and have been for 10 years now so no need to expand them. That was not one of the three main reasons given for straightening and raising the road.

       

      Please go to Lands and Survey and ask for lots 21C105 thru 113 and lots 21C 125 thru 130. Blog back your findings including their size and if they can be built on or not. Then you will see if the road has to be moved to make seaside lots.

       

      Yes, It is very unfortunate that I am involved in both projects asit does give the impression that there could be a link. There is none.  Mr. Hislop has obviously taken a wait-and-see position on this idea and has no involvement with the Red Bay facility. 

       

      I have been dealing with Captain McCoy and Bryan mainly. I came to the public fore only because Captain McCoy was away at sea over the last couple of months and they wanted the concept to convert to reality before we all make an irreversible decision downtown.

       

      We have to consider country first before everything else. That is how we ALL will get from point A to B. And clearly taking out a $300M loan for, in essence, 50 years is something that has to be done carefully and with consideration of alternates.

       

      This is one proposal that has to be considered on its own merit and cannot be simply dismissed because someone does not "like the greedy developer".  It is only the people of the Cayman Islands that will benefit from an all weather port in Red Bay. The sooner we realise that the better.

      • Anonymous says:

        Oh please!  Consider country first?  I will believe that when you do this as a not for profit project.

        I am watching with interest!

      • O'Really says:

        "This is one proposal that has to be considered on its own merit and cannot be simply dismissed because someone does not "like the greedy developer"."

         

        Now I amconfused because of course you have spent considerable effort trying to convince people that there is no "greedy developer" and that this is being pursued for love of country. A slip of the pen or a real insight? I know what I think but to quote Dennis Miller " that's just my opinion, I could be wrong"

        • Burns Conolly AIA says:

          I used the quotation marks for a purpose, obviously.

           

          It seems that many projects in Cayman are objected on recently because the person developing them must be "greedy". Few people debate the merits of any proposal based on whether they are good or bad for the Cayman Islands, provide jobs, provide revenue, destroy something, etc.

           

          This proposal is different in that way. We all have to review it relative to GT on its pros & cons.

          • O'Really says:

            "This proposal is different in that way."

             

            In my experience everything is different until it proves to be the same, by which time the damage is well and truly done and the only people smiling are those with the fat wallets.

      • Bueller says:

        "Yes, It is very unfortunate that I am involved in both projects as it does give the impression that there could be a link."

         

        Burns, this has to be one of the biggest conflicts of interest in history. You do realise that putting the port in South Sound would instantly kill the Emerald Sound development (along with the rest of South Sound), don't you?

        • Burns Conolly AIA says:

          Clearly the cruise berthing facility in Red Bay does not impact ES physically as we are merely connecting to the already planned NRA bypass road network. ES also had to takethe location of that bypass network into account when it was designed. It certainly would change the view from my client's seaside lots but those lots are not a part of the Emerald Sound development which was on the landside only with exception of the canal entrance.

           

          Also, not sure how assisting the captains on a project of national importance could conflict with any of my other projects. This time is voluntary to date and I also have significant clients onshore in GT as many would know.

           

          We need real debate on this issue before we commit, as Mr. Bo Miller said in the meeting Tuesday night, "our children and grandchildren to this debt" and we need "to start being owners and not workers". He has two very valid points.

           

          Let this berthing facility be in the correct location, the best location, be that GT or Red Bay. But let us have a sensible debate on it and review ALL of the issues & impacts of both locations, please.

          • Bueller says:

            You really think Renee will sell a single lot in ES if there's a monstrosity of a cruise port on its doorstep?! I can only speak for myself, but I am/was looking forward to building a house there, but there's not a chance in hell I'd buy a lot if the cruise port is put in South Sound.

  11. Mushroom 1 says:

    We could put the port many places that would approximate 365 day landings, but it is worthless if it meets only our needs and not those of our target customer. We ain’t the only show in town, and we cannot afford to be unfriendly in our tourism product. Red Bay will not fly. Might as well put the port in Iowa.

  12. NeoSurvivor says:

    I don't get it.     Somebody please explain this to me in simple terms my geriatric synapses can understand:

    1)   We HAD plans with GLF to build cruise berthing facilities in Georgetown.   That is also where all the rest of the large ships dock and operate. 

    2) Wherever big ships operate, the seas are disturbed and damaged to some extent. 

    3)  We have a stretch in Red Bay that is still pristine, and precious little of that seems to remain, at least to my eyes.

    4) Why ruin a pristine area of immeasurable worth AND still have to transport those passengers to Georgetown?    Are we also planning on moving all the cruise-ship-dependent businesses there also?   If so, at what enormous cost.   If so, what happens to Georgetown? 

    I know there's something I'm not seeing, and I'm not being sarcastic.    On the surface of it, this seems so simple.   Stay with the approved agreement that we once had.  No need to involve a potentially dubious Chinese-based group.   Unless, of course, the $3 million they ponied up is no longer returnable.   *gulp*

    This shouldn't be about partisanship, but what is best for The Cayman Islands and its people and businesses.    As my Dad was fond of saying, "much talk, little work."   He was also fond of saying, "make an honest agreement and stick to it." 

    • Anonymous says:

      NeoSurvivor, please don't stress your "geriatric synapses," as the Red Bay project will fly only when the pigs at Willie's farm at Northside sprout wings and dart about the sky like frisky Swallows. Don't waste energy opposing things that can never happen. How long have you been in Cayman? Follow the money, that's the secret, not the logic.

    • Anonymous says:

      I agree with you, I don't see it either.  Personal financial gains seem to be overriding the best interests of the people of the Cayman Islands – all of us can see this makes no sense, except for those whose visions are impaired by the massive dollar signs they see with their eyes.  I have much respect for our Captains, but I think they are being manipulated big time by others who stand to gain much if the piers were to be built in South Sound / Red Bay instead of GT where it logically belongs. 

      • anonymous says:

        Who would gain anything by building a port offshore in Red Bay?

        • Anonymous says:

          This is not the forum to call out persons individually by name, but I think most people are aware who stands to gain. 

      • anonymous says:

        Do you not think you are also being manipulated to suggest putting the dock in Georgetown? More big money in georgetown than red bay for sure.

        • Anonymous says:

          I am an expat, with no ties to any of the business interests downtown, nor any of the business interests in Red Bay / South Sound.   I have no axe to grind here, I am objective, impartial and am just calling it as I see it.   One of the things that attracted me here, was  Cayman's natural beauty and the way it had been preserved.   That natural beauty is  disappearing because of greedy investors who care nothing about preserving its natural environment and all for the price of a good profit to themselves.  Since George Town has already sustained damage in its harbour and its waters, it only makes sense to contain the damage to that area.  Because the area is deeper there, it requires less dredging.   South Sound on the other hand, is a fragile eco-marine replenishment zone and one of the few such spots left.   It is very shallow by comparison and will require much dredging.  If you had listened to the learned Mr. John McKenzie on the radio recently, who himself stated that he had no vested interest in either location or with any developer or related business interest, you would have heard the many cons of having the port in Red Bay / South Sound, which far outweighed the cons of having the port in G/Tn.   Secondly, the huge traffic jams that currently exist for those trying to get to work in G/Tn from East End, Savannah, Spotts, Prospect, etc. coming right up, is horrible.  So horrible to the extent I see dangerous driving each morning on the part of commuters trying to overtake one another to get to work on time after dropping off their kids to school.   To suggest that buses and taxis of tourists should be added to the mix during rush hour traffic, is ridiculous.  

          Now, putting myself in the tourists' shoes, if I were coming off a ship, there is no way I want to waste my valuable vacation time lining up for a bus and then sitting in traffic trying to get from point A to point B.   The infrastructure and the roads would have to be drastically improved first to accommodate the large increase in traffic flow – Cayman has no money for that now, and in these times of fiscal prudence, it is ridiculous to keep saddling the country with yet more debt to take on all that infrastructure improvement by continuing to borrow from private interests who end up owning Cayman for the next 100 years.   If I were Caymanian, looking down the road, I would not want that for my children nor my grandchildren.  I see what has happened to other islands who do that and they cannot dig themselves out from under the debt, and the entity that loaned the money, calls the shots.  I can tell you, that I, although an expat, seem to care more about this beautiful island and its people, than some Caymanians in higher places or some who are vested with big business interests who seem intent on destroying the island's natural beauty and environment for the sake of a quick buck.

          • Anonymous says:

            May be john McKensie should have told you he bid on the GT project and still hopes to bring his partners here. He did not mention his company just built a breakwater on our famous seven mile beach at Treasure Island I will excuse you since you are an expat by your own admission. Not all is as simple as it seems.

            • John MacKenzie says:

              THE TRUTH – it is important to get your facts right because you risk losing your creditability and respect by making totally incorrect comments like in this statement. Please request FOI's of all port meetings and records covering tenders and expressions of interest to the port authority and you will not find a connection with any company bidding for the contruction of the port.There are NO partners, and never have been as you are suggesting.

              Treasure Island is not on Seven Mile Beach as the SMB system ends at Plantation Village. What Treasure Island has to do with the new port, totally confounds us all. The works at Treasure Island were initiated and applied for by the owners of all the condos at Treasure Island to both finish the original development plan and replace what they once had that had deteriorated and had been destroyed over the past 30+ years. My company was just the marine contractor to restore the groyne structure and stabilize the beach as instructed by the principal in accordance with the plans and their CWL as approved by Govt..

    • Anonymous says:

      Can you imagine how little we would know without CNS? How many under the table deals would have been made? In our not so long ago, pre-freedom of information and CNS, dark ages, the Chinese would have been here long before we even knew why. Thank you CNS.

    • anonymous says:

      The flaw in your thinking is that you believe, and have been told, Georgetown is environmentally dead.

      It actually is a vibrant underwater world there enjoyed by hundreds of people each day. It will be all dead shortly. What is the "immeasurable worth of that" just to satisfy a few businesses??? Anyway those same buinesses will be also be dead shortly when the Chinese control the duty free shopping on the dock.

      • Anonymous says:

        Understand what you're saying and agree in part.    Georgetown waters aren't dead.   I think though, that you'd probably agree that where big ships gather, the waters are diminished.   You can look for yourself and Georgetown and compare with anywhere else where there is little activity and see for yourself.   Look at the shore in the GT area.   See the rainbow of hydrocarbons?   Yep. 

        Why not keep all the large ship activity in the same area?   That also limits future potential spills/contamination to the same area.   I think we've been fortunate so far, and hope and pray for no spills.  

  13. Anonymous says:

    ALL CAYMANIANS, please wake up and smell the coffee for this is campaign of fooling the Caymanian people andn notn diclosing the realities of this Emerald Port development. Please think about all the facts and the big picture, NOT the picture that Burns Connolly is trying to paint on behalf of all Caymanians.

    This is just transplanting the East End Port/Quarry to South Sound. It was unacceptable for East End and dredging was unacceptable in North Sound however all these proponents of this proposal have not problem in destroying South Sound and the entire marine environment (reef and drop off wall) from Prospect to South West Point. Shame on you all !

    1. Why would we want to trade boat tendering for bus tendering which will result in delays and congestion in a far greater scale than the current boat tendering. Bus tendering will also cost the country additional costs in infrastructure development to handle the bus tendering.

    2. Please explain where tyhe developers are planning to store 20 million cubic yards of dredging material which is the equivalent of 300 acres 4 storeys in height. Who is going to buy all this fill when the national consumption of fill is 1.0 million cubic yards. It will take 20 years to sell the dredged fill if no other quarry can sell any material whatsoever.

    3. All quarry operator will be suddenly put out of business after investing millions into their businesses over their life times.

    4. All the many business men who have invested 100's of millions into George Town are suddenly lost there business to other business men who have nothing to offer or built at this time. Think carefully how you would feel if someone destroyed your business after you had spent a life time building your business in George Town.

    5. Burns Connolly is telling us that his plan will only cost $180 million when in fact the real cost of Emerald Port is $600-$750 million. Ask yourself where and how is the country going to afford HALF a BILLION DOLLARS in addition to the earnings derived from selling all the dredged fill which will take 20 years to sell.

    Please consider the above mentioned points and comments because the supporters of this proposal have lost all credibility for the very contradictions that they have displayed and the practicalities that they have totally missed in not considering the BIG PICTURE for this development.

    • Burns Conolly AIA says:

       

      I feel compelled to respond to your email. While it is obvious that you certainly want the cruise berth in George Town at all cost, without even seeing the proposal or the EIA, you have listed many false statements which do require clarification.

       

      1. “Tendering by bus”, as you call it, occurs in many locations throughout the Caribbean and indeed the world and is not a problem.  Not having to bus is better but busing generally is not a problem.

      The Cayman cruise passengers are “tendered by bus” to the Turtle farm, to Sting Ray City, to Seven Mile beach, to the ‘Bus that can swim’, to the eastern island tours and to the nature tours and more.  You are correct that it will require additional roads which, as you see, is included in the proposal. The fill for the roads will come from the basin. Those new roads will simultaneously open up the Grand harbour bottleneck and free traffic to and from the eastern districts. This traffic will only increase over time as Shetty and CEC get going.

       

      2. The plan is to place the initial material directly on the berthing Island and the road corridors. The argument of the fill and storage and the 20-year sales issue is irrelevant, because even if it was dumped out 5 miles out to sea, the cost of the Red Bay facility would still be less than the $300M in GT. We have however identified infrastructural projects on island that could need at least 50% of this material.

       

      3. This is simply wrong. The fill from Red Bay, unlike the material in EES is from the sea and contains significant chlorides. It is not suitable for the construction industry and as aggregate. As such the local quarry operators will not be impacted the way they might have been with EES. 

       

      4. The Captains have been clear on this from the start. They do not support retail in Red Bay. It is not included in the proposal. In fact, the new “ two-storey retail and transportation mall” proposed by China Harbour and leased out for the next 50 years, may do more damage  to GT retail than the ‘off-site’ berthing would ever do. Red Bay WILL guarantee cruise ship arrival and thus we will not be subject to every northwester or swell out in town. last week we understood 10 of the 14 ships due to arrive did not and we lost $3.5M. As northwesters will close the facility in GT, and the larger ships cannot tender at Spotts, this trend will continue to occur even after we spend the $300M.

       

      5. I am glad you have "accurately" priced Red Bay. I would love to see your calculations. We have in fact done preliminary pricing on the Red Bay proposal. We have spoken to two very large international dredging companies and asked for an estimate as well as a timeline. Both companies gave similar costs and timelines in fact. We are currently estimating the dredging at CI$125-135M providing approximately CI$175-195M worth of fill. So the hole actually 'nets' $50-60M. The piers in Red Bay no longer have to take major hurricane waves and are not built in 80 feet of water so they are significantly cheaper than GT. Even with the larger transportation area created and the roads into GT, we are still no more than the $300M that Reuters reported for GT.

       

      Regarding the time, one company said 20 to 26 months the other company said 2.3 years or 28 months. We are using 30 months as an estimate. Given that the weather conditions and Cargo/Cruise traffic has to be taken into account in GT we actually do not see any difference in time to have an operational port in either location.

       

      Fortunately, the Captains and ourselves have done a significant amount of research. Just making unsupported statements online does not take away the fact that our government is about to spend up to $300M in GT. We do not know what is being proposed yet and when we see the presentations we can decide whether GT is better that Red Bay but clearly from a technical and logical basis, the latter is superior.

       

      • Mushroom 1 says:

        Sorry, but the cruise ship operators and their customers have a great many options for destinations. To make our product an inconvenient and far more costly choice is economic suicide. Cruise customers want low cost and convenience. They do not want to face delays, buses, and extra fees to visit our Island. They want to step off their big floating hotel onto a pier and be at their destination. It is really quite simple. Stop thinking in the past, there is competion now.

        • Anonymous says:

          Well said.  Trying to convince people to stop thinking in the past and get with it, is a most difficult tasks.  I think it involves a bit of complacency, they do not understand what the other islands are offering and why ships are being diverted to destinations where their passengers have the best experience.  The concept of competing, still hasn't quite caught up with them. 

      • Anonymous says:

        I am compelled to address, that the alarming fact about your response is basically hogwash. It is obvious that Howard Finalson's comments this week have just not registered with you at all and you appear not to be open minded to lean from others far more experienced than you.

        1. Just because some other cruise port locations have an element of bus transportation for their operations, does not make it acceptable for Cayman and the cruise passengers in general. We are trying to provide a better experience all round for our cruising passengers and not make the same mistakes as others. Bus tendering will result in further upland infrastructural costs for the country and will create additional congestion and delays compared to boat tendering at present.

        2. How can the storage and the sale of fill be a totally irrelevant issue for this issue is a very practical and realistic one which is of concern to all Caymanians. There is no way the country can consume 50% of the dredged fill (10.0 million cubic yards)  in two to three years when our national consumption is only 1.0m per year. Dredged fill is NOT engineered fill and does not have the compaction characteristics of engineered rock fill produced by the quarries in Cayman.

        3. Totally incorrect for all the quarries in Cayman suffer from high chlorides (salt) in there products because they are all excavating in large lakes and ponds down to a 50ft depth under the water. Only the Scots quarry in Cayman Brac produces chloride free construction aggregates which are imported into Grand Cayman by barge. Emerald Port actually IMPACTS all quarry operators in Grand Cayman and directly competes with them.

        4. You continue to hide behind the so called sea captains, however what is more important is that the public has learnt not to trust what developers say because as soon as they get what they want they change the ball game down the road and introduce their own hidden agendas. Sorry to be so direct however this is the way of greedy developers whoes main objective is only to make more money at the expense of their own people.

        5. One does not have to be a rocket scientist to compare port  structures and port development proposals and establish a rough estimate/ball park cost of such projects. A child could figure out this comparision between two proposals. Your miscalculations have also not included the corruption pay out allowance. 🙂

        6. Time allowances for completion of construction of Emerald Port is a pipe dream for I think you have drunk the coolade too many times to be taken seriously.

        A Concerned Caymanian watching our fellow Caymanians intent on destroying our country.

  14. O'Really says:

    "…hosted by local architect Burns Conolly on behalf of the sea captains…."

     

    This cannot be the same Burns Connolly who was posting daily on CNS in support of Emerald Sound, because this project would pretty much kill ( if it's not already dead ) that development. 

     

    Of course if Mr. Connolly were not acting on behalf of the captains, but were acting on behalf of a frustrated developer, well maybe this would make sense. XXXX

    • noname says:

      Beware Burns' bearing 'supporters'.

      Don't you just love the bit about acknowledging the drawbacks

      "….not least that the location is a marine replenishment zone, that there would be a loss of reef habitat and the view in Red Bay and South Sound would be altered…."

      So apart from despoiling SMB it pretty mcuh attacks much of what Cayman is promoted for. Nothing to worry about there then….

      • Burns Conolly AIA says:

        We have tried to be accurate with the Pros & Cons of both locations so, yes, we include the 'good, bad & the ugly" of both. See "www.caymancruiseport.com" for full list.

         

        We met DOE, NRA, local tour operators and others to assemble the list. Please do not miss the "Cons" of GT since you like the loss of reef habitat statement– quite a bit of that being destroyed in GT.  Cheeseburger reef, Cali marine habitat, Balboa, Devils Grotto, Eden Rock, etc all destroyed or severly damaged.

         

        As for view, all the way up to and beyond Burger King one will simply look at the side of a 30 foot concrete dock. Any marine activity, snorkeling, boating etc that you see out there today, between the ships and shore, will be destroyed. 

         

        Yes, BOTH projects, in both locations, impact the environment but GT may have a greater loss as the economic gain from marine activity in the area will also be lost. I guess those cruise passengers will now have to go up to the beach somewhere to snorkel.

        • Anonymous says:

          Sorry Burns I concede totally – comparing the loss of the present marvellous view in GT to loss of that in SS / Red Bay is obviously entirely like for like.

          Yawn!

    • Anonymous says:

      O'Really – Me thinks you have hit the nail on the head. 

      • Anonymous says:

        Its called bait and switch.  Distract attention, create a controversy, while the other controversial project gets passed quietly without too much fanfare or attention.

    • Burns Conolly AIA says:

      I am not sure of your logic…the developer owns 22 residential lots overlooking the Red Bay. They may in fact object to this proposal when it gets further.  As for working for a 'frustrated developer'….I am sure Mr. Hislop has better things to do with his time than be frustrated. 

       

      Emerald Sound could co-exist with the Red Bay facility technically. The road from the port flies over the existing South Sound main road and lands on the previously gazetted corridor that runs through the eastern side of ES. We do not believe it disrupts the layout of ES other than increasing the level of traffic through the property. The Captains merely connected to the existing or planned road system after discussions with the NRA.

       

      BTW, Emerald Sound has full Planning permission and began clearing this week. What the developer does not have is 'coastal works permit' to deepen the house lot sized area immediately offshore to give access to the approved canal.

       

       

      • Anonymous says:

        Will the boaters to ES (once they get an approval for the canal) be allowed in an area occupied by cruise ships? Will the marine police have to patrol constantly as they do in Miami?

        • anonymous says:

          What about the boats in GT harbour. More marine police will be there for sure.

      • Anonymous says:

        The developer owns22 residential lots overlooking the Red Bay……

        Have you ever heard of "re-zoning"? It's a word that has generated news and quite a few questions recently.

  15. Anonymous says:

    The cruise shippers now are tendered to 7 mile beach or stingray city or anywhere outside of downtown George Town so the Red Bay alternative objection against tendering visitors makes no sense.

    The planned berthing facility in George Town will accomodate 4 oasis class vessels so the amount of dredging to be done in George Town will be substantial. What will the sand movement along 7 mile beach do when a 40 foot hole is dredged in George Town?

    This question is not made lightly for it must be answered. When the sand moves along 7 mile beach it will require constant dredging. I fear the beach will be degraded.

    This is the single most important issue about the George Town berthing facility and if the sand is lost along 7 mile beach kiss tourism goodbye.

     

    • Anonymous says:

      THE FACTS – The dredging in South Sound is 80 times the dredging required in George Town. The dredging in George Town is 250,000 cubic yards of material at best and is considered so small by large dredging companies that they are not interested in the job because the economics of the job do not make it viable for their mobilization to the Cayman Islands.

      • Burns Conolly AIA says:

        The REAL FACTS – About 40 to 45 times more in Red Bay than GT to be accurate. All proposals I have seen to date in GT only show dredging to minus 35 feet. Oasis (Genesis Class) needs 32 feet to come off her keel. Watch the amount of dredging in GT to increase as the design progresses.

         

        However, the amount of dredging is not as significant as to what you LOSE when you dredge. Clearly the Red Bay proposal is significant in volume and does create a 600 foot channel through the main reef there but one has to add to consideration that the economic loss to the country of the inner reefs and shipwreck marine habitats in GT which may far exceed any loss in Red Bay. Just consider that all marine activity you now see between shore and the current cruise ship location will be destroyed. The ships and concrete piers will sit there in the future. 

         

        The Captains therefore support a full EIA in both locations. 

         

        • Anonymous says:

          THE REAL FACT is that 20.0m cubic yards of dredged material from South Sound divided by 250,000 cubic yards of dredged material in George Town is a factor of 80 times. Your calculator somehow divides by 2. We will buy you some new batteries.

  16. Anonymous says:

    For those who have been very involved with the cruise lines in the negotiations, it is well-known that the cruise lines are only interested in the port being in George Town, because of the amenities already in place for the passengers coming onshore, without having to line up and get on buses and taxis, and for the reasons already mentioned in the above report.   Period.  End of story.  Anyone that suggests otherwise do not actually know what they are talking about.   Hence the suggestion that the Captains find out first whether all the work they are doing will just go down the drain and perhaps they should do some checking to see whether the cruise lines would have any interest in considering an alternative location, because if not, they are just wasting their time.  Is that so hard for you to understand?

    • village idiotof Absurdistan says:

      I realize you already have all the answers and possibilities (in your mind at least) figured out for the port. 

      It is not impossible for the piers to be 'away' from the main shopping areas and attractions. In St Thomas, with 2010 cruise arrivals of 1.7 million in 2010, they have two cruise ship piers. One is Havensight which is a 5-10 minute transfer by taxi to Charlotte Amalie (equivalent to GeorgeTown), and the other is Crown Bay, which is a little further distance only to the west of Charlotte Amalie. Both are endorsed by the cruise lines, and if I am not mistaken, the Crown Bay dock development may be even be a joint partnership with the cruise lines. 

      I can't comment on the validity of the dock being in Red Bay from an environmental standpoint, but from a logisitics standpoint it certainly is possible. Wouldn't the Stingray sand bar tours depart from Grand Harbour which is only a stones throw? Wouldn't it improve the overall diversity of experience for guests by bringing them closer to East End?

      I am reviewing the other ports in the Caribbean to see if there are any others that contradict your statements.

      I support the seamen approaching the cruise lines for their opinion. It may produce a more transparent communication then what is received from the current Government, and at the very least would get Mac and Elios knickers in a knot for certain. 

      • Anonymous says:

        If you read the CNS report correctly and understood what you read, the point was made that the local captains should check with the Cruise Lines to see if they have any interest in the alternative location, before they waste more time, energy, resources and money on this.  No one is suggesting that the Captains should not make their proposal.  And by the way, this is not about helping the GT merchants, this is about doing what is best for the islands and the consequences of environmental damage to one of the few remaining pristine locations on island.  Further, it is a fact, not a myth, that the cruise lines have stated their preference for coming in from the open sea, without having to turn into a basin in South Sound.   Hence, before the Captains expend more energy on this, it only makes sense to check with the cruise lines if they would consider an alternative location.  That is all anyone is saying here, you are the one that refuses to get it. 

    • village idiot of Absurdistan says:

      You may want to think outside the box a little further. Here is another port, called Costa Maya, where the ships dock in a seaside village slightly larger than Old Man Bay. 

      http://www.cruisecritic.com/ports/newport.cfm?ID=150 

       

      and oh look, in Montego Bay you dock outside of town too- a 5 minute taxi ride to town.

      http://www.cruisecritic.com/ports/newport.cfm?ID=20

      and in Ocho Rios, one dock is in town and the second one out of town.

      http://www.cruisecritic.com/ports/newport.cfm?ID=19 

      So that took me 10 minutes of a little research to know it is possible- I hadn't even fiished the Western Caribbean ports. The same cruise lines visit the ports I mentioned and visit Cayman so this brings up another question. Is it the cruise lines who are not interested in the port being anywhere else, or is it the local business people with deep pockets and investment in George Town that don't want to see the port locate elsewhere?

      Just askin…

       

      • Anonymous says:

        Not sure where you got your information but the Ocho Rios dock in Jamaica is right in the middle of town and the retail shops!

      • Anonymous says:

        You know, your name really says it all.   Red Bay / South Sound proposal only came about because a few people who have a vested financial interest in the area, are manipulating the respected Captains for their own gain.  This is all about protecting the pristine environment in South Sound.  Why would anyone in their right mind, want to damage this area, when the GT Harbour is already damaged and the infrastructure / amenities already exist there to support a berthing facility.  You know what, if you don't get it by now, you never will.  Nuff said.

        • village idiot of Absurdistan says:

           

          My original response was to Anonymous 17:21 who stated categorically that the cruise lines didn’t want the port anywhere but George Town as if the ships didn’t visit islands where the ports were not located directly in town. I was illustrating that this scenario exists in more than a handful of locations in the Caribbean. 

           

          I am in agreement that the Captains should meet with the cruise lines and hear their thoughts on the Red Bay location. However a number of comments suggest that where the cruise lines want the dock is where it should go. I am not so quick to agree with that. It needs to suit their needs to some degree (customer), but it also needs to suit the needs of the Cayman Islands too. And this raises many other questions.

           

          1. How many cruise arrivals annually is seen as a sustainable amount for Cayman- is it 1 million, 1.4 million, 1.8 million, 2.5 million?
          2. Once that number is decided and agreed within the community/government it should be factored in to the location chosen- which location can handle this many persons, or are two docks in different locations better than one?
          3. Environmentally, where is the best location, and what are the long term effects of x number of visitors to the islands annually have on the ecological footprint. 
          4. Perhaps the answer will become two separate docks in different locations as many destinations now have.
          5. If the cruise lines wanted the dock in the North Sound by Camana Bay would it be built there? I would hope not- unless the majority agreed that is where it should be. My point being that just because the cruise lines would like it there, isn’t necessarily where the island should build it.  
          6. The cruise lines are one part of the equation, but do not need to be pandered to. The location of the dock is important but should not ultimately be the final decision of the cruise lines. It is proven that they will still visit- they continue to call in Cayman and they are still tendering. The only destinations I am aware of they have ever pulled out ofwere do to unsafe conditions citing violence against crew and passengers onshore. 
          7. Hypothetically, if the cruise lines return with 1.8 million visitors, is it really in George Town where you want all of them to land and cause congestion? In the heart of the capital and financial centre? I would argue no, that is not ideal and worse than Red Bay. Now if most of the Financial Centre relocates to Camana Bay and George Town becomes merely a retail shopping arcade then fine put the dock in George Town. 

           

          The bottom line is which ever location is sought, ensure the islands needs are considered as strongly as the cruise lines. The cruise lines are well known for their predatory practices in doing business (ask tour operators on the islands), and they have a way of influencing and lobbying business to their liking, often to the detriment of local populations. 

           

          I am also wary about partnering with the Chinese for major infrastructure projects. No conspiracy theory, just wondering what their motives are to be involved in so many port and airport projects in the Caribbean. Definitely flexing their capitalist muscle now, but is there something more strategic to their investments?

          • Anonymous says:

            Well,  your points are logical and I agree with you for the most part.  I also believe there has to be a consensus reached by both parties, both the cruise lines who will be the ones using the piers and who want to satisfy their customers with a hassle-free experience without having to line up for buses and taxis to get to the shops and other amenities in GTn, and yet balancing the cruise lines' needs with the needs of the people who actually live and work here and who want to protect their environment from more unncessary damage and to retain what little charm and appeal they still have left and preserving beautiful areas with a fragile marine ecosystem environment, from the massive over-development of the island to accommodate 4 piers and 130,000 sq. ft. of retail facilities as proposed by CHEC, which will only seem to benefit them, not the rest of us.

      • Anonymous says:

        What you seem to forget, is that Jamaica had already invested several years ago in major infrastructure improvements and major highways on the North Coast including Mobay and Ocho Rios, and the passengers that come into the new ports a few minutes out of town, are not fighting with major traffic jams / congestions with the local residents who are travelling to work, nor are the passengers sitting in buses or taxis stuck in rush hour and wasting time – they can get to where they are going fairly quickly because Jamaica already had their infrastructure in place.   Cayman, on the other hand, with the very small population it has, has horrible jams from the East coming into GTn where the vast majority of us have to work because that is where most of the businesses are.  Can you imagine the effect that would be multiplied if suddenly hundreds of buses and taxis are added to the mix?  And don't tell me about building new roads / highways here to accommodate the increased traffic it will cause – who has the money to pay for that now? This broke-ass Government.  I think not !  The cruise lines won't agree to pay massive amounts of head tax to pay for all of this work and infrastructure improvements that will need to be done.    So Govt will have to keep partnering with private investors to pay for all this grand amount of work, and these private investors will end up owning this island for the next 100 years (if that little) because the debt will take an extremely long time to pay back !  Is that the future you want for your kids and Grandkids?  Why can't we learn from the mistakes made by other islands who now owe huge amounts of debt that they will never be able to get out from underanytime soon and who are now owned by the people who put the money up?

  17. Anonymous says:

    I for one can tell you that the cruise lines will not be going ahead with any projects in South Sound.

    The whole point of building these berthing facilities is to stop the tendering of passengers… If the facilities were built in South Sound, passengers would have to tender into G-town / SMB in any case…

     

    • Burns Conolly AIA says:

      The cruise lines are interested in two main things. Safety of their very expensive ships and safety of their passengers. Beyond that they love to know that they WILL be able to berth here EVERY week.

       

      Red Bay provides all that and much more. GT does not.  All Cruise Captains that we have had contact with to date love Red Bay….and those are the folks that really matter.

      • Anonymous says:

        You must be talking to a different set of cruise captains, because the ones we talk to, hate the idea of turning in a shallow basin (especially the largest ships) and prefer coming in from open sea.

  18. Anonymous says:

    This is a stunt.

    I never saw much cruise ship industry involvement in the George Town GLF/CHEC proposals.

    In fact quite the opposite. The cruise lines have, for very good reasons, consistently refused to make any committment to the proposed berthing facility wherever is might eventually be located or whoever might build it.

    I'm not for one second backing the Red Bay proposals but this is demanding something that GLF themselves never secured before tendering for the cruise dock – it's asking the sea captains to do something that Royal Construction themselves failed to do. 

     

    • Anonymous says:

      What are the very good reasons and when do you think we should ask the owners of  each $500,000,000.00 ship?

    • Anonymous says:

      The Red Bay option surfaced after GLF was fired, and during the time CHEC has been involved with Govt.   Hence neither GLF nor Royal would have had an opportunity to approach the cruise lines to ask them to consider Red Bay as this was not proposed during their time.  Also if I remember correctly, the original invitation for bids specified George Town, no other location, so Dart, GLF, and the other original bidders would not have looked at other locations.  Comprehendo mi amigo?

    • Anonymous says:

      How do you expect the original bidders could ask the cruise lines about any other location if the original bid terms stated GT Port.   Are you suggesting the original bidders, Dart, GLF etc, should have run ahead and bid for something they were not asked to bid for and approach the cruise lines about a location not requested by Government?  If you kept up with the news, the Red Bay proposal came up after both Dart and later GLF were both terminated from the project.   Only the CHEC people could now approach the cruise lines about considering Red Bay, since they are the ones that have a current agreement with Govt.   To borrow a phrase from Bugs Bunny "What a maroon."

      • Anonymous says:

        You clearly didn't read the original posting.

        No proper feasibility study was ever made of the George Town location, the cruise lines were never asked to commit to using the new berthing facility nor were they encouraged to take an active part in the design or construction. In fact the one thing absent from all the GT proposals has been any idea of who might use the facility and the volume of business it would generate.

        I'm not backing Red Bay but I am saying this demand, outlined in the story, is attempting to apply one one rule for Red Bay and another for GT. If you read the story properly you might get the picture. Why are the people backing GT demanding that the proponents of Red Bay do something they themselves have failed to do? If consultation with the cruise lines is required to assess the feasibility of Red Bay why was it never done for the GT project?

        The bottom line on all these proposals is that CIG wants to build a multi-million dollar facility but they no idea whether or not (and I'm betting on the latter) the revenue, direct and indirect, generated will ever cover the costs. It's not just me that's concerned about it, it's clear that the UK can see themselves having to bail out CIG if this all goes belly up and that could just push the islands one step closer to direct taxation if we are not careful.

        And ifanyone is now planning to post a claim that the cruise lines, FCCA or whatever have ever made an actual committment to use the proposed GT berth I'd suggest that you have documents to back up your words because there's been no hard evidence of that to date.

        • Anonymous says:

          You are so wrong.   The cruise lines and in particular, Royal Caribbean, offered years ago to finance the construction of the berthing facilities in G/Tn port, but it was reported in the press that Government did not take up the offer.  The cruise lines are the ones that have been asking for a berthing facility for quite sometime now,  for the safety and well-being of their passengers.  There are PBAs already in place with Government committing to certain number of passengers arriving in G/Tn.   So for you to try and suggest that they have no actual commitment to use the berthing facility, flies against all logic.   The cruise lines made the same offer to other islands (Jamaica, etc), and look where they are today.    And for the record, no one is suggesting that a proper study should not be done whether the location should be changed, all that was suggested was that the cruise lines should ALSO be consulted on a proposed change of location BECAUSE THEY ARE THE ONES WHO WILL BE USING THE PIERS AND HAVE TO BRING THE SHIP TO THE DOCK AND THEY HAVE IN FACT EXPRESSED CONCERN ABOUT TURNING INTO A BASIN RATHER THAN COMING IN FROM THE OPEN SEA.  DO YOU UNDERSTAND NOW? 

    • Howard Finlason says:

      You are confused anonymous.  I was talking only about location. GLF/Royal did not have to secure agreements from the cruise lines to visit George Town as they have been visiting for years and presently have Preferential Berthing Agreements with the Cayman Island Government to bring passengers to this location.

      I was merely advising the Red Bay group that if they intended to build a $300 mil port in a different location it would be advisable to get the agreement of the cruise lines to this change of location. If you feel that this was ill-advised then go for it, put up the $300 mil, build it and perhaps…they will come. 

      And, for the record, our framework agreement did not require either GLF or Royal to secure agreements with the Cruise lines, this was the responsibility of the Cayman Islands Government.    

  19. Anonymous says:

    Rene sends to say "Not in my back yard."

     

    • Anonymous says:

      Perhaps he is so invisible because he wants it in his back yard. Just imagine the prominent George Town businesses that would want to be located in ES.

       

  20. Anonymous says:

    Who paid for the website? Who pays for the phone calls to the cruise lines? Who pays for the drawings? Who pays for the venues? Who has held discussions with the Chinese? Or are we to believe this is being done out the goodness of their hearts and pockets?

    • Anonymous says:

      The people who are organizing it i.e. the spokespersons.  The poor Captains are just being manipulated.

    • Burns Conolly AIA says:

      Actually I paid for the website. About US$200 forthe template and registration at "Register.com" plus about 6-8 hours of my time to date. The phone calls, we used SKYPE so did not cost us. Our office donated all drawings to date, most were done in between our other client work– some of our staff actually did some after work hours. The venue of Seafarers on Tuesday night was donated by the Captains.

       

      No one from our group has had any discussions with the Chinese. We did send Mr. Tang a FedEx which cost around $25. 

       

      What has been donated to date is time. Captains McCoy, Bryan, Soto et al have put their souls and a lot of time into this and truly believe that it is a superior location for the country to spend our $300M. No one in the group has anything to gain out of it. We do not care who designs it, who builds it, who owns nor even who operates it. They simply want it considered before we spend our hard earned tax dollars in a hurricane and northwester prone hole.

       

      However, I am sure they all would appreciate you donating something to the effort ( a venue cost or even an independent comparitive analysis of the two sites) rather than this meaningless post.  Who do you think paid, or will pay, for the China Harbour drawings and engineering? or even the GLF drawings?

      • Anonymous says:

        With all due respect Mr. Conolly, we are confused. Only a short while ago you were going to bat for Emerald Sound. Are these two projects complimentary of each other or does one destroy to the other?

        Please clarify. It will go a long way to help us understand what is going on.

        • Burns Conolly AIA says:

          Both projects are totally independent of each other. Both can coexist without physically disrupting each other. I am not a promoter nor an owner in the ES project. My company's role was simple to present it through the Planning process. 

           

          The port proposal is an offshore facility in the middle of Red Bay and only comes to shore on an existing and proposed NRA road corridor. That corridor on one end goes through the eastern lands of emerald sound. The other end connects to the new Propect roundabout at the AutoSpa.

           

          The road from the Red Bay facility actually goes over the top of the south sound road and does not impact traffic there nor impact the realignment proposed.

           

          The only connection between the two is the fact that I am the architect for ES and have also assisted the Captains techinically with the presentation of this proposal. Being visible in both unfortunately.

           

          The actual reality is that the developer of ES could object to this proposal in the future as it will certainly increase the traffic going by his development. All he has said to me is that he is waiting to see what will be proposed.

           

          Hope that helps. I do know it is a little confusing.

          • Anonymous says:

            Accepted Mr. Conolly.  

            Now can you explain the Choppy / Rene connection? Its common knowledge they are good friends and business partners. Is it too cynical to suggest rezoning and selling commercial buildings to the Kirkconnells and Darts would provide far more financial gain than selling individual homes to small boat owners?

            • Burns Conolly AIA says:

               

              Rene and Choppy are partners in some developments but Choppy is not a partner in Emerald Sound. Rene has had no connection to the Captains that I know of. He has told me he is taking a wait-and-see attitude on it.

               

              Choppy was at the ES meeting in July/August when the Red Bay port was brought up again. He had apparently met the Captains several years ago when it was mooted during the Atlantic Star proposal.  Choppy assisted getting ourselves and the other Captains/Supporters together and also offered to host the first meeting, as Captain McCoy was off island working in the Gulf. As Captain McCoy is now back on island, Captain McCoy has taken the lead again. At one point, both Choppy and Captain McCoy were off island and I became visible to the public in filling in for them. Our role is more a technical and research supporting role. We will now present the concept publically until it is rejected by government and/or the cruise lines or the CHEC/GLF/other team takes over the idea to execute it. We certainly hope the latter.

               

              Given the amount of undeveloped land in the area (north and west of ES and to the east at Old Prospect, Grand Harbour, etc) I cannot easily see any one person being able to command such a development and price valuation.  If anything, the remaining Grand Harbour development would be the natural benefit of such a port in the area as they are already zoned and have filled land for commercial development. They could execute retail development there in a matter of months. Typical rezoning takes 12-18 months without serious objectors.

               

              I would imagine that both retail parties you mentioned would be little interested in expanding their retail exposure to Red Bay when the Captain's proposal calls for the transport of those shoppers directly to their door steps. It would be far cheaper for them to both operate the shuttle for free for 100 years than try to rebuild their stores there.

               

              So while I understand that some are trying to derail the discussion of Red Bay, which is a superior berthing location, the scenario you give is not an obvious option. Could happen but not the most likely scenario. I do understand why you would question it however and hopefully my response above helps put this issue to bed so we can look at the major downsides of GT including traffic, big waves and the loss of all that marine habitat there.

               

              As I say, on to the "Pros & Cons document" found at http://www.caymancruiseport.com and a true national debate on where this thing should go.

  21. Anonymous says:

    That's right.  Destroy Cayman to please the outsiders.  Then when they are finished with Cayman and move on, what will be left?  Ever thought about that?  I am not an expert, but I would put my faith in our sea captains.

     

     

    • Anonymous says:

      George Town harbour is already damaged environmentally so makes sense to stay there.  No sense in damaging a pristine location on the island because someone (or a few persons), seem to have a vested financial interest in moving the piers to South Sound.  All of this is just smoke and mirrors, or bait and switch to distract attention from the ongoing controversy surrounding the GT Port.  You wait and see.

    • Bracca says:

      Ummm Cayman Already Destroyed!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Anonymous says:

      I wish I could say the same. However they are not currently displaying the wisdom which we hoped they had. Having said that – I think its a more of a case of these poor naive well meaning Captains not being able to even contemplate how dirty some people play ball around here … 

      • Anonymous says:

        Agreed.  All in the name of money.  MONEY MONEY MONEY, MUST BE SUNNY, IN A RICH MAN'S WORLD – to borrow a lyric from one of my fav bands of all time, the incomparable ABBA.