GT traders fear CHEC deal

| 08/03/2012

GeorgeTownAerial_0.jpg(CNS): A group of downtown George Town merchants are appealing to government to consult with the local traders before signing a deal to build the cruise berthing facilities with China Harbour Engineering Company. Although the merchants are in favour of a cruise dock, they believe the CHEC plan, with its 100,000 sqft of retail space, will be the ‘last nail in the coffin’ for many of the waterfront traders, who are “currently hanging on by a thread.” The merchants warn that any benefits associated with cruise berthing will be outweighed by what they described as an “excessive retail component” that will turn the downtown area of the capital into a ghost town.

In a two page letter signed by more than 30 local traders, setting out the historic problems faced by George Town businesses catering to cruise passengers, not least the negative impact of the Royal Watler, the merchants are appealing for more consultation over the cruise berthing plans.

The letter, which talksabout the declining cruise business as a result of the failure of successive governments to start the piers, was handed to government on Wednesday. The signatories believe this failure is behind the numerous empty stores in downtown George Town but government’s decision to work with a developer that plans to construct such a significant retail upland element will, they fear, cancel out the anticipating benefit.

“Unless we are going to be guaranteed 3.5 to 4 million cruise passengers annually, the introduction of what we understand to be in excess of 100,000 sq ft of new retail space will definitely be the last nail in the coffin for many of us who are currently hanging on by a thread,” the downtown traders write in the letter, spearheaded by Noel March, a former member of the Port Authority Board and downtown merchant.

“We fully agree that we need to construct a berthing facility, and feel that the benefits that it will bring will definitely fill those retail spaces that are currently empty and put those of us who are still in business back on the track to prosperity, but not one that we cannot benefit from because of an excessive retail component.”

The traders are afraid that the CHEC proposal will "create a ghost town” in George Town and March said Merchants are at the “point of despair” because of the proposed amount of retail space to be situated within the proposed facility, according to information from the Cayman Islands Chamber of Commerce.

The traders point out that the amount of proposed retail space at the new terminal will jeopardize George Town, Grand Cayman as a ‘walking destination  for our cruise visitors because they will be corralled  into the berthing facility, negatively impacting every merchant on the waterfront. The letter calls on the government to consider the retail businesses who have already invested heavily in cruise tourism, including the many landlords with empty spaces, as well as the small business owners who are hanging on hoping that the cruise berthing will save them.

“We implore you … to first consult the public and downtown merchants through public meetings before proceeding any further with your negotiations,” the traders ask, referring to the ongoing talks with CHEC.

The letter also points to the lack of communication over the project from the current administration, not just with the public but the stakeholders. The merchants say they have a number of questions over the plans that were circulated by CHEC’s partners in Jamaica during a Chamber of Commerce visit last year to see the Chinese firm's work.

March noted that the CHEC plan, compared to previously proposed projects, includes acres of unnecessary dredging, wiping out snorkelling reefs that lie in the area to the north of the Royal Watler, along with the classic George Town waterfront view, and will add tens of thousands of square feet of retail that will compete directly with existing merchants. The size of this plan relative to the size of George Town is already quite significant, March notes, but compounding that the plan is on two levels.

As downtown retailers increase their opposition to CHEC, others are calling on this government to get a dock going as soon as possible after almost three years of negotiations with three different companies. Ever since the Cayman Islands Government began to consider cruise berthing, the plans have constantly been undermined by numerous factors, from government indecision to funding problems.

The plans by developer GLF Construction appeared to be the closest government had come to breaking ground on a cruise berthing pier last April before the premier pulled the plug on the talks with the firm on the eve of signing a main agreement. Bush said he did not believe the company could fund the project and he was keen to begin the development as soon as possible.

He switched horses and began talking with CHEC, signing an MOU with the Beijing based firm in June. Government has been in talks with the firm since then, despite opposition from a number of quarters, including the Port Authority Board. Few details about the state of the negotiations have been released but the premier has talked recently of signing the main deal with CHEC next month and even beginning construction by April with a view to the facilities being completed by next summer.

See Merchant’s letter to government and latest proposed berthing plans below.

Category: Local News

Comments (74)

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  1. pro development says:

    lets start now:

    government has no money

    chinese has trillions in surplus – each year

    it is a disgrace to make our beloved, fat, white, over wieght visitors wait in hot sun for extended lengths of time

    CIG/CHEC/Port can not increase head tax – cruise lines will not accept

    thousands of caymanian families benifit from the boat and busse to turtle farm and sting ray city – more walk offs – more business for locals

    port will dramatically increase number of walk off guests

    chinese is risking their capital – self insuring – in case of huricane damage – we are prone to major huricanes

    all shops will benifit – guests want best value for money – we all do

    if you treat our guests like cattle slowly hurded in the sun – they will not give a postive feed back to the people who decide itineraries

    take the money – build the port – get on with it – build it fast

    everyone has their own self interest at heart

    investment in port will dramatically increase walk offs from the ship

    dramatically increase first and last impressions of our beloved guests

    4 birthing spaces will encourage ships to visit on a spread out basis – that is 3 and 4 ship days – less 5 and 6 ship days – no one likes to tender

    government has no money

    CALL in the radio talk shows and say yes to development – yes thank you to the risk capital of the chinese – yes to more walk off visitors – yes to increase in taxi, bus, boat, island tours… YES to starting as soon as possible…

    • Anonymous says:

      As a country with so many who had ancestors that suffered human rights abuses through slavery, we cannot be complicit in any business transaction that benefits the COMMUNIST CHINESE GOVERNMENT due to their horrible human rights record. The COMMUNIST CHINESE GOVERNMENT needs to give this money to their poor citizens whose blood ,sweat, and tears have created the enormous wealth that the chinese government is trying to hook the world into debt with. It would be an UTTER DISGRACE for us to accept this "blood" money.  

      • pro development says:

        i take your point…

        I do feel great compassion for the people of China.

      • Anonymous says:

        take your head out of your sand hole….for crying out loud, do you think we are the only country who have suffered in 'ancestrial' terms?  why do you think we are more superior than anyone else? why shouldnt we take the chinese money? you want us to be held back because of this extreme view you are portraying?  its nonsensical not to take the chinese money?

        here's why – before you explode all over yourself –

        what phone are you using? is it an Iphone? guess where it's made…..if not your phone, i bet your family have members and/or friends that love their ipad…guess where it was made?

        i bet you've played computer games…guess where they're made

        i bet you've been to walmart or target, or your family or friends have…guess where its all made?

        i bet you have a job…in that office or store or taxi or whatever you do, you are surrounded by stuff thats come from china

        grow up…stop holding us back……if we dont use it, someone else will….and we will suffer

        now, dont misunderstand me….chinese human rights violations are well documented and disgusting….but man, everyone deals with them and they themselves are slowly, slowly, slowly coming round to their own problems….but in meantime, why should we suffer?

        as to GLF and this guy march….these people would not be objecting if they all had their stores at the other end of town…..wake up and smell the coffee guys….lets be sensible….or we're going to all suffer

  2. Anonymous says:

    Why does anybody actually give a toss what the the GT merchants think ?

    To be honest if they (and I mean collectively) were selling things that people actually want to buy rather than taking the easy option (i.e. set up a jewellery/diamond/cheap t-shirt shop) then they might make a bit of money.

    If GT retailers actually sold products that people wanted the cruise experience would be better, residents would shop there after hours and the collectice financial input would allow a car park in town which would ensure the ongoing success of GT.

    GT retailers MUST get rid of their apparent entitlement culture whic currently allows them to work 4 days a week when ships are in then do nothing for the rest of the day/week.

    • anon says:

      Just FYI 62% of my sales today were to locals. I sold less than 12% to the Fantasy. Not that we don’t try to target them, but if the ship goes to RW with a family demographic, it’s hard to make sales. I sold 10 times as much to Magic last week because it was at South. There is not a whole lot we can do to sell to customers who are not there! If they are at RW that is where they will shop, it is not rocket science, product mix, or pricing.

      So don’t accuse us all of being antI-local, crap selling, ill-educated boobs, who can’t spot a market trend without a magnifying glass. My guess is that you have no background in GT retail to be so rude, and foolish.

      You might not give a flip what the George Town merchants think, but our heatlh provides our staff with income, and then guess what?? Our staff can buy goods and services from you busn. Econ 101.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Where is Red Bay or Pageant Beach folks now? Clearly downtown is a very bad idea!!

  4. Anonymous says:

    This is crazy, all I can say is this is a direct result of all the opposition to Dart doing it. A local firm owned by a Caymanian whether it be Paper or not. Everyone knows he does good work, so the CIG needs to go back to DECCO and just negotiate them down from the 99 year lease, we all know they have the money and would do a lovely job. On the other hand CHEC will come in and take over Georgetown and rebuild it in their own image. They will open up retail businesses down there that will put the others out of business and then buy up those spaces. The Chinese are known for mass producing inventory quickly and cheaply that will be offered at prices the local businesses will not be able to compete with.


    I have been on Mac’s side with his development ideas but this CHEC deal is just Bad Bad Bad. Once it starts Cayman will never be the same. We do need a Cruise Dock but I’d rather none than to see it done owned and ran by CHEC. I have nothing against the Chinese they are a strong people with good business sense and they have a wonderful culture, unfortunately it will quickly overwhelm our own. This is the last thing Cayman needs at this point. Dart on the other came here from abroad and embraced Cayman and has a huge vested interest in seeing it succeed and a part of that is island beatification. The Dock needs to welcome visitors to Cayman in a tropical paradise atmosphere such as what was done with Camana Bay. Not China Town..

  5. Anonymous says:

    If the downtown merchants want things to go their way they should just buy the right politician.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Where is the Chamber of Commerce in all this?

    They have been as silent as the Opposition. When will they step up and give their opinion on this retail plan?

    As usual a finger pier plan has bloated to something entirely different and contrary to the needs of the community. When will governments learn to not overbuild? McKeeva remember the schools, you are doing the same thing, just like Boatswain's Beach.


  7. Anonnymous says:

    Do we really need a cruise ship pier/dock?  I don't think the majority of people realise what it will be like having 3 or 4 or 5 or 6 cruise ships tied up to the docks – even if it finger piers.  It's going to be like having huge buildings in your face – one won't even be able to see the water.

    Are larger ships really what we want? It is my understanding that smaller ships are the ones usually have that the passengers with money to spend. I think the tender from the ships to the shore is a vital part of the experience.  I'm afraid all those who want this can think of are the numbers of passengers on the ships – and multiplying those numbers by whatever is being offered for sale and seeing the $$$ signs.  Do we really want George Town to be like everywhere else? 

    I agree that George Town can use a major face lift – let's make it somplace that our locals and our stayover tourists will want to visit, walk around, shop and eat.  Create green spaces, with shade etc.  We have been experiencing improvement in our stayover visitors – those who spend money in our economy.  Let's try to make their overall experience more enjoyable,

    What we do need is to improve the Spotts dock so that we would have someplace appropriate to welcome our cruise passengers when weather conditions make using George Town impossible.

  8. Anonymous says:

    Yes. This is a free market economy, where the Premier decides who gets what. Guaranteed …  another will be waiting to take the space… Yes this explains why there are so much empty space in George Town. Your logic is bass ackwards.


    • Anonymous says:

      try finding affordable rent in the center of GT its impossible, it is 5x what commercial space is going for anywhere else on this island. That might be a reason why space is available.

  9. Old Sea Captain says:

    Just returned from Roatan, Honduras and they are having similiar problems with the cruise lines. The shopping areas created adjacent to and associated with the piers (owned by foreign entities) retain 70 per cent of all the passengers that disembark and the remaining 30 percent of passengers venture outside this area to shop. This is first hand information gathered from the officials involved in the industry . As the trend is set this is exactly what will happen here thus the merchants have a right to be concerned. Reducing the upland commercial space from 100,000 sq ft to 50,000 sg ft will not have a significant impact on where the passengers that disembark shop as they will simply reduce the size of the shops located in this new commercial space proposed to be built. This will completely transform the aesthetics of George Town waterfront to God knows what it will look like.

  10. Dare to Dream says:

    Why does'nt this man listen to anyone. the only thing he seems to be interested in is hugging up with the likes of  Mike Ryan and the Dart Group and get his picture plastered on the front page of the Newspaper.  XXXXX  I have never ran accross anyone like him in my 60+ years.  He still thinks that he can do whatever he wants and nothing he wants makes any sense!!

    • Anonniemuss says:

      He might be intere$ted in $ome other thing$ too.

    • really Anonymous says:

      Why ask why?  Make up your mind already as to what he has done in the past and realize thats what he will do now and in the future.

      Then do what you gotta do.

    • Anonymous says:

      You should see him in the club

  11. Anonymous says:

    Whilst the habour front of George Town is lovely, the streets behind look like third world.  Why can't the centre of town be cleaned up, with open air cafes, buskers, fountains etc. where people (cruise shippers and residents) can gather and enjoy a bustling atmosphere….kinda like they do in Europe.  Look how successful Camana Bay is!

    • Anonymous says:

      It is not a cosmopolitan town.  It is populated by two groups of people at cross-purposes competing for very little space.  George Town should have been expanded in size and scale a long time ago.  The reason why it looks the way it does is because (I suggest) there is no body responsible for looking at the big picture.  I have always said George Town should be incorporated as a city with a mayor, council and so on.  If you create the job, the occupant will get busy.  That's the way it works.

    • Anonymous says:

      What we should be doing is developing a nice island atmosphere. Why should we want to duplicate Europe? That's the problem with us, we listen to too many who want to change who we are. Tourists are not coming here to experience a european cafe town, they expect an Island.

    • Anonymous says:

      Buskers?! Thanks but no thanks… we have enough beggars in Cayman as it is

    • B.B.L. Brown says:

      Haven't you heard???…… The government is running short of money……… again.

  12. Anonymous says:

    This is a free market economy where the strong survive and weak perish, if your business models don't work then you need to look on how to make them stronger or abandon them. Guaranteed that when you close your doors there will be another waiting to take the space, rents will go down and drive new businesses to the downtown core and with new ideas and products. Protecting businesses by does not make them stronger or viable; competetion does by weeding out the poor companies that cannot compete. If your looking for sympathy get in line as all sectors have been impacted by better ideas and new growth and we've had to adapt and refine our products to keep afloat. Welcome to the global ecomony!

    • Anonymous says:

      Yeah, but here the government is going out of its way to put a competitor into an exclusive deal on the waterfront. That ain't a free market.

    • Anonymous says:

      What has the free market got to do with the CHEC's deal with the government? I don't recall hearing about any competitive bids.

      • Anonymous says:

        If you start limiting the players in the marketplace thats not free market economy. Why not limited the number of bars, restaurants, hotels, condos. Doing that would create a uncompetetive marketplace, let the purchasing power of the tourist determine who stays open and viable.

    • R.U. Kidden says:

      Dear Anonymous 10:47,

      What you say about competition is true, unless you're playing against a stacked deck, which is what it will be when customers are cut off at the dock.  Do you work for CHEC?

      • Anonymous says:

        with the oasis class of ships proposed to come here at 5,000+ ple per ship and the smaller cruisers how are 15,000 people going to stay in that area. What we may see is the surrounding businesses stepping up to the plate to help refurbish the core to make it more attractive. It is not governments role to protect business, they needwork harder and smarter.

        • Anonymous says:

          WTF!!! Those business owners are the constituents of those in government. Of course it is governments job to protect business!

    • Anonymous says:

      Sounds like you work either for CHEC or Dart.  Listen up, and let me try to educate you.  A free market is just that – FREE.   Free from interference by Government, monopolies and large conglomerates with DEEP pockets and resources and who try to control all the business for themselves.  This is why a certain entity on this island, was run out of other countries, because other countries gotwise to what they were doing and the detrimental effect it was having on existing local industries, and told them to take a hike.   Cayman has welcomed such entities with open arms, without so much as a thought to how they will affect existing local businesses who do not have DEEP resources the likes of CHEC and DARt have, and therefore have a snowball's chance in hell to compete with these entities.   If you want a truly robust, free-market economy, Government should focus on creating a LEVEL playing field for ALL industries.  Anti-competition practices is never a good thing for any economy.  Give all businesses, large and small,  the same concessions, duty waives, discounted work permits, etc, as you do for certain entities.  THEN, and ONLY THEN will a truly free market emerge, where private sector businesses can properly and fairly compete with each other, and PRIVATE SECTOR, NOT THE GOVERNMENT, will create a robust economy.  PRIVATE SECTOR, NOT GOVERNMENT, is what creates jobs and stimulates growth in the economy.   What Government should do is provide an environment where ALL businesses can compete and grow.  When Government interferes with the free market by giving huge corporations / conglomerates / monopolies the advantage of exclusive deals, concessions, duty waives, reduced work permits, crown lands in exchange for unequal value for money, then other businesses who get no similar considerations will be run out of business.  THAT, my friend, is not a free market.   Then Cayman's future and destiny will effectively controlled and ruled by a small number of wealthy people (oligarchy) rather than being a truly free-market economy with strong democracy where all are equal and have the same opportunities.   I don't know about you, but I would rather live in a society governed by the latter, rather than the former.  How about you?

      • Anonymous says:

        you should wake up…the puppet masters are here already,  these local families already control the economy so don't believe for a minute that they don't make the policies. Look at who is signing the petition, all self serving millionaires who are protecting there own pocketbooks, they aren't looking out for the common person or even caymanians for that matter.

      • Anonymous says:

        Very well said.

  13. Anonymous says:

    There is no doubt Cayman experienced a tremendous period of growth in the 80s.  Persons may find it interesting to read an exert from CNS 03/02/10, which shows  one of Cayman's greats, disposition of the time. 

    "Charles strongly believed that Government should be run as a business and he always applied hard-work, good business ethics and a measure of good common sense to any project that he dealt with on behalf of the Cayman Islands. He always considered that anything he did for the country, and whatever projects were completed, were all a genuine team effort and always gave credit where credit was due. The Master Ground Transportation Plan on record remains a cause that he championed without fear or favour."

    Perhaps there is a correlation between today's economic woes and today's quality of persons in elected positions. We seem to think we can lower our standards, accept promises instead of results and yet obtain greater results.

    Unless persons of greater quality, integrity and genuine concern for community, start getting involved in the running of these beautiful islands, the achievements of the 80s will be for naught. Just as Captain Charles has to retake his ship in Kingston, Caymanians of need to retake their country from wayward politicans. Caymanians claim to be strong, ethical and proud. Perhaps its time to show it.




  14. Anonymous says:

    ? Where does Dart Investments Fit into the China Harbour Engineering  Plan 

    If all the cruise passengers have a hotel and shopping available at the port doesn't that eliminate Camana bay and the turltle farm plus other tourist attractions across the islands

    • Anonymous says:

      When Bush claimed that he was gonna make Caymanians buy shares into the CHEC port deal who do you think he ment by Caymanian?????

    • Anonymous says:

      Maybe when all the store spaces in GT become vacant when the businesses owners are run out of business by CHEC's massive retail development, the price of real estate will drop in GT significantly, properties might go up for sale and Dart (who is deemed by many here to be lord and savior for them), might swoop in and buy up as much property there to add to his every- growing list of real estate ownership in Cayman.   Wouldn't surprise me if that happened.  Nothing in Cayman surprises me anymore.  Self-serving politicians do not seem to plan for the long-term with its people's best interests in mind, and we continue to take it, so c'est la vie.   Welcome to the age of anti-competition and monopolies ruling everything here. 

      • Anonymous says:

        Dart already own large portions of the waterfront of GT.  Going back to another point, as far as the free market in concerned, an entity being able to own the property, rent it to its own businesses and keep those businesses afloat whatever their profitability is going to prevent new entrants as these companies are presumably simply not going to fail.  Then rents cannot fall because not enough spaces are becoming free in these locations for the market to adjust itself and allow for the growth and innovation that new businesses would bring.

  15. JTB says:

    To be fair, George Town is already a ghost town. It contains nothing but shops for cruise tourists, with any other businesses having been driven out by rapacious landlords charging rents that only jewellry and perfume stores can meet.

    Perhaps if the harbour complex contains shops for the tourists, George Town itself might once again develop into a real town with some life. Maybe we could have some bars and restaurants so that the place isn't deserted after 5pm, and shops selling things that people living in Cayman might want to buy?


  16. Knot S Smart says:

    I support these merchants and understand their concerns.

    At the same time I wonder how many Caymanians they have employed, and what is the percentage of Caymanians to those workers they employ on work permits…

    • Anonymous says:

      How many have YOU employed and what are your percentages?



    • anon says:

      Zero permits for us too. Little guys can’t affords permits, even if we could get one thru Immigration.

  17. Anonymous says:

    It seems everyone but the Chamber and UDP, knows deep down, this going with CHEC is a bad idea. Are the Chamber, UDP and CHEC linked in any way?

  18. An Employee says:

    Think of it:  30 local traders that the Labor Board has complaints about, that pay their staff sh..tty and get away with breaking the law… yet now these heads are looking out for their own hive. If Bush was smart he would make a trade deal with those 30 merchants and let them know that before he cancels the deal, they must sign a Labor agreement and wage agreement with the Cayman Islands government and the people of Cayman. That ishow you negotiate. Now when these employee-abusers are begging on their knees is when government need to do the right thing and set the record straight! 

  19. Anonymous says:

    Maybe this is part of the plan to close down the competition and have a monopoly on all the duty free trade? Again push for overnight tourism they spend more money.

  20. Anonymous says:

    would you like a large piece of a small pie, or a small piece of a very large pie?

    THE BIG PIE – if the port is built, ships will stay overnight as long as they are allowed open their casino's and onboard retail, etc…..if they stay overnight, Cayman businesses all over the island, not just downtown, will win…even those businesses that find themselves at the wrong end of town (they've all signed that attached letter)

    THE SMALL PIE – ifthe port is not built, the cruise ships will stop calling – or at the very least, they'll send smaller ships with less 'desirable' customers (i.e, limited disposable spends…not good)

    if i were a business, i'd go for the small piece of a big pie….its all very well crying about the past, and the relocation of the Royal Watler, and the lack fo fairness over which dock gets which tenders (btw, i'm pretty certain only the Cruise Ship Captain can decide where he'd like the tenders to go…its not up to the Port or the Government or even the Chinese!)

    as to having retail on the port….last week on radio the govt said its 50,000 sq ft, not 100,000 sq ft……how can we expect a port to be built if there is no return for the investor?  back to the pies, we can't have our cake and eat it too…thats not how life works.

    i say build the thing…..short term, probably for 3-5 years, all those that have signed this document are going to have record years because the cruise ships are all going to tender down their end of town!!!!!  and medium term, the business owners have plenty of time to work out business models that will have to cope with the (heaven forbid) extra million or so cruise passengers that are going to spend (oh, no…) probably 12 hours MORE onshore each day because their ships are going to dock…finally.

    guys – stop moaning, let it happen…..otherwise nothing will happen because nobody is going to build a port that does not generate a return….not even GLF Mr March

    • Anonymous says:

      Investors need a return, but GLF only needed a 25 yr lease and 10,000-15,000 sq ft of new shop space.

    • Anonymous says:

      Nice try Elio, you aint fooling us.  We are onto  you !   And you make absolutely no sense.  Do yourself a favor and get a proper education and preferably in economics 101.  The merchants will not get a small piece of the big pie, as the tourist will be mostly contained within CHEC's upland facility.  That's CHEC's plan.  Anyone can see through it, except you.  Something else must be clouding your judgment.    I wonder what it could be?

    • Hibernator... says:

      Personally, I would like a lot more of the small, super exclusive, high net-worth and high spending visitors over a bunch of over fed, newly wed and nearly dead Carni's.  Yes, for those of you understanding the final flirt with the word Carni, you know exactly who and what I mean…

      Going to pies, would you like a small portion of the really large amount the uber-rich spend, or a large amount of the $5 a head spent but our current cruise guests…

      The analogy goes both ways…


    • anon says:

      Well, Mr. Antoinette, I would rather have a shot at eating some cake then no shot at the proposed pie.

  21. Anonymous says:

    Mr. March needs to remember that this is being built for the benefit of the politicians in control and the developer. Not for the People of Cayman.  This our current  governments approach to all projects.

    Please do not confuse the needs and wishes of the people with the actions of Mac's government.

  22. so Anonymous says:

    Too bad no one in Government listens to you.  Time to start thinking about plan B before its too late.

  23. Married to a Caymanian says:

    17 years!  (I've been here and married to a Caymanian for 17 years.)  For the entire time I have heard about a needed  "Cruise Ship Dock" and I cannot believe the people of Cayman have stood for this nonsense for this long.  All we need is a long cement pier for the cruise ships to dock,  period.  

    The GREED of WHICH local businessman, construction company, and politician is the reason this project has stalled for over a dozen years.  

    Big Mac's empty promise that pots of gold and created jobs for the unemployed are political BS.   Yes, a few jobs will be created for the 24-36 months to build a dock, but long term this is not creating more than 100 retail and tourist jobs…so please stop the whole, "the building of one cruise dock will save our economy".  Big Mac, the only thing that is going to save our economy is the stem of your irrational spending and having auditors insisting on good governance

    Wake up! The ships offer all their own retail now-a-days, the one day tourist spend dollar has shrunk.  Give the T-Shirt, booze, and water bottle and candy bar business to the shops that have suffered through the past decaded of allowing GT to decay and STOP this madness of a 100,000 sq ft retail plan that will only put money in pre-determined flagship pockets.

    Again, please pour some cement and just call it a day for crying out loud.

    • Anonymous says:

      The biggest joke is that everyday our elected politicans bicker and agrue we lose our reputation as a destination for a cruise line to come to. Cayman is home and we all love our home but we are not the only Caribbean destination; other destinations have made progress into moving into the tourism/cruise line requirements and have made head way where we still sit at the starting line.

      Our elected politicans have wasted my time, your time and everybody's time with their greed. The cruise lines will soon tell Cayman to make progress or lose the business all together. Everyday we waste is lose revenue.

      In an ironic twist I am taking a cruise in a month and one of my calls is to come home to Cayman…..on my cruise documents it has a comment about the Cayman Islands; it states this port is tendered and requires longer times to arrive/depart. Can you imagine a cruise ship passenger who has been to other ports of call who arrive, eat breakfast and quickly stroll down a large platform to a dock and can breeze on and off their ship at leisure……but we in Cayman have to have our tourist line up on board a ship and wait for a little boat.


      • Anonymous says:

        No one has looked at the impact of all those cruise shippers setting foot on land pretty much at the same time. If you think George Town is a bottle neck now, wait until they don't all have to wait for a tender.

      • Hibernator... says:

        It's called character – same reason people pay mega-bucks to jet around the world and sleep in tents!!!  You can sleep in a bed anywhere – how many places can you sleep in a tent in the wild listening to frighteningly large and dangerous animals just yards away and frittering the evening away under the stars to the sound of crickets and other unknowns…  Did it in Africa, paid a fortune, no light pollution – the stars were AMAZING.  Kind of like I remember growing up here 30 to 40 years ago {sigh}…  The is progress and there is progress.  Not all of it has to be massive size – there is plenty to be made staying SMALL AND FOCUSED…  Focused on those that will spend to get an experience they cannot get in Roatan, New York, Jamaica etc…

        • anon says:

          Ahhh, what? That is so out there. Cruisers don’t want to sleep in tents! If they did they wouldn’t cruise! What demographic are you selling? Certainly not cruisers.

  24. Money Man says:

    If you look at these stores one by one and ask "Are these a positive business for the centre of our tourism industry?" The answer for the vast majority is "No". 

    • Anonymous says:

      Travel much? 

      • Money Man says:


        • Hibernator... says:

          Betcha run straight to the Bahamian StingRay City and try and visit all the dolphin parks at each of the places you go, right???


          You, huh You want to experience somthing different?

          WOW – NOVEL CONCEPT…   Ding ding ding, no more callers please, WE HAVE A WINNER!!!!!


        • Anonymous says:

          West Bay doesn't count.

          • Money Man says:

            I am the type of hind end travel who spends over $5k a week on vacation.  The type your tourist industry wants.  I tell friends with a cruise ship stop in Cayman to stay on ship and enjoy the quiet boat unless they are into cheap print t-shirts of pirates and tacky mugs made in China. 

    • Anonymous says:

      Regardless of your limited understanding of how all the parts make up the whole, these businesses are owned by and employ many locals. We already have unprecedented numbers of our people who are unemployed. Don't complain when crime goes up after these people lose their jobs, as unemployment is the largest contributor to socioeconomic problems/unrest.