Brac hotel closing in April

| 31/03/2014

(CNS): The 16 staff members of The Alexander Hotel on Cayman Brac have been informed that they will be out of their jobs on 13 April. Just a few months ago the developers proposing to turn the pond next to the Alexander into a marina admitted that the project would require an environmental assessment, but now that Cabinet is requiring this to be done before considering the associated coastal works licence, Cleveland Dilbert, the front man for the developers, has responded by announcing that he is closing his hotel. According to the strategic outline case presented to Cabinet last November, if government gave the go-ahead to the proposal, it would have to commit to purchasing from Scott Development KYD $3.5 million of fill excavated from crown property as a result of the project.

The 31-room Alexander, which was completed in 2009, lies some distance from the nearest sandy beach and was built right next to Saltwater Pond, that is at times quite stinky. Unsurprisingly, the hotel has been running at a loss.

According to the strategic outline case (SOC) presented to Cabinet by Brac Development Company (BDC), it has only averaged 25% occupancy and the owners have had to invest about KYD $150,000 each year to keep it going.

Nevertheless, the marina is “not intended for profit of BDC Ltd or its shareholders”, Dilbert stated in a letter accompanying the SOC presented to Cabinet on 4 November 2013, which he has now made public. It was, he said, “intended for the betterment and welfare of the people of Cayman Brac and the island’s economy”.

(Right: when the Saltwater Pond dries up, the sludge emits a strong and unpleasant smell, which is not good for the Alexander's open bar.)

As well as the significant commitment to buy from a private company the publicly-owned excavated material extracted from crown property, public funds would also be needed to build an alternative route round the north side of the pond, connecting Rebecca's Cave Road with Bluff Boulevard, since the channel would cut through South Side Road West. Against this, the SOC lays out a long wishlist of financially positive outcomes for the project that have not so far been supported by a detailed business case. Nor does the proposal offer any guarantees that, once started, the project will be completed as planned.

“BDC Ltd is certainly supportive of the Department of Environment’s pursuit of a prudent balance between the built environment and the natural environment,” the developers wrote in their SOC before the DoE Technical Review Committee laid out a catalogue of environmental red flags when it assessed the coastal works application to cut a channel through the road, the ironshore and the fringing reef.

The DoE also noted that the application was incomplete in several key areas, including an explanation of how, with a single jetty, BDC planned to create a 100-foot wide channel using an excavator with a 40-foot reach. Nevertheless, Dilbert apparently expected Cabinet to approve the application without an EIA and has now closed his hotel in protest.

“As developers we are committed to working in partnership with the CIG [Cayman Islands Government] and to construct the safe harbour in a way to minimise negative impacts to the natural environmentas much as possible. As residents of the Cayman Islands, therefore stakeholders, we identify the economic social and natural importance of a healthy marine environment. This project will require an environmental assessment to identify any negative effects and suggest methods that can be used to avoid or minimise and mitigate them,” the SOC stated.

BDC laid out five options for cabinet in the SOC: If the coastal works application is rejected (Option 1), apparently government will be forced to deal with the stinky pond themselves, which will be an on going expense.

Both Option 2 and Option 3 result in government giving Scott Development $3.5 million for 218,750 cubic yards of fill, either paid upon delivery of the fill, which would be “stockpiled for use on future projects” (Option 2) or paid in monthly installments (Option 3).

Option 4 is to partially develop the marina with no government financial participation. Instead of making the entire pond into a safe harbour, the developers would just develop a section of the west side of the pond behind the Alexander, purchasing land and cutting the channel between the Coral Isle Club and the residential homes to the west. The basin would be approximately 250' x 250' with a depth of 18 feet, according to the SOC, which stated, “Our concern is that this option appears to be solely for the benefit of The Alexander Hotel and not the surrounding landowners.”

However, in Option 5, even though the SOC repeatedly states that the marina project is for the good of the people and the economy of Cayman Brac, BDC says that if Cabinet rejects their proposal and, deciding that the island does not require more than one safe harbour, instead chooses one of the other marina proposals, the Alexander may close.

In his letter to Cabinet, Dilbert noted that BDC first wrote to the Cayman Islands government with a proposal for the marina in August 2009. He further stated that the company has already been granted permission in principle by the Cayman government to quarry the bedrock in the pond and sell the majority of the shot rock and fill extracted, in order to raise capital to fund the conversion of the pond into a marina.

Vote in the CNS poll: Should Cabinet grant a coastal works licence for the marina at Saltwater Pond on Cayman Brac?

Category: Local News

Comments (115)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Well, I was wrong. And all the people who said 'its a ploy, Govt. will blink' were right. – According to Thursday's CayCompass Govt. has given them permission to dig out (part of) the pond. As to what's to follow … well, it probably won't be National Conservation, thats for sure.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Put some casinos over there!! Would boost all and Cayman Airways also.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Government should not be in the business of selecting winners and losers in the private sector.

    What next? Government to own hotels?

    Is this Cuba? Venezuela?

  4. Anonymous says:

    Here’s the breakdown of Brackas hired there: bar=0, restaurants=1, front desk=2, maintenance=0, maid service=0, Total 4 Brackas

    • Anonymous says:

      At the time of writing I see 103 comments on what seems to be a very bad business decision. We obviously all work in the CS or CIG.

      • Anonymous says:

        16;26

        You hit the nail right on the head.

        90% of the Brackers are paid by the Government. In one way or the other. Who government doesnt hire, are  being fed by social service.

        They cant open their mouth even if they wanted. Its been like this from time and memorial.

    • Diogenes says:

      Ummm…adds up to 3?

  5. Anonymous says:

    This Guy, boy.  Never, never try to take advantage of the hands that feed you. Karma is something else.  You reap what you sow.

  6. Brackerwannab says:

    Why depend on government to pay for stuff? Why not get investors to support the marina and all that has to be done to get it built?  The problem then is to get the investors to agree this marina would be worth it.  That may be hard to do without adequate information and input from all sides.

    It was a risky move on Mr. Dilbert's part to build this hotel at this location thinking a government subsidized marina was in the future.  It would be nice if Scott Dev. could forgive the 3.5mil as an investment, they can afford it, but they may have reason to believe it's not worth it.

  7. Anonymous says:

    I am wondering if there could be an update to this news story. In the "other" *ahem* paper this morning, they are reporting that Dilbert walked back on his announcement. Is this true? If so, I was one of the posters yesterday that stood up for the man, giving him the benefit of the doubt, saying that this was not a ploy. To walk back not even 24 hours after the announcement is disheartening.

    I hope that there is not a grand back room master plan.

    • Anonymous says:

      Cayman Brac may want to research and consider the possibility of having a more devolved Governmental situation, granting them more autonomy over their own affairs. 

      I am sure with their reknown Brac enterprising spirit, they could develop some creative solutions to their own socio-economic issues.

  8. Anonymous says:

    I don’t blame him one bit for closing the business. Why would anyone keep a business open that costs them 150k a year to run. I’m sure the Divi owners never bothered to renovate that site for similar reasons. The Brac has a failing economy and there’s no internal support for any development there that will help boost it. The Brac is a welfare state for Cayman and will always be, The CIG likes it that way and so do most of the residents that don’t have to work for a living.

  9. Anonymous says:

    the best thing cayman could do is sell cayman brac……it is an economic blackhole for cig……..

    • Anonymous says:

      Do people realise that people from Cayman Brac & Little Cayman did a lot to improve the economy of Grand Cayman? Where would Grand Cayman be without the businesses established by those persons? To name a few: The Kirkconnell Groups of Comanies, The Foster Group of Companies, TheBoddenHoldings Group of Companies i.e. Home Gas, Vampt Motors etc. , The Scott Brothers Group of Companies i.e. Scott's Equipment, The Barcadere etc., The Chrissie Tomlinson Memorial Hospital and the various other businesses of the Tomlinson family.

      Also, there have been many persons from Cayman Brac in the Government Service e.g. Mrs. Islay Conolly, Ms. Andrea Bryan, Mr. Dennis Foster, Mr. James M. Ryan, Mrs. Mary  Rodriques nee Ebanks, Mrs. Shirley Wahler nee Hurlstone and the list goes on.  

      • Ironic says:

        So what you are saying is that anyone with any gumption got the XXXX out.

      • Anonymous says:

        And it's time for those families to start investing in Cayman Brac.  They just turned their back and forgot their roots.

  10. Anonymous says:

    The deluge of negative comments by people who would not be affecrted by the Alexander Hotel closing,.is disgusting.

    Pople who care about the welfare of Cayman Brac realizes  tthat closure of the hotel will have a crippling affect on the island, while the army of critics wlll not feel the effects of it.

    In the early stages of Grand Caymans developoment, investors were not subject to the load of
    requirements that have become necessary there. Restrictions and requirements for Grand Cayman at this stage, has a devstating affect when applied to Cayman Brac.

    Whether  Mr.Dilbert does eveyrthing right or not, a shut-down hotel wil be a monumet that will haunt the Government,  cripple Cayman Brac's strugglng economy, affect Cayman Airways revenue, Cayman Bracs struggling tourist indusry, and be a great embarassment to our representatives who the people elected to serve and help Cayman Brac.

    Our Governmnt need to realize the effect that this matter will have on Cayman Brac, ignore the nay-sayers, and edeavour to find a solution to this serious problem.           



     

     

  11. Anonymous says:

    It is quite amazing that the government which passed the National Conservation Law is now actively promoting developments that will directly and adversely impact nature reserves and marine parks.

    If this was McKeeva at work, the howls of outrage would be deafening.

  12. SKEPTICAL says:

    Why did Dilbert build the hotel beside the pond in the first place, and what makes it stink . Would  smell go away if it was dredged as a Marina. Sounds like another SNAFU – " situation normal, another f**k – up ". As for his current reaction – it is like a kid saying " I am taking my ball home – don't want to play with you anymore "  . Grow up Dilbert. We all know who was in power when you started this development. Please PPM , show you have some cojones however much the Brac needs development.

  13. Anonymous says:

    The cheapest solution for Brac unemployment is for the government to offer a one way flight to Grand Cayman.  There are plenty of jobs there. 

  14. Anonymous says:

    It’s not hard to see where this will end up. Dilbert might not have a clue about running hotels and safeguarding the fragile ecosystem of the Brac, but he knows exactly how to play the PPM boys.

    Mose and Co have no stomach for a little hard ball and by next week you may expect an announcement that the hotel is saved and the excavation has been approved.

  15. Anonymous says:

    They only have 4 Caymanians hired there! I’m a regular customer there!

    • Wasa Mata D Ju Ju No Help U? says:

      And there be the rub, so who exactly is evil and anti-Caymanian? Blind loyalty to someone or something just because it/they are Caymanian regardless of what they do that ultimately will damage the Cayman Islands is the height of ignorance and idiocy. It brings no pleasure to realize that to stand up for your country one often times, all too often, has to stand up against one's own country people, even one's own family. That is the way of true patriotism. The way that things are done in Cayman are underhanded, unjust, greed fueled, deceptive and just plain wrong. Someone told me once that oftentimes it is not as much what you do and/or wish to do, it is how you do it and go about it. Those who use and benefit from the institutionalized corruption which has sullied the good name of the Cayman Islands and continue to destablize the sustainable viability of the economy for the purpose of personal gain are not friends of the Cayman Islands, no matter who or what they are and no matter where they are from.

  16. Kraken says:

    Dat hotel would make a good school, or hurricane shelter for the Brac.  Perfect location.

    Or CIG could buy it for low income housing.

    • Anonymous says:

      you kidding?, low income housing nextdoor to a liquor store and accross the street from a bar???

      • Anonymous says:

        Sounds perfect for them.

      • Anonymous says:

        If you live across the street from a bar there would be no need to drink and drive!

      • Anonymous says:

        Couldn't that line of argument be used for any other location on the Brac though?

        It's pretty much the same thing with Grand Cayman – mile marker 1: I'm drunk; mile marker 2: my sins are forgiven; mile marker 3: I'm drunk again but with the congregation I met at mile marker 2.

        Para-para-paradise! Oh oh oh oh oh oh oh.  

  17. Otherview says:

    This is a done deal…….the marina will be built. This discussion about closing the  Alexander Hotel  is just smoke and mirrors so the protestors back off.  As soon as the protests stop,  you will see a dredging barge anchored off shore……then it's too late. You are correct in your aassumption that this is one big "back room" deal……transparency declined from the start.  These people never have, and never will deal transparently because they feel they are above the law.  Been that way for years.

    • Wasa Mata D Ju Ju No Help U? says:

      It is more probable than not that you are right, just like the East End port/quarry red herring.

      • Anonymous says:

        Yup. The Lover’s Wall quarrying continues apace with no word of concern from the East End representative.

        You’d think there would be laws and regulations about these things.

        Welcome to Caymanistan.

        • Anonymous says:

          The objection was to quarry this area so that it left an extremely large hole in the ground. That is not what is happening now. 

  18. Henry 111 says:

    Well thank God someone had the sense to see this marina farce for what it really was. A better idea since the hotel will be closing is to put up a  30 foot parimeter fence and ferry all the prisoners over there, it would be kind like Alcatraz!  I certainly believe this would be some inward investment as the new prison would need chefs, guards, apartments, dry cleaner, etc…..

    At least minimally the environment is saved.  One for the animals.

  19. Anonymous says:

    So does that mean my kids can go back by their hangout?

  20. anonymous says:

    I must say the posts below are the most evil and anti-Caymanian posts I have ever seen on this website. A Caymanian is going out of business and you all seem to relish that….and what you seemed to be saying is 'serves him right'….come on Caymanians, support each other or soon you all will be working for some foreigner here. Mr. Dilbert is a hard working man and his sons are as well. They are trying very hard to provide jobs and opportunities in the Brac and you folks are trying to knock him down….shame on you. Its a simple stink pond that dries up every year….it will be a much better resource for Cayman Brac as a marina. Caymanians please support each other or soon you will be moving overseas looking for jobs just like your grandfathers did.

    • Wasa Mata D Ju Ju No Help U? says:

      You can fool some people sometimes, but you can't fool all the people all of the time.

    • Anonymous says:

      Most Caymanians do not care for thier fellow man unless he's putting money in thier pockets..If not, thier main desire is to see them fail..This is breed deep into the Caymanian culture.

  21. Just Sayin'.... says:

    If you recall when the hotel opened Big Mac  gave his blessing to the idea of Dilbert 's Marina. Cleveland thought he had it in the bag. He just waited too long to do it! Gotta love the whole ploy about closing the hotel though. Typical bully move " if you're not gonna play by my rules, I'm taking my ball and going home".

  22. Anonymous says:

    Breaks my heart to see all the nay sayers and conspiracy theorists look at people who have had the ambition and determination to make something of their lives. Achieve great things that has played a significant part of why they live as well as they do, by making sound investments that help the economy, which helps pay for the schools, roads and plays a part of the local infrastructure. Everyone of you should be ashamed of yourselves….A testament to these types of people are those would stop thinking at “Well, here knew the smell was bad….” and enjoy projecting their own inadequacies by not allowing themselves to recognize the fact the the smell is terrible and that the fact that it is the first and last things visitors to the island experience is this smell, being that they have to pass by it to get to their hotel….maybe that is why the brac economy is so bad….maybe that is why people don't go back and tell more people about the brac. Would you? if you went to a place that was beautiful and the people where nice, good diving….but damn, did is smell horrible…would you go back?!

    I am sure that when Mr. Dilbert was considering the hotel he thought about the smell. Look at where he came from….nothing. He was intelligent enough to build an empire and long track record of successes…i am sure he thought about it. Surely he met with the district MLA to speak about the smell from the pond, knowing it would be an issue. Like any smart investor he was seeking government support to fix and issue that served as a detriment to the island anyway, but now the government had and excuse to fix it, because the island needed another hotel, particularly because of the loss of divi tiara. Naturally the MLA would have given assurances to lend aid to address this, for the sake of one of the islands own to build and establishment that would be a stepping stone in the development of the islands infrastructure.

    I know for a fact that Mr. Dilbert purchased a very large pump to help mitigate the smell, I also know for a fact that he has received no help from government to mitigate the smell.

    I am sure that he is not proud of the smell emanating from the pond, because it affects his pride knowing he must operate sub-standard to what he wishes to. A hotel business is all about reputation, if the pond stinks and guests complain about it, it affects business, therefore he would have to watch his business die a slow and embarrassing death.

    I do not blame Mr. Dilbert. I believe his intentions are pure and for the good of the nation. I believe that if he knew it would hurt the island, he would not build the marina, or even ask for it. I think that all who dont have a sickness in their soul or are of a shallow and cynical nature, anyone who is capable of rational thoughtand doesn't wish to just throw rocks at things that shine, can agree that the likelihood that a man of he and his families intelligence would not take this critical factor into consideration, can see that he would have sought the help of his government….As we all have that right to ask.

    If he has not received any help, then I blame the government. What is a government for, if not to help those who wish to make positive change on the island and are in a position to do so.

    Now, after years of operating and empty promises it has reached a breaking point and now its time for government to do what it is designed to do….Help! It has purchased new planes, new equipment for he airport and other investments to help stimulate the economy, yet if it lacks the resources to support an influx of people, then it is a waste of money.

    To all those who view this with negative regard…pull your head out of your bitter, cynical, shallow rear ends and smell the roses and not be content with the disgusting smelling pond. You know what the simple sad fact of those who would speak out with this is, if it was a member of their family, they would be all for it, but another Caymanian making it farther then them….no, no,no.

    May your children face the same unfair criticisms as they attempt to do anything of substance with their lives……WHEN it does happen, remember this instance….YOU are part to blame….

  23. Anonymous says:

    Why buy or build a hotel next to a pond if you wanted to be on the beach. Why buy or build next to a pond without completing an environmental assessment. Why buy or build without completing research. I am sorry to hear a business is closing as it is a lovely little hotel; and people are losing jobs. I'm from the opinion that sadly, the owners didn't do their homework. They don't need a marina either, there are alternatives to the stink problem as other readers have pointed out. 

    • Anonymous says:

      Good Bye Cleveland Dilbert,

      Am sure that Grand Cayman will gladly welcome you back.  Maybe you can rent your hotel as office space for District Administration (the people that work there have desks crowded into each other)  Another idea is to rent out the hotel to Social Services – then you would have 100% occupancy.

       

      Sign Me,

      Developer with more $ than sense.

      • Anonymous says:

        I have to agree with you, Investing into Social Services is far more sustainable in a Welfare state than any other business. There's plenty of Caymanians that would love to live there on everyone else's dime.

  24. Anonymous says:

    So much for attracting foriegn investments to Cayman Brac!

     

  25. Anonymous says:

    I would consider building a marina myself if I could get government to pay me $3.5 million for digging up the Queen's bottom, but for now I will start on a smaller scale. Tomorrow morning I am going to dig up my neighbour's cassava and demand that he purchase it from me.

  26. Far Canal says:

    Never understood the point of it, now I do…

  27. Anonymous says:

    150k/year would buy a few solar powered pond aerators and remedy the problem with the stinky pond, at least till the water dries up in late spring. Every hotel on the south side of Cayman Brac has had to deal with foul odor problems from these ponds. Why did Dilbert et al not anticipate this and plan accordingly? Something smells bad about how this whole deal transgressed.

    • Anonymous says:

      It stands to make sense that if everyone has to deal with this foul smelling disgusting pond that something should be done about it.  I don’t think cutting a swatch out of the reef is a good idea, but I do think something has to be done about the Stink Pond.

  28. Green Hornet says:

    I wrote the following comment a few weeks ago…and nothing has changed. The writers have all hit the nail on the head.

    Why build a hotel there in the first place the pond has been there hundreds of years? Because the land came free when the owner bought the liquor store mall.

    How many Brackers actually work there? All imported, cheap labor.

    And has there been any market study of the potential marina customers? Not.

    Should the government pay millions to re-route the road? Not.

    Here's my previous commentary:

    So let's talk about Brac marinas for a moment. The first biggie proposal came in 1967 from a Mr. Danzler. It went through various metamorpheses – reappearing again sometime in the 1980s and again the 1990s. It clashed with the Brac airport expansion and thus never saw the light of day. However, combined with the airport expansion it enabled the de-listing of the westerly ponds as animal sanctuaries.

    Next came the Bat Cave marina proposed by a consortium of Texans (I believe they were from that state) in the 1980s. They told the government the road running along the shoreline needed to be moved to the foot of the Bluff and then they coiuld build their marina. Government moved the road. No Texans and no marina – but probably lots of cash got stashed here.

    Now we have not one but 3 marinas planned. Salt Water Pond got delisted as the Brac's last rermaining animal sanctuary (and thus protected) when the owner of the Alexander and our former premier made a deal to do just that. Oh, by the way, has anyone noticed that somebody has started filling in the eastern end of this pond? Maybe in anticipation of building a boathouse or something? And the lady from eastern Europe has not one but two proposals – one for each side of the island. Perhaps the one next to Scott's Dock would do the least environmental harm. The blowing sand and dust from years of  loading onto barges gravel and sand from the elimination of the western Bluff  to fill Grand Cayman's swamps has pretty much done in all the coral in the marine park to the west of Scott's dock. 

    Apart from the earlier ill-fated adventures, has anyone really done an market study on just how many yachts would make it to the Brac from the Eastern Caribbean where they mostly hang-out? It surely couldn't be that getting rid of the smell of the pond is the main motive behind that marina. No, of course not, silly me.

    The Brac is littered with these kind of proposed pie-in-the-sky developments that never seem to materialise. I wonder why?

    CNS: It should be noted that the Alexander management claim a high proportion of local staff. I can't remember what the figure is but the owners/managers are welcome to clarify at any time.

    • Anonymous says:

      You're absoloutely right Green Hornet.  People always come with grandoise plans and governemnt allows them to destroy the environment and then they build nothing.  Don't forget the dredging at Bucaneers.  They also told governemnt that they wouldn't build if they couldn't do it.  Basically, all these people do is destroy.  We don't need a marina.  The one on the north side is close to the marine park and several dive sites.  An assessment needs to be done on them all.  A scientist mentioned that there would be a problem with the one on the northside as well.  There is a dip in the land over there which would expose all of teh properties around it to flooding.

  29. Trutsaya says:

    So disappointed in these comments. People should be ashamed of themselves enjoying this moment and vilifying a local businessman. Caymanians taking down Caymanians based out of jealously and peddiness. This is an everyday thing that we do to eachother and this will continue to bring us down professionally,culturally, and spiritually.

    • Anonymous says:

      This has nothing to do with tearing each other down and everything to do with one Caymanian trying to tear his country down to sea level.

      • Anonymous says:

        dont be stupid…you just tried to tear down the writer of that comment…Caymanians wake up!!!

    • Anonymous says:

      Peddiness is not a word!!!   Oh sorry,  I was being petty.

  30. Anonymous says:

    For those who don't live in the Brac, it is so Amazing to Hear So Much Concerns, Advise and Mostly the Insults! And for those that live here, well Do you really Know what You Want? I\\

  31. Anonymous says:

    Blatant blackmail to try and force through the marina plans. This is just the gimme, gimme, gimme mentality of a bully.  

  32. Anonymous says:

    Reminds of Dart building Camana Bay and now complaining about the dump!!

    • Anonymous says:

      Except that Dart had a solid business plan and is still making money despite the dump. "If you build it, they will come" only works in the movies.

    • Anonymous says:

      The cig promised dart that the dump would be cleaned up

  33. Anonymous says:

    Looking at the Alexander one can only conclude that it was imagined as an airport hotel. The problem is that it was built on an island with (1) no real airport traffic and (2) not located on the airport grounds.

    Last time I looked, Cayman is not a socialist country. Our taxpayers should not have to cover the costs of poor planning by developers.

    • Wasa Mata D Ju Ju No Help U? says:

      The way it looks to me Cayman has become a very socialist country with all of the negatives of capitalism and nary a whiff of the positives. I think that this has far less to do with poor planning than it has to do with a back room deal not being realized into reality for various "unmentionable" reasons. Anyone who thinks that this "marina" was not part of the original plan is just fooling themselves. Everything in Cayman has been done this way and those who have facilitated and constructed the present day set up will not be held accountable (and they operate as such) as they remain untouchable. XXXXX, it has poisoned everything, and no amount of denial and rhetoric and other propagandist bullshit will change that. The consequences are more of this type of result. One can expect no better from people who, among other things, have aligned themselves with and sold out to dart and all that dart is about, notwithstanding the soul devoid idiots who think he/they walk on water. The rich will get inordinately richer and the ranks of the poor will swell. Waiting now for the spin to be churned out by the compost publication, being the bastion of journalistic integrity which it is. Cayman is screwed and it will get a whole lot worse before it gets any better, which is very unlikely because there is no real impetus or solidarity of purpose within our society to change it. Cayman is the frog in the pot of water slowly coming to a boil. Maybe the interested party will have to once again resort to chasing snowflakes in the Bahamas to get enough to buy what they seek.

    • Anonymous says:

      Taxpayers covering the cost of poor planning has nothing to do with socialisme.

      Socialisme is taking care of eachother and especially the weakest in society. In that sense you are still right. Cayman is not a socialist country.

      It is a "me only", US type of country.

    • Anonymous says:

      Nothing about the design of the hotel is attractive or inviting, another badly arranged bunch of concrete boxes, what a missed opportunity for creating some attractive Island accommodation that people would want to stay in.

  34. Anonymous says:

    This is sad.  Any time a business, which is someone's baby, closes it is a sad day. If this hotel is operating at 25% occupancy, there has to be more to the situation than just a smelly pond. There are smelly ponds all over GCM. Actually, the whole corridor along Seven Mile Beach stinks like a sewer.  If one goes out to East End by the Reef and Morritts in the dry season, it can be smelly there if the wind is blowing in the right direction.

    I ask – what is the bigger problem?

    Are they receiving the support from the DoT that they need? Is their advertising on point? Do the owners have a hands on approach?

    Obviously, the Brac is for a niche market. However, when one has to take a flight from GCM to the Brac there is an extra cost associated and then the rooms are not inexpensive at roughly $200/nt with taxes. Actually, I think the prices are exorbitant and completely prohibitive. Has Cayman Airways thought to have a direct flight from Miami or Tampa or even NY or Chicago? How about a package where the consumer could have 4 nights in Cayman and 3 nights in the Brac as a package deal? Bundle it with Summer Splash. Anyways, it seems what is done is done.

    I hate to think of this as a ploy for the owners to get their marina and at such a high cost to the environment. If the business must cease and the owner must cut their losses, fine. If the owners are acting like petulant children and taking their toys away because they are not getting what they think they deserve: completely different story. I agree with the poster above, poor or outright lack of business plan. In fact, I remember when the Alexander first opened, you had a fill out a form to ask for the rates for your desired period. Maybe a few "tweaks" could have prevented the demise of this hotel. Or maybe it is much bigger than what meets the eye…

    Sadly and regardless, this will become another eyesore on Cayman Brac. Be it due to greed or what have you, sad times.   

  35. Anonymous says:

    When Mr. Dilbert built Alexander Hotel, he did so knowing there was a pond right on his back step.  I do believe that he is from Cayman Brac as well, so it's not like he didn't know what to expect either, but nonetheless, he built the hotel there.  What did he expect?  Unless, it was his intention all along to try to have the pond converted to a Marina.  However, when one does a miscalculation on one project, who is to say that converting the pond to a Marina will not turn out to be a second miscalculation? 

  36. anonymous says:

    If this was a foreign developer he would have been granted the coastal works license a long time ago and the hotel would not have to close. This is a silly position by the current government….to close one of the two hotels on the brac….and if we do not think 16 jobs are a lot it is probably around 5% of the jobs on the Brac….silly environmnetalist continuing to starve our people…."forget about bread..let them eat mangroves"…sorry to hear of this sad event.

    • Anonymous says:

      9.36 I'm so glad you cleared that up for me.  Now I understand why the hotel failed, and so many are starving in the Brac, it's the environmentalists. But I stlll don't understand why you think the Government closed the hotel. I suppose one should consider poor business savvy as a possible cause, but then we all know the 'flu is caused by doctors and hurricanes are triggered by the weather center, so the Government and the environmentalists it is then.

      • anonymous says:

        Did not suggest at all that Government is closing the hotel…basically said government should make the correct decision and grant the marina license.  

        • Anonymous says:

          A marina license isn't the issue. They want/need government to pay them $3.5 million for the fill they will dig out of government property for the channel, and then govt has to pay to have the road re-routed around the marina. It would be much cheaper to just give them $2 million and ask them to give everyone in Cayman Brac free beer until the next election.

  37. Anonymous says:

    "the company has already been granted permission in principle by the Cayman government to quarry the bedrock in the pond and sell the majority of the shot rock and fill extracted" – This kicker at the end of the article is very interesting. It claims that someone gave somebody permission (in principle) to dig up government property and sell it privately. If the whole shebang wasn't crashing and burning itwould be the next thing that needed investigating. As it is its probably not worth chasing this heresay. But also not something to forget going forwards.

    • Anonymous says:

      silly comment…the developers were going to pay cost of building the new road…they would be out of pocket on this idea even if they sold every last spoonful coming out of pond….know what you are saying before you speak.

      • Anonymous says:

        Read The Article: "public funds would also be needed to build an alternative route round the north side of the pond". The Developers were not going to pay the cost of building the new road, as you claim. Government was going to pay for building the road. After paying the developers (friends) for the fill from the Government pond to build the road with. – So, really, this was just a road building proposal. Which we know the Brac is good at.

  38. GR says:

    Ah, this now explains why Mr Dlibert was aggressive towards Paul Walter of the NT as well DoE staff.

    His financial justification that it made sense "because there was 3 marina applications submitted therefore therefore it must be a good idea" omitted the "as long as I get my government subsidy".

    Development which the developer know won't 'pass' an environmental assessment is not the type of development these islands need.

  39. Anonymous says:

    When one remembers  the numerous slurs that are posted about Cayman Bracs struggling economy, it would seem that Government would try to provide a solution to the need for a Marina, since the isand was not given one naturaly, if there is any idea that it would avoid further stagation of the economy.

    The closing of Alexande Hotel is likey to be much more distressing to Cayman Bracs economy that to its owners. .

    If the Government is not in a position to provide such amentities that can offer  employment in the island, it should find a way of encouraging investors to do so, even if it means
    modifying some laws and paying less attention to nay-sayers.

    Would it  not be better for Cayman Brac, if the Government liaised with Mr.Dilbet to make a deal that would help Cayman Bracs economy, instead of enforcing restrictions that will make Cayman Bracs welfare go from bad to worse? 

      

     

    • Anonymous says:

      You mean would it be better for the government to pay someone several million dollars for something that no one has shown will possibly make anyone any money, except the money they want government to pay them? It would be cheaper to simply give them the cash since that way there aren't any cost overruns.

      • Anonymous says:

        You mean like paying millions every year to the turtle farm that doesn't make a dime ?

  40. Anonymous says:

    Can anyone else see now see, expat or local, how difficult it is to do business on these islands as a result of the bureaucracy of the Cayman Islands Government(s). 

  41. Anonymous says:



    This is not the CI Govt's fault. These businessmen made an investment without the developmental work being done or approved. The fault lies in their faulty reasoning and incomplete business plan!

    • MEM says:

      Any business person in their right mind would have never built a hotel on Cayman Brac in that location in the first place. There is too little to do on the Brac as is, much less to build such a nice hotel off the ocean side, this hotel would have flourished and been very profitable had they invested a few extra thousands on some beach front property. Why would tourist fly to the brac for a view like Salt Water pond and bush? Stupid investment from the beginning…

      • Anonymous says:

        Any business person in their right mind would have never built a hotel on Cayman Brac period. Only B&Bs have a slight change of making anything over there..

        • Anonymous says:

          sorry, the only B & B closed.  It's the guesthouses taht are doing well and Brac Reef Hotel which is on the beach.  Cleveland could have bought Bucaneers.  That's a gold mine with the best dive sites in front of it.  DIVI has the best beaches and access to the dive sites.

  42. Anonymous says:

    This hotel was a terrible idea from the start. 

     

    Why would you build a great big cement block hotel on the brac beside a stinky animal reserve (the pond) and not on one of the many beach properties?

     

    A not that special hotel that is not on the coast had no chance to survive on the Brac  – despite the lack of competition. 

     

    On the other hand, a tasteful eco boutique hotel could do well inland. 

     

  43. Anonymous says:

    Is this your April fools joke?

  44. Anonymous says:

    Cleveland, please pick Teddy back up and stop trying to hold responsible government hostage.  

  45. Henry 111 says:

    Is he going to close or is he using this as a ploy to force government and the doe to grant permission for the harbor? Sounds like a spoilt rich kid to me!

    • Anonymous says:

      He will close anyway, with the marina or not, no hotel on the brac will ever make a profit..

  46. Anonymous says:

    I hope this creates more jobs & not just make the rich richer! Bracka

  47. Anonymous says:

    Closing the hotel in protest, you suggest. Surely not so.  The pond was there, the stink was there, before the hotel was built. The developers are closing because like most other businesses in the Brac, they are not making a profit. Smart move before investing millions and millions more. They must not think highly of our esteemed government if they would expect the closing of the hotel to force the approvals they seek.  Sorry to see the closure. 

  48. Anonymous says:

    Good; Cayman Brac doesn't need 16 jobs

  49. Anonymous says:

    The biggest detractor to the Brac tourism situation is the derelict Divi Tiara resort that occupies the best beach location on the island. This has been allowed to rot for far too long.

    If the politicians want to do something effective and useful, they should deal with that eyesore.

    For starters enact a “Commercial Property Maintenance Law” that imposes fines and other economic sanctions on developers who fail to look after their properties.

  50. Anonymous says:

    And how many of these staff are Caymanians? Hopefully Government will not jeopardise the environment of the Brac for the sake of 16 permit holders being paid less than $5 an hour.

    • Anonymous says:

      But you would have no problem jeopardizing the environment if they were Caymanians in the jobs? Brilliant thinking. 

    • Anonymous says:

      When I stayed there in Oct. 2013 I don't think I saw one Brackers working there!!!

      • Garfield says:

        My family stayed at the hotel ast year and must agree that doubt any Caymanians worked in the hotel.

        I concluded that most of the Alexander staff were from the Philippines and were very nice to us.

        Philippinekind in the Brac.

         

         

    • Anonymous says:

      I doubt any Brac'rs wanted to work there anyway when they get more from Social services and owner probably couldn't pay what they would want with the hotel losing money..

  51. Anonymous says:

    This is certainly not a surprise.  Here you have a businessman who does not have the funds to properly develop a marina.  The stench from the pond was there a long time before the Alexander – what genious would build a hotel on an interior piece of land?  

    If any marina is to succeed on Cayman Brac, it would have been built year ago by the prominent persons who have the money and political influence.

    Since the visiting small cruise ships are using Scott's Dock, common sense will tell you that is the best alternative. By the way #2 – proceed with caution with proposed Marina just West of Scott's Dock 

    Marina on Brac is not an economically feasible idea for private investment -that is reality.

    Good Bye Alexander Hotel

  52. anonymous says:

    No great loss to be honest.

  53. Anonymous says:

    The ultimate economic blackmail card. If we don’t get what we want we’ll close it down. Watch the politicians come running to “help”.

    But consider that Little Cayman Beach Resort, Conch Club, The Club and Southern Cross Club over on Little Cayman are all located adjacent to a “stinky pond” and have no problem filling their rooms.

    Why? Because they are also on the beach and their dive based clientele could not care less about the odorous pond on the other side of the road, apart from appreciating its status as a wildlife reserve.

    The Alexander owners built on the wrong side of the road (ie away from the beach) and now expect the taxpayers to effectively bail them out.

    I hope Moses has enough sense to see that this marina (ie quarry) plan is a disaster in the making and supports the alternative schemes on the northern side instead.

  54. Anonymous says:

    Sounds suspiciously like a ruse to try to influence the approval process.  Enough public funds are wasted on the Brackers.  If there are no jobs there then there are planes leaving daily to Grand Cayman where there a many available jobs.

  55. Anonymous says:

    Unfortunately I see this as a stink move by the Dilberts to force Government's hand.  If you need to close SO BE IT but do not blame it on the Marina and the Environmental Assessment and blah blah blah.  I always stay at Brac Reef Resort anyways.  Nicer atmosphere and no smell as well as better ran facilities.

  56. Anonymous says:

    more to this than meets the eye.

    • Anonymous says:

      Rumour has it that the Government will now purchase the property (at a much inflated price of course) and convert it to Ju Ju's Hurricane Hylton, assylum for direlict politicians.