Port deal teeters on brink

| 01/12/2010

(CNS): The chair of the Cayman Port Authority said Tuesday evening that speculation over a collapse of the cruise berth negotiations between government and the developer was not accurate but admitted that negotiations were very sensitive. Stefan Baraud said that despite the challenges DECCO was still at the table and involved in the process. In the face of rumours that government was examining options to the DECCO partnership, Baraud said there was a lot of work to do but thedeveloper, government and the Port Authority were all still talking. He said that they were examining the business case presented by the Camana Bay developer over the lease length on the upland part of the project.

Although the port chair said he could not reveal the details of the negotiation stumbling blocks, he indicated that the main area of concern was the length of the lease. In the Legislative Assembly earlier this month the premier had pointed to the lease length as an area of contention when he said government was seeking the shortest time period possible and the developer the longest time possible, in a span of 20 to 99 years as set out the framework agreement.

Meanwhile, Baraud noted that negotiations with the cruise lines were still moving forward and Carnival Cruises had now made a proposal regarding the per passenger fee it was prepared to pay for the upgraded facilities. Royal Caribbean, he explained, the leading advocate from the cruise sector for the infrastructure improvement, was also close to supplying a figure.

However, Baraud pointed out that between the increase in fees from the cruise lines and the cost of the project there was still a significant financial gap that needed to be filled by the upland element of the development, which would ultimately offer the commercial profit for the developer’s investment.

In order for DECCO (aka Dart) to recoup that investment it needs to have access to the profits generated by the upland development, including the hotel, marina and shops, for a given period. Baraud explained that there were many elements to the negotiations on the optimum length of that lease, which is key to the projects future for all parties.

“The negotiations are sensitive but we have not parted company. DECCO is still part of those negotiations. There are many things to be considered and we are all still committed to working through the negotiations with a view to breaking ground on the project in the New Year,” Baraud said optimistically.

The port chair also admitted that he had not envisioned the magnitude of the legal work that would be involved in order to ensure compliance with the law during the early processes of the project, but regardless of the necessary bureaucracy, everyone involved was still working hard to achieve the common goal of creating modern cruise berthing facilities to boost the country’s tourism sector.

Baraud also stated that, as far as he knew, DECCO had completed the environmental impact assessment on the project, which was waiting to be submitted. He confirmed that once the EIA was handed over by the developer, in the interest of transparency the Port Authority would release the document to the public.

The development of cruise berthing facilities has been a key goal of the UDP government but the project has been controversial and plagued by speculation and rumour from the get go. While the chair told CNS that DECCO remains at the table, other sources close to government revealed that the length of lease requested by the developer is not unacceptable to the government, which is now examining the other proposals that were received when the requests for proposals were first made.

The cruise berthing facilities will be developed on land owned by the crown or, ultimately, the Caymanian people. As a result, the time period that the land in question will be leased to the cruise port developer is sensitive. Too long a period and it will be seen as a sale of the people’s property — a controversial political position — but on the other hand, offering too short a lease could undermine the feasibility of the project for the developer. This would also cause a political headache for government, which is relying onthe project to boost the country’s flagging local economy.

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  1. Say it Aint So! says:


    Its easy to stand back from a distance and criticize. The fact is both the chairman and the board along with their advisers; Attorneys, technical advisers – Marine and civil engineers and the team of accountants are in a tuff position. They have been asked to do a job with unrealistic guidelines. The government wants it all for nothing! No long term lease, no guarantees, all of the revenue must remain with government and the port. WOW!!!  If they pull this off they could have my vote. Good luck
  2. Anonymous says:

    Have the politicians even bothered to consult their specialist real estate team at lands & Survey? This is a specialist area and much of the negociations are about port operations which obviously sit with the Port, but the rest are with real estate, which despite their aspirations otherwise, sit with professionals in that field, not people who have residential property history and now are leading these negociations. If CIG is going to keep these teams, then they might as well use them in these neogications.


  3. AUTONOMOUS says:

    Stefan’s should offer to build the Port. He has the experience,  the ability, the right contacts and can raise the money. Someone has to do it so why not him?

  4. More Investment Options says:

    Why are we not looking at other ways to develop our important Public/Private projects?Forming a publicly owned company is not only a good idea it is in most cases the best idea.

    From Wikipedia:

    “A public company or publicly traded company is a company that has permission to offer its registered securities (stock, bonds, etc.) for sale to the general public, typically through a stock exchange, or occasionally a company whose stock is traded over the counter (OTC) via market makers who use non-exchange quotation services.

    Securities of a public company

    Usually, the securities of a publicly traded company are owned by many investors while the shares of a privately held company are owned by relatively few shareholders. The first company to issue shares is thought to be the Dutch East India Company in 1601.


    It is able to raise funds and capital through the sale of its securities. This is the reason publicly traded corporations are important: prior to their existence, it was very difficult to obtain large amounts of capital for private enterprises.

    In addition to being able to easily raise capital, publicly traded companies may issue their securities as compensation for those that provide services to the company, such as their directors, officers, and employees"

    The Pensions of all Caymanians are currently invested in Public Companies listed on US and International Stock Markets. And they are not making very much money in the process. Those foreign companies are using our money for development projects all over the world while we are starving for development and infrastructure support in Cayman.

    For some reason we think big projects have to be done by either government or the 2 or 3 big businesses investors in Cayman. That is not true. There is more money in Cayman than we can imagine, albeit offshore funds: For example Caymanian companies are the 5th largest holder of US government debt. Just behind China and Japan. Caymanians collectively also have a lot of investment power. It is just not being used for commercial business investments. Why do you think Real Estate is so over bloated? It is the only investment opportunity that Caymanians can see and understand.

    Why are we not investing these funds in Caymanian businesses? Dart is smart, he knows a good deal when he see one and where has he put a big chunk of his personal investment into Caymanian businesses. Strategically buying the best long-term monopoly-like positions that he can. Yet our pension service providers are placing our funds in the economy of other countries. Why is that? If we don’t believe in Cayman why are we so heavily invested in property? The more of our money that we invest in Cayman the more prosperous we will become. Maybe our service providers are just lazy, taking a % of the top for doing the easiest job in the world, giving our money to an index fund. Trust me there is not talent or genius involved in that activity. Look at you pension balance and tell me if it is outperforming the market. Not likely. Better to have those funds invested here. Liquidly is the only argument and that needs an equity market. So in a way our pensions are stuck behind the same restrictions that our Caymanian companies are.

    We need to scrap the 60% Caymanian ownership requirement for local operating companies. That antiquated rule has truncated our development and left the average Caymanian without a source of meaningful equity financing for his investment funding. It has been used by the few big players to their advantage, so they will try to protected it, but the Caymanian public is not benefiting at all.

    AS well intended as it seems, our “Cayman Angel Investors Network, (CAIN)” is pretty much useless. How many have tried that approach? A private club, not a solution.

    Why do you think all those Caymanian companies have sold out to Dart? They didn’t have any other choice. He was the only buyer around with a big chequebook. Did they get the best price? Not likely, there where no other buyers. What about all the older Caymanian business that have been built up over the last 40 years? Who are they going to sell to when the time comes? Many of them have just slowed down, closed their doors and retired.

    Yet with a real investment market here for they could have expanded and then sold to a Caymanian publicly traded company. And every Caymanian big or small could have purchased shares. Yes foreign investors could also purchase shares, why not we need their money, but they will always sell for the right price, that what a market is all about. Will they take over Cayman? Not likely they just want to make money. The people who want to own Cayman are already here.

    Idiocy is repeating the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result.

    Wake up Cayman, this is our future that we are talking about. Nominee directors and structural schemes violate the 60% ownership law all the time, to the advantage of a few. It is time to develop a new equity investment structure in Cayman. If not by adding Retail trading in local companies to our stock market then by establishing a sub-market like AIM in the UK.

    From Wikipedia:

    “AIM (Alternative Investment Market) is a sub-marketof the LondonStock Exchange, allowing smaller companies to float shares with a more flexible regulatory system than is applicable to the main market.”


    Time for a change

  5. Rafael says:

    Who is Stefan Baraud other than UDP’s G/Town district commitee’s chairman and please explain to the Cayman public what qualifies him to negotiate on our behalf and can we please see the minutes to these negotiations or meetings.

  6. Caymanian says:

    Is it possible that the Dock could be constructed elswhere on the Island, or is there a special reason why East End area was chosen?

  7. Ezzard Miller says:

    To poster 20:41 of 01/12 it all went horibly wrong from the "getgo" when DECCO was accepted as a bidder when the clearly did not meet the first and most important requirement of the advertisement for interest to design and build the cruise port;

    1. Must be able to demonstrate that the company has successfully completed project of simular size and scope.

    DECCO is a recenly established local company that has only constructed one dock, the pleasure boat dock behind Caman Bay.

    Secondly how could the Port Authority Board or the established subcomittee of the Board that includes three of the Governments backbench in the LA simply agree to convert DECCO to a developer of the Port and sign an MOU to that effect based on their advertisement.

    D. Ezzard Miller 

  8. Anonymous says:

    We have to be very careful of how we lease out government land. We leased outquarter mile of 7 mile beach (from Government House to Coralstone condominiums,including the Westin, Villas of the Galleon, Ritz from beach to north sound) in 1950 for 99 years and the lease still has 99 years to run. It seems as if every Government that is strapped for cash "renegotiates" a new lease on this property for two bucks and extends the time limit back to 99 years. Last time I checked on this we were being paid about ten dollars per year for quarter mile of prime 7 mile beach. Maybe CNS could do a story on this. Not too many people know that we own this land, not even most of our Legislators. 

    In other words once we lease out land it is gone forever.

    • Anonymous says:

      The Duke of Westminster is one of the richest men in the UK because of the property he owns in central London. I once watched a documentary on this, and basically they sell nothing, only lease it. So, when the next generation comes of age, they get the land back.

      The problem is not leasing land (such as Safehaven), but what you leased it for!

    • Anonymous says:

      "…every Government that is strapped for cash "renegotiates" a new lease on this property for two bucks and extends the time limit back to 99 years. Last time I checked on this we were being paid about ten dollars per year for quarter mile of prime 7 mile beach".

      I’m afraid I don’t follow the logic of your post. If the govt. is forced into extending the lease because it is cash strapped how exactly would $10 per year for 1/4 mile of prime 7 mile beach land help it?  Either your facts are incorrect or there is another reason for extending the leases. 


  9. Anonymous says:

    IT SEEMS THAT THINGS ARE NOT GOING WELL WITH DART(DECCO) This is a good for the people to who wants the build the port in east end to step up and build it in town.  the developer said that will biuld the dock and hand it over to goverment. if that is what he want to do, he can do cheeper in town    now step up and prove to the people that you only want to give goverment,and not to make a quarry to get fill for trhe dock that dart would build in town. prove us wrong

  10. McCarron M. McLaughlin says:

    Did everybody forget that the MOU with Dart has expired. This project is dying a slow death and the Premier doesn’t have the guts to tell Dart. Discussing length of time, give us all a break and just come out and say that the terms Dart is offering is just not suitable and that we won’t be able to work it.

    Lets be real if Dart gets control rights for all those proposed facilities for an extended period of time – what a crying shame that would be for the Caymanian, we wouldn’t be able to afford a bottle of water there. It’s crazy that this government would even consider anything over 15 years for Dart to recoup their investment – are they planning to hold this generation and the next hostage?

    CIG needs to talk with more suitable partners, for example the Chinese, they would be very interested in developing the cruise dock and at more favorable terms than dart I guarantee, and for sure they wouldn’t want control of hotel, dock, shops, etc, but we have people in power that would put everything else before the country and would prefer to line their pockets along with their cronies.

  11. Anonymous says:

    Where did it all go so horribly wrong?

    Cabinet approved the selection of DECCO Ltd. as the potential development partner to finance, design and build the cruise-berthing facility and cargo enhancement project,” Bush said at a press briefing on Wednesday morning. The LoGB explained that the cruise lines will also form part of the MOU as they will, in effect, be the client of the developer and the organisations that will ultimately pay for the project through extra fees over and above the passenger tax.
    It was also confirmed that government, DECCO and the cruise lines will, over the next few weeks, negotiate the exact terms of the contract to prepare for signing as soon as possible in order to allow construction to begin within the next few months.
    And we are supposed to believe this man when he says success in 15 days?
  12. Anonymous says:

    Does Stefan remember this interview from last year?

    The development of the multi-million dollar cruise berthing facility in George Town Harbour won’t cost the Cayman tax payer a single cent, the port boss has said. Stefan Baraud who was appointed as chairman of the port authority in the wake of the General Elections in May has been a driving force behind getting the facility built. With no money in local coffers, however, the goal has been to pay for the facility with outside finance, and Baraud promises that he and the committee he has been working with have achieved that goal. With four potential developers left in the running, the announcement will be made very soon and work could start within six months, he says…..
    “One of the man things is that the cruise berthing facility has to benefit Caymanians during its development, as well as once it’s constructed,” Baraud said. “Whoever wins the bid will be required to contract local people and firms to develop the land side.”….
    “This development will be at no cost to the Cayman Islands government; there will be no buy backs or 25 year leases as has been suggested,” he added. “The government is not giving any guarantees to anyone for this; it will be financed by private money and any suggestions that we will be paying down the line are nonsense.”
     I wonder if CNS could contact Stefan for an update, and perhaps an elaboration on some of those statements.
  13. Anonymous says:


    In Bermuda the ships dock on front street. the ships stay overnite, and become a floating hotel for the passengers, who come and go as they please, and returning to the ship to change clothes and sleep….
    the real revenue is derived from the fact that the passengers have  ample time to do more than one thing as they are staying overnite.
    i have cruised often, and stay away from cruises that do not offer overnite berthing….
    also, overnite berthing relieves the pedestrian traffic as the passengers have much more time on island, and therefore no mad rush whem the ships arrive….


  14. Anonymous says:

    I tought Caymanians had no where to go? 

  15. Anonymous says:

    Or perhaps they are Honduran, with sold Christian values and have not forgotten what it is like to treat people humanely. One can get citizenship within a year.  

    • Anonymous says:

      Sorry but who wants to go to Honduras?  If you did, you would already be there instead of complaining about Cayman.  And, no we don’t need to give every Tom, Dick and Harry citizenship.  Does the country where you come from do it?

      • Anonymous says:

        Newsflash. We have internet in Roatan. Be careful now, we let in a lot of Caymanians named Tom, Dick and Harry. And we love them.

  16. Anonymous says:

    Maybe Dart is a better Patriot than Bush. Ever think about that? Some people moved here for freedom. Freedom from paying taxes to governments who want to prop up ne’er do wells and inept politicians who fumble thier way through a myriad of flip flop policies and bureaucracyat the expense of the tax payer. This Island is Lucky for the contributions this man has made. Truth is Mr. Dart and his guys could run the island better. You have to run corporations right or you fail. All Governmentswould fail if they were corporations. It’s where you go TO GET a job. Most talent is in the private sector. Lord help those who can’t help themselves.

  17. anonymous says:

    It should be clear what is happening…1. the cruise lines are not paying enough to cover cost of piers (probably will not) 2. the Port Authority nor Government does not have any money to contribute. 3. The only way to fully pay for those piers is to add something out there that will generate money……Be that retail, entertainment, hotels, tours, mega yachts, offices, whatever.

    Do not really think it has much to do with control but more on how to make back the money He plans to spend. In terms of control he already owns the main stores on harbour front!

    these piers will never happen at this rate….say bye bye to the cruise trade.

  18. Ray says:

    Why is upland development needed? Does this not already exist? Why not just build the piers? That would be much less of an investment and therefore less needed in return. If this project proceeds with the referred to "upland" development actually on the dock, then I feel that many of the existing "inland" businesses will gradually die. This grandious scheme just appears to be a bid to corner most of the relevant business.

    • Anonymous says:

      The Law of unintended consequences has never been repealed.  When Mckeeva and his band gave Mr. Dart Status during the Gold Rush, we lost all ability to control what the billionaire could do in Cayman.  Mind you, whatever Dart has done, he has done well and signifcant benefits have accrued to Cayman as a result.  But like everything else, it comes at a price.  My problem with Dart is his seemingly limitless resources, XXXX and apparent desire to own Cayman and control its destiny.

      • Caymanians for logic says:

        Hmmm…your “problem with Dart” should be our pleasure. Many countries are wishing right now for that type of “problem”. If we can get one of the world’s most successful entrepreneurs to control our destiny I say go ahead- we would not likely have a $1,000,000,000 worth of debt now. Our own politicians have done that.

        • Anonymous says:

          You are one of those Caymanians who can only see $$$$. Nothing else matters. Your moniker should be ‘Caymanians for greed and stupidity’. Don’t you understand from his record that Dart is not a philanthropist? He would control our destiny for his benefit not for ours.

    • Anonymous says:

      Ray, I believe you may be right on this one. Just think what will happen to the Kirk Freeports, Island Companies and other smaller stores if DECCO is allowed to set up shops on the pier, limit the exiting tourist traffic from the pier, and "trap" the majority of tourists on the pier to shop mainly in their stores.



  19. mmmm... says:

    Mmmm does Mr. Dart want the whole country on a platter and you can’t control him…that sounds like it…good work UDP a step in the right direction…let not put all our eggs in one basket

  20. Anonymous says:

    Let’s also understand thay Dart is a major player in the Duty Free Industry,liquor ,perfume;cigars,jewelry,black coral,food concession,watches etc. His long term dream move all financial and non retail to his town and would lovr to take over Geogertown. I must applaud the Kirkconnel family for resisting those attemp even thou he is trying very hard to get certain brands that the family has owned for generarations. I say shame on most of the former 51% owners of Island Companies for letting it happen. Did you think he was going to lrt you have your cake and ear it too? Mr. Dart and his new crowmies do not yet understand the Cayman retail business but with his money I’m afraid it;s just a metter of time.That’s why it’s imperative that we form a futur Government that will have our Grandchildren at heart and something will be left for them. Good to hear from you Mr. Ezzard. XXXX

  21. Investment Options? says:

    Why not form a Public Caymanian Company to build the dock? Government owns a minority percentage and the Caymanian investing public all of the rest of the equity. After the LPO raises the initial capital and government kicks in the crown land for its share (or leases the property at favorable rates) the new entity borrows the additional funds needed to construct the project.


    Revenue is from the same sources as Dart is currently anticipating, the only difference is that the ownership is mostly in the hands of Caymanian investors. A good use for our otherwise useless stock exchange; stimulate our economy and expand the benefits to more Caymanians. With this scenario the development could also be structured to extend the tourist traffic throughout George Town so that the whole commercial district benefits, not just the properties currently owned by Dart and occupied by Island Companies.


    This would be a real company with a real board of directors, professional managed and independent of government manipulation and inefficiency. Once it is up and running the government or any other shareholder can sell their shares anytime they want.


    Same business as Dart is proposing but with different owners. In all likelihood he is going to leverage this investment by borrowing against its cash flow and projected earnings and subcontracting all of the work anyway. What makes Dart’s proposal so unique that it couldn’t be done by a publicly owned Caymanian company? Surely we have a lot of smart bankers, lawyers, and accountants that could put this investment concept together.


    Cronyism comes in many forms; always turning to the biggest investor in Caymanis not the best answer to our needs. Once we’ve figured out how to create an equity based investment model for our big projects we can get government out of the investing picture and let Dart seriously compete for the projects that he wants to invest in.

    • Anonymous says:

      I don’t think I read what the source of capital would be.  What lender or lenders are going to put up the funds secured by the dock and water.  You are in dreamland.  People and companies in Cayman at this moment in time cannot obtain an overdraft facility or loan and have problems financing small investments.  The only person capable of doing the project is Dat.  He is the only with with the resources, people and 200 million.  Expertise in this type of development can be bought just as he has and still does for Camana Bay.  As another writer posted ‘don’t look a gift horse in the mouth’ This could be the last chance.  No other Caymanian developer can do this project.  Another off shore company as second bidder to remove all profits elsewhere ?  Come on folks !  Waken up and see the light.  By the way I am a great fan of Ezzard but what is his entrepreneurial expertise with docks and duty free.  Maybe he could rent a small Pharmacy on the warerfront.  There is certainly room for negotiation but I can see two hundred million reasons to allow the developer some returns and for the project to proceed without further posturing and interference. 

      • Anonymous says:

        I think if Caymanians are made to see the benefits of a cruise dock that they would invest in it.

        I would not state that there is no Caymanian with the resources to fund the building of  the dock but may not be willing to invest that amount of money in one project.

    • anonymous says:

      Every single Caymanian of voting age would have to contribute US$15,000 to make this dream a reality.

      Not realistic in the slightest….not sure how many Caymanians have that lying around to risk to hurricanes, low cruise passenger counts, change of PA boards/governments, etc- better chance giving it to pensions!

      high risk project given the unknowns in this industry over the next 30 years, particularly inan industry that is only 30 years old.

    • Shock and Awe says:

      Why not form a Public Caymanian Company to build the dock? Government owns a minority percentage and the Caymanian investing public all of the rest of the equity.

      I like this proposal a lot.  Public ownership although it sounds like the bogeyman we have always been warned against. The bogeyman?  Socialism.

      Or worse collectivism.  But what we have never really questioned amongst the scare tactics is what are the advantages to what we have been led to believe as the only alternative? Capitalism, as derived from the neoliberal viewpoint, has not worked the way we were also led to believe. And told and sold it would.  In many cases, it has involved the accumulation, and concentration of what should ideally be public assets in the hands of corporations therefore it would be of huge advantage to take an opportunity such as this to re-examine how such projects can be funded in a more creative and beneficial way… outside of the box.  So that this generation and future generations will own at least a small part of their own country.  Excellent idea.

      And bye the way I don’t consider that socialism, it’s public ownership of a facility built on public land.

      Thank you Mr. Dart, but no thanks.

  22. Anonymous says:

    All of this once again shows to me that we do not need this port – we know too little about the impact on the environment and infrastructure and general well-being of those of us who live  here.  Direct  your attentions to another more reasonable way ot creating jobs and making money.

  23. Anonymous says:

    The land that is to be leased has correctly been described as Crown land and thus is owned by the Caymanian people.  Part of that land does not yet exist as it has to be reclaimed from the sea.  A bit harsh on the developer to ask him to reclaim the land then not permit him a reasonable length of time to receive a return on his cost of actually forming the land.  The existing property is not worth a lot to the Caymanian people in terms of income although it is obviously valuable for current operations.  After all the land lease is a small price to pay for a large investment which could save cruise ship tourism.  Lets face it Caymanians have already sold off their birthright by peddling prime beach property.

    Now the brains of the Port Authority, and Cabinet, the business gurus of the twenty first century led by our esteemed entrepreneurial premier is trying to be cute.  Very silly to look a gift horse in the mouth.  Lots of other islands to investigate. Or perhaps there is interference with the Port board.

    This country needs help and fast and this is one of two issues which require immediate action to develop tourism without being small minded.  The other of course is a proper airport with a longer runway.

    Mind you I hate to think what would happen if Government took over operation of the planned Port facilities such as retail, hotel etc.  Run by a cast of thousands, headed by the inevitable inept political appointee, accommodated in another office building, no accounts for years, profitable business run into the ground, shoddy upkeep of the landing  . . . . . . .  but lots of votes.



  24. Anonymous says:

    If the UDP hadn’t abandoned Charles Clifford’s plan we would have had one cruise berth finished by now and we would be able to accommodate the Oasis class ships which means we could have avoided the 25% decrease in cruise passengers next year which will primarily be caused by the Oasis class  ships bypassing Cayman due to the lack of cruise berthing. We would have also commenced construction by now on the new cargo dock to the north of the current dock and there would have been no need for the proposal for a East End dock which means Mr. Imparato would have had to come clean about his primary objective in East End which is a major quarry.

  25. anonymous says:

    We will soon be like the Bahamas late 1980s!

    Do the research.

  26. Ezzard Miller says:

    Inspite of the pronouncements of the Premier in the Legislative Assembly and the above statements of the Chairman of the Port Authority Board the rumors that DECCO has or at the very least has threatened to withdraw its proposals.

    In good old Cayman parlance "where there is this much smoke there has to be a fire somewhere".

    The normal practice in the tendering process for Government has been that when a contract cannot be signed with the number one or best bidder the Government entity is instructed to try and sign a contract with the second best bidder, rather than going to the expense of retendering the process.

    The difficulty seems to be that DECCO wants a longer lease meaning more profit and is using the negotiating tatic of termination to get what they want, therefore I propose that it is time for the Port Authority to use its "Key Card" to get the best deal for Cayman by starting discussions with the second biddder,

     Here I applaud the Port Authority Board if the information supplied to me by the EIU that the Board is in fact talking to the second best bidder, is true.

    Mr. Chairman, it is time to stop the speculation in the public tell us what DECCO wants, is it the unreasonable 99 years, and what the Port Authority is prepared to give. Is the Board talking to the second best bidder and who is the second best bidder.

    Does anyone know if it is true that the only dock built by DECCO is their pleasure boat docks at Camana Bay and that they have had to rebuild them because they were too low.


    D. Ezzard Miller

    • Anonymous says:

      Keep up the good work Ezzard. Your critics say that a very small number of North Siders put you in the LA; but you represent and speak for a LARGE number of Caymanians.

      In my opinion, what we are seeing here is the old Caymanian expression that was common back in the day when you and I were growing up, and that is "the chickens are coming home to roost".
      In August/September 2009 Stefan, the UDP proxy, decided to bypass the CTC and placed full page adverts in the local papers asking for "Expressions of Interest" in building a cruise ship pier to be sent directly to him as Chairman of the Port Authority Board.
      The word on the marl road was that it had already been agreed that it would go to Dart. Of course the marl road is not always 100% accurate, but it is always close, and as predicted a MOU was signed with DECCO as they had the expertise and the money, and the detailed contract would be fleshed out at a later date.
      Ostensibly, or so said the UDP supporters, the reason for this was because they needed to start building the cruise pier in January 2010 and the CTC process would have prevented a January 2010 start date.
      The esteemed Chairman of the Port Authority Board, having started negotiations with people very experienced at playing hardball, now finds himself in the embarrassing position of going back to those people who submitted “Expressions of Interest” more than a year ago to ask if they are still interested.
    • Anonymous says:

      Mr Miller, if your information is correct, perhaps these ‘other bidders’ could entertain public consultation before they progress to signing anything apart from a basic MOU with the Govt or PA?  there is no doubt that the Cruise berthing is essential for Cayman….but there is massive concern about what it is that will be built there, and who will have what rights to do whatever is to be done!

      reading all these posts, and the Press releases over the past year about this project, it is pretty apparent that the Port Authority is out of its depth, there does not seem to be anyone experienced to represent cayman in these dealings with either developers or the cruise lines…

      its very worrying that in times of financial crisis, we as a country so easily turn our back on a major-financial player in Dart……if dart is not to construct the berthing, we really need to ensure that we have someone else that can finance such a project…..dont misunderstand me, i too hold concerns over the extent, the breadth of the dart/decco plans…they seem counter-productive to bringing cruise passengers beyond the Port itself, meaning it seems as though they are intent on building another ‘roatan’ or similar cruise line destinaiton in which to keep everyone…..but they dont need to, because surely cayman has our own abundance of wonder and spectacle for cruise passengers to enjoy…Seven mile, stingray, east end (before its ruined), rum point, etc…..these are such places of stunning beauty…why trap everyone into a man-made coookie-cutter of a port?  as for a hotel, where else is there a hotel on a cruise port?? its all a bit odd…..one wonders about the insight….perhaps having so much money can be a negative too, in that the developer has nobody who says ‘no’ to them because we are so desperate.

      surely all we need to secure cruise visitation (which we must do, and must be the main focus) is to meet with the cruise lines, ask them what they want, and then find someone to build and finance it…..rightly or wrongly, despite Charles Cliffords contempt for them, the cruise lines ‘own’ the caribbean and it will never change……so surely the first thing we need to see are agreements, made public, with cruise lines that commmit to X # of passengers annually over X # of years if we as a nation build XYZ for and/or with them…….

      and sure, certain people will not end up having retail rights all to themselves, and others may  not be able to own the tour-trips, etc…..and the cruise lines will probably want part of eveyr dollar…….but part of some dollar is better than part of NO dollar…..

      if only we had a focused tourism minister who could take charge of this, and not leave such vital areas in the hands of unelected persons ….this is so important, this must be wide-open to scruitny before anything is ever signed.

      how difficult is that? 

    • Caymanians against crazy postings says:

      Let us see who can blink first…or WILL blink first and more importantly will suffer more.
      This anti-expat diatribe is pure politics and jealousy. Lets move on now.

  27. the consultant says:

     Can anyone tell me what does Mr. Baraud know about ports. Negotiations with the Cruise lines what a joke what negotiations Mr. Baraud could we have copies of these minutes of these meetings. For those posters threatening impending doom that tactic has never worked in Cayman.An Old Caymanian would know this! 

    • Anonymous says:

      I too have my concerns about the success of this very necessary infrastructure project because things have been very quiet. At the last presentation I was very impressed by the Government plans and by the way they were presented by Mr. Glidden.


      So far every time this project has been presented Mr. Glidden has done it and answered all of the questions, I find it a bit alarming that he has not commented on its status. Is he off of the project? I hope not and if he is still involved can he not answer the questions on where we are?

      Interesting times I would love to hear what he has to say after the presentation that was made, if they can’t reach agreement with DART then tell us why and whats the alternative if there is one. The last I heard was that DART wanted control for 99 years and that the Government was going to give it to them is that true?

  28. Paper Caymanian says:

     Our politician’s egos and greed will be our ultimate downfall.  After 17 years here, I’ve never seen such positioning.  

    I’m sorry, but the party system has done nothing but add cronyism and greed to our tiny island.  I would like to see the next election BAN the party system and go back to individuals representing their districts.

    People of Cayman, YOU gave these clowns the power.  I wish the crown would take over (and I am from the USA, not UK!)

    Let Dart build, we need him badly.  Thank goodness for Camana Bay…I’ll put my money with the billionaire, can we now pls get rid of the rest???

  29. Marek says:

    The cruise ship industry works on micro profits and counts every penny. They will go where they can pay the least and get the most.

    If we dropped the port charges we’d have six ships a day, seven days a week.

    The loss of income from port charges could more than be made up in other ways by the massive increase in tourist spending.

    If we wanted to, we could turn downtown into a seven day a week carnival (pardon pun) and the current rental rates for storefronts would look cheap.

    Sign the lease, get the deal done and lets start building something and while you’re at it… offer a cookie to the cruise ship industry to get them all excited about their future plans in Cayman.

    • Anonymous says:

      "If we dropped the port charges we’d have six ships a day, seven days a week.

      The loss of income from port charges could more than be made up in other ways by the massive increase in tourist spending".

      I doubt it. Anecdotally the average cruise ship passenger spends very little in Cayman. They mostly add to the congestion in GT and some use the cover of the masses to help themselves to items from the duty free stores.  We should first perform a cost-benefit analysis to see whether there is any merit in your proposal.

  30. PERRY SCOPE says:

    DECCO (aka DART) should stand down and focus on completing its project at Camana Bay where a Marina is a much needed asset to ensure the success of their visionary plans.

    Creating uplands, a marina, a water park and an hotel in George Town in this time of severe economic depression are unnecessary luxuries that we cannot afford. In any event a Marina situated at that specific location in George Town is not practical – ask any weatherman or seaman.

    So, Government don’t waste any more time. Hire a competent engineering company which has expertise in marine and port works to build for us the basic berthing piers that are so urgently needed in order that we can continue to compete for and receive cruise tourists.

    Tourism is broken – just build two piers.


  31. Say it Aint So! says:

    lets not loose another opportunity to build the port because of politics. The country needs this project. just get on with it!

    • Anonymous says:

      Bush, go to the Chinese and get $1 Billion .build the roads,Schools,Docks,Airport and additional gov’t buildings and pay it off in 50 years…Long term planning….

      • Anonymous says:

        You seem to have missed the part where we are not allowed to have any further borrowings without the UK’s consent. You can be absolutely sure they would not approve further loans for $1bn. You also miss the part where we have to pay interest on those loans and we are unable to meet our recurrent expenditure now. 

      • Caymanians against crazy postings says:

        GET A $1Billion?? the government cannot even pay salaries without borrowing (with UK permission). Get it from a private group or do without it. simple. That does not give us much bargaining strength.

        Really funny post. Clearly you do not understand the situation the country is in.

  32. Old Caymanian says:

    I think that modern times and greed have created a false sense of security and entitlement in the Caymanian people and it’s beureacrats..  What I mean is ..  in old times a person laying out large sums of cash on a speculative project expected to be compensated properly for that risk. Those times are here again folks.  The borrowing money and cheap interest rates are in a large sense over. We are a hurricane prone island surrounded by other opportunities (Jamaica, Bahamas, soon Cuba) all of which just need cash to be applied for the value to be unlocked.  We sit here grumbling over this and that, making it difficult for a would-be investor to profit. How quickly we forget the financial crisis which still surrounds us and which will soon be back with a vengeance.  Best give DECCO the concessions they need to profit before the opportunity slips between Cayman’s fingers.  A port provides many spin-off benefits to the local economy and arguing about the profit from hotels and concessions is just nuttin against the big picture. Let’s get this done NOW, for the sake of Grand Cayman and not look back. 2011 is going to be a horrible year with many crusie lines already announcing they’re pulling out.  Let’s give DECCO the profit they need to justify this project and build a better island for all of us in the process.

    • concerned CAYMANIAN MAN says:

      Take it for what it’s worth; no ONE investor must be in total control of any country since with the flick of a switch the whole island will shut down. It’s better to have 20 investors contributing $50 million than 1 investor contributing $1 billion. Just some food for thought to all you believers in DART! 

      • Anonymous says:

         You have to take what you can get when you can get it.  I don’t see investor’s lining up.

    • Anonymous says:

      I agree with Old Caymanian one hundred percent.  The time to act on this was five or more years ago, and any further delays will be detrimental to the economy.

    • Anonymous says:

      Don’t forget Roatan, Honduras.  Most of the 26% of cancelling cruise lines next year are going there.  Oddly enough, they are typically the biggest spending ships that come to Cayman.  So one could argue that we will have over a 50% reduction.  Why are they going there you ask?  Because they have the same sorts of attractions as Cayman, butthey also have not one, but too berthing facilities.  A tender boat is not something in their vocabulary.  They were thinking ahead.  Next year and the year after are going to be terrible years for cruise ship tourism.  And I also suspect for the years following a completed berthing facility.  The lines aren’t going to come back right away.  This island will soon reap something it doesn’t want to for their lack of preparation.  The trickle down effect from the lost tourism will affect all aspects and people on this island.

      • Anonymous says:

        Roatan also has a lower crime rate, lower cost of living, and welcoming people.  

    • Anonymous says:

      Your conclusion "Take on DECCO regardless of what they’re asking for it", correct?

    • Anonymous says:

      Be careful what you wish for, I agree that things should be open, transparent and fair in all dealings with Dart but don’t expect that they will have Cayman’s ultimate best interests at heart. They are in it to make money and nothing wrong with that as long as its not wrapped up in PR speak.

      I am pulling from small pieces of information in my head about this project so if I’m off base please let me know, but part of the deal is that Dart gets to keep all the berthing fees.  Based on $20 per heard at 1.5mio visitors per year and that works out to $30 mio per year that is not going into Government coffers and into Dart’s. If you invest $200 mio in building the port that’s a return on investment of 15% – excluding finance charges and lost oportunity costs.

      So the lease length of 20 years means Dart gets $600 mio back for a $200 mio outlay, a 99 year lease equates to $3 billion – and all that is assuming the berthing fees don’t go up.

      So how much is a justifiable profit?

      • Anonymous says:

        I think you have one of your numbers wrong. Not all the berthing fees…only those in excess of a certain passenger count. Are you kidding, I would build it for that kinda profit!

        • Anonymous says:

          Thanks for the comment, I told you I hadn’t researched it! Helps me sleep a bit better that the numbers aren’t so obscene as I imagined,

  33. Anonymous says:

    Can someone please let the public know who is doing the environmental impact assessment?  Are they environmental engineers, etc.?

  34. Anonymous says:

    good going cayman…..keep biting the hand that feeds you…….once dart gets fed up with your backwardness you’ll be back to the good ole days of ropemaking and turtling!

    • Anonymous says:

      Dart makes a lot more than what we think, he will not be leaving the Cayman Islands anytime soon.  Business in Business and if he does we will have a lot to gain.

    • Anonymous says:

      *Keep biting the hand that buys you 

    • Kmanlady says:

      And what is wrong with the old ways…maybe we will get back to our morals and principles for which today has been sold for the almighty dollar…Are you coming from the old days? if you did you  would know tha life was a lot better, safer even though we were poor…we had respect for one another…so don’t knock it if you don’t know it…