Dart to lease beach bar till new resort opens

| 30/03/2011

(CNS): Following the recent purchase by Dart Realty of more than one hundred acres of land from Stan Thomas along the West Bay Road, including the former Courtyard Marriott site, the firm says it will be more than 18 months before the new resort planned for the site opens. As a result, Blossom Estates Ltd, a new company formed by Dart which now owns the former Marriott, will be leasing the site’s beach bar. The Gecko Bar, which is sandwiched between Calico Jacks and Tiki Beach, will be available to a local operator to run on a one year lease. The opportunity to submit proposals ends today but the developer said it is already examining nine different potential ideas for the bar submitted at a recent open house.

Dart says it is committed to redeveloping the hotel and is currently undergoing feasibility studies. The firm has denied signing any official MOU with government in connection with the proposed development, but the premier has said that his government is prepared to move the road for the developer so the new hotel will be a beach front resort.

In the meantime, the developer says the first step is to clean up the site and a liquidation sale of the remaining furniture, fixtures and equipment will be held this weekend. But with 18 months before the new hotel will be a reality, Jackie Doak, Chief Operating Officer for Dart Realty, said the beach bar offers a great opportunity for a short term business to utilize the beautiful location on Seven Mile Beach and address the dilapidated site.

“Anyone walking the stretch of Seven Mile Beach between Calico Jacks and Tiki Beach will have noticed the dilapidated state of the Gecko Bar … The property closed after Hurricane Paloma hit in 2008 and since then it has become an increasing eyesore and public safety hazard,” she said. “We anticipate being able to commit to a year term at a minimum for the interim use as eventually the beach bar will once again become one of the amenities of the future hotel operations.”

“Dart is committed to being a strategic partner to the Cayman Islands and assisting the government with the short term economic turnaround as well as playing a significant role in the long term economic sustainability of the country,” said Doak. “The addition of a new beachfront bar and restaurant and ultimately a new hotel will enhance the overall tourism experience for visitors to the Cayman Islands, and create jobs and other opportunities for Caymanians and other residents.”

Anyone interested in finding out more about the Gecko Bar Request for Proposals or the Liquidation Sale can contact Naomi Mitten at 640-3644 or Naomi.Mitten@drcl.ky. The liquidation sale starts at 8am Saturday and continues Sunday.

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  1. Soon Come says:

    All of the little road inlets past Tiki Beach towards WB that you used to be able to park in and camp in are now blocked by steel posts.

    Just hidin’ and watchin’ here and there ain’t nothin’ you can do about it. Mac has you covered

  2. Anonymous says:

    When Stan Thomas started his land buys, his clearly stated intention was to move the road around behind Courtyard Marriott.. up for quite some distance towards West Bay…. not just a couple of hundred of yards.

    He then offered landowners in the area prices for their land above market rates, but below the rate the land would be worth if and when he could get the road moved.

    The equation for those who sold land was… a good price now, or a great price.. when ? 10 years ? 20 years ? How long would it take for the Cayman people to accept losing the last strip of the drive in from West Bay where they could see the ocean ?

    Years passed, nothing happened… then at Cayman Business Outlook this year, Mac announced the Dart purchase of Stan Thomas’ land… AND that he would arrange for the road to be moved. He said it then, yet so many of the commenters seem to think this is new news ? 

  3. Anonymous says:

    Photos of some of the available inventory are located at http://www.flickr.com/photos/liquidation2011/

  4. Anonymous says:

    Have you seen the state of that piece of property? It is run down, and for the most part almost falling into the sea. Is the new lessee supposed to pay for the refurbishment of this space? Won’t they just be the lucky ones for one year? Just get your business going and oh! extra sorry! your lease is up!

  5. Worried Caymanian says:

     Well I hope that in this deal with Dart the Public beach is going to be kept as a ‘Public Beach’. Come on Mr Dart, come out and say this !!

  6. MACMAN says:

    If I remember correctly there was another (Caymanian) developer who wanted to "move" South Sound Road. He got no where but then maybe as he is also a realtor there would have been no "financial gain" for certain other realtors XXXXX.

    • Anonymous says:

      The difference is that moving South Sound road would end up helping the land owners pocket and would then give the ‘entitled, rich few’ beautiful beach front lots. Moving West Bay Road will allow an amazing beach front hotel to be developed and this investment in the Caymanian tourism industry, which is pretty stagnant right now, will be a huge boost for the entire country in terms of economic trickle down/through….

      • Anonymous says:

        er, no….the difference b/n moving SS Road and moving this particular piece of WBR is simply that it’ll benefit just one person, Dart….his below-market purchase of all this land was simply a play to see it hugely increase with a deal to move the road…..but who cares anyhow…..give it 20 years, that entire place will be under water with the rising sea levels…..good luck to them

        • Anonymous says:

          So are you saying it was better to leave the land in its current state, with the previous owner who never came through on any of his plans even before he went bust?

  7. URFull o' Sh!te says:

    I thought the purpose of the bypass was to alleviate morning and evening traffic for West Bay?
    If there is one road, aren’t we back to square one?

    • Anonymous says:

      Well said… Just the other day when the volleyball tournament was on and the road was closed, the bypass was like a racetrack… the road was put there to ease the WB traffic… and it does – so why on earth would we even consider undoing this. Its beyond madness..!!

  8. Tiger Blood says:

    As some people are far too ignorant to think past the first line they read, let me at least attempt to enlighten them a little.

    As it will likely become the focus of this thread, let’s focus on the proposed movement of the road.

    Will this be of benefit to the developer? Of course it will, why else would they want to do it?

    Could this benefit the Public Beach area? – Why yes it could, imagine that. Anyone who drives past that area on a regular basis can see clearly that the sand naturally pushes up towards and in to the road at times. The movement of the road will likely result in the deepening of the beach. Nobody wants to try to take away the public beach from the people, this proposal will in fact enhance it.

    Could this possibly make the junction of West Bay Road and the bypass road more functional and in fact considerably safer? I do believe it could by golly! Might it lead to the eventual extension of the bypass road? Perhaps!

    Imagine that. The developer wins, the people win, heck even the Government might win this time.

    Charlie Sheen would be very happy with this proposal and so should you.

    Everyone’s a winner!


    • The Original Anon says:

      Sorry, Tiger Blood- I guess most of us go right to the bottom line- this bulls**t plan makes the developer very happy. Period.

      • Lachlan MacTavish says:

        The problem as I see it is that this is another Government proposed real estate deal. Is the by pass a good idea for Cayman. I believe it is. The developer will be improving Cayman’s stay over tourism possibilities which is something I strongly believe in. He should be given every opportunity IMHO to develop a great resort.

        The sour taste in everyone’s mouth could possibly come from the fact that this private project like so many others in the past seems to benefit some people in elected office.

  9. Anonymous says:

    Moving the road seems an interesting project. Will Mckeeva lift up up one end, and Cliney the other? Eugene and Rolly in the middle and away they go, moving the road!!!

    What they really mean is that they will close that portion of Seven Mile Beach Road and construct another road on the east side to the building, bringing it nearer to the existing bypass road or even merging it into the bypass.

    This is preposterous!! Will West Bayers stand for this? Will the rest of Caymanians stand for this? What more are they willing to move or give away or sell for this man? Are our very souls next? Or perhaps the Public Beach?

    Why can’t we just accept that there are some things in this Country that are not to be changed and the current alignment of Seven Mile Beach Road should be one of them. After all the road was there before he purchased the property. Let Dart dig a tunnel under the road if he wants unimpeded access. That should be easy to do if they use the same mad idea as dredging the North Sound. Send the dredge to dredge a tunnel under the road!!!

    Or maybe McDredge and his three fries could “move the building”. One on each corner and a one, two, three “LIFT”. That should do it!!!

    This must stop and Mckeeva and his cronies MUST GO!!!!

    • Lucy G says:

      the current alignment of West Bay Road sucks big time, imagine that our tourists could wander freely from hotel to hotel, and restaurant to restaurant without having to face the gauntlet of crazy drivers that speed up and down there every day? It would be a fantastic experience for them – the bypass if vastly under used from Camana Bay onwards towards West Bay.  (only my opinion of course).

      • Anonymous says:

        Lucy G – And for the comfort of the tourist, residents of West Bay get to sit in traffic for 2-3 hours each morning trying to get to George Town for work. Not to mention the tourist trying to get to the Turtle Farm and other tourist sites in West Bay.
        Cayman needs two roads from George Town to West Bay otherwise we have major trafiic problems. Moving the road east of the hotel is workable but they dont have much space to work with as I feel we need to seperate the roads.
        PS wasn’t the bypass eventually planned to go right into West Bay?

        • Anonymous says:

          There are not two roadsgoing to West Bay – there are two roads going as far as Tikki Beach – please explain to me how making the integration into one road 500 yards further down the street is going to have this oh so horrific impact on congestion?

    • Anonymous says:

      we nah stand… we lie down…face down!

  10. Anonymous says:

    Nice spin onmaking money by renting a property.  They’ll most likely force the renters to buy from their distributors like they do with Tiki Beach to force out competition.  Nice way to help the local residents there too I guess.

  11. PUZZLED says:

    Why would you spend money doing it up, establishing a clientele only to have it taken away?

  12. URFull o' Sh!te says:

    “..the premier has said that his government is prepared to move the road for the developer so the new hotel will be a beach front resort.”

    Please!! We cannot let this happen!! This is NOT a good idea for the rest of the population.
    Someone needs to help me understand why this would be a good thing.

    How do the people West Bay feel about this?

    We already joke about having to take your passport and get a visa to get there as it is…

    • Anonymous says:

      Surely it would only be the section of road between the hotel and the beach? For the tourism industry this could be very important thing. Throughout the Caribbean our competitors are seeing new investment of hotels and tourism product. What do we have in Cayman? Nothing but promises so far … can you say Four Season, Mandarin Oriental?? The ability to develop the old Holiday Inn/Marriot is only attractive to someone who knows the businesses IF they are on the beach. Not across the road from it – so by moving that one, small section of the road Cayman can have a new hotel which will give the tourism industry some much needed, and long promised new product to sell. This move is not for me or for you – rather for tourism and the future of tourism.

      • Anonymous says:

        It states that they are diverting the road. No matter how big or small the section, the entire line of traffic would be diverted around to the bypass causing congestion.

        The bypass was created to ease traffic and try to take the bulk of thru traffic off of SMB…. I thought.

        • Lucy G says:

          okay, so the bypass and West Bay Road will converge at Public Beach (Governers Harbour link road) instead of at Tikki Beach – not sure I understand how that’s going to cause more congestion.  The main thing causing congestion on the island is too many people doing one people journeys not the road layout. 🙂

    • Anonymous says:

      It was the people of West Bay who voted McKeeva in, which eventually led to this!

    • Anonymous says:

      If a developer wants a beach front property – then he should buy a beach front property and NOT buy a non beach front property and then expect the beach to move.

  13. Anonymous says:

    thats very nice of Dart to allow some schmuck to commit to investing in a bar for a whole year..365 days….wow…..and 9 people have approached them? there’s one born every minute….

    • Anonymous says:

      Well, its still a year of income atleast:
      you see UDP create any jobs yet for Cayman’s unemployed?

      the UDP economic stimulus was more of a tickle!

      discount on turtle meat and lifting visas for jamaica…did I miss it or are lots of jamaicans coming to cayman to shop?

      • Anonymous says:

        LMAO – Whilst I appreciate that was probably sarcasm, what’s there to shop for?  We have no diversity in terms of consumer goods and services, the nation’s capital is a Ghost Town; the nation lacks a town centre bustling with bars, restaurants, coffee shops/cafes, market stalls, large plazas selling a diverse and plentiful supply of food and clothing, in the day, and bustling with night life on a night.  Instead our visitors are expected to travel from one end of the island to the other to buy odd crappy items at ridiculously inflated prices.  Yeah the Cayman Brand is really doing well nuh true???

      • Anonymous says:

        Income comes after you’ve covered your costs to get it up to some workable condition, and we’re coming into slow season now.  

    • Anonymous says:

      366 days actually, you must have been born but minutes ago.

      Who’s the schmuck now ?

      • By my schooling there is 365 days in a year and 366 in the leap year , who’se the SCHMUCK now.

        Us, you, me and every true born Caymanian,the people of Cayman for allowing one foreigner to buy up so much land.

        This is ridiculous and we are paying for it right now, we cant walk the beach like we used to, we cant listen to our music because it doesnt have a foreign label, so you see we are out numbered and done with. I pray that the government and the people do not allow this man to purchase any more property here.What will our children & grand children do 20 years from now.

        I saw it coming and im scared.