With the Ritz Carlton Grand Cayman less than a month away from opening, the luxurious resort has already contributed economically and socially to the community of Cayman, according to Vice President and General Manager Jean Cohen.
The resort is to open its doors to guests on 15 December pending approval from Government which will need to grant the occupancy permit.
The hotel, which will be the second largest employer after government (with 1,000 employees), will also have contributed in excess of $136 million in direct revenue to the Cayman Islands Government by the time it opens, said Ms. Cohen. Some of this revenue includes money given for planning, stamp duty for residential sales, duty on items brought into the country, and for work permits.
Ms. Cohen cites the total economic impact the project will have had on the island to exceed US$500 million by the time it opens its doors. This includes revenue from staff spending and the local purchases of items to stock the hotel, she said.
And in the long term the Government will reap the yearly benefits of US$9.4 million in direct government revenues through resort, golf and real estate operations. The total direct and indirect impact the resort has on the local economy will exceed $121.5 million for each year, comprising more than seven per cent of the country’s gross domestic product, she said.
Another priority for the Ritz Carlton Grand Cayman is supporting Cayman’s children, she asserts, backed up by the following data.
In the past 14 months its ladies and gentlemen have donated in excess of $300,000 to fund the after school programmes that were severely affected by Ivan.
Approximately $90,000 is being distributed this week through United Way International to continue funding George Town Primary’s Extended Care Programme and The Ritz Carlton Grand Cayman is going to make its Ambassadors of the Environment by Jean-Michel Cousteau programme available to local children through the government schools.
The Ritz Carlton is also ensuring that the resort has a distinctly Caymanian ‘sense of place’ and, as a result, a wide range of Caymanian artists and business people will benefit. Some examples of this include:
Art work has been purchased from both amateur and professional Caymanian artists. For instance, the work of Al Ebanks has been purchased for the hotel’s permanent collection.
Operating supplies are also being supplied by local artisans and Ms. Annalee Ebanks of Cayman Brac has been working for a year to supply the hotel with hand thatched hampers, baskets and trays.
All local artists will have the opportunity to sell their paintings and sculptures through The Gallery at The Ritz Carlton Grand Cayman with a generous commission.
Local artists and artisans will be hired from Cayman Traditional Arts to practice their craft through the Ambassadors of the Environment Programme.
Caymanian musicians are to be hired to perform at the hotel’s outlets and for group visitors.
The hotel emphasises that wherever possible, local businesses will be patronised. For instance, Executive Chef Eric Scuilller has developed menu items for seven Prime Cuts & Sunsets Steakhouse specifically around Vanessa and Monique Pollack’s Cayman Sea Salt, a product that will be featured in the hotel’s retail outlets.
‘We’re excited and delighted to welcome the ladies and gentlemen of Cayman to find a new home away from home at the Ritz Carlton Grand Cayman,’ said Ms. Cohen.