Today’s Editorial December 16: Putting on the Ritz

The big day for management and staff at The Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman has finally arrived.

The upscale resort opened its doors to a few hundred lucky guests yesterday as it officially opened for business.

Business at The Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman, means good things to everyone who lives, works and plays in the Cayman Islands.

The resort will bring in a class of clientele rarely seen in the Cayman Islands.

These guests will bring with them vast amounts of disposable income that will be deposited in the country’s shops, restaurants and at attractions.

It is estimated that the total economic impact the project will have on Grand Cayman will be more than US$500 million.

That includes revenue from staff spending and purchase of Cayman products to stock the hotel.

The impact to the entire Cayman Islands is US$9.4 million a year 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 a year.

That’s a lot of mullah.

In addition to pumping so much revenue into the economy, The Ritz is now the second largest employer, behind only the Government.

Many of those employees are Caymanians.

It is the goal of the Grand Cayman resort to hire more locals and properly train them.

While The Ritz means extra revenue for the country, it has also shown that it is a good community steward.

Following Hurricane Ivan, Ritz employees turned to their West Bay neighbours to offer assistance in the form of new roofs.

The company did far more for folks who had suffered at the hands of Ivan by bringing in needed supplies and making sure they were given to those in the most need.

Part of the post-Ivan help in the form of more than $300,000 went to after school programmes that were seriously impacted by the hurricane.

The resort is also opening doors for Caymanian artists. Who knows which influential guest may take a liking to those artists and help thrust them into the international spotlight.

Above all, having The Ritz-Carlton open its doors in the Cayman Islands means this country has been thrust into an elite limelight.

The Cayman economy suffered much following Hurricane Ivan, especially because we didn’t have any tourists.

Now potential visitors will hear about us through corporate Ritz and the number of stay-over guests is sure to increase.

The Department of Tourism can surely delight in this, as it has been a major goal to get more people to not just visit the Cayman Islands, but to stay here for their entire vacation.

Investing in The Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman was a wise move.

Frankly, we’re glad they’re here.