If anyone had their doubts that The Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman, would put a feather in the cap of the Cayman Islands, all misgivings should now be gone.
A star-studded weekend, the likes of which the Cayman Islands has never seen, helped put this country on the international map.
The Ritz held a private black-tie affair featuring Tony Bennett Friday night and wowed a few hundred invited guests with a concert Saturday night by Sheryl Crow.
NBC Today show’s weather guru Al Roker could be seen in the crowd Saturday night.
When heavy hitters like those people return to their homes or continue on to special engagements and concerts, the good words they spread about the Cayman Islands and the new Ritz will be priceless.
You just can’t buy that kind of publicity.
The opening of the newest resort has and will put the Cayman Islands on par with some of the most prestigious addresses in the world.
The opening couldn’t have come at a better time as Grand Cayman is still trying to recover from Hurricane Ivan in 2004.
The disposable income that Ritz guests bring with them will remain in this country in the tills of retail establishments and indeed in our own Government’s coffers.
We’ve already seen monetary benefits of the $500 million Ritz-Carlton: It has already contributed $59 million in direct Government revenues.
Even those who never step foot in the Ritz will be impacted in some way by the Ritz Carlton and those who come to Grand Cayman to play there.
The Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman, has the potential to help the tourism market here grow by leaps and bounds.
In the end, any celebrity brought here who has a positive experience while in the Cayman Islands can and will be the best form of advertising for us all.