Tourism open for business

The Cayman Islands tourism product sustained little or no damage in Hurricane Dean and hotels are open or preparing to welcome the tourists back later this week.

‘At the Hyatt Regency guests will be returning to the hotel on Thursday,’ said Diego Concha, general manager. ‘We are using the opportunity to really spruce things up a bit. There was some salt spray so we are power washing to get rid of that salt and also some leaves blew into the pool, so as a precaution we have emptied it and it will be completely clean and ready to go when our guests arrive.’

A number of hotels started accepting guests on Tuesday, the day after Hurricane Dean passed by; these included the Westin, Comfort Suites, Sunshine Suites, Cobalt Coat and Compass Point.

The Grand Caymanian Resort, which is located on the North Sound, is hoping to be open on Wednesday said Don Foster.

‘Timeshare people generally have a specific week and many of them are still hoping to get something out of it. If the visitors can make it down to Cayman on Wednesday they still have Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday to enjoy their vacation, so for them it’s still worth it.’

At the Grand Cayman Marriott, Mr. George Evans Sr. was cleaning up some electrical items that he said may have been exposed to a bit of spray, but said overall the property sustained very little damage.

‘It’s just a matter of cleaning up some sand that got blown up on the patio and maybe a few carpets got wet, that’s about it. We are going to have a staff meeting, but people are talking about Friday.’

At the Ritz Carlton, General Manager Chris Sariego said there was no damage. ‘We held back opening on Tuesday, because we wanted to be absolutely sure we could deliver the very high standard of service expected at a Ritz property, we are already honouring reservations that were booked at an earlier date and we are taking new bookings for Friday.’

The North Sound Boat Operators who had sought refuge for their vessels in protected hurricane holes and sheltered waterways, had moved back into normal positions in places like Safehaven by Tuesday morning and were ready to start taking people out to Stingray City and the Coral Gardens.

The owner of Café Del Sol Café, Marek Bradbury believes he may have been the first one open on the beach, ‘we opened on Monday afternoon, before the gas stations.’ Most of the other restaurants on the Seven Mile beach and in the capital George Town were open on Tuesday night.

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