Today’s Editorial December 04: Little Cayman makes the rebound

It looks like Christmas will be merry – at least economically – for Little Cayman after all.

Too bad we can’t say the same thing for Cayman Brac.

While some of the resorts on Little Cayman are still missing land telephone lines, they have power and are welcoming guests with open arms.

Both Little Cayman and Cayman Brac were pummelled by Hurricane Gustav in August and Hurricane Paloma in November.

While Little Cayman received more damage from Gustav than from Paloma, Cayman Brac received the brunt of damage from Paloma.

Unfortunately the resorts on the Brac received so much devastation that they can’t reopen for High Season.

But Little Cayman can, and has.

The majority of tourist destinations on Little Cayman are doing a brisk business and bookings are solid for the rest of the year.

It’s exactly what Little Cayman needs to help get the economy there kick started.

Little Cayman’s economy depends heavily on the tourist resorts. They provide jobs for just about everyone on the smallest of the Cayman Islands and without them the Island becomes stagnant.

We have to give kudos to the resort owners, management and staff for getting to work quickly to fix the minor breaches Hurricane Paloma caused on the buildings that house and feed our tourists.

At least one resort – The Southern Cross Club – learned an expensive lesson from Hurricane Gustav. As Hurricane Paloma approached staff removed the planks from the resort’s dock, which was badly damaged during Gustav. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, as they say.

By doing this, Southern Cross Club was able to get back on its feet more quickly after Paloma and resume its boating operations.

The resorts on Little Cayman are also in the unenviable position of taking in guests who had been booked at resorts on Cayman Brac; unenviable because Little Cayman doesn’t want to compete with the Brac for the tourist dollar. But at least the tourists are staying and keeping their dollars in the Cayman Islands instead of choosing another Caribbean destination, which would have been an easy thing for them to do.

Really the only remnants of Gustav and Paloma on Little Cayman are the odd shingle on the ground or in the water and the many downed power poles. Other than that, life has pretty much returned to normal on Little Cayman.

We will be happy when we can write the editorial giving the resorts on Cayman Brac kudos for their recovery and reopening to visitors.

Both Islands desperately need the tourism dollar. Little Cayman has shown that getting back up and running is possible.

It’s just going to take a little bit longer for Cayman Brac.