Cayman Brac Developer Cleveland Dilbert hopes his project The Alexander Hotel can open by the end of this month, or at the latest by mid-March.
‘It’s getting close,’ said Mr. Dilbert, a born and raised Bracker. ‘We’ll be finished construction but we need to get it inspected and passed also, which I don’t have control over,’ he said.
Inspections include fire, public health, electric and plumbing, along with licensing from the Department of Tourism.
The 20,000-square-feet development overlooks Salt Water Pond at the southwestern end of the Island.
The hotel has 29 one bedroom units and two two-bedroom units; each boasting a kitchenette and a bathroom.
Other features of the hotel include a bar overlooking the pond and a swimming pool.
When it opens the new development will be the only hotel open on the Island.
On 9 November Hurricane Paloma hit Cayman Brac with 145 mph winds and storm surge. Many buildings on the Brac were damaged and some destroyed.
The 41-room Brac Reef Beach Resort was damaged extensively and it probably won’t open until summer. The exterior walls are still missing from much of the building, but the bar and restaurant are open.
The only damage sustained to Mr. Dilbert’s hotel was the loss of roof shingles and a couple of windows.
The new hotel was to be called the West Inn Hotel, but Mr. Dilbert changed it to The Alexander to name it after his father.
A manager and assistant manager have been hired – both Brackers – with Sidney ‘Jackie’ Ebanks in the top position.
Staff will number at least 20, Mr. Dilbert said.
Mr. Dilbert said he is not concerned about the US recession’s impact on the hotel.
‘I think business will still be good,’ he said. ‘This is the only hotel that will be operating on the island for a while.’
Hotel prices will start between $100 and $125 a night per room. A mixture of international tourists and domestic tourists is anticipated.
‘The only thing that I see that’s keeping the tourists from being here is somewhere to stay,’ he said.
Sister Islands MLA Moses Kirkconnell said he had been told by tourism officials that inspectors are assessing Cayman Brac and looking into when the Island will be reopened to tourism once more.
The Island now has safe roads, running water and electricity.
But some of the tourism products such as the nature trails and parrot reserve are not ready, he said.
He said the underwater world will befit for diving once Mr. Dilbert’s hotel opens.
‘I assume that when Cleveland’s hotel opens that the Island will be open to tourists at that point,’ he said, noting that safety is a priority.
‘If it’s marketed so that people get to know what they can expect, then there will be no problem,’ he said. ‘We have to start attracting tourists back.’
He said condo complex Brac Caribbean will not be open for about nine months while Carib Sands Beach Resort is about three months away from reopening. Carib Sands Phase Three, which is in the process of being built, could be ready by the end of this year.
Another condo development that has been delayed by Hurricane Paloma is new complex Kings Point Towers.
Mr. Kirkconnell said that if the scheduled direct jet service between the Brac and Miami comes online, not only will the Brac have new and improved product but some diversification.