Cayman Brac should be ready to welcome back tourists around the middle of next month.
During the recent sitting of Finance Committee in the Legislative Assembly, Minister for Tourism Charles Clifford discussed the issue with MLA Moses Kirkconnell.
‘We appear to be almost there,’ he said. ‘It would appear we would be in a position to open Cayman Brac by mid-April.’
Cayman Brac has been closed to tourism following the near passing of Hurricane Paloma on 9 November last year with 145 mph winds and storm surge. Most buildings on the Brac were damaged and some totally destroyed.
‘This is a matter of some urgency,’ Mr. Kirkconnell said about reopening the Brac to tourism.
Minister Clifford said the Department of Tourism and the Ministry of Tourism want ‘certain benchmarks’ to be met that include about 20 per cent of all hotel rooms being available; making sure public beach facilities and restrooms are presentable; and making sure dive sites are in a decent condition.
Mr. Kirkconnell said that the Cayman Breakers Condominiums are available for rent, and that Mango Manor is available, while developer Cleveland Dilbert’s hotel, The Alexander Hotel, is due to open in a few weeks’ time.
Speaking over the phone this week, Mr. Dilbert said the various inspections for his hotel are being worked on currently and then they’d be set to open.
‘We’re just about done and once the inspections get done, we’d probably fall in line with opening around mid-April,’ he said.
The 20,000 square feet development with 33 bedrooms is overlooking Salt Water Pond in the south western end of the island.
Mr. Kirkconnell also complained about the lack of flights available to the Brac.
‘We’re suffering. It is extremely hard to get on [Cayman Airways] Express. There’s more demand at certain times of the day than there is supply. The service has to be improved for us to go forward.’
Mr. Clifford said they would look at flights to see if demand warranted an increase.