North Side will become a magnet for top-notch Hollywood stars with the opening of luxury detox centre in the Hutland.
Construction on the privately owned Hutland Drug and Alcohol Abuse Centre is expected to begin in June.
Philip McGlass, spokesperson for the developer, said the Hutland was chosen not only for the privacy offered by its remoteness, but for the fertile land there.
‘Our founders believe the act of nurturing a garden helps overcome the cravings of addiction,’ he said in an exclusive interview with the Caymanian Compass. ‘All vegetables and flowers grown at the clinic will be sold on in the local market under the label ‘Celebrities for Abstinence’. All profits from the sales will go to local charities.’
Mr. McGlass said Cayman would appeal to the stars because of its proximity to the US; its reputation for treating visiting stars with respect; and its temperate weather.
The detox centre will not actually treat alcoholism and drug abuse. It will employ counsellors, but not physicians. However, licensed local physicians will pay daily visits to the clinic to ensure the guests are in good health, McGlass said.
‘A detox centre is not supposed to treat addiction,’ he said. ‘It’s supposed to help the guests by reducing or relieving the symptoms of withdrawal caused by addiction. This is more of a first step in the long-term treatment plan of addiction.’
The standard stay at the clinic will be 21 days, Mr. McGlass said. Besides gardening, the celebrity guests will have several other group activities, including hiking, snorkelling, fishing and exercising.
‘The Cayman public will be interested to know the actors and actresses will also produce plays like A Streetcar Named Desire and Long Day’s Journey into Night, and perform them for the public. The proceeds earned for these performances will also be donated to a local charity.’
Mr. McGlass said the Hutland clinic would not be limited to actors and actresses.
‘We’ll offer it to all sorts of celebrities,’ he said. ‘We’ll host sports personalities, including baseball players who wish to kick the steroid habit; musicians and writers, just to name a few.’
The non-smoking clinic will have five-star amenities, including a multi-level pool; a spa; a tennis court; an exercise room; and a sensory deprivation chamber to help with relaxation.
‘The clinic will function like a cross between a rehab centre and an exclusive luxury resort destination,’ said Mr. McGlass. ‘It will have everything the best hotels in the world have, with the exception of alcohol, drugs and prostitution. We will offer wholesome vacations where the guests can clean-up their acts, so to speak.’
A three-week stay at the clinic is expected to cost US$42,000, but McGlass doesn’t see a problem filling the centre with guests.
‘I’m sure we’ll have a waiting list on bookings; there are a lot of screwed up celebrities out there,’ he said. ‘In fact, once the word gets out about everything the clinic offers, I’ll bet some celebrities will start binging just so they can come to Grand Cayman.’
Cayman’s Ministry of Tourism welcomed the development.
‘These are exactly the kinds of tourists we want,’ said MoT spokesperson Ima Joakin. ‘They might be dysfunctional, but they have lots of money to spend, and it won’t be on vices like alcohol.’
Ms Joakin said the celebrities would tell all their friends about the experience and a new mystique would build around Cayman.
‘People will stop thinking about Cayman as a place where you can launder your money and start thinking about it as place for celebrity alcoholics and drug addicts,’ she said. ‘Maybe then the US Senate will leave us alone.’
Mr. McGlass said if all goes well, the clinic should welcome its first guests on 1 April, 2010.
‘Only fools believe,’ he said, ‘that they can overcome addiction without some help.’