Today’s Editorial July 21: Time to take amusement out of government

For sale? A world renowned Caymanian attraction where guests enjoy a quality interactive experience with animals, all served by friendly professional well-trained personnel in a culturally rich and safe environment while promoting public awareness and involvement in conservation through research, utilization and education.

Oh, and it’s on prime real estate too.

That could be the newspaper classified advertisement for Boatswain’s Beach in West Bay.

Government has finally come to the realisation that it can’t keep pumping millions of dollars into the foundering attraction. It’s time for someone in the private sector to dig deep into their pockets and pick up this potential money maker.

Private purchase would mean that the Cayman Turtle Farm has come full circle.

It was started in 1968 as Mariculture Ltd, which was formed by Irvin Naylor, Henry Hamlin, Dr. Samuel Ayres III and Anthony G.A. Fisher.

Under their leadership thousands of Green Sea Turtle eggs were collected from Ascension Island, Costa Rica, Guyana and Suriname.

Then in 1975 a turtle hatched at the farm and was raised to sexual maturity. The farm steadily grew and in 1983 the Cayman Islands Government bought the farm and renamed it the Cayman Turtle Farm Ltd.

In 2001 the idea for Boatswain’s Beach was born after Hurricane Michelle caused severe and irreparable damage to the farm.

Today the marine adventure park is millions in arrears and the staff may well be worried about their futures.

Leader of Government Business McKeeva Bush has assured those who work at the park that they will not be ousted and he’s not advocating the closure of the park.

He’s just making a sound business decision based on reality. The reality is that Boatswain’s Beach is haemorrhaging millions of dollars and Government triage isn’t helping the overall problem.

The park is a viable tourism tool to draw cruise ship and stayover visitors alike, as well as locals. It needs to succeed and we believe it can, with the right owners.

What is known is that if a buyer isn’t found, and soon, there will be cuts made at Boatswain’s Beach. It’s just not clear right now what those cuts will consist of or what they mean.

It’s time for Boatswain’s Beach to become independent of the Government, which has the day-to-day business of running the country on its plate. Let someone else be in charge of amusement.

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