Congratulations to Cleveland Dilbert and his wife Celina for the grand opening of the Alexander Hotel on Cayman Brac Friday night.
It was an affair full of glitz and glamour, but most importantly it puts Cayman Brac back in the tourism forefront as it offers more rooms for eager holiday makers and, even more importantly, provides added jobs on the Brac.
The Dilberts could easily have thrown up their hands in despair and disappointment after Hurricane Paloma caused widespread damage on the Brac last November.
Things were a mess everywhere. People had lost homes, jobs and in many instances, hope.
The Brac Reef Resort just down the road from the Alexander sustained major damage; so much that to onlookers it appeared the site would have to be cleared and the hopes of a rebuilt Reef resort seemed to be dashed.
But both Mr. Dilbert and Mr. Tibbetts took on the challenges that Paloma brought them and succeeded.
The Reef resort is making a strong return and now we have the added rooms from the Alexander.
Not only was Friday night a chance for the Alexander and indeed the Dilberts to shine; it was a testament to the fortitude of all the people who call the Brac home to stare down adversity and rise from the despair of Paloma.
Now that the people of the Brac have shown us their resolve to rebuild and put our country and the Sister Islands back on the tourism map, it is time for Government to step up the to the plate and make it easier for visitors to find their way to the Brac and Little Cayman.
There has been a standing promise of an air link between Cayman Brac and South Florida.
Folk like Mr. Dilbert could build five more hotels on Cayman Brac and Little Cayman, but until the Government and the Department of Tourism guarantee them easy access to and from the Sister Islands, additional hotel building would be futile.
But it’s not all up to Government and DoT. Cayman Airways has to step up to the plate to ensure that once they get travellers to the Sister Islands, they guarantee return flights will be available on schedule.
Kudos to the Dilberts for their entrepreneurial spirit. It is now our prayer that those empowered with ensuring you get guests do so.