New hotel development being planned for Cayman during 2011 could create up to 6,000 new jobs.
“We are in negotiations for five major new hotels who want to do business in Cayman,” revealed William Peguero, chairman at the National Investment Council of the Cayman Islands Department of Commerce and Investment, following comments by Premier McKeeva Bush on his Plan for Sustainable Economic Success.
Mr. Peguero told the Compass that the projects – all new build – could provide between 1,000 and 1,500 new rooms.
“We are in negotiation regarding a mega resort and agreed on one in East End and one in West Bay Road. We’re looking at two high-end boutique hotels in West Bay and also a business hotel.
“These products bring lots of jobs, which we prefer than just building condominiums. There are two to four service jobs needed per room,” he added.
At this stage, the names of the hotel partners are not being revealed, although the NIC chairman did note that they were ‘mega brands’ within the hotel industry.
“We are focusing on brand names, high quality groups, because they have a strong reservations system and marketing budgets bigger than our budget and that can ensure that we’re able to entice our clientele to come to our Islands.”
There are several sites being considered across Grand Cayman, continued Mr. Peguero.
“At East End there’s a substantial amount of land south of Morritt’s Tortuga Club, [development of] which will help the whole area; that’s what we’re looking at. The owner of the land [in question] is motivated but it’s at an early stage. We believe there are negotiations for the sale of some land in West Bay [believed to be north of Tiki Beach plus a derelict site], which is a viable deal. We are waiting for clearance and for a buyer to purchase the land going forward so that is also at an early stage.
“We have lost six hotels over the last 10 years, not for financial reasons but because of extraordinary situations, and we believe it will serve our interest well to be able to increase the room capabilities and also bring good quality brands, which will bring value and enhance the product we have,” he said, noting that the aim was to break ground during 2011.
There will also be a business hotel; a product that has different focus to a leisure-based facility, which would open up the possibility of utilising suitable land without necessarily requiring a beach front element.
“A business hotel is specifically for those who come in for one or two days, looking for a good, clean quality hotel. At a business hotel you’ve a good, clean room, with an average cost of $89 to $130; it’s not necessarily a lot of frills.
It doesn’t have to be full of restaurants, watersports, things that are leisure-[oriented], because they’re coming in for a short time and for business.”