More than 63 per cent of the respondents to last week’s caycompass.com online poll think the Cayman Turtle Farm should either be sold or leased to private sector investors who will keep it open or sold to whoever will buy it even if it doesn’t stay open.
The largest segment of respondents – 229 people or 46.9 per cent – think the Turtle Farm should be sold or leased to investors on the condition they keep it open.
“I suppose selling the land outright would be acceptable too, but the government can’t maintain a property that is losing so much money on a continual basis,” said one person.
“As long as the Turtle Farm is run with a civil service mentality, it will lose money,” said someone else.
“It’s a good attraction to have, however it is quite expensive to enter,” said another respondent. “Entrance should be more reasonable, especially for residents.”
“The government’s business is running the country profitably, not trying to make unprofitable businesses profitable,” said one person.
Almost a third of respondents – 160 people or 32.8 per cent – thought the government should maintain ownership of the Turtle Farm and just try to manage it better.
“Management in last year has already been better, just need to keep improving,” said one person.
“Why do they have to sell everything they ever have?” asked another person.
“The turtle farm is what makes Cayman Cayman,” said someone else. “Without it we wouldn’t have a traditional spot.” Another 82 people – 16.8 per cent – thought the Turtle Farm should simply be closed down and sold to whoever will buy it. “Free the turtles,” said one person. “Who the heck eats turtles anyway? Get with the times people.”
“Let it stand or fall on its own two feet without our tax dollars keeping it going,” said someone else.
Twelve people – 2.5 per cent – responded ‘other’ to the question.
“Lease, but do not sell, to investors for approximately 20 years on condition that it must remain open,” said one person.
“Retain the farm, privatise the rest,” said someone else.
“Unfortunately, our government continues to live, exist and persist in endeavours solely based on ideals and perfect-world scenarios, not actual data, and is too prideful or stubborn or both to accept failure, identify what’s causing it and make the necessary corrections,” said another respondent. “Instead, we the people of the Cayman Islands continue to foot the bill for a sinking ship.”
“Revert it to only a farm and quit the tourism business,” said someone else.
Five people – 1 per cent – responded ‘I don’t know’ to the question.