The Grand Caymanian resort in North Sound has a new general manager.
Henry Piarrot brings a wealth of experience to the role, having been in the industry for 36 years.
The New Orleans native is already impressed with his new surroundings.
“The North Sound is absolutely beautiful – every morning the sun comes up in my window. You have the ocean and the beauty but also the landscape of Rum Point and West Bay and so forth. It’s beautiful scenery.”
Mr. Piarrot’s career in hospitality began when he was 15, and he rose to be food and beverage director by age 22 and general manager by 25. He works for Knoxville, Tennesee-based M. Gibson Hotels Group, and his accolades include Outstanding General Manager of the Year 2009 Sevier County Lodging Association; Pigeon Forge Hotel Lodging Association President 2007 and Sevierville Lodging Association President 2010.
His most recent two management jobs were opening new hotels in East Tennessee and the Smoky Mountains, which won six Marriott platinum awards, two state-wide awards and six county-wide awards. Mr. Piarrot was general manager of the year for Severe County for the past two years in a row.
“We manage 19 hotels and the Grand Caymanian is the first one outside the United States,” he noted.
Already the manager has met many in the industry on-island, particularly during the recent Cayman Islands Tourism Exchange event.
“I have already met a lot of smart people who are working very hard to improve things for a very long time. In many ways I am a student; the first rule of learning is listening.”
Mr. Piarrot, 51, is married with five kids and in his spare time contributes a weekly column to the Mountain Press in East Tennessee. It is a process that helped inform his research prior to his taking up the job on Grand Cayman.
“Being a writer and a historian already I knew how to do my homework so I did a lot of research on Cayman before I arrived on-island. It is our intention to make this area ‘the middle of the island’.”
He says that part of the plan is to promote the destination, not just the hotel itself.
“Our marketing is going to be every much as bit geared to bringing people to Cayman as it is to having them stay here. We want to be good neighbours who are active members of the tourism exchanges and so forth and we want to work with as many businesses on the island as possible.
“If we can get more people to come to Cayman and we are active participants in helping accomplish that, then, yes, many of them will also stay at our hotel and our resort.”