Dart invests in North Sound Golf Club

Mike Ryan still involved

The North Sound Golf Club, Cayman’s only championship 18-hole course, will not only remain open for the long run, it will get a major cash injection to improve 
the facilities. 

Developer Mike Ryan said on Tuesday that a company affiliated with the Dart Group has invested in the North Sound Golf Club. 

“After discussions and interactions that have been going on for more than a year and a half, we’ve come to an agreement for [the Dart Group] to make an investment in golf,” Mr. Ryan said. “This allows us to make the long-term commitment to move the North Sound 
Club forward.” 

Mr. Ryan said he was not at liberty to discuss the overall capital structure of the deal with Dart, or the potential impact it would have on his Dragon Bay development.  

“The first part of Dragon Bay was dealing with golf and to look at the development after that. For the moment, the focus is golf.” 

Mr. Ryan has struggled financially with the course and has indicated in the past that he might have to close it without help from either the government or from an investor. He said high operating costs, particularly for water for the course, hinders the economic viability of golf in Cayman. 

He has tried to get the government to agree to allow him to produce his own fresh water so that he wouldn’t have to buy it. He has also been trying to attract an investor for some time. 

“We’ve really been on the cusp for the last couple of years about whether we could keep it going,” he said. “We were really looking at the practical reality of shutting it down.”  

However, Mr. Ryan said he has always recognised the importance of golf to Cayman’s tourism product and to its development product.  

“But it can’t just be golf for golf sake; it has to be world class golf to be able to attract the kind of people we’re trying to attract to Cayman,” he said. “On that basis, I’ve been struggling to make it work for years.” 

 

The struggle is over. 

“Fortunately for golf in the Cayman Islands and for the tourism product in the Cayman Islands, Dart shared the same view about the importance of golf for the Island’s tourism and development products, and for its competitiveness.” 

The investment will allow for a host of improvements at the North Sound Club, including: 

Renovating the clubhouse 

New bathroom and locker room facilities 

Renovating the bar area 

Improved cart paths  

Renovating the bunkers 

Improving the landscaping by the clubhouse and on the course 

General upgrades to the equipment and facilities 

It’s possible the improvement might go even farther; Mr. Ryan said they were looking into the possibility of upgrading the course into a signature championship 18-hole course where major tournaments could be played. 

The North Sound Club announced last November that it couldn’t renew its annual memberships because it couldn’t guarantee it would remain open. However, in April, it announced it was staying open and was taking memberships again. 

Mr. Ryan said 60 per cent of the North Sound Club’s available gold memberships have been subscribed, as well as half its individual memberships. 

“We have already hit our target for corporate memberships, but that was only our target and we can still increase that, so there are some available.” 

The North Sound Club will remain open to the public for the foreseeable future. 

“Maybe someday in the future we’ll have a capacity issue, but I’m looking forward to having that as [a problem],” he said. “Right now, I’m just glad I can pay the water bills.” 

North Sound Club Golf Club Grand Cayman

The North Sound Golf Club will remain open and get a major cash injection to improve the facilities. – Photo: Matthew Yates
0
0

15 COMMENTS

  1. Although I have absolutely no faith in Ryan, I do have faith in Dart. If he’s getting into anything with Ryan I am sure he’ll keep him on a tight leash. Cayman does need this Golf Course to stay open and Dart Obviously knows that. Ryan will most likely not have much control over it in the long run, which is a good thing.

    Keep an eye on him Dart and don’t let him sully your good name.

    0

    0
  2. To Cayman Empress: start looking forward, and not through the rear view mirror. After that, try taking your finger off the cap lock button

    0

    0
  3. Does anyone out there realize that this peiece of property the home of the golf course. May very well be a controversial issue. Ryan could not get title to it. The dates go way back,it is believed that the land was taken from a Caymanian family by a politician that was later honored??????tongue in cheek.
    If title is available there would be no need to continue to lease this property to Ryan. There is something very stink about this property and government need to do their search and return the property to the rightful owners who were scammed out of it by politician abusing his power.

    They may never have peace with this land.
    It was acquired by dishonest means. They may lose it in the end.

    0

    0
  4. Cayman Empress, You certainly seem to hate Dart. No doubt because he has more than you. I’ve done plenty of research on Dart and I’d like to see you name one place that he’s Over Developed and destroyed. Also by the way the reason he is able to buy so much property on Cayman is because it’s for sale, don’t blame him or the premier, blame the Caymanians that sold the land as you say to the highest bidder.

    If you’re insinuating that because of Dart this beautiful island is being destroyed, take a walk through Camana Bay and point out all the destruction. I’m sure in your eyes that area looked better before.

    You say it time for the Caymanian people to unit and stand together, that all fine and well but when is it you plans to do to keep the good ship Cayman afloat and prosperous for your children’s future.

    Here’s a fact for you to ponder on, If Caymanians retained ownership of the property that was handed down to them from generation to generation instead of choosing to sell the land they hold so dear to foreign investors, the island would still be owned by Caymanians. So when you’re looking to point the finger at the people who sold the island pull out your family tree and take a look back..

    0

    0
  5. BaBa Boom, where can we find details on how the land was acquired. I didn’t know a politician could just take land from someone in Cayman. I’ve heard of situations where land was acquired for Roads and things like that but I thought the owner would be paid for the land. If the land was taken from the owners and is now being used for Private purposes, who is it that the lease payments go to? Does the CIG now own the land or that politician you mentioned.

    Compass, do you have any info on this? Inquiring minds want to know..

    Editor’s note: Without revealing too much, and not being precisely sure of what Baba Boom is referring to exactly, we are aware of a particular sitaution involving the Watler family that has been ongoing for decades. One of our reporters is currently researching this story.

    0

    0
  6. Thanks Compass, this is definitely something people need to hear about, if politicians can just jack people for their land. That doesn’t sound like something that would be attractive to people interested in buying and owning Land in Cayman.

    0

    0
  7. OH OH…queue the protest tards.

    Dart is the debil.

    oh my god, he’s now trying to steal our golf course!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    0

    0
  8. Compass. There are Cayman white Watlers family from Bodden town and some Cayman black Watlers family in George Town, it is very important to state which Watler family. One of them is cutting it really close but please confirm. You’ll be shocked to know what went down.

    Editor’s note: We know quite a bit about ‘what went down’ in the case we referenced earlier. Our hope is to run a story on this sooner rather than later. More than this we cannot say at the moment. Watch this space.

    0

    0
  9. Coompass,
    Please advise your researchers to be careful how they research and go snooping around at Land register. Each time question were asked civil servants, no response, tight lipped. No one wants to touch it or is outright scared. If nothing comes up please file an FOI. You’re going to need it. This one is sowed up with some permanent thread or an unremovable zipper!

    0

    0

Comments are closed.