Dignitaries gathered Wednesday evening to celebrate the opening of the newly refitted Cayman Islands Yacht Club.
The ceremony capped a $7 million renovation that started with Dart’s 2011 purchase of the Cayman Islands Yacht Club, itself part of a 690-acre land purchase that also included the Courtyard Marriott Hotel on West Bay Road.
The two-hour ceremony, staged on the dock was attended by approximately 100 people, including current yacht club tenants, neighbors and several government officials. Governor Helen Kilpatrick officially “launched” the club by smashing a bottle of champagne off one of the dock entrances.
The dock features Anchor’s, the club’s general store – and a future restaurant, relocated from Morgan’s Harbor.
“Dart approached this project as more than a commercial marina renovation,” said Dart Realty Chief Operating Officer Jackie Doak. “It was a redevelopment of one of the island’s key tourism facilities and a core amenity to some of Cayman’s most desirable and long-standing waterfront communities.”
Improvements include expanded dock space, rebuilt and more-efficient amenities, and upgrades to fuel stations, roads, walkways and landscaping, security measures, car park and lighting facilities, and ship supplies.
Pump-out stations and electricity are now available at each of the 158 berths, with movable cleats, dive whips – enabling operators to refill their tanks without moving them off the boats – and Wi-Fi.
The club’s four main docks were renovated one by one, and the reconstruction nearly doubled capacity, which now accommodates boats between 30 feet and 80 feet long with a draft of 6.5 feet.
New moorings stretch with ebbing and flowing currents keeping docks stationary, while their rust-proof anchoring leaves sensitive seabeds unaffected, without introducing pollutants into the water. The docking and walkway systems, comprising floating pontoons that rise and fall with tides, use recyclable aluminium and synthetic products.
Wednesday’s opening, said a Dart spokesman, marks the end of the first phase of renovation at the Cayman Islands Yacht Club. The new restaurant is looking toward a New Year’s opening as the company plans further improvements in the area.