Businesses across Little Cayman are pulling up the shutters from this weekend in preparation for the great summer slowdown.
Three of the four major resorts on the island will close for at least two months and the Hungry Iguana bar and restaurant will also shut its doors.
Peaceful at the best of times, the island becomes positively tranquil during the late summer months.
“You could fire a canon down the street and it would just keep on going,” said Marc Pothier, manager of Paradise Villas, which shuts Sunday until Oct. 23.
The Southern Cross Club dive resort closes Aug. 15 until Oct. 30.
Resort manager Jen Mills said it is an annual tradition on the island for the hotels to close up, make improvements to their properties and give staff a chance to recharge at a time when bookings are slow.
A new swimming pool and pool deck will be added at the property during the off-season. Ms. Mills, who stays on the island for part of the summer to oversee the upgrades, says it is an interesting time to be on Little Cayman.
“It is actually a very nice time to be here. There are even fewer people than normal. If you want to go to Point of Sand or Owen Island you can have it to yourself.
“It is a very tranquil and quiet time to be here,” she said.
The Little Cayman Beach Resort will keep the flag flying for the island’s tourism industry, staying open throughout, as it does every year.
Manager Kimberley Dangerfield said the Bloody Bay Wall remained an attraction for divers and, with other hotels and dive operations closed, the resort did good business. She said the resort’s Beach Nuts Bar was particularly popular at this time of year. “Everyone on the island ends up here,” she said.
“We do a lot more, in the summer months, for our guests and residents because there [are] not many other options on Little Cayman. We do a lot to keep up the community spirit.”
Carla Reid, who runs McLaughlin Car Rentals and the Iguana Crossing Liquor Store, said both businesses and the island’s grocery store remained open.
She said condo rentals were popular in the slow season and there were also workers on island for resort repairs.
She said August and September were the best months for “staycations” from Grand Cayman.
“It is always peaceful, but even more so at this time of year,” she added.