Brac hotel owners told to clean up site

Divi Tiara unsightly and unsafe

Brac hotel owners told to clean up site

The owners of the Divi Tiara Beach Resort on Cayman Brac have been served with an enforcement order requiring them to demolish dilapidated buildings and clean up the site. 

The hotel, vacant for almost a decade, has become an eyesore on the island, and planning officials are concerned that the site is unsafe. 

Now the Brac Development Board has served the owners of the property with notice requiring them to clean up or face potential fines. 

A section of the Development and Planning Law allows such enforcement where the “ruinous, dilapidated or unsafe condition of any building” is impacting the neighborhood. 

The notice, filed late last year, gives the U.S.-based owners until February to respond. 

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Moses Kirkconnell, the tourism minister and MLA for Cayman Brac and Little Cayman, conducted a site visit with members of the development board in August. He said he hopes the situation will now be resolved. 

“The owners allowed the property to fall into disrepair after they closed it,” Mr. Kirkconnell said. “It is aesthetically unpleasing and there is a safety issue there as well. We are hopeful that they will now take steps to remedy some of the issues identified.” 

When the 71-room hotel closed in 2006, its owners cited economic problems, including insufficient airlift from the U.S. 

The buildings were severely damaged in Hurricane Paloma in 2008, diminishing the chances that the hotel would reopen. 

The owners of the hotel have previously been served with abatement orders by the Department of Environmental Health to clean up parts of the site. They have complied with some, but not all of those orders, according to previous Cayman Compass interviews with Department of Environmental Health staff. 

The new notice, signed by Director of Planning Haroon Pandohie, requires the owners to dispose of all refuse, debris, garbage, timber, bulk waste and broken glass at the site. 

The owners are also instructed to secure the swimming pool area and empty it of rainwater, demolish dilapidated structures and “improve the physical disrepair and visual appearance of the buildings.” They are also required to maintain the property on a regular basis. 

Failure to comply, the notice says, is a criminal offense carrying fines of up to $25,000 per day on conviction. 

Brac hotel

The property now lies empty and abandoned.

The Divi Tiara hotel, which closed in 2006, was badly damaged in Hurricane Paloma in 2008. – PHOTOS: ED BEATY

The Divi Tiara hotel, which closed in 2006, was badly damaged in Hurricane Paloma in 2008. – PHOTOS: ED BEATY

The property now lies empty and abandoned.

The property now lies empty and abandoned.
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  1. It would be nice if the old Driftwood Bar site in North Side could be cleaned up better. Recently an old shipping container and a lot of bush was cleared from the site but the dilapidated buildings are still an eyesore.

  2. Hosannas and laurels and kudos to the Brac Development Board for finally enforcing the new notice to the owners of Divi Tiara Beach Resort, requiring them to clean up the property or face potential (and hopefully draconian) fines! The Divi owners in North Carolina closed the hotel with no notice to staff right before Christmas almost 10 years ago, tossing loyal Brackers and expats out of jobs and onto the ash heap of unemployment. They allowed the site to go to wrack and ruin following Hurricane Paloma in 2008. Moses Kirkconnell, Tourism Minister and Haroon Pandohie, Director of Planning, deserve the warm and sincere thanks of the Brac community.

    Now that there are new airlifts to the Brac, thanks to the Saab Embraer rental and the other Cayman Airway planes, perhaps the Divi owners will finally consider selling the property. It always was a beautiful resort until the owners allowed it to fall to pieces and ignored pleas from Caymanians and eager buyers of the property. It is high time for renewal – new owners, another resort that will be as wonderful as the old Brac Reef I and then Tiara Beach Resort! Those of us who worked there and stayed there for years in the 1980s and 1990s remember that jewel of a resort as sans pareil in the Cayman Islands. A rebirth of Tiara Beach Resort would provide employment for Brackers and an unforgettable experience for visitors to the island.