Grand opening for Brac resort

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Michael Tibbetts takes part in the opening ceremony on Friday for the renovated Cayman Brac Beach Resort. – photos: James Whittaker

The newly named Cayman Brac Beach Resort opened Friday with a new bar and sprawling lagoon-style swimming pool at the ocean’s edge.

The hotel and dive resort, described as the backbone of the island’s tourism industry, was closed for four months while extensive renovations took place.

From left, Jessica Tibbetts-Buchanan, Premier Alden McLaughlin, Sister Islands District Commissioner Ernie Scott, Emily Tibbetts-Allenbach, Tourism Minister Moses Kirkconnell and Michael Tibbetts cut the ribbon on the redesigned resort. – Photo: James Whittaker
From left, Jessica Tibbetts-Buchanan, Premier Alden McLaughlin, Sister Islands District Commissioner Ernie Scott, Emily Tibbetts-Allenbach, Tourism Minister Moses Kirkconnell and Michael Tibbetts cut the ribbon on the redesigned resort. – Photo: James Whittaker

“We wanted to re-imagine the resort and give it a jolt and a wow factor,” said Michael Tibbetts, whose grandfather Linton opened the resort in 1985.

The two-story bar, including an upper-floor lounge area and observation deck looking out across the pool to the Caribbean Sea, is the signature feature of the redesign. Upgraded rooms and a new photographic mural of the Brac’s Coral Anchors dive site were also unveiled at the event for invited guests, including Premier Alden McLaughlin.

Mr. Tibbetts said his family, who rebuilt the 40-room hotel after it was devastated by Hurricane Paloma in 2008, were as committed as ever to the Brac and were hopeful for the future of the tourism industry on the island.

He said the next step in the resort’s redevelopment would be to add new rooms.

“It is not just about driving new visitors, but also raising the quality of the resort for our guests,” he said of the improvements.

“I think this elevates the tourism product for the Brac. It gives guests picturesque views and differentiates us from other properties in the Cayman Islands.”

Mr. Tibbetts, joint director of the family company JEM Holdings with his sisters Emily Tibbetts-Allenbach and Jessica Tibbetts-Buchanan, closed the hotel during off-season while the work was completed.

Previously named the Brac Reef Resort, it was renamed to fit with the branding of the family’s two other hotels, the Little Cayman Beach Resort and Cobalt Coast Resort in Grand Cayman, which it acquired in December.

Mr. Tibbetts said it is exciting times for the Brac company, which is looking to exploit its presence on all three islands with multi-destination dive packages.

Ernie Scott, the district commissioner for the Sister Islands, said the renovations were magnificent.

“It is encouraging to see this kind of private investment in the island,” he said during the ceremony.

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Michael Tibbetts said the renovations brought a ‘wow factor’ to the destination.

Tourism Minister Moses Kirkconnell said increasing airlift into the Brac is paying dividends and creating opportunities for investors like the Tibbetts family to expand.

He said the resort is the backbone of tourism on the island and praised the family for their decades-long commitment to the Brac.

“I am very pleased that the legacy established by Linton Tibbetts has not only thrived, but has passed on to the next generation, and continues to grow from strength to strength,” he added.

Premier Alden McLaughlin said, “I think this is probably the most tangible evidence that the work we have done and the money we have invested in improving the airport and the flight schedules to the Brac is paying off.

“Cayman Brac has always been a challenge as a viable economy, because of the population numbers. They need tourism even more than Grand Cayman.”

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