The Alexander Hotel closed three years ago amid a dispute about a foul smelling pond that the owner says was driving away guests. PHOTO: JAMES WHITTAKER

Almost concealed by rampant undergrowth, the Alexander Hotel on Cayman Brac, remains closed “until further notice.”

The hotel closed its doors in summer 2014 amid a row with government over a foul-smelling pond, which owner Cleveland Dilbert said was driving away guests.

Mr. Dilbert wanted to excavate the pond and transform it into a marina to serve local and visiting boats. The plan was met with a chorus of opposition and was deemed unfeasible by the Department of Environment.

But the businessman says nothing has changed and he will not reopen the hotel unless a change of government or a change of policy means he is given permission to build the marina.

“I believe the harbor would be good for my business and good for the Brac. It could have been done and it would have been good for the island.”

He said he could not have kept the hotel open with the smell from the pond as it was. Since then, government workers have attempted to solve the issue by pumping fresh water into the pond, but Mr. Dilbert says it is not a permanent solution.

He acknowledged that the hotel, brand new in 2008, had fallen into a state of disrepair and would take some investment to fix, but said this was cheaper than running it at a loss.

“Can you imagine how I feel about it? My whole family is hurting because of this,” he said.

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