The Howard Hospitality Group has submitted plans for its third major Cayman Islands project – a US$285 million five-star hotel and condo development on the southern tip of Seven Mile Beach.
Michael Wilkings, CEO of the group, said the development on the old Pageant Beach site would include around 250 hotel rooms and 100 two and three bedroom condominiums.
An architect’s video of the proposed development shows adjoining multi-story buildings overlooking the beach and pools. A boardwalk traverses the ironshore coastline of the 7.1 acre site.
Mr. Wilkings said the development would include seven food and beverage outlets, including an “internationally branded restaurant.” He said the hotel itself would be a five-star brand operated by the Howard Group under a licensing agreement.
The resort will also feature four pools, a cinema screening room, a rooftop spa and 35,000 square feet of conference space.
The plans are expected to be considered by the Central Planning Authority in the coming months. Mr. Wilkings said the developer was hoping to begin construction in the first quarter of next year, with opening tentatively scheduled for 2020.
The Howard Group took over Treasure Island in 2015, transforming it into the Margaritaville resort, and is also renovating a three-story property on West Bay Road as a new 42-room business hotel, Locale.
Mr. Wilkings said the company was investing heavily in Grand Cayman.
“We have huge confidence in the future growth of business and tourism in Grand Cayman. We think there is substantial potential for long-time growth not withstanding other new hotels coming into the market.”
He said the resort at Pageant Beach would have more conference and meeting room space than any other development on island, and would attract new business to the Cayman Islands.
“It means we will be able to attract larger group bookings and corporate events, which is something I know the Department of Tourism is excited about,” Mr. Wilkings said. “One of the limitations the island has had in attracting group bookings is the limited space.”
The National Conservation Council has already indicated that the development will not be required to go through an Environmental Impact Assessment.
Mr. Wilkings said architects had consulted the Department of Environment in the planning process and tailored the development to avoid any negative impacts.
“They worked closely with us to help us understand the shoreline and beach conditions and any touch points of concern on the sire so we were really able to understand what we needed to do from an environmental sustainability perspective.”