I read with dismay about the eventual closing of Calico Jack’s, Royal Palms and Hemingways. We had heard rumors it would happen when we were on the island in June.
Where will all the visitors to Seven Mile Beach go for food and drink? If memory serves me correctly, if you take out Calico Jack’s, Royal Palms and Hemingways, and with Tiki Beach gone, there is nowhere to stop for refreshments from the Marriott to the Kimpton, except for hotels like the Westin and Ritz and any new hotels on the drawing board.
Considering that the hotels have “trouble” now with beach visitors using their chairs and facilities, those facilities are going to be even more attractive because they will be the only place visitors can get a drink or food. Will those hotels welcome all the cruisers and visitors and allow them to use their beach chairs, etc., all day if food and drink is purchased? Will they tolerate hundreds of cruisers sitting on their chairs every day, using their pools and other amenities? Are their guests, who are paying premium rates, going to tolerate sharing those?
I find it difficult to think that will be the case. Being “chased” from these places won’t leave a very good impression with visitors.
You only have to look at the Royal Palms or the old Beach Suites/Hemingways on “cruise days” to see people want a facility with food, drink, sea toys and a comfortable place to enjoy the beach. They aren’t looking for a “hotel beach experience” nor do they want to pay hotel prices. After all these places are gone, where will they people where they are welcome and which will be reasonable in cost?
If the public beach has become almost unmanageable with crowds, vendors and, now, petty thieves, what beach product is going to be available to the cruisers and to others who want to enjoy a day in the sun, sand and sea?
Tourist numbers are up. Obviously, some of that is due to the other Caribbean islands being damaged in last year’s storm. It will be difficult to sustain those numbers in any event after the other islands are up and running.
It will be made more difficult in a few years when tourists come to Grand Cayman and discover that, while there is a lovely beach that stretches for miles, there is no place left to truly enjoy a day on it. Where will these people go? There needs to be more than a place to throw down a beach towel.
West Des Moines, Iowa