If you have not travelled to the Brac in a while and are going there for Prince Charles’s visit on Thursday, you may notice a marked change to the Divi Tiara Beach resort site.
After standing vacant for more than a decade, work began last week to demolish the resort. By Thursday, about 80 percent of the structure should be torn down, according to Scott Development operations manager Mervyn Scott.
Scott said the only major demolition work left to do is tearing down the time-share units.
“They’re the tallest buildings, and they’re the most difficult to come down,” he said.
If Scott Development is not able to easily demolish the time-share units with excavators, the company may have to use explosives on the structures – “but that’s an alternate plan”, he said.
After the demolition, Scott Development will spread what Scott called “beautiful sand” throughout the site.
“The sand is there, we just have to smooth it out,” said Scott.
When the 71-room Divi Tiara closed in 2006, 37 workers, including 22 Caymanians, lost their jobs. Its owners, the North Carolina-based Divi Resorts, cited economic problems led by insufficient airlift from the U.S.
Six of its 12 time-share units continued to operate.
However, after 2008’s Hurricane Paloma badly damaged the resort, the corporation ended all operations, although the group loaned the facility to government to house reconstruction workers in the wake of the storm.
Since then, the site has deteriorated even more, and government has issued multiple orders over the years to the owners requiring them to clean up or face potential fines.
Scott said it is his understanding that there is still interest in constructing a new hotel there.