EX-chamber boss berates ‘dependency’ problem

| 04/05/2015 | 30 Comments
Cayman News Service

Johann Moxam

(CNS): The former president of the Chamber of Commerce berated the dependency problem of successive governments looking to “pie in the sky” proposed developments for an economic miracle. Johann Moxam warned the Electoral Boundary Commission not to use “proposed plans for proposed developments” to guess where voter growth might be when they do their work. 

He said that over the years there had been numerous proposals that were supposed to save Cayman and secure its future but most of them had evaporated.

The former Chamber boss said the EBC needed to study facts and not fantasy projects when they drew up their constituency boundaries. Moxam said that governments had been duped too many times into thinking some fancy five-star development “to end all developments” would change the economic fortunes of the islands when most came to nothing.

“Now the latest economic miracle for Cayman is an ice rink,” Moxam said, as he emphasized the continuous dependency all governments have on development that simply does not materialize.

During his announcement last week about the George Town redevelopment project, the planning minister had revealed that the “anchor” in the rejuvenation was a proposed ice rink and convention centre on the waterfront in downtown George Town. Complete with a turtle-shaped roof of solar panels, this latest proposed savior of the economy will included ice show presentations for cruise passengers, among other things, the minister said as he offered his wholehearted support.

However, the outspoken former Chamber president urged the boundary commissioners, who are charged with recommending how the Cayman Islands should be divided into 18 single member constituencies, to consider real causes for potential growth in the districts and not unsubstantiated promises from developers.

He warned the commissioners that while they must consider future growth, they should be very wary of considering the proposed Beach Bay project, the Ironwood project, the ice rink or any other “proposed” development as part of their considerations because, like many other people, he suspected they would all come to naught.

Moxam was speaking at the North Side meeting and pointed to the creation of the Queens Highway more than 20 years ago in order to facilitate some promised luxury development that never happened. He said the EBC had to use only facts to determine where growth might be.

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Category: Elections, Politics

Comments (30)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    I guess Mr Moxam knows everything about everything.Certainly he would have mocked Walt Disney for building a theme park park in the Florida swamps.Afterall, who would visit a park based on a couple of mice and a big eared flying elephant Guess Johann would have gotten that one wrong,and maybe he could be wrong about some of these projects.Let’s hope that he is.

    • Anonymous says:

      Walt Disney was repeating a theme park model that he had already succeeded with in California. So your comparison is just silly on all levels.

      Cayman definitely needs a serious convention centre. But not one shaped like a turtle and aimed at ice capades. I would be surprised if one isn’t already planned for that marl lot at Camana Bay.

    • Long term resident says:

      I think you missed the point being made by Mr. Moxam or do not fully understand the last four decades of flashy proposals promoted by greedy officials and developers that would eventually save the country. I have lived here over 40 years and have seen some ridiculous things said and done in the name of politics.

    • Anonymous says:

      Sound like somebody (you) spitting some good ol’ Caymanian venom. Why you all can’t support each other like the Filipinos support their community, instead of tearing down your fellow Caymanian, every chance you get? Unnah gah go man! Whether you like or not, Johann is on point.

      Walt Disney? You must be joking! The millions of dollars wasted by the same old bobo the clowns in Cayman parliament and the billion dollars unaccounted for by the CIG and the best you can come up with is Disney World? Try so go sit down.

  2. Anonymous says:

    I only wish that Mr. Moxam was running he country.

  3. Anonymous says:

    if only we had johan on the radio everyday instead of arden/ezzard…….then cayman might actually get somewhere…

  4. Anonymous says:

    The present system practically forces non-Caymanian residents to invest their capital outside of the Cayman Islands because of the restrictions on ownership and control of local business. The stops many small to medium investments happening and in turn forces governments to try and bring in pie in the sky big ticket investment projects.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Johann, FYI the Queens Highway was built to accommodate the visit of Her Majesty the Queen in February 1983;not some “proposed luxury development that never happened”. Just the facts please.

  6. SKEPTICAL says:

    Well said Johann. Clear, sensible, and logical warning about the endless get rich quick fairy tale projects, we have been promised so many times over the years. Most have proved the old saying – ” you talk the talk BUT – can you walk the walk “

  7. Anonymous says:

    good and obvious points but once a Chamber boy always a chamber boy….. everyone is all talk when not in position to help

  8. Sammi blue says:

    No one can shoot the breeze.like Kurt Tibbetts. He rambles on and on and makes so many moves it is hard to keep up with him and at the end of the day he actually says nothing . He is a real spin doctor. When he is not spinning about selling the tires he is spinning about ice rink. Who the hell want to come to Cayman to see ice rink , that is so stupid it should not even be repeated. I wonder if he even ask these make believe business people to show him their balance sheet. That is the first thing he should do before holding his press conference. Kurt if they cannot show you a balance sheet and you cannot verify it please do not waste time and money having press conferences. Also has anyone ever bother to google them and get some background information on them. Also I have a suggestion to all politicians, civil service and church members and pastors to attend an Anti Money Laundering Seminar yearly. I know that all of the younger politician who worked in the private sector had to go through these seminars and should have found them quite enlightening. Many times speculating business people will set up talks with government officials and other influential persons , they will draw up MOUs and agreements to form partnerships, then they will walk around town or go back overseas and show it to other business people to try to convince them that they are really doing these projects so that the real business people will get interested and will perhaps team up them. They are using these pie in the sky ideas and schemes to build credibility so they can start their first project as well as sometimes if banks lend them money based on these partnerships agreements they will disappear and leave the poor unsuspecting partner to pay off the loan. To many politicians and others are opening themselves up to some unscrupulous charlatans. Please remember all that glitters is not gold. Educate yourselves before putting your businesses, your churches and your government at risk.

  9. Anonymous says:

    At last, somebody speaks the truth. Far too many developments are relied upon to revive Cayman’s fortunes, when really the only realistic option is to build up the hotel and resort stock to encourage worldwide tourism. Cruise ship passengers may come here in the 1000’s but have a limited time ashore to spend a limited amount of cash, especially when they are brought here by cheap, all inclusive cruise lines like Carnival.
    Cayman needs to have less reliance on the cruise ship market and place more importance on the affluent middle classes who spend far more per head when offered quality package holidays by international travel agents and airlines. CAL should be operating charter flights to Cayman, linking flights and resorts in one package instead of bringing independent travellers to privately owned condos that see little in the way of local employment or cash benefit.
    We also need to look further afield for our vacationing tourist, instead of blindly following a market where the vast majority of people don’t even own a passport. Ask yourself why is it that a BA jet which lands here four times a week only brings a handful of mainly visitors and workers, (not many tourists) yet manages to off load at least 80% of its European tourist passengers in the Bahamas?
    It’s not rocket science, they simply have the resorts and the package deals that make it attractive to European tourism. Europe has a population twice the size of the U.S. and is the 3rd most populated area after China and India, so why are we not targeting this affluent, mobile and willing marketplace?
    It costs less to take a package holiday in Nassau than just the airfare alone to come the extra hour to Cayman. Why isn’t BA being held to account for this blatant monopoly and why aren’t we building the infrastructure to compete?
    This is obviously a simplistic viewpoint, but none the less, we need to look outside of Cayman for tourism investment, we need to look more closely at lucrative resort tourism and less toward the transient cruise ship market, and we definitely need to make Cayman more attractive to the worldwide expertise of international hoteliers, resort owners and travel agencies.
    Or is this about those who promise the earth to obtain political favours then pull out when the favour is actioned? Otherwise known as corruption!

    • Anonymous says:

      I believe they are targeting the Europe market and specifically the UK heavily. There have been numerous articles and adverts in the holiday sections of the Sunday newspapers in recent months.

      • Anonymous says:

        Really, and exactly which resorts or hotel complexes were they advertising? They don’t, they simply show exotic pictures of Cayman to entice the curious, they don’t offer holiday package deals at any level, they merely point towards the Ritz Carlton and it’s ridiculous tariffs.
        Take a look at an advert for the Bahamas in the same Sunday papers, you will find Paradise Island, (with its collection of individual resorts) at the top of a pretty impressive list of resorts and hotels catering for families, couples, mixed groups, divers and lone travellers. Why isn’t Sandals operating on Cayman, it’s on virtually every other major Caribbean holiday destination?
        It would appear that only Dart has noticed the severe lack of hotel accommodation on these islands and is prepared to do something about it.
        In the meantime BA is decommissioning its fleet of tired 767’s, which means that we will either receive 777 or 787 jets within the near future. We need those jets to be full of tourists for Cayman, we need fares to come down and we need accommodation that is commensurate with a discerning traveller.
        Do it now Cayman, before Cuba opens its doors fully to the worlds tourism market, especially the U.S.
        Investment on Cayman has been far too reliant on local money, or money that is promised by dubious sources. We need to open our business practices in order that external experts can come to Cayman without the ridiculous and restrictive ‘Caymanian partner’ rules that hold back so much of Caymans potential.

      • Anonymous says:

        The BBC have just announced that ferry providers have been given US licences to operate ship services between Florida and Cuba. Plus, Jet Blue have announced a new route from the U.S. to Cuba, and it won’t belong before cruise ships are re routing to enjoy Cuba’s potential.
        Whilst nothing will happen immediately, this should be a warning to Cayman’s tourism Chiefs and investors, and a wake up call for their sleep walking tourism product.

  10. Isaac says:

    Spott on Johann.
    For far too long, we the people have had to be subjected to these “Pie in the sky” promises that never seems to materialize.

  11. Anonymous says:


  12. Anonymous says:

    Finally somebody sensible said it

  13. Anonymous says:

    Keep doing your thing and talking sense because nobody else doing it bobo!

    Melanie would be proud of you

  14. Anonymous says:

    Thank God there a still a few bright Caymannians like Johan to address the issues respectfully and objectively. Well said and thank you

  15. Anonymous says:

    Kurt and turtles. No one should be surprised. They go together like…….like…….Mac and turtles.

    Cayman SALT!!!!!

  16. Anonymous says:

    I had the pleasure of being introduced to the promoter of the ice rink. I guess he did not notice i arrived in a 20 year old car when he asked me for $10,000 to be a “Founding Member”. Why would you need my $10,000 for a fully funded project? This thing stinks from beginning to end. I asked…

    “how will you make money?”

    1/One of the world largest digital screens… A jumbotrom to sell advertising on for $4,000,000 a year in revenue.

    2/Naming rights (looks like that has already been determined) of the facility.

    3/A Las Vegas style Ice show which only needs 400 guests a day (every day) to break even. Well we had a show place once. And the operators had some very talented Cuban entertainers here which I am sure were paid no where near what a professional ice skater needs. The cost I was told for the show was $4,000,000 a year.

    4/Big concerts, big sports tournaments, big events, apparently every Canadian on island will be playing Ice Hockey there in the already fully subscribed league.

    When i asked about utilities i was told it was not an issue!!! Following up about AC I was told it was not an issue as the first 10 rows close to the ice would be 55 degrees. Perfect temp I am sure for cruise shippers arriving in shorts and flip flops.

    The meeting was at least 6 months ago… Maybe longer. The project was already approved and was ready to break ground on West Bay road next to Cost u Less.

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