Kirk Freeport dominates limited pier support

| 13/08/2015 | 69 Comments
Cayman News Service

Marine life in the George Town Harbour within the dredging footprint (Photo by Courtney Platt)

(CNS): Responses from the public consultation process on the proposal for cruise berthing facilities in George Town have revealed that almost three-quarters of the respondents do not want the dock. But the limited support for the project comes mostly from people associated with just one downtown retailer. The Department of Environment received 473 direct responses to their survey and 73% opposed the project. From the 111 individuals who offered their support, almost 80 said they were connected to Kirk Freeport.  
Several of those who submitted written responses were clerks and sales associates on work permits who indicated they hoped the piers would lead to an increase in their salaries or more commission on sales.

While public opinion on the port is divided, the survey demonstrates that the division is not equal. Only a handful of retailers and developers hoping to be involved in the project back the plan. The watersports sector, visitors to the island and the wider public who responded made it clear they do not support what will be a significantly destructive proposal.

The country is still waiting for government to comment on the findings of the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) as well as the opposition from the private sector tourism body CITA and the views of the mixed position of the Chamber of Commerce. But government so far has remained silent.

The tourism ministry still seems committed to the project and the premier has also veered on the pro-side, highlighting the fact that the PPM campaigned on the basis that it would develop a port in George Town.

Tourism Minister Moses Kirkconnell has stated that a negative impact on Seven Mile Beach would be where he would draw the line. But while the EIA indicates that negative impacts would be unlikely along that beach, more research would be needed once government settles on a design to be more certain. With the famous beach expected to survive, Kirkconnell has made no comment on whether the predicted marine destruction across the George Town Harbour is a step too far.

Environment Minister Wayne Panton, who has indicated that the potential loss of the marine environment as a result of the silt and turbidity presents a “high bar”, has not yet said whether he opposes the project. Despite his successful efforts to date to press through and implement the National Conservation Laws after none of his predecessors were able to do so, Panton has not yet aired what are understood to be significant concerns publicly. Although CNS is aware of some concerns and likely objections from the backbench, it is not clear where the remaining Cabinet ministers who now have the power to decide the fate of the local marine environment, will stand.

However, the evidence in the survey makes it clear that if the government presses ahead with this destructive plan, it will be hard for the Cabinet to deny it is to please a major local merchant with direct family connections to the tourism minister.

Government has been relatively transparent during the process and recently released the terms of references for the second seabed survey it undertook, albeit well over one month after the fact. But it has not yet released the report of that Benthic Habitat Survey, which appears to be a repeat of the work already done in the costly EIA. Nor has government released the updated PricewaterhouseCoopers report on the economics of the proposal. The auditors conducted the Outline Business Case and since publication of the EIA they have been asked to factor in the findings of that study, including the value of the reefs and the loss of revenue to the watersports sector, if the pier is built.

CIG has, however, already spent millions of dollars to discover that the project not only poses a massive threat to the capital’s unique and valuable reefs and unparalleled marine environment but that it may undermine rather than enhance the tourism brand, not just for overnight visitors but also the very cruisers the government believes the piers would attract.

Government also faces a problem regarding the cruise industry.

While the cruise lines continue to demonstrate a preference for piers over tendering, the FCCA and at least one major cruise line have implied that they are not comfortable with this level of environmental destruction and may want the piers but not at any cost. No cruise line has committed to backing the project. In addition, CNS understands that the limited communication between the tourism ministry and the cruise lines has still not yielded much in the way of a definitive response or offers of support.

If government presses ahead at this point it cannot rely on the industry to commit to increased passenger figures or any agreements over how much more passenger tax CIG will be able to collect. The project will costs of hundreds of millions of dollars but government has not yet presented a full plan on how it would be financed.

The cost factor is raised by many of the people who took part in the survey. They point to alternative possibilities of promoting and preserving overnight tourism and upgrading the existing tendering process and terminal facilities. Those who made comments regarding the project also said Cayman’s infrastructure, especially in the capital, is ill-suited to the arrival of mass passenger numbers concentrated in any given day if the mega ships make use of the piers.

The cultural significance of the wrecks, which experts believe will not survive relocation, was pointedly noted by the Advisory Council on Underwater Archaeology, an international body focusing on underwater archaeology. Their experts said in their comments: “The natural and historical resources of the Cayman Islands are what draws visitors to your shores, and the clear, incredibly blue water of Hog Sty Bay is legendary.”

Pointing to the tender as an experience in itself in Cayman because of the quality of the water, the organisation pointed to the significance of the Balboa. “The wreck of Balboa offers shallow water, interesting history, and fascinating marine life for snorkelers and beginner divers; even if moved, years will pass before the ecosystem is rebuilt. Please consider the amazing and unique resources you already have, before you choose to destroy them with yet another enormous concrete dock,” the marine archaeologists noted.

See full public response to the EIA consultation on the DoE website

Benthic Habitat Survey, Proposed Cruise Berthing Facility, TOR 2015

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Category: development, Local News

Comments (69)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Why is this even a priority? Why is this still being talked about? This is about slightly improving some tourists vacations and bringing a very small amount of potential spending power to the jewelry shops who do not cater to these cheap cruise tourists anyway. Why are the schools not above this on the agenda list, the dump, the airport expansion, all things that will improve our islands and the lives and futures of the people living on these islands. George town needs drastic revitalization before any dock should be considered which, if the environmental impact report is correct should be taken off the table. The amount of time and energy spent on this already is beyond me. Time is of the essence our young people are being forgotten and overlooked while these needless discussions are being had, invest in them.

  2. Anonymous says:

    I’ll be taking my $450 a week to Fosters now- the way I see it is every dollar I spend there is helping them to manipulate government to build this disaster of a dock

  3. Anonymous says:

    If we want cruise tourism, we need a walk on, walk off dock. Maybe not this plan, but we do need one.

    • Anonymous says:

      Since we’re getting ‘more cruisers than ever’ your thesis is clearly false. We do not need a dock to have viable, even good, cruise ship tourism.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Dear CNS. It is clear that on both sides, there are vested personal interests voting for or against, plus there are others who voted on both sides, who just want what they feel is best for Cayman overall and who have no vested personal interest. There is nothing wrong with any of that, because all voters are human beings with personal opinions that matter equally. Just as Kirk’s employees in several companies have a vested interest, so does Adrian Briggs’s employees in the several companies owned by him – many of whom are no doubt on work permits too. But CNS, here is where I have a problem with your reporting. You are not seen to be analyzing and breaking down the employee numbers of those who voted against it, You only seem to care about doing so when it comes to those who voted for it. You seem to discount the work-permit holders voting for it for their own vested reasons, but not permit-holders voting against it for their own vested reasons? You seem to happily rattle of the number of visitors who vote against it, but have you bothered to analyze whether those visitors were (1) hotel stay over guests, or (2) guests in private residences visiting local family and friends, or (3) cruise ship visitors? I can guarantee you most cruise ship visitors would vote for it, but they don’t go online to check polls when they disembark, as they are too busy walking around, touring and shopping, so it is doubtful they even knew about the poll. Another question for you, does the livelihood of the permit-holders who live and work on island and voted for it, not count as much as the livelihood of those permit-holders who voted against it? Don’t you agree that when most of the residents here are making better incomes from tourism generally (not just one group or segment that depend on the dive industry), the more prosperous the island and its residents overall will become? Another question, does the visitor and safety experience for cruise ship visitors, not count as much as the stay over guests’ experience? Recommendation for you, please go back to independent journalism, forego the biased reporting that you seem to be embarking upon, and try to stay on point as to what is best for Cayman overall and what will benefit the island, its residents and its visitors as a whole, not just some special-interest groups. If there are concerns with the environment, then why not look at ways to mitigate the scope of the development and its impact and do some unbiased investigations into it? I understand the EIA report also contained a segment on mitigation – why are you not questioning the reasons why it was not released to the public? I used to respect the objectiveness of your articles, but you are sadly showing your personal biases in your reporting, reminding me of another local media house.

    • Anonymous says:

      And just to add, there are many successful ways to mitigate the impact. The release of the EIA, without intelligently looking at ways to mitigate impact, also helped stir up opposition, because just the worse-case scenario was looked at, but no solutions were offered for mitigation. The intelligent thing to do, is to look at all angles, the impact, and ways to mitigate impact, before “throwing the baby out with the bath water.” But I guess that would involve too much work or engagement of brain cells. The port has been discussed for 30 plus years now. Other Caribbean islands have discussed, debated port developmental issues, found resolutions to mitigate impact, and then moved forward. Meanwhile we just talk and talk and talk and no one looks at what actually can be done and in such a way as to minimize impact. The Compass recently has made a valiant effort to present both sides of the coin and look at different angles. Why don’t you follow suit?

      • Anonymous says:

        A) The EIA is the ‘mitigation list’. It shows clearly that you can’t mitigate dredging. All you can do is decide if the cost is worse the benefit.
        B) Even the Compass realises that the benefits do not outweigh the costs on this project. The numbers just don’t add up. The OBC showed a marginal benefit, of everything worked out. Like the cruise lines ‘guaranteeing’ cash in some way. Now they’re trying to rework the numbers in light of the EIA but you can’t get blood from a stone.
        C) If for 30+ years the CBF has been a bad idea for Cayman, what has changed? Neither the economics nor the environment. Well, the CBF cost has gone up as has the environmental cost, i.e., cost, of a snorkel trip in George Town Harbour, so there is that.

        • Anonymous says:

          Sorry, but the mitigation section was withheld for some reason when the EIA was first released, and it is possible this may have contributed to adverse reactions during the poll to what many may have seen as the worse-case scenario to the environment, without getting the full facts on the details of the mitigation measures being recommended.

  5. Anonymous says:

    People who work in the cruise ship business should be asked whether or not that we need a dock or not. Taxi drivers and bus drivers don’t have a computer. If you want to know the truth those people in the hot sun should have been asked what they want and if the tender ride was still a good ride to catch or a dock. NO ONE seems to care about the customers. I was told by a staff member who works on the dock that the large group of passengers took only 18-20 mins. to load on to the tenders ,I was in shock. I asked how that was possible he said that the security was the problem .Because they had to check each id card.
    Well I drive a 30 seater bus but mostly I put in around 20 people into a bus. It takes me on average about 2-3 mins. to load to 20.I can’t imagine to walk across a standing pier to a moving tender would take less then 10 mins to load on and 10 mins to load off plus 5 mins or traveling time for the smallest tender being used . This is of course no families with children or older people with walking problems. Otherwise it would take longer probably 20 mins to just load.
    But what happens when we double and put 6000 passenger by tender? Well ,we would use the largest tender 400 people capacity 15 trips to offload times 45 mins per tender 11 1/4 hours. If they provide 2 gang ways 5.62 hours. Still going to be a problem because thats just one way . The passengers will be pissed.
    They want to stay longer and do more things. Buy beer or coffee buy a pizza pie or Dinner at Guy Hareys buy buy buy. Win win situation for all to be had.
    The mitigation of the reefs is that very little will happen to them. Because they have people watching and supervising the dredge. Placing a SILT SCREEN will do what it says ,it will do SCREEN SILT. Turbulence from the sea won’t be everyday but when it shows up we either slow down or shut down the equipment . Just like when divers going diving at Eden’s rock, Devil’s Grotto, Trinity caves, round rock etc. No dive master likes to go second after a boat before them goes first. Diver SILT up the caves and tunnels every day. In a half hour they will clear up. So lets stop the procrastination , Its kinda like when Dart wanted to add the 4 lane and 4000 people signed a petition. Didn’t we feel stupid to try and stop a worthy idea like double the capacity of the roads could hold. Look how fast we get in town now? Plus we still have the same historical road that are grand parents used to travel to town ,THE BEACH. Thank God we didn’t stop the highway
    9th generation Caymanian

    • Anonymous says:

      Do you think they wouldn’t have to check the ID cards for boarding via the dock? That sounds like a security problem that could be fixed without having to spend $150 million minimum.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Just gotta love that local white privilege, dont’chya?

  7. WaYaSay says:

    To: Hon Alden McLaughlin, MBE, JP, MLA, Premier, Minister of Home Affairs, Health and Culture: Member of the Legislative Assembly, let me be the first to say to you publicly. Be a Premier, stand up and stop this stupid Mega Dock now, before Moses spends any more of the public millions on “consultant reports”, fishing for pro dock opinions. Stop it now, if you want to see another day as Premier after the 2017 elections.

    The rest of this comment is posted here Featured comment: The premier and the cruise dock

    ps. Surely this will get me those multiples of 80 thumbs down votes I so crave………….

    • Anonymous says:

      Agreed. If you look at the report its full of “more research is needed on this” and “more research is needed on that”. It’s going to cost a bomb and is not the type of tourism Cayman needs anyway. Lets stay open to small cruise ships in a picturesque Hog Sty Bay.

    • Anonymous says:

      I think it’s time to let your views known to your MLAs one on one. Go tell them.

    • WaJohSay says:

      Someone with a grudge or axe to bare. Maybe political implications of the new blood style. We see you Bobo.

  8. Anonymous says:

    No doubt the same people who orchestrated the mass write in are also the ones desperately skewing the online thumbs up/thumbs down on CNS.

    • Skewed says:

      Correct. They have made a mockery of the tabs and in the process destroyed their own credibility. The exact opposite of what they were trying to achieve. Unless they are just plain dumb.

    • Hello stop busting ya brain and your scarce resources says:

      CIG has been backed into a corner by this project. On the one hand Merchants with connections advocating the piers and on the other as yet it seems no guarantee from the Cruise ships to support the project by contracting to bring X amount of passengers if the piers are built. The X number is sorely needed in order to develop a financial model and potential outcomes.

      Why and how can piers even be be built at this stage with the evidence portrayed by the EIA and the exculpatory clauses that are being inserted everyday. How can you consider building when it appears that there has not been conclusive discussions and/or negotiations with the individual cruise lines ( the cruise lines association can’t and won’t negotiate on behalf of the various lines).

      Fix your staging area move your cargo dock, create a unique experience for your cruise visitors by enhancing your shore disembarkation and embarkation on the tenders, provide world class customer service on arrival, during and departing the Island, pedestrianize your town centre train your taxi drivers, dive personnel shore excursion personnel to be even more superb than most of them already are and you will have one of the most unique experiences in the cruise market.

      Say no to piers say yes to Cayman as a unique professional and friendly destination. Do it for present and future generations and they will keep coming.

  9. Anonymous says:

    Just because CNS and DOE have decided that the individuals lives and opinions of the people who work at Kirk Freeport do not matter or count, doesn’t mean that they don’t. They should be applauded that they were good citizens and actually took the time to do the survey and care about their future. Yes they are individuals with individual votes and individual opinions. It is shameful that it even came out of the DOE marked as Kirk Freeport and identified as such especially considering that they did not write anywhere on the DOE forms that they work for Kirk Freeport. Why have the various watersports businesses, divers, expat dive masters and companies owned by Adrien Briggs not been identified and reported on? This only makes the whole process a biased, manipulated sham.

    • Anonymous says:

      Exactly700+ people shows that most don’t care or couldn’t be bothered,

      • Anonymous says:

        I totally agree. To single out Kirk Freeport and not provide all the other corporate respondents is slanderous. Very poor journalism with an intended bias.

  10. Sherry says:

    Remember that when the diving is gone in Cayman you won’t have any stay-over visitors. BUT you will have your cruise ship people who DON’T spend money in Cayman

  11. Michael says:

    This pier will be an environmental and economic disaster for this island. I hope it doesn’t go through as planned. The environment and health of Cayman’s reefs is worth much much more than a couple of developers and merchants getting some more money in their pockets.

    The answer to declining cruise ship tourism and merchant losses is not to destroy the reefs with a concrete monstrosity.

  12. Anonymous says:

    You will not get any firm commitment from the cruise lines to a project of this size while they are waiting to find out how soon they can start services from the USA to Cuba – live with that because what happens to the north of us is far more important to future cruise operations than building the dock.

    That gives us two choices –

    1. Pour money into the dock in the vain hope that it will pay for itself before everything changes.

    2. Put this on hold then direct the resources and money currently being wasted on it into sorting out the dump, the airport, stayover tourism and crime.

    • Anonymous says:

      11:25 On point 2 – you can already see some CIG back-peddling on this in another story run today promoting investment in hotel building.

      The real issue isn’t going to be the environment but money. There is so far not one cent of outside investment (forget the CHEC deal – it was bent from day one) coming forward for this – even Dart won’t put money into it – and if that doesn’t speak volumes to you it’s time to get a hearing aid.

    • Anonymous says:

      Carnival’s Fathom line is planning to start limited cruises to Havana in May 2016 a small 700 passenger ship, MV Adonia, at $3-4000pp with heavily choreographed and escorted itineraries and the typical scrutinizing political officers. That’s not going to change until regime change some point well in the future. I agree with your points and would add that Cuba is not going to open up overnight – it will continue to be in a specialized adventure/curiosity category for next 10 years plus.

      http://www.miamiherald.com/news/business/biz-monday/article30455313.html

      • WaYaSay says:

        The opening up of Cuba for cruise ships is not going to hurt Cayman’s cruise business one iota, to the contrary, if the Tourism Minister gets his act together, it will be a boom for Cayman.

        No one goes on a cruise ship to visit a single Country, they buy airline tickets for that purpose. As someone who has traveled to Cuba many times, let me assure you that it is LOTS cheaper to buy a ticket and pay for a hotel room for a week than to pay $3,000.00 to be cramped up in a cruise ship berth. There are many 5 star hotels in Cuba that fit that budget and much more interesting things on shore with a rental car.

        Any cruise line that visits Cuba is going to welcome the opportunity to welcome the opportunity to also offer Cayman on its itinerary to its passengers as they will be sailing right by us on their way back to Florida.
        Don’t believe me? See the itinerary for the first cruise ship that will be moving from the Med this November. They are far ahead of the U.S. based cruise companies when it comes to Cuba.

        Additionally, if you read the article you posted, you will seen that the small 710 passenger Adonia, will be largely tendering their passengers in Cuba………perhaps an attractive ship for Cayman Brac but do we really need such a small cruise ship taking up valuable anchorage space in George Town Harbor?
        Also shows that rich people able to pay $3,000.00 for a cruise, have NO problem tendering to shore.
        The Cuban Government appear smarter than we are in developing their cruise ship business.

      • Anonymous says:

        1:46 I’d say you’ve never been to Cuba because ‘Heavily choreographed and escorted itineraries and the typical scrutinizing political officers’ went out with the old Soviet Union over two decades ago.

        For years independent foreign travellers have been able to roam Cuba with little or no restrictions. You just get a hire car and go round staying at the Casas Particulares or just in private homes. In fact from my experience dealing with them Cuban immigration is easier than passing through ORIA.

        I witnessed first hand the collapse of communism in Eastern Europe and trust me when the money starts coming in things change very fast. In the early 1990s I saw run down old state-run hotels in Moscow and Leningrad bought up by major western companies and turned round in 12-18 months. Cuba will simply go the same way.

        As for the cruise industry? I have no doubt they will soon be able to start creating resorts in Cuba in the same way as they have at Labadee and Amber Cove – at that point they may well decide that Grand Cayman is simply a needless detour.

    • Anonymous says:

      I see from all the thumbs down that the trolls are active today. Stick your heads in the sand if you want but at the end of the day there’s a real world out there.

  13. Stake Bay Duppy says:

    This project is being promoted by Kirkconnells for the benefit of Kirkconnells. If they want it so bad they and their Minister can do it in their own homeland. Cayman Brac!

  14. Anonymous says:

    I wonder if Premier Alden McLaughlin realizes that Gerry Kirkonnell of Kirk Freeport is

    1. the Deputy Chair of the Port Authority Board of Directors,

    2. the owner of the largest merchant group in GT advocating for CBF

    3. providing financial assistance to the pro-cruise port lobby efforts thru his proxy

    4. In communication with cruise lines during government discussions

    5. Has a pecuniary interest in the positive outcome for cruise berthing piers development

    7. Is a Public Officer defined by the ACL

    Not sure how they define “Conflict of Interests” at PPM HQ but it’s clear that Mr. Legge was not wrong about the inability of leaders to see conflicts in business dealings as common place in the Cayman Islands

    • 1 if by Land, 2 if By Sea says:

      1 Port Authority has nothing to do with the cruise berthing plans.
      2 Yes they own Kirk Freeport. Same as Adrien Briggs owns the tender company
      3 Adrien Briggs companies are running and financing the savecayman group. They also paid to fly down the scientist that is parading through the media right now pushing their agenda against the port.
      4 Gerry is not involved with any of the cruise lines for discussions with the port
      5 Yes he owns into Kirk Freeport, Adrien Briggs has pecuniary interest in keeping his tender boat monopoly of $5 per cruiser times almost 2 million passengers.
      7 (you forgot 6 but I’ll forgive you) He gets no remuneration from government so is actually not a public officer.

      • Anonymous says:

        Is Adrien Briggs in government?
        I think that is the fundamental difference which makes the other situation a conflict of interest.

    • Anonymous says:

      You could say the exact same with Adrien on the other side. He owns Sunset House, Red Sail Sports and the Tender company. The people speaking out against this are all bankrolled or employed by him. He also just brought in the “expert” lady to speak against the port after long discussions with him and Keith on exactly what they wanted her to say.

      • Shhhhhh. says:

        Yes 11.42 but on the other side of the coin, and theoretically, he could potentially benefit from an increase in cruise passenger business. Do you really believe him to be biased, or simply intellectually honest and having integrity? Some people still have those qualities!

    • Anonymous says:

      If I were Cathy Church I would reply to this by shouting in mean capital letters, “WHO ARE YOU?” “STOP BEING A COWARD AND PUT YOUR NAME ON THIS COMMENT” “YOU ARE SO BRAVE HIDING BEHIND ANONYMOUS!”

    • Anonymous says:

      As Woody DaCosta said on Crosstalk the other day, Gerry has stepped out of any meeting on the Port Authority Board regarding the Cruise Pier. You will not find a more honest man than Gerry. Whereas, you seem to be comfortable in attacking a man’s name with no facts and an obvious agenda to try to bring others down. Jealousy is something else. The only consolation is for those who truly believe this pier is for the betterment of the Island’s future and are not preaching doomsday twisted facts to manipulate others, is that they can sleep at night.

      • Anonymous says:

        The Deputy Chair of the Port is a good man, but, the circstamces are what they are. He has to be involved as a member of the Board. Does he not read minutes or discussions on this subject. Come on now it’s not a good idea for him to be on the Board and have pecuniary interest in the development of this project.? There is no way that he can get away even from the perception of being conflicted. Come on now.

      • Anonymous says:

        As a talk show host and PPM mouth piece Woody DaCosta is horrendous and also conflicted as a Port Authority board member when advocating for the current CBF

      • Anonymous says:

        The irony here is that the financial service industry is stuffed full of expats who are not conflicted, can be objective and provide much international legal thought and process. But using them would be politically unacceptable, just the same as the Auditor general being listened to by politicians. “You might see what’s happening but it’s none of your business”

    • Anonymous says:

      You could make similar arguments like this for almost every board in Cayman that has ever been put together. Cayman is small, if you try to form a board without any bit of potential conflict, you’d end up with an extremely inexperienced and inefficient boards. If you take a look at the planning board, most members have either direct or indirect businesses related to construction or businesses that are affected by their decisions. But, these people also have the knowledge to make the best decisions. You have to trust people at some point, that when you put a board together with smart, experienced members, they are not listening to just one person on the board, it is a discussion between all members and they form a decision after hearing what all the members have to say.

      The points you bring up above prove that Gerry is very experienced and a great candidate to be on the Port Authority Board. His insight sounds like it would be very relevant and useful. You are only mad now that there is a controversial topic that you are obviously very against, (which Gerry has stepped aside from any meetings and voting rights to make sure that people like you cannot try to twist anything against him).

  15. All Seeing Eye says:

    The plot thickens; how could the Ministry of Tourism and PPM produce a Terms of Reference for the additional work the Benthic Habitat Survey AFTER the work was commenced by Continental Shelving Associates and its local partner?

    This government is clearly no different from its predecessors allowing the tail to wag the dog and waste public funds. Why wasn’t the $2.5m EIA report prepared by BAIRD NOT good enough or acceptable to the PPM?

  16. Anonymous says:

    Our Caymanian kids are going to arguably failing schools with 3rd world levels of infrastructure. Furthermore, they are facing the worst job prospects in recent history – yet our government is hellbent on throwing money at a project that the majority of the people oppose.

    Granted, it will fatten the pockets of the 1% at the top, to whom Minister Kirkconnell is intimately connected, however to consider this as justification is beyond despicable.

    I implore the PPM and CIG to trash this proposal. Failure to do so will result in unfortunate consequences. This is a guarantee and a promise.

    Thank you CNS for the constant attention to this crucial issue.

    – Whodatis

    • Anonymous says:

      (Sigh)
      The virtual record will survive to demonstrate the pathetic trickery undertaken by the desperate “pro-port” lobby by way of this thumbs manipulation.

      Honestly, are you guys really this stupid or are you actually technically adept individuals with some archaic human dinosaur at the helm??

      smh

  17. Anonymous says:

    boycott kirks…

    • Anonymous says:

      Anonymous 10:14am – Kirks do not own all the shops in town. Dart owns more of them along with almost all of the liquor stores etc.

  18. Anonymous says:

    Simple! Let Kirk Freeport come up with an alternative that satisfies the 90 odd % who are not connected to the firm as well as the rest of the population. The vested interests should be made responsible. They are the traders with the 300 or 400 percent markups.
    Maybe then we will see support for either a floating dock or WaYaSay’s plan of moving the tourists directly to their chosen destination by dedicated tenders. This will leave the streets of George Town to those tourists who are really here for the shopping. I know the commission sales people would prefer one on one sales rather than the clamoring crowds they put up with currently.

    • Anonymous says:

      You mean the rested interests of the tender boat monopoly owners?
      300-400 percent markup? I guess you believe in unicorns and fairy dust too. Go compare the pricing to anywhere in the US and you will quickly find out the prices here are better. I highly doubt any tourists would shop in Cayman if they were overpricing.
      Do you have any idea how much worse the tender congestion would be if you had to send them all over? How are we going to place immigration customs and security in multiple different places?

      • WaYaSay says:

        Anon 11:07, I think you meant “vested” interest instead of “rested” interest. Let me assure you that I have no “rested” interest in the tender boat monopoly owners nor the dive industry, never worked in either one, never owned shares in either one. My background is in stay over tourism, however I am now retired from that too. I have not spoken to Adrian, Atlee, Cathy Church in at least 5 years nor have I spoken to anyone connected to the save Cayman Campaign nor voted on their website, I have never met , nor spoken to, Keith the manager of Sunset House except to sit with him in Tourism related business meetings at CITA. Believe it or not, I have spoken to Gerry quite a few times in the last 5 years but we did not talk about tourism nor the dock. We grew up during the same period and have many other things we usually talk about besides work, except to tell him that he works too hard and very long hours.
        I think Gerry is an honest man of integrity who has given much back to his Country. While we are not dear close friends, we are much closer than any of those mentioned above. I can say the same things about Robbie from Tortuga companies, we talk more often.
        While I was successfully corrected about the number of items that they get duty free (apparently it is only 100% pure crystal……….still more than I get), I never said they were overpriced, Gerry is too smart for that, he understands his cliental!

        Now to answer your rhetorical rambling…………are you serious ………… You obviously read my posts on the CBF…………. let the cruise ships pay for the security, immigration and customs (why do you think they need customs anyway? the items they bought already have duty added in their price) ……they already do, hence the bottleneck when the returning tender get to the ship. Government only has to provide the personnel ( more jobs ) and the facilities………. at 10% the cost of the CBF.

        How can the fact that tenders dock miles apart, create MORE congestion? ………you may want to reconsider your rhetoric there, otherwise I am wasting my time trying to explain that concept to you.
        The tender company , if they retain their monopoly should pay for the tender docks, and their upkeep. I know you have a problem grasping this concept, but try to understand what I wrote at least.

        If you are a part of the pro dock group who say we need the CBF in order to increase the number of cruise visitors to beyond the two million per year mark, you should love my proposal, as it easily accomplishes that …………..there is a limit to how many we can cater to, you know, and breaking the two million mark makes Cayman the 5th largest cruise destination in the WORLD. I just don’t want to see the whole 2 million in the middle of George Town when 1 million are just there to catch a cab to go somewhere else.
        If you are a duty free shop owner or you work there, you should also appreciate what I wrote; one million people visiting your store, who only want to shop, is far better, for you and for the shopper, than cluttering up your store with one million more, who only want to suck up your air conditioning and buy nothing ……………think man!

        Let me make this perfectly clear, my problem with the proposed CBF is its COST (shouting). $150,000,000.00, $200,000,000.00 or $300,000,000.00 (who knows) will have to be paid back, plus interest.
        Government has no money and will have to cut a deal with some one or some institution if the CBF is built. The population will have to pay for it, either by giving up revenue, or raising taxes to pay the loan.
        Even if it is a straight payback to a bank ……….. if you take the time to follow my logic, you can get the same numbers, in terms of increased income for 10% of the cost. heavens above, increased income to Government, with only 10% of the cost and debt service, may even mean that Government can reduce taxes, at least on gasoline…….. but that might be too much to ask from ANY Government .
        With the CBF, as proposed, what is a far more likely scenario is that we have to pay back 150% more, over 30 or 40 years, and, give the lender a piece of the revenues (just like your home mortgage, or the West Bay Highway).
        This will mean that my children, my grand children and possibly my great grand children will be servicing this debt ……..while 2% of the population benefit.

        I trust this makes my position perfectly clear!

        • Anonymous says:

          Talk about a waste of oxygen…..so much of why you speak shows you have absolutely no clue about any of this. A tiny bit of information with a big bit of balls but tint brains backing it up is a very dangerous situation.

  19. GT Woter says:

    Perhaps Moses Jerry and his kids should use some the empire’s inheritance to help pay for their cruise pier instead of us!

    • Anonymous says:

      So what you’re saying is we should ask the Ritz Carlton to pay for the new Airport?
      Simple minded statements like this show that you have no idea what economic benefit tourism brings to our island.

  20. Anonymous says:

    What a ridiculous bunch of twisted distorted garbage. More people from outside of Cayman replied than those who live here. The Majority of those against are all dive companies and their employees. How many of those people are on work permits versus Caymanians?

    • Anonymous says:

      I am a Caymanian- I OPPOSE IT- so does every Caymanian I know (other than the Kirkconnells and their extended family of course!)

  21. Anonymous says:

    CNS, how do you sleep at night after writing blatantly biased articles day after day, ripping apart family names and twisting facts and words to achieve your agenda. It is disappointing to see such reckless journalism. You dive very deep into the pro-port responses to rip them apart, but you do not feel the need to even attempt to look unbiased by diving a little into the anti-port votes. You seem to find it relevant to state some of the votes in the pro-port responders are on work permit, yet you do not find it relevant that over half of the anti-port responses are from people that don’t even live on the island.

    Also, you claim the wider public is against the port, whereas only under 200 letters from on island either way were sent in? That does not sound like the wider public to me. That sounds like only a few very vocal ones from either side who bothered to send any opinion in, not the wider public.

    • Anonymous says:

      where are the cruiseshippers coming from, certainly not on island, as this is your market for having the pier, maybe you should listen to those off island that are our visitors.

  22. Anonymous says:

    Environment Minister Wayne Panton is asleep at the wheel. Wake up Wayne, wake up!

  23. Anonymous says:

    So are we going to ignore this HUGE pink elephant in the room – the surname MLA who is tasked with getting this done and the surname of the supporters. Letters written by permit holders REALLY? We are going to buy into this aren’t we? Ahh boy

    • Anonymous says:

      If you buy into the total against which includes many more permit holders and over 200 people that don’t even live in Cayman then yes, “ahh boy” is right.

    • Anonymous says:

      Hilarious you are looking over the fact that over half of the anti-port posts came from people overseas and not even on the island! And half or more of the on island letters came from people working with or for Adrien (Sunset House, Tender company and Red Sail Sports)!

      • Anonymous says:

        I am a Caymanian- I work for a law firm- I OPPOSE IT

        • Anonymous says:

          How do you dislike the fact that I work at a law firm and support it? Is Kirk Freeport paying a $ to their employees for every thumbs down they give anyone that is against the dock?

      • Anonymous says:

        Hey stupid, the people from overseas in the majority had just got off the tender and enjoyed their boat trip through Hog Sty Bay. If it was a terrible experience, they would have opted for the pier! The end!

  24. Anonymous says:

    This entire article is hogwash.

    • Anonymous says:

      All we need is to extend the finger pier south of Hogsty bay to handle more tenders and spread the tenders more evenly around because somebody is funneling all tenders thru royal Watler so south side of town retailers suffering and that’s not fair and we need permanent moorings so the anchor chains stop producing silt that is killing everything in that area. Don’t do the dock and let Adrien keep improving his tender business to be more efficient so passengers will be happy

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