Traders to get slots in public beach revamp

| 18/03/2019 | 64 Comments
Cayman News Service

Seven Mile Beach, Grand Cayman

(CNS): Local traders who are currently touting their wares on Seven Mile Public Beach will be given designated slots in a “designated vendor village”, according to a statement about the start of a $3 million project to enhance recreational areas at the beach. The work started Monday morning and is expected to take around four months to complete. The island largest developer, Dart, will be doing the work as part of the still controversial NRA deal that government cut with the investor as part of the third version signed almost three years ago.

As well as the traders village, which the government said will include 16 stalls “designed to invoke the charm of traditional Cayman cottages”, the overall revamp is said to include new sports amenities, restrooms and disability access.

Joey Hew, the minister responsible for commerce, planning and infrastructure, said the upgrades will benefit residents and visitors, with the “designated spaces for local businesses to operate, new restroom facilities to make the beach accessible for persons of all abilities, and additional landscaping to provide more public green space and shade for our community to enjoy”.

Government said that all relevant stakeholders are involved in the project, including the Public Lands Commission, to ensure that beach access is maintained throughout the project. However, sources told CNS that the commission members were unaware of the commencement of the project until it began, Monday, but it is also understood that some members of the commission did attend stakeholder meetings and were consulted about the changes in access that will result once the upgrades are completed.

Government said the public will continue to have access to the beach via pathways, but once the first phase of improvement works is complete, private vehicles will no longer be able to drive directly up to the beach.

“This decision was made to ensure the safety of all beach users going forward and prevent future instances of reckless driving near the cabanas and soccer pitch,” officials stated, adding that access to the Mobi-mat will be maintained and the public will still be able to access and book the beach cabanas.

The work has started at the southernmost area of the beach, where the vendor village will be located along with the new restroom block and walking paths. Improvements to the existing restrooms are planned for a later date once the new restrooms are complete.

The second phase will see the addition of new walking paths around the existing children’s playground and improvements to the volleyball courts, officials stated. The final part will focus on upgrades to the existing parking area.

Kenneth Hydes, Dart’s VP for special projects and partnerships, said the work represented a significant investment by the group. However, the company was obligated to make the renovations as it was part of the NRA deal, which saw the Dart Group’s land massively increase in value following the acquisition and closure of part of the West Bay Road, making the land beachfront and facilitating the development of the Kimpton hotel.

“Dart is committed to the continued sustainable economic development of the Cayman Islands and delivering this project for the wider benefit of the local community and our country as the premier tourist destination in the Caribbean,” Hydes said.

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Category: development, Local News

Comments (64)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Move the Governor inland. That entire property should be a permanent public beach with facilities. The Gov doesn’t need that luxury. Give it back to the public.

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    • Anonymous says:

      @9:08 Why should we do that? To make space for more vendors or create another public beach? We have a public beach, take it back from the vendors!

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    • Anonymous says:

      9.08pm… really!!! Take it from the governor and give to the Jamaicans??? Thats who will be in the slots. Talk about more slumming and embarrassment for us. God help us.

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  2. Anonymous says:

    No to vendors. Ugly and unwanted. Public Beach is the wild wild west. Dirty and sleazy. The government should not allow another plot on 7 Mile be developed and do everything in their power to make any current vacant plots protected areas that can be enjoyed in their natural state by the people of Cayman. Soon there will be nothing left. The watersports vendors on Public Beach are the worst of all. Straight up dangerous.

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  3. Anonymous says:

    for God’s sake, this is right next to Government House, how XXXX!
    The Governor lives right there, remember? who thinks up these ideas?
    How will that look and sound when he is entertaining his guests?
    this just proves exactly how much grey matter this Government /politicians have.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Government House is in-between the Westin and Governor’s Beach. Google Maps has the marker for Government House in the wrong place. Activity on Public Beach will have no impact on Government House.

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  4. Anonymous says:

    Another good example of watch my pretty assistant while I steal your watch.

    It also feels to me like another way to thumb a finger at Caymanians. “Here are your beach stalls… leave the rest of the islands to us now…”

    Recent history has shown that DART will give, to get something, and then take away. i.e.. the Farmer’s and Artisan Market in Camana Bay that is now, supposedly, competing with his stores and Café Del Sol who did not have their contract renewed for the new Starbucks.

    I wouldn’t take any handouts from Dart as he giveth and then he taketh away…

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    • Anonymous says:

      Correct, the reason they are paying for this is to make sure the riff riff higglers are kept at the farthest point on the beach away from the Kimpton.
      They have dumped all the garbage on Harbor Heights boundary.

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  5. Anonymous says:

    well, I never one day thought that we would see this crap happening in our country, particularly the last little piece of white sand beach that is left. What in the hell are Alden and his donkeys thinking about.

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  6. Anonymous says:

    Dart again! They absolutely own these islands. And the stories of them building a massive burj style building are effectively like sticking a cocktail stick through a cooked burger. It’s done. I own this.

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  7. Anonymous says:

    I cant believe we let this happen. When people finally get enough i think its going to be bad.

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  8. Anonymous says:

    Well, well, well I am now going spend $50,000+ and plop down really nice beach chairs, umbrellas etc. cause I want the piece of the pie…Lol. I would love to see what would happen if Kel Thompson came with his money to Public Beach and dumped a bunch of chairs there too, do you think those little Ching chings that are there now would survive, no they wouldn’t….Ching chings nothing but aggressive and nuisance to the Public Beach. Alden, Joey, government please grow some balls and stick to the law and remove everyone.

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    • Say it like it is says:

      8.15am Remove the Trolley Roger as well, not only is it a severe traffic obstruction but it is also destroying the charm of Smith’s Cove. Locals complain about Dart but forget that some of their own are just as bad, using croneyism to get what they want.

  9. Anonymous says:

    Beach vendors? How ghastly and third world. Please, we don’t want to suffer that sort of thing on vacation. Yuck.

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    • Anonymous says:

      have you been to public beach lately, @7:36 am?? It’s littered w/ beach vendors! Best to put them OFF the actual beach and in a cute Cayman village to sell their beach chairs etc.

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  10. Elvis says:

    Y parents visited many times, the thing they love most of all are the private quiet beautiful beaches where no one bothers you and soft flour like sand pushes between their toes as they walk for undisturbed miles, so go turn it into a mini market why don’t you, you spoiling everything else so please don’t stop now

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  11. Anonymous says:

    Giving this space to Dart is a national disgrace. Did this go out to tender? Thought Not!! The people of Cayman, as previously noted, need to wake the hell up. You need to hold your MLA’s to account. They all need to disclose their relationships and conflicts with ALL of the Dart corporations and employees. Someone needs to step in and clip this vultures wings. It’s obvious our current government won’t do it.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Reading is hard.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Neither will the other party unfortunately!

    • tagcayman says:

      why would it go to tender? the DART COMPANY IS PAYING FOR IT!

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      • Anonymous says:

        are you joking me! You think these people are doing it out of the goodness of their hearts. Let’s tear down one beach bar, build a couple of toilets, then move all that custom and business to Barkers that we own and can make conservatively $5 – $10m a year which is what I estimate Calico revenue is. Time to wake up and smell the coffee Tag!

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      • Anonymous says:

        It’s not that Dart is paying for it out of his deep,pocket. It is part of the agreement when our representatives gave him our road. It was a trade off, an exchange,or put it another way we paid for it with our road, our view, and all that went with it.

  12. Anonymous says:

    beach vendors are the reason i don’t go to public beach….why are we making their 3rd world activities permanent????

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  13. Anonymous says:

    I hate it how it is now. Hope this is an improvement but not sure.

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  14. Anonymous says:

    What about a permanent staff of life guards at public beaches?

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  15. Anonymous says:

    This is great news for the beach vendors!

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  16. Anonymous says:

    trying to normalise those local higglers is the last thing we need

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    • Anonymous says:

      Nothing local about most of them, and certainly not their culture.

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      • CaymanKind says:

        1.43am Who sells coconuts outside the Port Authority, who erected that hideous plastic “Aqua Park” right next to Eden Rock, who invades Smith’s Cove with that trashy and unsafe Trolley Roger?.

  17. Anonymous says:

    Another public beach that isnt public any more, My God ,wake up.

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  18. Anonymous says:

    The public beach should be just that “public” and not privatized for vendors
    it is a shame what Cayman has come to.

    I have been harassed and have witnessed tourist harassed by vendors and baggers at the public beach and it truly dis hearting .

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  19. Jotnar says:

    Cant see that a vendor village will get the sun loungers off the beach – “heres your lounger – carry it to the beach and bring it back to get your deposit back”? – or remove the touts hassling tourists to rent one (or checking they have paid for the one they are on). Or stop the jet ski’s driving up to the beach. Without enforcement, all you are doing is giving 16 operators somewhere to eat their lunch, or opening the door to supplementing the existing rental of beach chairs and jet skis with a village of craft sales people. The solution is really quite simple – enforce the damn law!

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  20. Anonymous says:

    CNS- Who do we contact to get a stall in this Vendor Village?

    CNS: I’ve passed the question onto Auntie.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Also please Auntie what will the government do when the 17th, 18th, 19th…30th..vendors show up to start their business? Will they be denied the opportunity to do so? Can’t see how.

      Allowing a single vendor on that beach has been the the most disgaceful display of lack of spine by our previous and current government administration. Bewildering.

      Every time I read about this, it makes me sad and angry. I agree with @4:16 that this will solve nothing in terms of creating space. Building stalls is not the solution. Disallowing any and all vendors was the ONLY solution! SMH

      Frustrated and done with voting!

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  21. Anonymous says:

    Crap. Keep all beaches free of vendors!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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  22. Anonymous says:

    Just say no to beach vendors!

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  23. Anonymous says:

    Will Mr. Hew continue to allow the vendors to operate under a different set of rules like no insurance, no pension, no T&B rules or will they have to function as every other business in Cayman is forced to do in order to be compliant?

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  24. Anonymous says:

    Joey Who?

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  25. Just wondering says:

    What rent and business license fees are they going to pay?
    Are we going to have space for ourselves amd not have vendors trying to kick us off the beach?

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    • Anonymous says:

      God help the vendor that gives me attitude for moving their chairs so me and my family can enjoy the PUBLIC beach.

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      • Anonymous says:

        God help you if you move my chairs off my place of business that I am both licensed and legal to operate on.
        Why don’t you take your family up or down the seven miles of beach that is also public and move the hotel’s chairs that they have out there, POS.

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        • Anonymous says:

          @6:53 you have just verbalized to us all, why allowing vendors on Public Beach was the WRONG idea!

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        • Anonymous says:

          You are the reason why there should be NO vendors on the beach. Go get a real job asshole. This is what I predict, fights amongst the vendors and attacking of locals (Caymanian, residents etc.) because of the pure ignorance of NOT understanding that it is a PUBIC BEACH!! Thank you McKeeva for allowing this shit to happen, should have said NO to Ron from the get go. Useless Politicians!!

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        • Chairman of the Beach says:

          6.53pm Amongst other things you must be a Caymanian, just like the poachers who destroy our stocks of conchs and lobsters saying it is their native born right.

    • Anonymous says:

      My family and me enjoy the space whenever we choose. Nobody has ever tried to “kick us off” the beach, and they never will. Life doesn’t have to be tragic. It is YOUR beach — the public beach. Use it and take care of it.

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  26. Anonymous says:

    Private vehicles have never been allowed to drive directly up to the beach. Hasn’t stopped them though, has it….

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