Airport seeking bids for new lounge

| 05/08/2019 | 66 Comments
Cayman News Service
Owen Roberts International Airport

(CNS): The Cayman Islands Airports Authority (CIAA) is adding another new element to the redevelopment and expansion of Owen Roberts Airport and is seeking experienced bidders to build and run a “luxury” full-service passenger lounge at the terminal. Officials said they would be hosting a meeting for potential experienced bidders this week for the new project, and the airport appears open to suggestions.

This is a new concession opportunity that was not included in the original request for proposals,” a spokesperson from the airport stated. “The space has been built and this is an opportunity for a lounge operator to develop and operate a shared-use airline lounge and pay a concession fee to the CIAA for the opportunity. The CIAA will evaluate all proposals for the quality of the lounge product as well as the financial investment and return to the CIAA to select a concessionaire.”

CNS understands that no final cost has been determined. A consulting firm based in Cambridge, Massachusetts, is assisting the CIAA with the tender, though there is no indication when that consulting firm was hired by the airport. 

The meeting for interested parties will be on Thursday, 8 August, at 9am at the Airport Conference Room on the 2nd floor of the Terminal Building. People wanting to attend are asked to RSVP by 6 August with details of where potential bidders already operate an airport lounge to: lounge@caymanairports.com

Only those who RSVP or their representatives will be allowed to participate in the meeting or the airport tour.


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Category: Business, Transport

Comments (66)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    A lounge is must. There is nothing worse for the business traveller than having to try to find a seat among all the fly-over state Betsies and Bobs.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Yes! We need to be more elitist and separate the haves and the have-nots, the smart from the stupid, the sophisticated from the local yokels and the serious from those being sarcastic. An airport lounge is the answer to all our problems, and while we’re at it, let’s find a side door to exit so that we don’t have to stand next to the plebes when boarding.

    • Anonymous says:

      Perhaps 2 ex-McAlpine very senior employees could bid on this new job.

      They have much experience with this project.

  2. Anonymous says:

    All I want to know is whether the Admirals club gets me in?

  3. Anonymous says:

    Lots of people come to Cayman to get treatments and surgeries at Health City. If they can’t get a seat upon departure and have to stay in long lines, unable to get into restroom facilities, this is going to deter lots of potential Health City clients. Is anyone at the airport administration aware of that? Is there a special place for medical tourists? One would think that new airport was build with medical tourists in mind.

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  4. Chet Oswald Ebanks says:

    Oh my what else did you think POWER GRABBING SO CALLED UNITY GOVERNMENT would give to us CAYMANIANS. A new Airport should have been built with 3 floors and big enough to serve us for at leat the next 30 years. DID you expect anything better. ANSWER A BIG NO. CAYMAN has an outdated airport. Just take a look at Jamaica and Bahamas, Barbados airports to name a few. MAKES OUR LITTLE CRAPPY building look like you know what CRAP. Don’t worry we soon get a new one. If you think IVAN WAS BAD IN 2004, wait till the next big hurricane hits. Won’t be anything left. NOTHING BUT OVERPAID MLA’S, BROKEN PROMISES, AND EVERYONE LOOKING OUT FOR THEIR BUDDIES INTEREST.

    ON another note. What is this SO CALLED UNITY GOVERNMENT AND WASTE OF A TIME CAYMAN AIRWAYS MANAGEMENT DOING ABOUT GETTING US SOME decent planes to fly on. I for one TOTALLY AVOID CAYMAN AIRWAYS AT ALL COST, WHEN I fly anymore. JUST LOOK HOW MUCH HATE, SIGMA, DISCRIMINATION THIS SO CALLED UNITY GOVERNMENT ACTIONS IS HAVING ON HIV INFECTED PERSONS LIKE MYSELF.

    CAYMAN AIRWAYS ALWAYS LATE AND 99.9% Staff needs to be retired. WHAT A WASTE OF OUR TAX DOLLARS. AND YET THIS SO CALLED UNITY GOVERNMENT KEEPS WASTING OUR TAX DOLLARS. CAYMANIANS ISN’T IT TIME WE START PROTESTING IN THE STREETS OF OUR NOW TOTALLY DEAD DOWNTOWN GT.
    GREED, GREED AND NOTHING MORE. OH WAIT IT’S VERY HOT HERE AND I PREDICIT A HURRICANCE THIS YEAR EVEN BIGGER THAN IVAN. WHEN YOU HAVE A SO CALLED UNITY GOVERNMENT, ONLY HAPPY TO KEEP IT’S CITIZENS DOWN AND DON’T WANT TO HELP THOSE OF US IN THIS COUNTRY, THAT ACTUALLY NEED ASSISTANCE.

    Can someone please leave me our current Governor’s email, so that I can email him. I left that crappy FACEBOOK YEARS AGO. I got a big brown envelope of emails I need to sit down and have a meeting with our Governor about. ALL that wasted money and this is the best this SO CALLED UNITY GOVERNMENT CAN GIVE US. TIME FOR US CAYMANIANS TO PROTEST THEY HAVE TO GO.

    ANYONE WANT EARLY ELECTIONS? LET’S START PROTESTING, WHO WILL JOIN ME. LET’S GET ANOTHER PETITION GOING LIKE THE PORT ONE, SO WE CAN TAKE OUR COUNTRY BACK, ENOUGH IS ENOUGH.

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    • Anonymous says:

      I don’t know you other than what I have seen you write or say publicly, but I do want to help you. Try to calm down a little and write a concise non-capitalized message for your voice to get heard. People see this and think, yikes. Good luck.

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      • Anonymous says:

        11:09am. Your comment has a condescending tone.
        You are certainly lacking communication as well as diplomatic skills. Otherwise you would not have written your comment the way it’s written. Don’t also speak for all people, for you don’t know what other people think. Giving unsolicited advices to a person you never met and know nothing about is wrong to say the least.

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        • Anonymous says:

          I will stay anonymous and if you read a condescending tone you may won’t to rewire your inner voice. I was just trying to help this guy I do not know because he is very passionate. I think he has made sense in most comments and I was just trying to help.

        • Anonymous says:

          Wow, 1:38, looks like you are the one with the condescending and assuming tone.

      • Chet Oswald Ebanks says:

        And why don’t you print your name. Hello Anonymous. Who you afraid off. Speak your mind.

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        • Anonymous says:

          See above. Also re: who I am afraid of… mostly no one, but I run a business and I don’t need people deciding to not work with me because of my posts on CNS. I meant no harm and next time you can just scream away without input from myself.

      • Anonymous says:

        @11:09
        10:32 uses his full name, and while his writing might not be perfect and clearly emotional, your Anonymous response is inappropriate. You say it yourself, you don’t know him. He didn’t ask for your help. I doubt you can provide any if your first instinct to publicly humiliate him simply because your writing skills are better.
        Unless you disclose your real name, keep your judgment to yourself.

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        • Chet Oswald Ebanks says:

          Thank you for your comments. I wrote it mostly in capital letters. So as to send a clear message to this so called Unity Government. I can write properly and was educated by some of the best teachers we had. Am a proud Cayman Bracker and Caymanian and a proud British citizen. It’s time we call for early elections. Let us send a clear message to these power hungry, greedy political parties. That we the registered voters of this country. Well what little is left of it. It’s high time, we Caymanians have a Government, elected to serve the people, not themselves.

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          • Anonymous says:

            Many individuals don’t read comments punctuated with capitalised whole words, sentences, paragraphs, etc.

            It can be hard on the eye especially when one is trying to read as much comments as possible in a short space of time.

            Chet, you may be automatically eliminating a large number of potential readers. You have great points.

        • Anonymous says:

          Lol – are you new to this forum? Plenty, plenty people speak their judgments anonymously and don’t get chastised by the self-righteous. I think the guy was just trying to help!

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          • Anonymous says:

            Anonymous to anonymous, may be. But when a person reveals his real name, only cowards would attack him or her anonymously.

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      • Anonymous says:

        11:09, That’s the problem with people like you and Caymanians generally. People need to start getting mad about all the stupid nonsense related to an airport which is a disaster considering how much was paid and considering modern airports in places like Bahamas, Jamaica. Bermuda’s new airport built by Canadians, puts our to shame and we are still adding on to our airport every couple of months as the costs keep increasing. Don’t stay calm get mad because we are being ripped off by our leaders.

        The Dump, no action. 50 storey buildings proposed. More nonsense. Regular garbage pick up? A dream on Grand Cayman.

        Get mad 11:09, you might not be aware that you have a lot to be mad about. Staying calm has got us nowhere.

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  5. Anon says:

    So my two comments/questions are, will they be building a restaurant/bar on the main side (pre security side) of the building? It would be good if there were somewhere for people to be able to sit and relax whilst waiting for the delayed flights to arrive or the security lines to go down. Also, what is the 2nd floor being used for? There seems to be soooo much space up there and can’t possibly be just for CA offices? Why not extended the departure lounge to use some of that space as well, set up a nice restaurant/bar for people waiting for their flights. There just isn’t enough room in Subway/the pathetic coffee bar or the future Wendy’s (stab in the dark regarding that one) to relax and grab a bit to eat before the flight

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    • Anonymous says:

      So I will still wait until the last minute to show up for my flight because you would not catch me in a Subway or Wendy’s or any fast food establishment.
      So revolting that this is as imaginative as we can get for our departure lounge. Embarrassing and what does it say about us? Fatso fatso gorge on sh!te food.

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      • Benevolent Mindflayer says:

        I have no problem with Subway or Wendy’s being in the departures lounge. Go to pretty much any airport and you’ll find those kinds of options and you’ll also usually find long lines of people wanting those options. What I do have a problem with is that those options are the only options. We don’t necessarily need a high-end option – Grand Cayman isn’t a connecting hub where people have long layovers and can enjoy those kinds of meals – but something healthy, tasty and not typical fast food that passengers can either eat here or take on the plane with them should be an option, too. Having an elite departures lounge without offering something decent for everyone else isn’t the answer. But we all know where our MLAs will be on their many globe-trotting travels, and it won’t be at Subway.

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        • Anonymous says:

          We can do so much better than just Subway and Wendy’s. Fast food junk.
          And we call ourselves a world class destination.
          Basic problem with everything related to the airport is that local Caymanian business interests are being catered to first and foremost not the international traveling public. They deserve so much better as a part of their Cayman experience.

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          • Anonymous says:

            Subway might not be great, but it’s not that bad. It’s healthier than most fast food restaurants, and it’s a lot healthier than patties. And it’s something people easily can grab and eat on the plane that is probably better than what the airline offers. But let’s add a better option as well! And let’s be clear – the business interests are usually sitting in business class where they get fed pretty well; they aren’t eating at the airport here.

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      • Anonymous says:

        But the target market is American tourists. And fly-over state ones at that.

    • Anonymous says:

      Get the free shuttle to the GT Yacht Club. Less than 5 minutes away, way cheaper than the airside stuff, and good cooking.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Have you been in that ridiculous airport on a weekend, it’s already packed to capacity and an extremely unpleasant experience. Especially when CAL can’t be bothered to inform its passengers of their continuous delays. Instead of pandering to this ridiculous idea of an elitist lounge, why doubt they use the extra space for the main customer base to relieve the pressure?

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    • Anonymous says:

      I was there at the weekend and there were no seats available. WTAF… brand new airport and I can’t even get a seat. Another classic F*** UP by our illustrious CIG. Can’t wait to see how many different ways they can screw up the port if all the right pockets get greased for that shambles too.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Need lounge ASAP to keep elitists away from main customer base. Those that travel a lot do not like to be around those that do not travel a lot.

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  7. Anonymous says:

    Airport staff need to include a sign with direction arrow for the mysterious disappearing ” Gate 1 “.

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  8. Anonymous says:

    Why wasn’t this included in the recent development, as per original plans? Is the intent to try to pull the wool over public’s eyes by claiming the project cost “only” $65 million, then “sneak-in” a “side project” worth another few million, then do an apron extension, small runway extension and perimeter works worth another few million ?

    Does parting-up this project make it less costly to the public’s purse in the long run??!

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  9. Mike Dill says:

    We missed an opportunity to showcase, to the world, our great restaurants and drinking establishments. A smaller version of Calypso or Aqua…a Papermans or Jesse’s juice…a Burger Shack or Seven Mile Burger…Green2Go…Icoa with sandwiches and bakery.. .a Casa 43…Craft bartenders, rum and beer outlets..
    It could have, literally, left a great taste in our visitors mouths.

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    • Anonymous says:

      I know!! Can you imagine?? It is genuinely an embarrassment what we’ve been saddled with at the brand new airport. No imagination or incentive to step outside fo the fast food box. I don’t go to any of those fast food joints at the best of times. Never. Not everyone likes fast food.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Yeah, but we’ve got subway in there. I mean… nothing says Cayman better than a foot long meatball sub from an international chain.

      I’d love to be able to get a Seven Mile Burger before departure… especially on the 12 hour BA flight that feed you prison food – if you’re lucky

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      • Anonymous says:

        *drooling I had a Burger Shack burger in town from the food truck on Saturday. Real burgers are not located at Burger King nor Wendy’s…

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    • Anonymous says:

      …better still…Cimboco and Chicken Chicken……BUT OH NO…American fast food chains it is….SO SAD!

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      • Anonymous says:

        Chicken Chicken would be awesome at the airport. That stuff is totally tops. What a superb product. My staff eat there practically every day. Well done Chicken Chicken.

        As a aside, the wild hens that I feed daily have all mysteriously vanished. I hope my staff haven’t eaten them!! Just kidding….but you knew that.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Seems you are in a bit of a pickle there Mike.

  10. Kman says:

    Don’t worry Dart will be operating the lounge one way or another, let’s not fool ourselves here this is a “blind bid”.

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  11. Norman says:

    How about enough seats in the regular lounge for all passengers to sit down. Even at busy times.
    Millions were spent on this pretty looking airport but there are no more seats than in the old airport.
    Opened just 3 months ago and already not fit for purpose.

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  12. Alice (in Wonderland). says:

    I assume this is principally for the benefit of Civil Servants and CIAA staff travelling business class courtesy of the taxpayer.

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  13. Anonymous says:

    So the build costs were a lie then, because it was going to be a piece meal project? While the old Sir Turtle lounge felt like the waiting room of a dodgy massage parlour, a function lounge is generally considered an integral part of most airports.

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  14. Anonymous says:

    How about getting a free Public WIFI system put in place and fix those damn parking lot machines?…I always have to allow myself an extra 15 minutes when I return to find someone to open the gate because the machine isn’t working..Also why pay one of the slowest people on earth to collect the funds via credit card when everywhere else in the world you can use your credit/debit card in the machine…which by the way only accepts Cayman dollars…and they better be brand new bills otherwise you have to go stand in line at the cashier to exchange bills…$60M+ for an airport and still can’t get this fixed..ugh!

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  15. Anonymous says:

    things that make you go..hmmmm.

    Let’s see who the winning bidder is…or who it has been promised to…

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  16. Anonymous says:

    Will there be a water feature?

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  17. Anonymous says:

    Same thing that’s happening with the new Max 8 Lounge

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  18. Anonymous says:

    obvious question…why this not done during intial construction???
    another day in wonderland.

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    • Anonymous says:

      They forgot some friends last time, gotta make sure ALL pockets are lined. What a joke, bids on a build that will no doubt “go over costs”.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Because CIG wanted to go cheap and do a piecemeal approach rather than taking the more expensive, but thorough bid from the Canadians. In the end, the total cost by the end of next year will be the same price as Canada’s. But lots of money for the local trough.

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  19. Anonymous says:

    The airport is nice, but with no Wi-Fi (unless you are inside the waiting area) it creates more congestion in the drop-off/pick-up area than necessary. Fix that first and we can talk about passenger lounge.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Did you know 6:38, that we are expected to get the new Cayman taxi app outside the pick up area? Someone forgot there is no WI-FI there. Only in Cayman Wonderland.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Always wanting something for free. Exterior wifi!!

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      • Anonymous says:

        A normal feature and passenger expectation of an international airport costing tens of millions. 5A USB charging stations are also commonplace, except in “the islands that time forgot” where top level planners have no idea what they are doing.

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      • Anonymous says:

        5:44, So how are you going to have a Cayman taxi app for tourists if you cannot download the app because there is no exterior WIFI?

        Guess we can rip the tourists off further by charging them to get exterior WIFI.

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  20. Anonymous says:

    What is happening regarding a new “Sir Turtle” lounge?

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    • Anonymous says:

      Read the article. A single lounge for all airline programs which will charge the airlines per head or passengers individually.

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      • Anonymous says:

        I suggest you read the article! Nowhere does it state that it will be a first class / business class lounge. It could be a “membership” lounge for all airlines with a charge back to each individual who pays for membership. What it does state is that there will be a concession fee paid to the CIAA
        Such lounges exist in most airports and if you traveled much you would understand the difference!

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