Bryan proposes moving governor to take back beach

| 23/11/2022 | 233 Comments
  • Cayman News Service
  • Cayman News Service
  • Cayman News Service
  • Cayman News Service

(CNS): As vendors, cruise ship passengers and local residents begin to clash over the use of Seven Mile Public Beach in the face of dwindling access, Tourism Minister Kenneth Bryan has suggested that the official residence of the Cayman Islands governor should be moved so that this stretch of the beach can be reclaimed for the public. Bryan has said he has raised the issue with his Cabinet colleagues and is now working on a proposal to find another secure home for future governors away from the islands’ top attraction.

Speaking Friday on Radio Cayman’s For the Record, the minister set out some of the challenges surrounding increasing unregulated beach vending on Seven Mile Beach. He said the solution is for government to acquire more beachfront land as it is clear that vendors need a location and residents want a place to call their own.

One potential area was the current governor’s residence.

“I’ve said to my colleagues, I think it’s time for us, and I said it in front of the governor, how would you feel about relocating the Government House,” the minister said. “I tested the waters and it seemed to be that there is some appetite for that. So I am going to be formally putting it in a paper to my colleagues to say, I think it is time for us to start planning now to find a new location for the governor’s residence, especially considering as we are transitioning now to a new one. So get him or her, whoever that may be, before they get here to get in the mindset. Don’t get too comfortable in this spot.”

Bryan said he respected the position of the governor but that “my people” come first before the crown. He said the governor’s residence could be moved to a safe, nice, comfortable property and save the current location for Caymanians. He said the house itself could be preserved and maybe even include a Caymanian-run restaurant, opening up the site and beach for locals.

During the course of the show, Bryan said that while the situation at Seven Mile Beach that is causing controversy was not really his area of responsibility, it was impacting him as tourism minister. He also implied that there is considerable disagreement among the PACT caucus about allowing the vendors on the beach and the provision of activities and services for cruise passengers, but he supported the vendors.

Bryan said he believed that the vendors should be allowed, but said a way had to be found to balance that with the right of locals to access the beach. He pointed out that without Royal Palms, Tiki Beach, Calico Jacks and other past beach venues that catered to cruisers, “the bottom line is… we have run out of space on the most famous beach we have in the Caribbean”.

Bryan suggested regulating the situation and allowing licensed vendors to trade there on cruise ship days but freeing up the beach on weekends or when there are no ships. He said he was stuck in the middle of a situation that really lay at the feet of the Department of Commerce and the lands department. He said he had done his job by getting tourists back, and more were coming, which meant this situation had to be resolved, and he encouraged the vendors to contact their MPs.

The situation of beach vending on Seven Mile Beach has escalated since the borders opened now that Dart, who owns most of the beachfront venues that previously serviced cruise visitors, has closed those locations. Because cruise visitors are limited in the beaches they can access, they are all heading for Seven Mile Public Beach, where a variety of traders have descended on the location offering everything from jerk chicken to jet skis.

While a significant number of the vendors have trade and business licences that allow them to operate on the beach, some are operating illegally, including some selling beer without a liquor licence. In addition, the layout of the beach chairs covers the entire lower half of the beach, with beds and umbrellas placed side by side all the way down to the water’s edge, making navigating the beach almost impossible.

See Bryan on For the Record below:


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Comments (233)

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  1. Anon says:

    Of course thats a great idea!! Then we can sell it to Dart or Schilling!!!
    These MPs are just selling us out!!!

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  2. NonQanoN says:

    What a HOT F’ng MESS

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  3. Anonymous says:

    Please no. Do not turn calm governors into another public bench with camping, bbq, local vendors etc. would be horrific. Public beach has already been ruined by vendors and similar type of unpleasant rude people.

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  4. Rod says:

    Just buy a penthouse condo on the beach for the future Governors. Security will be easy to manage it might cost 3 to 5 million, saving money on maintenance.

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    • Anonymous says:

      and then bulldoze the Governor’s house. It should just be free space for the people. It’s a prime location.

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  5. Anonymous says:

    Part of the job, being the Minister of Tourism is to make sure tourists have a positive experience. This minister says a lot and does nothing to look out for Caymanians and there right to beach access. Every government in office keeps kicking this can down the road and it is going to blow up in our faces if we don’t address it now. Caymanians are losing more and more access to the beach every day. Creative developers are taking advantage of our governments lack of planning and foresight. Public beach is a ticking time bomb waiting to explode and when it happens the last three government easily are to blame. This government must grow a backbone and address the issues there now before it is too late. We need to limit the vendors access to the upper part of the beach only and they must clean and secure their area each and every day or they should be fined. If we are not going to use those huts along the pathway, remove them. The current MOT just trying to shift attention and distract from the real issues along seven mile and that is unacceptable. He talks a good talk but is weak with integrity, you need to be a leader or get out of the way sir!

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    • Bird's Eye View says:

      Well stated 10:20 am.

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    • Chris Johnson says:

      Bryan purchased to Smatts land near the Lobster Pot over a year ago. The only thing he has done is to demolish two shacks and fence off the beach with fencing that is over the acceptable CPA height. So a fine piece of beachfront property cannot be utilized by the public. How many brain cells does he have .

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  6. Anonymous says:

    Hmm – seems like a chest piece move. Move west bay “ public beach “ to the governors location and giving you know who full control of the current public beach location. Where they have the kimpton hotel, seafire residences, and the new one coming up. Also the Kabo location. Ken really getting out of hand now. And as for Mr brian -Politics is the art of finding clever reasons for doing dumb things.

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  7. Anonymous says:

    Yes move him so Dart can by the land and bring us another tourist blackhole. NO NO NO. Leave it as it is, we have few places left that we can go without restriction. If this goes through I do not see it ending well for us locals. It will just be another beach we are cut off from.

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    • Think 2twice. says:

      Kenneth Bryan it’s time to shut up 🤫 Iah . Every time every time ya open it ya foot goes in it. Please stop to think and then maybe nah no maybe just suiuuush Breda.

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      • Ian Morrison says:

        We have been coming to Cayman every year since 1976. This once idyllic island has now become so over-developed and the one remaining peaceful area for the public on 7 Mile Beach might soon be lost. Goodbye Cayman. We have spent some 4 years of our lives very happily with you but, if Governor’s Beach is to be for cruise passengers, we will definitely never return. Ian Morrison. England

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        • Anonymous says:

          The whole Seven Mile Beach Corridor is rapidly going to hell and Caymanian leaders don’t give a damn.

          Really sad. We are losing tourists with our very high costs and what has increasingly become less of a real Caribbean tourist experience.

  8. Courtney Platt says:

    Because we already have access to that beach, it might go farther if he illustrated how removing the very nice, apparently perfectly suited to it’s purpose house that is currently there would be worth the (less obvious) advantages to the public. It’s been such a nice place for the Governors to entertain dignitaries and the general public. On the plus side, I can only foresee additional beach parking to put a higher density of bodies onto that beach stretch. Would THAT be worth several million$ to build a new house elsewhere? Maybe so, but I’m not seeing it. Am I missing something? Is CIG still looking for ways to increase our population? Are we even trying to slow down yet? I think I’m just asking for more information regarding why we would do this is all.

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    • Anonymous says:

      It’s a really shabby house for the Governor of the most prestigious Overseas Territory. It was built in 1964 for an Administrator overseeing 8,000 people, in what was a remote undeveloped area. We now have 80,000 people and that is absolutely prime land. When we need to put on a formal event, we have to kill ourselves getting the hotels to look half decent. We have nowhere for visitors to plant trees, the Governor has no privacy. Kilpatrick installed some outdoor speakers. It’s always hot unless you’ve been invited to dinner. There’s nowhere for the Governor to make remarks from or receive people – just a couch in the foyer. It’s just a house, and not fit for purpose. The footprint, facilities, capabilities of the Government House in the Cayman Islands should be much bigger and better. It needs a ballroom or other formal room, better formal dining room, space for more casual entertainment, garden for parties, the whole works. We have no proper state house right now and we need one if we are going to have people like the (now King) Charles and the Privy Council coming to visit. Government House in Bermuda is on 33 acres and has over 30 rooms including 4 guest rooms. That is a Government House. This is a ‘Governor’s Residence’. There is a difference.

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    • YES says:

      Why would we I’d should we build a house costing several million for the Governor? Huh? Missa Platt he doesn’t have to live in a palace .just a well appointed dwelling with the neccesary trappings will do.

      XXXX That is the matter we need focusing on; we have people who were given carte Blanche permission by a I’ll leave that unsaid , and now we are faced with having to refrain them from earning a livelihood because a previous administration did not find a balance in this beach chair saga. So here we are how do we balance it today XXXX all of us should be offering solutions to the matter. I will convey mine personally.

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    • Chris Johnson says:

      Well said Courtney. Perhaps someone can explain who we are developing this small island for? Certainly not for born and bred Caymanians. The desire to increase the
      population to 100,000 is pure madness. The infrastructure is already creaking. Please stop the carnival.

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      • Anonymous says:

        That is correct. We are at overcapacity right now (with infrastructure that cannot facilitate what’s here now), so increasing the population would be unwise and, without doubt, detrimental to Caymanians.

  9. Anonymous says:

    If I was a betting man, I’d say Public Beach will no longer be public soon.

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  10. Kadafe says:

    Sounds more like preparing us for not being able to use seven mile public beach once the new hotel opens and chases all locals to the “public area” just at the edge of the water as is done everywhere else on Smb. Now they are scrambling to give us a new public beach elsewhere.

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    • Anonymous says:

      It’s seems soon our beaches will all be gone. A huge beach like that yet stillbarely anywhere locals can go… except governor’s beach.:(

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