It has been confirmed this month that the DART Corporation based here in the Cayman Islands has purchased the site and existing structure of the old Hyatt resort located in the 7 Mile Corridor.
It has also been reported that, along with the purchase of the Hyatt, came the nine hole Britannia Golf Course and the Beach Suites property located on prime real estate in the heart of 7 Mile Beach. In its prime, the Hyatt was once a shining beacon and testament to the Cayman Islands and its emerging spot as a prime vacation destination in the Caribbean. Dotted with lush vegetation and immaculate grounds, the property was highlighted in the blockbuster movie “The Firm”. Now largely viewed as an eyesore to many in the local community, the property has sat idle since all but being destroyed during Hurricane Ivan in 2004.
Embassy Investments is the current owner of the three properties. At one point in the Hyatt’s storied history they had planned an extensive remodel and modernization but those plans fell by the wayside and the property has remained overgrown and underutilized ever since. The Beach Suites have remained in business & the golf course has continued operations. Dart Realtyexec Mark VanDevelde reported that the terms of the sale have finally been agreed upon after lengthy dealings over several years between the two companies. At this stage in the process, however, they could not say for certain what will happen with the 3 properties. Be it an extensive remodel or an overall demolition, the project will be analyzed with respect to how the properties will best fit into the overall master planning of the surrounding DART projects – including Camana Bay.
Reps at Embassy Investments confirmed that the Beach Suites property, located directly on the ocean on 7 Mile Beach, would close its doorsthis coming autumn. This creates a void in the already limited beachfront inventory by 53 rentable rooms. This is not expected to impact tourism to any significant degree, as the Kimpton will come on line to fill the void in the months following the Beach Suites’ closure. The staffs currently employed at Beach Suites were informed of the decision last week and many have already been offered opportunities at the DART-ownedKimpton development. Additionally, DART is in the midst of developing a wide new array of properties so many of the workers whose jobs are in jeopardy will see new opportunities to stay and grow with their current employer – albeit in new positions. These positions could land the employees (many Caymanians) at either the new five-star hotel on nearby property or at the recently-announced resort district that will connect7 Mile Beach to new restaurants and businesses to be positioned on North Sound.DART is also moving forward with plans for a dramatic expansion to the existing Camana Bay project.
All of this development, investment and acquisition points to DART’s continued confidence in the Cayman Islands. With all of the current and incoming properties the landscape of Cayman will continue to grow and change. This purchase of the Hyatt, Beach Suites and Britannia Golf Course is a direct testament to that.
John has been working as an agent with ERA Cayman Islands for 8+ years specialising in high-end real estate, hospitality and property management. Formerly of Vail, Colorado; John has set down his roots in Grand Cayman. John holds a degree in business law from the University of Saint Thomas.