(CNS Business): On her first visit to Cayman, Amy Saunders, daughter of the late Arnold Palmer, said she is committed to keeping alive the idea of the championship golf course in her father’s name at Frank Sound following his death earlier this year. Developers for the course, which is meant to form part of a wider proposed resort, said they now expect work to start on the long-awaited project at the end of January. Although Saunders visited with both the tourism minister and the premier, there was no indication where talks are now on financing the east-west arterial extension, which developers have previously described as a deal breaker.
The Ironwood investors did, however, reveal in press release that developer Joe Imparato will be getting involved in the development. His company, City Services Cayman, will be the design/build contractor for the golf course, clubhouse and lodge, in which Imparato will have an equity stake, officials from Ironwood said in a release.
The project has been on the government’s list of private sector developments it hoped would be well underway and creating local jobs during this administration. But the government has been in talks with the developers about the road extension for over three years without agreement on the funding.
Nevertheless, the developers have said they are prepared to press ahead with the golf course and it appears Saunders visit was designed to be a demonstration that the project is not just another development in perpetual discussion.
“My father was absolutely taken with the Cayman Islands, its people and its beauty and he was personally involved in the design of the championship course that will bear his name,” Saunders said. “And it is easy for me to see, even after only two days, why he felt the way he did about Cayman. I am here to continue his dream of not only building a world-class golf club here, but also to contribute in all the philanthropic endeavours that both he and my mother fostered.”
Several other members of the Palmer Group accompanied Saunders on the trip, when they toured the island as well as the site. They met with Christina McTaggart-Pineda, Executive Director of the National Trust, to talk about environmental and educational programmes and the group’s commitment to environmentally responsible and sustainable golf courses.
“Our philosophy is to build golf courses that give back to the community and the environment,” Saunders added.