Golf resort aims for 2018 tee-off


A design graphic shows how the Ironwood golf course could look.

Negotiations over road extension near completion

A second golf course has been added to plans for the proposed Ironwood resort, and the development’s project director is predicting a 2018 opening date.

“If I can hit the first golf ball off the first tee on January 2018, then we’ll be right on schedule,” said James McVey, project director for Ironwood.

The much-discussed project has been mired in delays, with funding for the resort apparently hinging on a proposed partnership with government to build a 10-mile highway extension that would ensure easy access to George Town and beyond.

Mr. McVey said the basic details of the licensing agreement that would facilitate the road construction had been agreed and the document would be signed this month. His comments echo recent remarks by Planning Minister Kurt Tibbetts that the discussions were nearing a conclusion.

Mr. McVey said the developer had acquired more land and added a nine-hole golf course to the plans, which already include an 18-hole PGA course and a Camana Bay-style “town center” with a mix of retail, restaurants and homes. He said the addition of a nine-hole course would make the resort more appealing to both casual and serious golfers.

Clearing on the 10-mile extension to the East-West Arterial highway could begin as early as November, Mr. McVey said. Around a month later, he believes, work could begin on clearing land for the golf courses and creating the lake that will be part of the development.

Work on the town center will begin almost simultaneously, he said.

The project was first publicly announced in March last year during a launch event with American golf legend Arnold Palmer, whose company has been contracted to design the golf course.

Mr. McVey, who was also involved in the early stages of the Health City development, said the delays had been frustrating but unavoidable given the complexity of the partnership over the road.

He said he understood that people might be skeptical about the project, but he is confident it will happen.

“I worked on the hospital development and a lot of people said that would not happen, but we got it done and we got it done in 12 months with Cayman laborers and Cayman contractors,” he added.

Once the development is under way, Ironwood plans to sell plots around the golf course for people to develop homes. There will also be residences for sale in the town center.

Mr. McVey said some marketing of the properties had already begun, but he said the developer is currently accepting only refundable deposits from people who wanted to reserve plots.