Since 2015, MGAC has served as the Project Manager for the complete renovation of, and addition to, the four-star Westin Grand Cayman Seven Mile Beach Resort and Spa. Over the years, the property has seen a complete transformation with new architectural elements, structural modifications, site improvements, finishes, furniture, and technology.
MGAC was initially tasked with the preparation of a comprehensive redevelopment budget and selection of critical consultants for the project. Working closely with the client, Fortress Investment Group, MGAC performed an extensive selection process for qualified architectural and interior design consultants in the United States that had previous experience on the island. Upon the successful completion of the selection process, MGAC paired the US-based design firms with local consultants to built the perfect team. The Caymanian consultants brought knowledge of local regulations and boots on the ground, where the mainland entities had large resources to ensure the project was completed to the client’s requirements while adhering to brand standards. Throughout the project, MGAC maintained or exceeded the 60% local participation requirement allowing for the client to receive a large tax incentive.
Phase 1, completed in 2017, included the renovation of all public space, the expansion of administrative offices, upgrades to the pool area, and the addition of three retail stores and a kid’s club. The renovation displaced roughly 50 staff members for a period of time before the new administrative building was complete. The project team was able to create separate swing space in the lobby that housed the staff without disruption to hotel operations.
Phase 2 included all 343 guestrooms, exterior rehabilitation of windows, replacement of doors, and refinished façade to the building’s exterior. Following the completion of Phase 2, Invincible Investment Corporation purchased the property who retained Fortress, the original owners, as asset manager. When it came time for additional renovations to the property, Fortress looked again to MGAC.
Phase 3 began in August 2018 with the addition of an Autograph Collection Hotel. The two-story vertical expansion will add approximately 205 new guestrooms, a restaurant, a spa, a fitness center, conference facilities, and a rooftop pool—the first ever on the island.
Throughout each phase, it was important to the client that the hotel remain occupied. MGAC developed displacement matrices which resulted in reduced guest displacement without interrupting the guest experience. Working with the client, the decision was made to build during low season with drawings and documentation prepared during high season. This minimized noise complaints, ensuring guests would be satisfied with their stay and were not interrupted due to construction.
MGAC was on the ground cultivating relationships with the Department of Planning, inspectors, tourism, immigration attorneys, customs, and border patrol. The interface between us and these organizations has giving us insight into how processes on the island can be expedited. Our relationship with customs and border patrol allowed us to save time and money on imported items by tracking the calculations and accruals on taxes with approval from the local government.