Reflecting on 15 years

Camana Bay is 15 years old and we're continuing our celebrations throughout the month of December.

Whether you live in Camana Bay, work or socialise here, Camana Bay has touched just about everyone in the Cayman Islands in one way or another.

Last issue, we sat down with some of the longtime tenants and long-serving staff who have seen Camana Bay grow over the past 15 years. Part II of that feature continues this month.

Black man with arms crossed smiling at camera

Rohan Small

Rohan Small, a partner with EY Cayman, remembers the days that professional firms wouldn't dream of moving their offices out of central George Town.

Central George Town was then the heart of financial services and commerce for the islands. Government and Cayman Islands Monetary Authority were also there, so it followed that companies and professional services firms, would also want to have their offices in town. At that time, West Bay Road had a different ethos, which was more “beachy” with sprawling hotels and condos and not associated with financial services.

What a difference 15 years makes.

“We opened our office in 2007 as an anchor tenant at 62 Forum Lane in Camana Bay and more recently expanded to our second location at One Nexus Way. The strong sense of community, proximity to clients, service providers, restaurants and other amenities continue to be practical and very beneficial. We have been pleased with our decision," Small said.

"[Camana Bay has] disrupted the norm. They have successfully set up a new commercial and residential district and innovated the way we should work and live now on the island."

It all started after a conversation with Dart Enterprises Ltd. Chief Executive Officer Mark VanDevelde in 2002. Small and Dan Scott, Regional Managing Partner of EY Bahamas, Bermuda, British Virgin Islands and Cayman Islands, met
with architects, examined models and imagined what the build-up might one day look like.

"The biggest considerations for us were the forward thinking design and space," Small said. "As first tenants, we also thought if others can come onto this concept, we can make this into a nice, lively town one day."

Small says the firm's staff enjoys the atmosphere as well.

"If you have comfortable people, productivity goes up," he said. "Something like [Camana Bay] we thought they would love to come to work, live and play."

“We are proud of the fact that we made the decision to become a part of this burgeoning community," he said.

White man in purple shirt with arms crossed

Corey Randolph
Camana Bay Cinema

Corey Randolph originally arrived in Cayman in 2007 to train the staff that would open the cinema at Camana Bay, originally named Hollywood Theatres.

He stayed for about 18 months before the job was done and he returned to the U.S., travelling across the country to train staff members at other cinemas. The work and constant travel was beginning to take its toll when Randolph got the call.

"My boss got a hold of me and said that the guy that I had trained was leaving and asked me to come back down [to Cayman]," Randolph said. "I loved Cayman so much and had such a great experience.... I didn't want to pass up on the opportunity again."

So in 2011 Randolph and his partner, Aimee, moved to Cayman. Eleven years later, both have run businesses at Camana Bay and have watched it grow through a unique lens.

"When I initially moved down, we were one of the first businesses to be open in Camana Bay. I remember it being us and Häagen-Dazs and NKY and Abacus."

He says the Camana Bay community has played a pivotal role in his life and those of his family, which now includes Aimee as well as their two sons.

"I put so much time into not only the cinema, but just in Camana Bay in general. I've made a lot of great friends and colleagues along the way," Randolph said. "Camana Bay is, in essence, part of our lives. The same with the cinema — a lot of blood, sweat and tears have gone into designing this facility, upgrading the facility over time and a lot of hard work. So I definitely appreciate that and just love that we get to be a part of that."

This article was originally published in the December 2022 print edition of Camana Bay Times.

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