The Split at Caye Caulker: Closed as Of November 1st. What is Going On?

The Split at Caye Caulker is the center of the island – the hub of activity and I’d guess one of the most photographed spots in Belize.

split

It’s unpolished beauty is one of the first things I saw when I first came to Belize and I’ve been in love with it ever since.  Everyone who visits (and even those who’ve just seen pictures) are enamored with Caye Caulker’s Split.

split2

It (corny but true) takes me breath away every time I’m there…it just screams BELIZE.  Locals, tourists laying in the sun…having a few Belikins.  It’s the best.  Especially for people watching…

split3

Recently it has all been the CENTER of a rumor storm.

FACT:  The 1.47 acre property called “The Split” has been for sale for a while.  $2.7million US.

A few months ago, large cement pylons were pounded into the ground around the property and talk began…

The property had been sold & a resort was being built on the property?  A bridge to North Caye Caulker being built by a developer?  The end of the Split as we know it?  I wrote a post about the whole situation.

split 4

All I learned was that the owner of the property, Dan Nichols, had taken on a partner/investors.

Lily of Sunshine and Stilettos and the Belize Moon guide got the scoop from this new manager/partner, Jim Lynskey.  His plan:   to take over the lease of the Split, close it for one week November 1st to 7th and then re-open with some positive changes and upgrades being made…

According to Lily’s article, Jim has over 30 years of experience in the service industry around Central America and the Caribbean.  I found this article about a huge marina that he was building/managing in Costa Rica (article from 2008)…I can’t find any further information on the project.

I need to get my research team on that…

There would be no real disruption in service.  The Split would re-open and still be a bar and restaurant for locals and tourists.  Still the center of the island’s social life.  Just new management.

But the Lazy Lizard at the Split has been closed since the weekend.  And there are RUMORS galore.  Today Channel 5 and Channel 7 news (the two main Belize news channels) have been summoned to Caye Caulker for an update.  And this is what I’m hearing.  Let me put it in bullet points so I can keep it straight.

But first:  NEW MANAGEMENT = Jim Lynskey working with the owner of the property.  OLD MANAGEMENT = Immer Perez, Caye Caulker local and manager of the spot for the past 5 years?

  • Immer, who has been managing the spot for the past few years, was told to vacate as of November 1, 2014 by the owner and the new management.
  • He accepted it but was assuming that he would be compensated for leaving early. He currently has 2.5 years left on a 5 year lease.
  • He was NOT compensated and announced over a week ago that he would continue on at the Split, running the bar, since his lease could only be cancelled IF the property was sold.
  • The Liquor License is in the name of the OWNER, not Immer, and so as of November 1st, the license was revoked and locks put on the building.  By the police?  By the owners?  Probably both. This is unclear to me.
  • As of Monday, this matter is in court.
  • On Monday, the bar was unlocked and the alcohol removed from the premises.  Again, it’s unclear who did it.  But it wasn’t the owner of the liquor – Immer.

SO today the Lazy Lizard at the Split is closed and locked.  The news channels are on the island to get the story from Immer about what’s happening…and when this POPULAR bar will re-open and who will run it?

According to my sources, the new management (Jim Lynsky) is not hugely popular with the locals and the idea of foreigners coming in to run the Caye Caulker landmark is…rankling many.  I’ve heard people asking if this new team even has work permits…

Is the NEW management available for questioning?  I hear that despite the crappy weather, they have gone fishing.

So until this matter is settled in court, the Split is closed.  The social and economic hub of the island.  And that is very bad news.

(Photo borrowed from an island resident.)

Orville

Please let me know if you have any corrections or additional information to this post.  Or questions!  Hopefully this is clear.






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  • Michele in Playa

    Interesting….. Keep us posted!!

  • cesarfmorales

    Sometimes I like to put my feet in the water and let my butt crack show.

    • sanpedroscoop

      Thanks for the feedback! Tee hee.

    • Nomada

      I noticed that too, Cesar!! 🙂

  • Brent

    island/Belize drama:) good work. my friend, Lisa, booked three weeks on that island instead of AC. cool place and great price. if that is closed might be a bit quiet. although there are some nice places along the way there… tx for info. Brent

    • Belize Blog

      It’s a great island either way. But the Split is…where it’s at. A SHAME if they can’t work this out quickly. When it comes to something like this…a place that is Belize (for many people)…I dislike change. And don’t trust it.

  • Deanne

    I’m so glad we got to experience the “real” Split back in May. Clearly it will never be the same – time will tell if that turns out to be a good or bad thing in the long run. I read your posts every week and am surprised not only about this, but also of the other changes (i.e. new places that have opened up on Ambergris) that have happened since we were there. It shows how much Belize is desired both by tourists and investors, but I worry what’s going to come of it.

    • Belize Blog

      The one thing that I’ve learned living here for 7.5 years is that things move pretty slowly…I wouldn’t be surprised if we don’t see much change at the Split at all. But I totally FEEL YOU! Thanks for commenting. -Rebecca