The Cayman Islands will mark another step forward in its tourism resurgence with the reopening of the Pedro St. James Historic Site on Grand Cayman on May 29, following a $1.3 million renovation after Hurricane Ivan in 2004.

The attraction has been closed to visitors since the storm hit, although it was used several times for private functions and events.

Pedro St. James, an authentic Caribbean great house built in 1780, is the islands lone survivor of the hurricane of 1785 and one of the destinations most popular attractions.

Situated on Pedro Bluff on Grand Caymans south coast -- about 30 minutes from George Town -- the grounds include original outbuildings and gardens.

New is a monument at the edge of the site comprised of 12 rocks to represent the date in September 2004 when the hurricane hit (Sept. 12, 2004). The monument has nine seats to represent the ninth month of the year and four tables to signify the year.

The rocks used were washed ashore in the storm; the logs used for the table and chairs came from a 100-year-old tamarind tree that came down in the storm.

New facilities include a redone gift shop, an audio-visual system in the theater, lawn areas near the great house, expanded function space and specially designed hurricane straps for the roof.

Pedro St. James will be open daily from 9: 30 a.m. to 5 p.m.; admission is $8 for adults, $4 for children. For details, visit www.pedrostjames.ky.

To contact reporter Gay Nagle Myers, send e-mail to [email protected].

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