Recovery Varies for Hurricane-Damaged St.Thomas Properties According to USVIHTA
Thursday, October 19, 2017
The U.S. Virgin Islands Hotel and Tourism Association (USVIHTA) recently met for the first time since the Virgin Islands were devastated by Hurricanes Irma and Maria, in order to discuss St.Thomas resort damages and recovery timelines.
USVIHTA reported that more than 1,000 people employed at hotels in St.Thomas will be out of work through 2018 and even 2019, as the resorts they work at are repaired.
The following St.Thomas properties will be closed until 2019:
- Frenchman’s Reef and Morning Star Marriott Beach Resort
- Sugar Bay Resort and Spa
- Caneel Bay Resort
- Flamboyan on the Bay Resort and Villas
Other resorts will likely open in 2018, with February seeing quite a few reopenings:
- Emerald Beach Resort (Jan.)
- Marriott Frenchman’s Cove (Feb.)
- Margaritaville Vacation Club, Wyndham (Feb.)
- The Ritz-Carlton Club, St. Thomas (Feb.)
- Elysian Beach Resort (spring)
- Bolongo Bay Beach Resort (June)
- Bluebeard’s Beach Club (fall)
- The Ritz-Carlton, St. Thomas (Oct.)
- The Westin St. John Resort and Villas (Oct.)
Resort owners and personnel will likely even see some reopenings this year:
- Lindberg Bay Hotel and Villas
- Mafolie Hotel
- Island View Guesthouse
- Windward Passage Hotel
- Gallows Point Resort
- St. Croix accommodations
While many of those in the hospitality industry are out of work for the time being, those in other trades are being employed in large numbers to help with repair efforts, according to St.Thomas Governor Kenneth Mapp.
The aforementioned reopening timelines are predictions which may change. USVIHTA President Lisa Hamilton stated the following:
“The closure of the largest properties in the territory at the same time is not ideal, but it presents opportunities for us to renovate and update the tourism product. And while the hotels focus on revealing a polished, new product, USVIHTA will continue to promote properties and members who came out of the storms with minimal damage. Many of our members are up and running and ready to welcome guests today. However, restoring the territory’s infrastructure, airport and hospitals is essential prior to welcoming visitors back.”
“Everyone is invested in creating a renewed and re-energized product, even those who are still assessing damages. The focus on community and human capital is paramount.”
To learn more about the U.S. Virgin Islands Hotel and Tourism Association and their reports on hurricane damage and relief efforts, visit their website.