The Gifft Hill School Online Auction is Happening Now

gifft hill 2019 auction items

Some of this year’s items…

Hello everyone and happy Thursday! I know how many of you love a good online auction and love supporting a worthy cause even more, so I am happy to tell you all that the 2019 Gifft Hill School auction has begun!

The auction benefits the school’s scholarship fund, which is as great of a cause as it gets! They have more than 80 items up for grabs this year including villa stays, gift certificates, dining and shopping packages, artwork and more!

The auction ends tonight, March 21st at 6 p.m., according to its website, so you must act fast! Click here to view all of the items and for full auction details. Happy bidding!


Now On Sale:


St. Johnopoly, 2019 Edition – $50 – Get Yours Today


 

The fine print: This is a preorder sale. All games are expected to ship in late March or early April. Only a limited number of games are available. All sales are final.

 

 

Caneel Revs Up Its PR Campaign

Caneel Entrance March 4 2019

Caneel Bay, March 4, 2019

Hello everyone and happy Wednesday! We’ve made it halfway through the week … yay! So the folks who run Caneel Bay have revved up their public relations strategy over the past week or so, and to be honest, we don’t really know what to make of it. Here’s what we know…

As we told you earlier this month, cleanup has finally started at Caneel. Click here to read all about that. I continue to see workers there everyday, which is great.

Caneel Bay sent a letter last week to past guests. The letter states that Congresswoman Plaskett plans to reintroduce the Caneel Bill, which is one of the greatest sweetheart deals in modern history. If she reintroduces the exact Bill, it essentially says that the investment group will pay next to no taxes or rent for longer than yours truly will be alive, longer than most of you will be alive. It’s ridiculous. Fortunately, as of today, the Bill has not been reintroduced. And if it does get reintroduced, let’s hope that Plaskett actually starts listening to her constituents.

Here is a portion of the letter. I’m purposefully choosing not to share all of their propaganda.

Caneel Letter to Guests

According to one of the workers on site, they are being tasked with cleanup so the investment group that runs Caneel can reopen 28 rooms and one restaurant. They are doing so in order to sell their “lease” which is really a retained use agreement. I am not sure how truthful that is, but I know many of us would like to see new owners come in, owners that actually care about the community and its residents.

Speaking of residents, kudos to this one who attended Plaskett’s meeting at the senior center earlier this week:

plaskett sign

Caneel began posting pictures of the cleanup on its Facebook page too. When asked about a timeline or the resort’s future plans, Caneel has not responded. So it will send out propaganda, but it won’t engage in a conversation with its guests. Interesting…

It’s important to see Caneel reopen. But it’s also important that the Virgin Islands National Park and the community of St John benefit from its reopening more so than the deep pockets of an investment group from Connecticut.



St. Johnopoly, 2019 Edition – $50 – Get Yours Today


 

The fine print: This is a preorder sale. All games are expected to ship in late March or early April. Only a limited number of games are available. All sales are final.

 

 

Island-Wide Internet & Cable Soon Come

Coral Bay Feb 20 2019

For those of you have been lucky enough to be on St. John over the past month, you may have noticed numerous Viya trucks buzzing around the Coral Bay area. Viya is our commercial internet and cable provider, and they have started restoration work out in that area.

You would think that internet and cable service has been restored island-wide considering it’s been more than a year-and-a-half since the hurricanes, but that’s simply not the case. The Cruz Bay side has had cable and internet for quite some time, but our friends in Coral Bay, the East End and some areas of North Shore are still primarily relying on Love City Community Network, a nonprofit, donation-based internet service. (This organization has been instrumental in our recovery and will receive a pretty substantial donation in the upcoming weeks from our 2019 News of St. John raffle. A big thanks to all of you who bought tickets!) The folks in these areas do not have access to cable. They can get satellite internet and cable which includes Broadband, Dish Network, etc. Some have it but not all.

So why am I telling you all of this? Because some people want cable and internet when they’re on vacation. So you may want to add this to your list of questions to ask your property owner or villa manager.

Areas around Coral Bay should see service restored this month. Areas in and around Peter Bay and Maho Bay will have Viya service restored by May.

It’s been a long road, but progress continues to happen everyday. And for that, I am very grateful.



St. Johnopoly, 2019 Edition – $50 – Get Yours Today


 

The fine print: This is a preorder sale. All games are expected to ship in late March or early April. Only a limited number of games are available. All sales are final.

 

 

You Can Now Get All Your Favorite St. John Brewers’ Beers To Go!

St John Brewers Crowler

St. John Brewers’ new crowler

Hello everyone and happy Monday! I’m pretty sure that most of you are fans of St. John Brewers and The Tap Room. Well for those of you who are, I have great news for you!

The guys over at St. John Brewers recently announced that they are now selling Crowlers. A crowler is very similar to a growler in that it’s a way to transport draft beer. It’s called a crowler, rather than a growler, because it’s canned and not a glass bottle. Hence the C and the G. :)

The National Park does not allow glass bottles on the beach, but they do allow cans which means that you can now bring all 12 of St. John Brewers current flavors and their sodas to the beach! The current brews on tap are:

  • Island Summer Ale – These come in regular cans too.
  • Island Hoppin IPA – These also come in regular cans.
  • Nutty By Nature, pineapple coconut beer
  • Tap Room Shandy
  • Amber Ale
  • Prim N’ Proper Porter
  • Tropical Mango Pale Ale
  • Pale Tourist Pale Ale
  • Maho Weisse Berliner Weisse
  • Hard Cider
  • Toasted Coconut Brown Ale

The Crowlers are 32 ounces and can be purchased at The Tap Room in Mongoose Junction everyday between 11 a.m. and 11 p.m. Cheers!

Tap Room Taps



St. Johnopoly, 2019 Edition – $50 – Get Yours Today


 

The fine print: This is a preorder sale. All games are expected to ship in late March or early April. Only a limited number of games are available. All sales are final.

 

 

The 2019 St. Patrick’s Day Parade

Happy St. Patrick’s Day everyone! Quiet Mon hosted its annual parade yesterday, and it was great! It’s quite possibly the shortest parade in the world, but that doesn’t mean it’s short on fun!

We filmed it all for you and sped it up a bit … enjoy!

 

Roundtrip Airline Tickets Just Added to Our Raffle!

airplane

Well folks, we have great news to share with you all today… We just added two fantastic prizes to our raffle!

In case you weren’t aware, News of St. John is currently holding a raffle, and it’s pretty darn amazing. We’re hoping to raise a good amount of money to fund some of our favorite underfunded organizations here on island. And thanks to a very dear friend of ours over at JetBlue, we’re able to sweeten the raffle a bit more today!

We just added two more prizes – four roundtrip tickets on JetBlue. We’re raffling them off in pairs, so this means that we now have 10 prizes total!

The JetBlue tickets can be used from any JetBlue city to any JetBlue city. They do not have to be used to travel to visit us here on St. John, although it would be great if you could visit us! JetBlue flies to a lot of cool places, so you can use these tickets to visit Costa Rica, Mexico, South America and more!

So for just $25, you have the ability to fly round trip to one of more than 100 cities!

Here is a full list of our prizes:

  • First Prize: A five-night stay for up to six people at Ardisia. This prize has a value of $8,214.
  • Second Prize: A seven-night stay for up to four people at Great Expectations. This prize has a value of $5,900.
  • Third Prize: A five-night stay for up to six people at Aquamare at Grande Bay. This prize has a value of $3,500.
  • Fourth Prize: A five-night stay at Sapphire Sunrise for up to six guests. This prize has a value of $3,000.
  • Fifth Prize: A seven-night stay at Samba Azul for up to four guests. This prize has a value of $2,850.
  • Sixth Prize: A seven-night stay at Miles Away for up to four guests (or a family of five). This prize has a value of $2,170.
  • Seventh Prize: Three night stay for two people in Island Abodes’ Garden Suite at Chocolate Hole, or at the Papaya Suite, One-Bedroom Suite or Honeymoon Suite at Sunset Serenade. This prize has a value of $747.
  • Eighth Prize: A two-night consecutive stay at Cruz Bay Hotel. This prize is valued at $530.
  • Ninth Prize: Two roundtrip tickets on JetBlue good from any JetBlue city to any JetBlue city.
  • Tenth Prize: Two roundtrip tickets on JetBlue good from any JetBlue city to any JetBlue city.

Here are the organizations we’re planning to support:

  • Island Health and Wellness: Currently the center is only able to treat patients ages 15 and up, and it sees all regardless of their ability to pay. A donation of $75,000 would allow island Health and Wellness to launch a pediatric program. Currently there is not a pediatrician on St. John. This is a much needed service for our children.
  • Love City Community Network: If you have been to St. John, you are likely aware that a good deal of the North Shore is a dead zone including many of your favorite beaches. A donation of $27,000 would complete LCCN’s funding request to install 911 call boxes, complete with AEDs, on six North Shore beaches including Hawknest, Trunk Bay, Cinnamon Bay, Maho Bay (one at each end of the beach) and in the Annaberg area. This would greatly reduce EMS response times in the event of an emergency on the North Shore. This system can truly save lives.
  • Julius E. Sprauve School: The school sustained significant damage during the 2017 hurricanes. It is currently in need of gym equipment, musical instruments and teacher supplies.
  • St. John Christian Academy: The school is in need of gym equipment, room dividers and a security system.
  • Carolina Corral: The corral is a safe haven for injured and rescued donkeys, horses and other animals. The cost to feed these animals is upwards of $100 a day. The corral is also in need of new fencing.
  • Love City Pan Dragons: St. John’s only steel pan orchestra is looking for funding for pan tuning, new uniforms and travel expenses.
  • St. John Historical Society: The group is looking for funding so it can complete its “Our History Keepers” project by hiring a videographer to film St. John’s elders.
  • C.O.R.E.: This program inspires communities to be better stewards of the environment through marine awareness education and hands on coastal programs. They are looking for funding that will allow them to clean up bays of storm debris and to allow them to educate the public on sunscreens that are toxic to reefs. C.O.R.E has been instrumental in helping to alleviate the lionfish problem in the waters around St. John.

And here is how you can enter:

To purchase a ticket, please choose the number of tickets below. You can buy up to 10 at a time. Then click the Buy Now button. This will bring you to a secure PayPal page where you can check out. (All entries will be treated as donations to St. John.)

Number of Tickets

All entrants will receive a confirmation email from PayPal after purchasing your ticket/s. Because of the expected high volume of entries, we cannot personally email each entrant. Your email from PayPal will serve as your confirmation of entry into the drawing. How the drawing works: Once the entry period is over, the raffle committee will personally write/type the names of each entrant on a raffle ticket. If you bought one ticket, we will write/type your name on one ticket. If you bought two tickets, we will write/type your name on two tickets. And so forth… All of the names will be placed into a secure bucket/basket. Once all of the names are written on tickets, we will draw the winner live on video. That video will be posted on newsofstjohn.com The raffle period will end on Saturday, March 30, 2019 at 9 a.m. EST. The winner will be announced on newsofstjohn.com on or about April 3, 2019. Now go ahead and enter! Good luck!! The Fine Print: 

  • Each winner must adhere to the individual property’s rules and restrictions.
  • If a property requires a deposit, the winner is responsible for paying that fee.
  • In the event that the property becomes uninhabitable due to a storm, fire, or Act of God, the winner agrees to forfeit the prize.
  • We strongly encourage each winner to purchase travel insurance.
  • None of the prizes are transferrable without owner’s consent.
  • The five-night stay at Ardisia is good for low season dates only. These dates are now through December 17, 2019 (the week of Thanksgiving is excluded) and also from April 16, 2020 through December 16, 2020 (Thanksgiving week 2020 is also excluded). This five-night stay is subject to availability. You will book directly with the villa at www.ardisiastjohn.com. This stay is good for six people. Add-on guests are not allowed. Please visit ardisiastjohn.com for complete reservation policies. This stay is valued at $8,214. 
  • The seven-night stay for 4 people at Great Expectations must be taken between May 4 – December 21, 2019 or May 2 – December 19, 2020, and is subject to availability. Additional guests up to all 8 bedrooms can be added at the standard rate of $1000 per room per week (double occupancy) to accommodate larger groups. The award value of $5900 can be applied to any standard rate stay of 7 nights or more through December 31, 2020. Stay must be completed by Dec 19, 2020.
  • The five-night stay for six people at Aquamare at Grande Bay must be taken between May 1, 2019 and October 30, 2019 only and is subject to availability. The winner will be contacted by owner to arrange mutually acceptable travel dates. 
  • The five-night stay at Sapphire Sunrise is good for up to six guests. The stay must be taken between August 4, 2019 and November 9, 2019 and is subject to availability. The winner must book directly with James M. Miller Property Management. 
  • The seven-night stay at Samba Azul is good for up to four guests from April 16, 2019 through November 22, 2019 only and is subject to availability. The stay is not valid for the week of July 4, 2019. The winner must book directly with James M. Miller Property Management. 
  • The seven-night stay at Miles Away is good for low season only between May 4, 2019 through November 23, 2019 and is subject to availability. The stay must be taken from a Saturday to Saturday. The stay is good for up to four guests only or a family of five. No children under the age of eight are able to stay at Miles Away. This prize is not transferrable without owner’s consent. The winner must book directly with James M. Miller Property Management. 
  • The Island Abodes prize is good for a three-night stay for two people in its Garden Suite at Chocolate Hole, or the Papaya Suite, One-Bedroom Suite or Honeymoon Suite at Sunset Serenade during off or shoulder season (May through mid-December) and is subject to availability. Stay must be completed by December 31, 2019. The gift certificate amount of $747 can be applied on any of Island Abodes’ 6 rentals at any time for three+ nights. No blackout dates apply. The winner must book directly with Island Abodes. 
  • The two-night stay at Cruz Bay Hotel is valid from May 1, 2019 through Dec 15, 2019 and excludes Festival/Week of July 4th. The two night-stay must be consecutive. The winner must book directly with Cruz Bay Hotel. 
  • The JetBlue tickets have an expiration date. Details will be provided to the winners.