Cinnamon Bay to Reopen; Profits will Support Philanthropic & Resiliency Projects on STJ

Cinnamon Bay sign april 29 2019

Well folks, you know I must have pretty amazing news to share if I’m working from my vacation. :) We’ve heard rumblings for quite some time that Tom Secunda – the co-founder of Bloomberg and a part-time St. John resident  – was planning to take over operations at Cinnamon Bay, and today it became official. This truly is extraordinary news. Here is the official press release in its entirety:

St. John’s Cinnamon Bay Campground and Trunk Bay Concession to be Rebuilt by New Owners to Boost Local Economy

“Our goal is to create the best camping experience in the national parks system,” says Thomas F. Secunda, Philanthropist, Bloomberg co-founder, national parks advocate and CinnOpCo backer

Profits Will Support Philanthropic and Resiliency Projects Across the Island and Rebuilding Work Starts Immediately

St. John’s Cinnamon Bay campground will be rebuilt in an effort to boost the local economy and restore jobs, according to the new owners of Cinnamon Bay Resorts.

Backed by philanthropist and Bloomberg LP co-founder Thomas F. Secunda, CinnOpCo announced today its purchase of Cinnamon Bay Resorts, operator of Cinnamon Bay and the concessions at Trunk Bay in the Virgin Islands National Park. Longtime St. John hospitality manager Adrian Davis will direct the company. Secunda, an advocate for the national parks, served as chairman of the board of trustees of the National Parks Conservation Association.

“Over the years I’ve been visiting St. John, I’ve developed a real passion for the island and for its people,” Secunda said. “Our goal at Cinnamon Bay is to create the best camping experience in the national parks system in a way that benefits the local economy and gives back to the territory, its visitors and its residents.”

“Cinnamon Bay has always been a unique part of our tourism infrastructure and its reopening signals another step in rebuilding our private sector economy.” said U.S. Virgin Islands Governor Albert Bryan.

“The reopening of the iconic Cinnamon Bay is a major step towards restoring the important range of St. John’s tourism offerings,” said Congresswoman Stacey E. Plaskett. “I’m excited about the reopening and new innovative management of such an historic area with its beautiful beaches.”

“We look forward to honoring the history of Cinnamon Bay while providing family friendly accommodations on the property again. We are excited to renovate both properties and provide services to visitors and residents once again,” said Davis.

Cinnamon Bay facilities and grounds have sat largely untouched since hurricanes Irma and Maria devastated the island in 2017 and the reopening will help bring back jobs and more visitors to St John.

The restored campground will feature upgraded facilities and camping options ranging from renovated bare sites for tents to redesigned bungalows. The rebuilding will prioritize sustainability and resilience at both locations.

Underscoring a commitment to St. John and the broader territory, Secunda said profits will be driven back into philanthropic efforts across St. John. Local companies, including B&C Transport, will be used for the work on site. Staff will be employed year-round instead of laid off in slower months.

The clean-up and rebuilding starts immediately with the aim of reopening Cinnamon Bay campgrounds for the 2020-21 season. Trunk Bay will continue to operate as is while food and beverage buildings are repaired, upgraded and rebuilt.

The reopening will help bring needed jobs back to St John. It will also contribute to the local economy by creating opportunities for other vendors and individuals who are needed by Cinnamon Bay guests including taxis, rental cars, local restaurants, offsite activities and destinations.

Recovering and Rebuilding for Resilience
Under Secunda’s leadership, the Bloomberg Response Team has been on the ground in the U.S. Virgin Islands since the days immediately after Hurricane Irma struck, spending tens of millions of dollars to assist the territory since 2017.

The Bloomberg team sent technical experts to serve side by side with the government of the U.S. Virgin Islands and organizations like Kenny Chesney’s Love for Love City, and new non-profits like Love City Strong to accelerate response and recovery. Many Bloomberg staff drew on their experience working on the recovery and rebuilding after Hurricane Sandy hit New York City in 2012.

The work of Love for Love City and Love City Strong, in partnership with Bloomberg, has grown into an island-wide effort to rebuild homes in a resilient way for St John’s most vulnerable residents. Love City Strong has also led the way in ensuring clean cistern drinking water as well as mold remediation on storm-damaged homes.

Their work has grown into a sustained effort to support sustainable and resilient rebuilding and preparation in St. John and throughout the territory through the Hurricane Recovery Task Force, Sustainable Energy Work, the USVI Public Safety Support Foundation, and Love City Strong.

New and Innovative Approaches to Recovery and Preparedness
As climate change makes hurricane increasingly powerful and destructive, Secunda’s aim is to help build a more resilient region that is better prepared to respond to future storms and natural disasters. Working with the local government and partners, the Bloomberg team and its partners have been trying new and innovative approaches to disaster recovery and preparedness that are showing success across the territory.

The Bloomberg Response Team and Love City Strong will present results and best practices at the upcoming Clinton Global Initiative Action Network on Post-Disaster Recovery meeting in St. Thomas in early June. The meeting will advance recovery and resiliency efforts, support long term sustainability and drive action to prepare for the 2019 hurricane season.

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As the press release mentions, Mr. Secunda and his team have done so much good for St. John since the hurricanes. We’re lucky to have him as a part-time resident, as well as all of the individuals who are tirelessly working on our recovery. Progress continues to happen each day. And for that, I am so thankful.

And before I leave you all, here are a few pictures I took at Cinnamon last Monday.

Cinnamon Bay April 29 2019 Reception

Cinnamon Bay April 29 2019 CabinCinnamon Bay April 29 2019 Cabins

Cinnamon Bay April 29 2019 Bath House

Cinnamon Bay April 29 2019 Lab

Cinnamon Bay April 29 2019 SUP

46 comments for “Cinnamon Bay to Reopen; Profits will Support Philanthropic & Resiliency Projects on STJ

  1. May 6, 2019 at 3:58 pm

    Wow! This is awesome news. We were there last December and took identical photos as you posted here. We look forward to going back and visit again someday soon.

  2. Sharon E Conklin
    May 6, 2019 at 3:59 pm

    This is such good news! We love our National Parks!❤️❤️

  3. Beth Martin
    May 6, 2019 at 4:06 pm

    Great news to have someone with real knowledge and love for STJ running things at the campgrounds. What was the term for the CBR contract? Hope they can get an extension with the NPS to make up for the time that was lost. Please keep us updated on any volunteer work that might be going,on to restore Cinnamon Bay

  4. Lance Walley
    May 6, 2019 at 4:14 pm

    This is great news we can not Waite to plan our next trip

  5. Celeste
    May 6, 2019 at 4:47 pm

    Ive been waiting for cinnamon bay to open again. I hope they keep prices reasonable and affordable. ❤️

  6. JOELLYN SCHULTZ
    May 6, 2019 at 4:48 pm

    I have tears in my eyes. I am so happy to hear this wonderful news. I have been crazy reading everything I can every day with the hope that Cinnamon Bay Campground would be restored to its original family focused construct. Today my hopes and wishes were articulated in this article. Making Cinnamon Bay the best campground in the National Parks is a fabulous goal…and one that is completely reachable!! To have the goal of opening the campground in a way that sounds better than ever and at the same time generate profits that will be used for philanthropy and resiliency programs is the most significant factor of all. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

  7. Joan Woods
    May 6, 2019 at 4:55 pm

    Great News! I never got my deposit back from the last “owners” after the storms hit. Looking forward to seeing the profits from this group go back to the island and not someone’s pocket. ❤️

  8. Susan Hubert
    May 6, 2019 at 5:05 pm

    This is exceptional news!! It’s good for the island, good for the residents and great for the National Park that should be accessible to everyone no matter their financial means. Long time coming but really wonderful news!

  9. Pam Madigan
    May 6, 2019 at 5:18 pm

    Thank you Thomas F. Secunda! I look forward to returning to Cinnamon Bay in the future. My family has been coming to Cinnamon Bay for three generations. I am thrilled to be able to continue this tradition in the coming years.

    • Lynnell Mickelsen
      May 8, 2019 at 11:21 am

      I second Pam’s comment. Thank you Thomas F. Secunda and everyone else who is committed to this project. We have been coming to Cinnamon Bay for years too and want to someday introduce it to the next generations of our family. This is the best possible outcome. Hooray!!!

  10. Jan Binder
    May 6, 2019 at 5:30 pm

    Wonderful news….so happy for St John and soon to be campers and visitors! THANKS to all and yr reporting!!

  11. Thana
    May 6, 2019 at 5:33 pm

    I have met people at Cinnamon who have camped for 20 years with their children faithfully year after year for as much as 60+~ days. The children grown now have had their weddings at Cinnamon and carried the yearly camping tradition with them and their own children.
    This is fabulous news, rebuilding and reopening will certainly benefit our sweet little island and its people.

  12. Jay&Peggy
    May 6, 2019 at 5:38 pm

    Wonderful news. The island is truly blessed to have such supporters!

  13. Robin
    May 6, 2019 at 5:55 pm

    Best news ever ..my friends and I love staying at Cinnamon Bay campground… Can’t wait to go back

  14. Lisa Swing
    May 6, 2019 at 5:55 pm

    This is wonderful news, can’t wait to be able to reserve a week.

  15. Patricia Caldwell
    May 6, 2019 at 6:34 pm

    This is sooooo awesome! Visited the beach this past February, and it was sad to see the campground.Thank goodness someone who truly loves the island is in charge! (As opposed to those who only want to rip off the island). Caneel Bay could learn a lesson…although I know it’s a different situation.

  16. Jim Blair
    May 6, 2019 at 6:48 pm

    This is such a wonderful commitment towards the betterment if our beautiful island. Trunk and Cinnamon are important benchmarks for our recovery. There have been so many and Mr Secunda has singularly provided inspiration ans leadership. Thank you.
    Now we need to start a campaign to dislodge the gypsy camp from Maho and restore the natural beauty to that bay.

    • Marketta
      May 13, 2019 at 12:20 pm

      Jim, I disagree with your last comment. I am not a fan of Maho Bay, because it is right next to the road. Being a lazy people’s beach. The “gypsy camp” if great addition to the north shore.

  17. Andrew Kramer
    May 6, 2019 at 8:57 pm

    FANTASTIC! When will they be accepting reservations for Fall 2020?

  18. Stacy
    May 6, 2019 at 9:21 pm

    What great news. We really appreciate the effort and the model. Such a beautiful and magical place, can’t wait to see it restored and improved! Please keep if affordable!

  19. Tim Ray
    May 6, 2019 at 9:33 pm

    This is such great news, I cannot stop smiling, and counting the days until I can again pitch my tent and listen to the surf every night. Thank you Mr. Secunda for your vision and committment to an affordable “St. John Experience” of the highest calibre.

  20. Pam Elsass
    May 6, 2019 at 9:33 pm

    Many thanks to Mr Secunda!

  21. Robert Silverman
    May 6, 2019 at 9:39 pm

    I am so pleased by this news.
    After hearing about the devastation Irma/Maria had done to the islands, I backed my truck full of tools up to a container that was part of five containers being shipped to St. John, they were full of donated items. The last container had room for a couple of generators and most of my tool. I spent almost six months on island helping, rebuilding and repairing where I could before having to return to Boston and my family (who were very patient and understanding in my absence) Cinnamon Bay Campground was where I landed my first job as crew on a sailboat called “Gratia”
    Back in the 80’s. This left such an impact on the rest of my life. This camground means so much more to me than you cam imagine.
    Thank you so much for stepping up to the plate. I look forward to seeing where your taking this and so grateful that lots of local friends will have jobs and incomes as a result.
    Again, Thank you so much.
    Robert Silverman
    Former Captain of Restless Charters based out of Cruz Bay 1989-1995
    Blown away by Hugo in 89 and then Louis and Maryland in 95.
    I had to come back and help, knowing what my friends had gone through.

    • Janet
      May 8, 2019 at 8:04 am

      Robert – it’s people like you who make STJ what it is – everyone who lives there or even visits, holds it dear in their hearts. Thank you for your work and your caring.

  22. Bev Gibson
    May 6, 2019 at 9:43 pm

    Thank you.We look forward to our return to St John and Cinnamon Bay where I found my love 40 years ago.

  23. Shelley
    May 6, 2019 at 9:44 pm

    I’m over the moon. My initial expectations are always clouded in cynicism and crushed expectations, the modern response to life. If this is true, I am hopeful and beyond grateful.

  24. Crystal
    May 6, 2019 at 9:46 pm

    Amazing news!!

  25. Becky
    May 7, 2019 at 7:48 am

    This is the best news I’ve had in a long time! Great way to start off a day. Thank you for taking time out of your vacation to post this.

  26. Sue & Burt
    May 7, 2019 at 7:52 am

    The BEST news from some of the BEST people for the BEST
    island on the planet!!!
    Thank you Jenn, thank you Kenny Chesney, thank you Tom Secunda,
    Bloomberg, and wonderful “St. John Strong” islanders.

  27. Jan and Lee Peters
    May 7, 2019 at 7:57 am

    This news has me in tears.. We are so grateful to Tom Secunda and the Bloomberg foundation for taking on this project. We have a home in Coral Bay and although we have not stayed at Cinnamon Campground, we love the beach and appreciate the beauty of this campground. It is just heartwarming to see others taking an active part in preserving the beauty of St.John as well as the opportunity for so many to now have employment.
    We are truly grateful To all those that are working to make St. John even better.
    With tremendous thanks, Jan& Lee Peters

  28. Maria
    May 7, 2019 at 9:44 am

    I’m thrilled! I can’t wait to visit in a few weeks!!

  29. Sheila Burd
    May 7, 2019 at 10:47 am

    This is wonderful news!
    Hope to be there on opening day!
    Love St. John!

  30. Jeanne Kowal
    May 7, 2019 at 11:29 am

    Need a volunteer to help with the process???

  31. JoAnne Rush Peabody
    May 7, 2019 at 1:38 pm

    Great news! We love St. John’s and stayed at Cinnamon ten years ago. Please let us know when we can apply for a cabin or bungalow.

  32. Minnesota Mike
    May 7, 2019 at 2:21 pm

    Awesome. Awesome. Awesome.

  33. Claire. Perrin
    May 7, 2019 at 7:42 pm

    Great news. Always brings back such wonderful memories on a beautiful Bay .. Cinnamon!

  34. Shalom
    May 8, 2019 at 12:44 pm

    Thank you Tom Secunda and Mr. Bloomberg!
    This decision will have such a wonderful impact on the people who live there and visitors . St John is a wonderful place! There are good people who need jobs and we need to protect the islands. Godspeed!

  35. Bill Hannon
    May 8, 2019 at 1:47 pm

    Having stayed at Cinnamon Bay for 10 consecutive years I would like to give back my
    time and help to restore the area. Is the web site for volunteers at Cinnamon Bay
    still a good place to sign up or will the new owners setup a new one/

  36. Chris G
    May 8, 2019 at 4:15 pm

    This is such wonderful news! Can’t wait to see the results, I am sure it will be spectacular!

  37. mark
    May 8, 2019 at 4:17 pm

    Great News!!!

  38. Kathy Simon
    May 8, 2019 at 4:39 pm

    Such wonderful news!!!!! The von Holst family will be very excited to bring our 3 generations of family back to Cinnamon Bay. There’s just no place like it!

  39. Patsy Hirst
    May 8, 2019 at 6:08 pm

    Great news! As residents of STX, Cinnamon Bay has always been our favorite getaway. Do hope it will return to an affordable campground rather than the upscale accommodation the former owners had planned. Can’t wait to return.

  40. Buddy
    May 8, 2019 at 9:28 pm

    This news is the best in such a long time. We have been bare site campers during the winters every year since 1994 so understandably part of our hearts are always there on St. John. We finally have the chance to be optimistic about the future of Cinnamon Bay Campground. We are hoping consideration will be given to the wonderful local people who have worked there so many years and made Cinnamon Bay the special place it has been. They have been held hostage by uncertainty for far too long. We were also pleased to hear that Adrian Davis will be involved. Thank you for this welcome good news…

  41. Vicki
    May 9, 2019 at 10:56 am

    Thank you Thank you Thank you! came to Cinnamon Bay 30 yrs ago with my husband a couple times then with our children a couple times then with friends and families over 20people a couple times. Stayed at Mayo twice and then in the new luxury tents 2 months before the hurricanes. I even was able to stay at Caneel. A travel agent for 20years. I sent every one to my favorite place in the world St John. Will be counting the days till I can come back.

  42. Donna Broderick
    May 12, 2019 at 10:33 am

    What lauable commitment and leadership!!!!!!! Thank you Mr. Secunda and others.

  43. Cindy Haun
    May 12, 2019 at 1:29 pm

    Thank You Bloomberg LP! I have also been one of the long timers, 1986. Camping with my own tent. My kids were 8 and 11 the first trip. I have not wanted to stay anywhere else but Cinnamon. I love the people who have worked there, I think of them as family. I am hoping it will be much the same as it was. It was PERFECT in it’s quaintness. Sitting with a cup of coffee that I made on the camp stove and watching deer lazily grazing in front of the ocean is heaven. You have given me hope for returning to a place I love. And if there is anything we need now, we need hope, for a return to sanity, integrity and respect for all things nature gives!!!! Thank You!!

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