Hello everyone and happy Thursday! We’ve received a ton of questions regarding the status of the resorts on the island. Here is a quick rundown of what we know as of now…
Gallows Point Resort
Gallows sustained a decent amount of damage during the hurricanes. It lost all 200 doors on the units, according to Akhil Deshwal, the resort’s general manager. The roof to Ocean 362 was also lost. The good news is that a lot of work has been done to the resort since Irma struck, and currently 40 of the 60 units are operational at this time. Those units are currently housing relief workers. Gallows has also kept on all of its staff and has paid them since the first hurricane hit. Akhil stated that all 60 units will be ready for Christmas and that Gallows Point is now accepting reservations from December 23rd on.
Please check out this quick message from Akhil:
Grande Bay fared pretty well during the hurricanes although some units did take on some water damage. Bay Isles, the entity that controls the timeshare units, have cancelled all reservations through the end of 2017. The individual owners are taking reservations on a case-by-case basis and many will do so once power is restored. Grande Bay is currently housing numerous residents who were displaced by hurricanes Irma and Maria.
Cruz Bay Hotel
Cruz Bay Hotel did not sustain any damage – how amazing is that!! They are currently filled with FEMA and Red Cross workers who have booked the hotel through the end of the month, according to Denise Walker, one of the hotel’s owners. Denise said they are fully operational – powering via generator and on city water – but are accepting reservations from November 1st on.
St. John Inn
The St. John Inn sustained heavy damage during the hurricanes. They lost their roof, but all guests were safe throughout the storm. They do plan to rebuild.
Caneel sustained heavy damage although the entire resort was not a loss. FEMA workers are currently staying on property. The roof at ZoZo’s was torn off. Caneel Bay just announced publicly that it will not reopen for the 2017-2018 season. It has also laid off its staff. Caneel Bay released the following statement earlier this week:
We thank you for the overwhelming support we have received from so many of you in the past few weeks.
We are heartbroken by the devastation caused to the island of St. John and the USVI following the Category 5 Hurricane Irma on September 6, 2017, and then exacerbated by Category 4 Hurricane Maria on September 19th. Unfortunately, Caneel Bay Resort was also devastated and while we are happy to report all our employees survived the storm, Caneel Bay did not. Sadly, it is impossible to open for the 2017/2018 Season.
We are working diligently with Federal and local authorities to attend to the business realities necessary to rebuild Caneel Bay, which is critical to help rebuild the lives of the USVI citizens. After all, Caneel Bay is as much about the people as it is about the place.
Speaking on behalf of the entire resort team, we want to express our gratitude for the support you have shown us over the years and past few weeks. The Laurence Rockefeller legacy is one of champion and guardian of the community, which the Caneel Bay team has always honored. Now more than ever this is our commitment.
We look forward to welcoming you back to Caneel Bay Resort.
The Westin resort also sustained heavy damage. The roof on the reception building, which also houses Knox & Ollie’s, was torn off. There was widespread structural and water damage throughout the resort, and several of Cruz Bay Watersports’ vessels landed on the beach. The resort has since laid off its staff and has cancelled reservations through June 30, 2018. Here is a a portion of a letter sent to the Westin timeshare owners:
As you are aware, the Caribbean and specifically the islands of St. John and St. Thomas were significantly affected by the recent hurricanes. Given the magnitude of these storms, it has taken time for us to assess the full impact on The Westin St. John Resort Villas and the local community. We understand your concern about your vacation ownership at the resort and want to assure you that we will keep you informed with the latest information as it becomes available.
During Hurricane Irma, our top priority was to ensure the safety and well-being of our Guests and Associates at the resort. Our 300 Guests and 37 Associates took shelter at the resort, where they remained safe with food, water and power. Shortly after the storm passed, we chartered a ferry to transport all Guests safely to Puerto Rico where they were able to return home. We are pleased to report that there were no serious injuries, however, many of our Associates’ homes and belongings have been destroyed. Through the company’s relief fund, we are providing support and assistance to help with their immediate and long-term needs. We continue to support the community by providing assistance to first responders and supplying fresh water to those on the island who may not otherwise have access.
The Westin St. John Resort Villas suffered structural damage and water inside the villas. Within a week, risk management and facilities professionals along with restoration and security contractors were on-site to assess the damage and secure the resort. Our cleanup efforts are underway and we are working on a timeline to complete the remediation efforts. We will continue to work closely with each Association’s Board of Directors and provide regular updates.
In order to proceed with these efforts, the recovery process requires the cancellation of all scheduled reservation arrivals through June 30, 2018. At this time, no new reservations are being accepted for 2018. As we make progress, we will communicate updates should these dates change.
Regarding the private villas and condos, many sustained damaged, many did not. Unfortunately there are too many villas on St. John for us to provide an update on each and everyone. I suggest contacting your individual property owner or management company regarding its status. And please, if you have an update on a particular villa or condo, leave it in the Comments section below.
Again, thank you all for your continued support of St. John. We all truly can feel the love. Have a wonderful Thursday.