Cinnamon Bay Campground Sets Sights on Winter Re-Opening

Cinnamon Bay Campground Sets Sights on Winter Re-Opening

Hello!  I have some GREAT news to share with you all today!  I received an email on Friday from CiCi Davis with Cinnamon Bay Campground containing some tidbits about what they have been up to at the campground…And we can look forward to some more information in the weeks and months to come on the upcoming (hopefully December!) re-opening!

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The former archeology lab at Cinnamon Bay

It has been a long time since we have heard anything from the management team at Cinnamon Bay, so let me give you a brief rundown of where we are currently, and how we got here:

In 2017, Hurricane Irma left much of St. John in dire disrepair.  As local residents scrambled in the months following the storms to clean up their island and their homes, acquire federal resources, make difficult decisions about their futures and work towards repairing and rebuilding their homes, some privately owned businesses and attractions on St. John remained covered in the dust for months or years to follow.  Cinnamon Bay Campground was one of those unfortunate casualties of the storms.  The previous management company left the campground, bathrooms and other facilities on site, leaving the beloved campground to collect cobwebs and become a haunting ghost of the past.

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Cinnamon, September 2018 – One Year after Irma, dangerous debris still lined the beach

And then, in May of 2019, the community and visitors of St. John received some FANTASTIC news! CinnOpCo, backed by philanthropist and Bloomberg LP co-founder Thomas F. Secunda, announced that they would be taking over the management of the campground with the local economy in mind.  And to benefit philanthropic efforts of non-profits on St. John.  It was a win win for all parties involved!

The team immediately got to work with a re-opening date of winter of 2020-2021 as their goal.  Areas of the campground were fenced, porta potties installed, debris was being cleared and building materials were arriving.  This forward progress with incredible momentum was truly inspiring.

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August 2019- NOSJ Cinnamon Progress Report

Until, seven months later…In December of 2019, the Virgin Islands National Park announced that a small amount of asbestos was found in underground sewer pipes within the campground.    For about a year, there was not much news to shed light on the progress at Cinnamon.  And then, in January of this year, VI NPS superintendent Nigel Fields announced at the annual Friends VINP meeting that “a critical archaeological survey has been completed and pipes with asbestos have been removed….construction is underway.”  Cinnamon was on the road to recovery yet again!

I think that gets us up to present day and the news that I have to share with you!  First, the opening date is, in fact, mid to late December of this winter 🙂

“The opening date is still mid to late December. Cinnamon is working with the Park to secure a dependable water source, once that is confirmed we can solidify the opening day,” CiCi told me via email last week. Following that statement, I was ensured that work on the campground and trails is moving ahead at full momentum with hard working crews on the ground, dedicated to wrapping things up by the new year.
“Construction continues 6-7 days a week on the property. Crews are giving it their all to make sure the opening happens on time. International shortages on construction materials and massive price increases have been a challenge but they are making it work. National Park trail crews will come before the opening to make sure all paths are safer and easier to navigate. Everyone has been on guard through hurricane season, and we need all the good vibes that it stays quiet and progress can continue forward.”
So, send good vibes!
In keeping with their initial announcement of dedication to supporting the local economy, the entire current management team is comprised of local hires who, according to CiCi, “are all team players who go above and beyond their titles to move Cinnamon closer to opening.”
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From left to right: Crystal George-Thomas/Financial Administrator, Addisiah Liburd/Guest Services Manager, Ernest Matthias/Watersports and Safety Manager, Lee Christian/Facilities Manager, Adrian Davis/Managing Director.
To supplement this dream team, Cinnamon Bay Beach and Campground is currently seeking team players with a tough work ethic who are ready to have some on the job fun in the sun!  Positions include General Manager, Operations Manager, Front Desk/Reservations, Housekeeping, Store, Accounting, Maintenance, Watersports, Activities and Food Services. Preference for all positions will be given to Virgin Islands residents.
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Interested parties should email their resume and cover letter to  [email protected] in order to request an application.  Additionally, Cinnamon will also offer a paid internship program for college seniors or new grads that want to learn about the hospitality industry in the National Park from the inside out. There are one and two semester options. Interested students can email their resume and cover letter to [email protected].
Additionally, beloved St. John photographer, Steve Simonsen is doing a photo shoot this month in preparation for the launch of the website for the campground.  That should be live in the next few weeks for visual progress reports and reservation information.  In the meantime, if you are interested in reservations for the campground and progress reports, you can email [email protected] to be added to the email list.  You will not receive an immediate response, but you will be the first to know when the reservation system is open!
This is all just SO exciting!  I cannot wait to see the finished product.  And the team at Cinnamon continues to work hard to get the grounds open for full enjoyment of residents and visitors in time for the New Year.  However, it is still hurricane season and they will be keeping an eye on the weather radars and going into lock down mode in the event of a storm so they can keep the progress moving.  I’ll be continuing to update you all as I receive more information on the progress and “soon come” re-opening of this beautiful facility in Virgin Islands National Park!  Stay tuned!

10 thoughts on “Cinnamon Bay Campground Sets Sights on Winter Re-Opening”

  1. Thanks Hillary Bonner for spreading the good news from Cici Davis, this is very exciting to hear. We sure would love to come back to St. John, we miss the island so much ! Would you please put us on your mailing list ! Thanks !

  2. Will the Archaeology Center be re-opening? I think I read that most of the valuables there were moved to safety before the hurricanes. I hope so. Relics and knowledge of the past are precious and help us understand the present.

  3. News that brings optimism. Hope to stay at Cinnamon as soon as possible. Have everlasting memories from previous, repeated vacations with my children ( now adults!) and a marvelous two weeks with my wife in an oceanfront cabin.

  4. When I first saw Cinnamon Bay 38 years ago, I knew it would be a lifelong love affair. Throughout the years, I have spent the purest days, filled with joy and quiet peace among its shores, winding trails, and blissful coves. I can not wait to return.

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