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!
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.
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.
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 🙂
“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.”