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.
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.
54 thoughts on “Cinnamon Bay to Reopen; Profits will Support Philanthropic & Resiliency Projects on STJ”
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.
This is such good news! We love our National Parks!❤️❤️
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
This is great news we can not Waite to plan our next trip
Ive been waiting for cinnamon bay to open again. I hope they keep prices reasonable and affordable. ❤️
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.
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. ❤️
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!
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.
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!!!
Wonderful news….so happy for St John and soon to be campers and visitors! THANKS to all and yr reporting!!
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.
Wonderful news. The island is truly blessed to have such supporters!
Best news ever ..my friends and I love staying at Cinnamon Bay campground… Can’t wait to go back
This is wonderful news, can’t wait to be able to reserve a week.
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.
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.
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.
FANTASTIC! When will they be accepting reservations for Fall 2020?
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!
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.
Many thanks to Mr Secunda!
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.
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.
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.
Thank you.We look forward to our return to St John and Cinnamon Bay where I found my love 40 years ago.
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.
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.
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.
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
I’m thrilled! I can’t wait to visit in a few weeks!!
This is wonderful news!
Hope to be there on opening day!
Love St. John!
Need a volunteer to help with the process???
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.
Awesome. Awesome. Awesome.
Great news. Always brings back such wonderful memories on a beautiful Bay .. Cinnamon!
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!
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/
This is such wonderful news! Can’t wait to see the results, I am sure it will be spectacular!
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!
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.
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…
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.
What lauable commitment and leadership!!!!!!! Thank you Mr. Secunda and others.
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!!
This is wonderful, especially the part about working to make the islands more resilient in and after storms. The USVIs has always had horrible infrastructure and this operation is a giant step forward.
We so miss the social life we had while camping at CBC for two weeks in March including my birthday and the St.Pat’s Day parade every year since 2009. I know that makes us newbies compared to some but we feel very fortunate to have discovered CBC due to a picture postcard sent years ago showing our favorite three things: a well furnished tent, a beach and glorious turquoise ocean. We were the couple with the silver inflatable beach thrones.
What we hope to see is: first an affordable for most vacation, a fully equipped tent on a platform with tarp over a picnic table, propane stove and lantern, grill and the included equipment for cooking, serving and cleaning up after a meal. We were spoiled by the 2009-2015 concessionaire who provided all that including cots with bedding and towels for around $90+ dollars a night. Granted, the tent screens let in the bugs, the cots were rusty and the propane stoves inefficient but we’re campers, not glampers!
We could certainly understand a reasonable increase in rates due to a rise in prices for supplies but we miss the nightly gathering of CBC friends nightly up in the restaurant for cards, visiting and occasional programs provided by the NPS. We’re ten years older than when we started and have found an apartment in Cruz Bay the past two Marches but miss the spontaneous gatherings on the beach and restaurant. We hope to again be CBC campers. We’re grateful to this man for recognizing the contribution that CBC renters make to the economy of St. John and the great joy that CBC brings to those who come to visit yearly.
we spent time volunteering and camping in the volunteer compound which is next to the campground being renovated and look forward to being able to avail ourselves of the camping