If the current operators of Caneel Bay get their way, there quite possibly may be hotel rooms built on Honeymoon Beach. Say it isn’t so…
By now, most of you recognize how contentious the current situation at Caneel Bay is. And if you read this blog regularly, you know my opinion on the matter. Caneel looks the same today as it did back in September. Pretty much no cleanup has happened on the property, and it doesn’t look like any is going to happen anytime soon. That in itself is quite frustrating. And as you know, there is a Bill before Congress that calls for its current retained use agreement to be extended 60 years, which is ludicrous in my opinion. We’re not going to get into that today though, as we’ve written about it quite a bit. (Click here and here to read more on the Bill, and what it means for St. John and the Virgin Islands National Park.)
Instead we’re going to talk about Honeymoon, Friends of the Park’s take on the Caneel situation and an important meeting that’s happening tonight. Let’s start with the rooms at Honeymoon…
So apparently CBI Acquisitions, the current operators of Caneel Bay, held a little tour at Caneel Bay last week in which they invited members of the government, community and media to check out the property. And surprisingly enough, our invite got lost in the mail!! Crazy, right??! 🙂 But fortunately the real news media was invited, and the St. John Source wrote an article on it. And buried deep down in the 11th paragraph, they casually mentioned how Gary Engle, CBI’s principle, may add some rooms over at Honeymoon Beach should the Bill pass. What??
Here is the exact statement as printed in the Source:
Engle did say there is the potential that a few of the resort’s “upland” rooms will be converted to employee housing, and a few more beachfront rooms could be added, potentially at Honeymoon Beach.
I don’t know about all of you, but I like Honeymoon the way it is. And I don’t think that Caneel should be able to develop it. But that’s simply the opinion of this little blogger…
Speaking of the real media, I was also happy to read a recent op-ed piece written by Joe Kessler, president of Friends of the VI National Park. It was printed earlier this month in the Virgin Islands Daily News. In it, Mr. Kessler stated that the proposed Bill is not the only way to get Caneel back up and running, as Congresswoman Stacy Plaskett and the Bill’s supporters want you to think. Here is the op-ed in its entirety:
I agree wholeheartedly with what Mr. Kessler has written. Rather than introducing new legislation that may or may not pass, let’s negotiate a new lease which is what Congress deemed to be the best avenue years ago.
And lastly, the meeting. Senator Brian Smith is holding a community meeting tonight at 6 p.m. in the Legislative Conference Room. One of the topics on the agenda is the proposed Caneel Bay Bill. If you are on St. John and you are interested in learning more about this Bill, I encourage you to attend. Unfortunately the organizers have required anyone who wishes to voice their concerns to register by phone and then send the statement to the organizers prior to the event, which is pretty odd in my opinion. But nevertheless, I am happy that the community is finally getting the opportunity to chime in here. I will be at the meeting, and I’ll let you know how it goes.
Phew! That was a lot today! Now please go ahead and enjoy the rest of your Monday. Have a great one everyone!!
10 thoughts on “Hotel Rooms Coming to Honeymoon Beach??”
Thanks for getting the word out Jen. I would hate to see these changes come to Honeymoon Beach, about as pretty a place as can be found on planet earth.
Thank you so much for this post. My wife and I fell in love with St. John, not in small part due to Honeymoon Beach. The lack of resorts/rooms is what keeps Honeymoon special. Even the amenities shack they built some years back seemed like too much for me. I really hope they do not go forward with building at Honeymoon. It will decimate the magical feel of one of the world’s most incredible places. Please, let us know if there’s some action we can take to stop this ridiculous, short-sighted, and downright stupid plan.
As a long time Caneeler, I have to laugh at the thought of rooms on Honeymoon. How would the guests get there with their luggage? or get back and forth to Caneel Beach and the office? It seems like too much a hike / too much exertion for their typical crowd and I don’t see them paving the path there to accommodate a shuttle. Am I missing something or is there another route to Honeymoon?
What they should – if I ran the world – is make some kind of donkey sanctuary / safety / rehab area on site! I may even propose this to them should they ever come up with an approved plan to rebuild!
Thanks for all you great posts. My family just loves to read what’s happening on St. John and were so excited yesterday when we read about tonight’s meeting. Have fun!
So if they do that we won’t be able to go to that beach anymore the way they block you from Caneel? No thanks. Leave the other beaches the way they are.
I’m not sure if that will happen, but those were my exact first thoughts when I read it.
Ugh. I had a pit in my stomach when I saw the Bikini Beach Bar or whatever it is called and feared it was a slippery slope. I’m grateful that my kids were able to experience Honeymoon back before they even rented beach toys and chairs. Thank you for keeping us up to date.
I always read your blog and am interested in the news of St. John. I first came to the island in the early 70’s. I was hooked, I fell in love with St. John. Though I was never able to move there, I have traveled there for the last 20 years. Oh the changes I have seen! I realize everywhere needs progress, but in the last few years its has taken its toll, quite visually, on the island (I am not referring to the hurricane disasters). I have to agree with Carlos. Just putting the amenities shack on Honeymoon was disappointing, as was the fees Caneel put up to make access to Honeymoon more difficult. With all that St. Johnians have endured would it not be the right thing to do, to find the quickest solution to get the complex up and running and get all those jobs filled once again by the islanders who have lost so much! Shame on CBI! Why do people always have to end up exploiting and destroying so much of the our natural beauty in our world?
Here’s a letter to the editor written by Caneel Bay management. It was published by the St. John Source on April 25, the day before the tour. It addresses some of the points in your post.
The op-ed written by Mr. Kessler was published on April 16. He wasn’t at the tour, unfortunately.
“…But fortunately the real news media was invited.. “. Guess I have find some ‘real media’ that where reporting in St John during Irma and Maria! Wish me luck.. – or I’ll keep getting my new here!..
Back to the topic.. “…never let a serious crisis go to waste…” . this is the time for them to slip in!
Nooooo …. no building on Honeymoon Beach!!!!