Maho founder honored; camp’s fate still in doubt

Stanley Selengut has been honored with the Lifetime Achievement Award from the International Ecotrourism Society, of which he is a founder. The honor will be presented at the group's tourism conference next week at Hilton Head, North Carolina.

Selengut, the force behind Maho Bay Camps and Estata Concordia Preserve is considered by some people to be the :"Father of sustainable resort development." It was in 1976 that he created Maho Bay as "an economically viable resort facility compatible with National Park mandates," the Society said. "The 114 unit Maho Bay … is not only environmentally responsible but is also one of the most profitable business on the island," the group said in a statement.

Nonetheless, Maho Bay's business outlook is dicey. Selengut's land lease runs out within a year. The owners are willing to continue Maho's occupancy on a year-to-year basis, but this makes planning difficult, says Selengut.  The Friends of the Virgin islands National Park said the Trust for Public Lands has made the best offer it can for the land.  "We can only hope that the owners will come around to accepting it," the Friends said in a recent newsletter, adding, "It is a frustrating situation."

2 thoughts on “Maho founder honored; camp’s fate still in doubt”

  1. They should take the money. That is a great beach for snorkeling, but as a beach, it sucks. The sand flies and bugs will eat you up there. 25 years ago there was stuff growing in the water and sea urchins everywhere, which were removed to make it like you see it now. Not as green as you think! Maho is overrated; the 200 step stairs are pure murder and the tents are falling apart. The landowners should be bending over backards to keep the camp there and getting whatever income they can get off the lease. My three cents!!!

  2. “one of the most profitable businesses on the island!!”. so why don’t the landowners wake up and realize the win/win situation they have there, swallopw their greed, and renegotiate a long-term lease for maho bay? only then can intelligent planning be implemented to improve/upgrade the facilities to ensure this pristine piece of heaven-on-earth is there for generations to come. and there are lots of us who say “hallelujah for the stairs!” can’t handle the exercise? stay at the westin and leave maho to those of us who enjoy it for what it is…unspoiled, unpolluted, unpretentious, unbelievable!

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