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."