Well folks, one of our favorite beaches is currently “closed” per the Department of Sports, Parks and Recreation.
We were driving past Oppenheimer earlier this week when we first noticed the hand-painted sign to the left of the Oppenheimer gate. It reads, “Beach area closed. Active construction. Enter at own risk!!!” There’s also a second sign that says people who park at the beach will be booted at their own expense.
We wandered down to the beach area briefly Monday and saw several men working on the dilapidated old building. It’s been closed for awhile, and no events or weddings have been permitted at the complex for months.
Now we know that beaches cannot technically be closed, or can they? Who remembers the Government Shutdown back in 2013? Well when the government shut down, so did the National Park here on island. Sounds crazy, right? Well it was. More than two-thirds of the island was closed. People were told they’d be fined if they were found on beaches, and parking lots were closed with yellow tape. Fortunately, it only lasted six days, as the VI National Park was given special permission to reopen during the shutdown.
Now regarding Oppenheimer, we’re not too sure how long the area will be “closed.” But while it is, I’d suggest visiting one of other many beautiful beaches. We’ll keep you posted on all this folks.