St. John business climate is cloudy

It may be paradise, but a soft economy is being felt on St. John, anyway. Some shop owners are seeing more lookers than buyers, and they’re not surprised.

Dean Baldwin, co-owner of Frames of Mind in the Lumberyard, told the St. John Sun Times people used to come in and say they’d take this and that and never ask the price.  “Now, they like it but they can’t make up their mind … or they like the big print, but take the small one.”

It’s agreed, the just-passed season was not the greatest.  The next one is what’s on people’s mind now.  The owner of Sally’s Tropical Clothing told the newspaper, impulse buyers are in the few.  In efforts to keep things new, two restaurants, DaLivio and Waterfront Bistro, have changed their menus, in some cases designing offerings with locals in mind.

Overall, business owners sounded optimistic, because of the nature of St. John.  Sun Dog Cafe’s Michael Barry told the Sun Times, “St. John has so much to offer, the value of (the island) will endure.)

5 thoughts on “St. John business climate is cloudy”

  1. We own a condo at Battery Hill, and try to get down a couple of time a year. This year, things did seem a bit quieter, but they also seemed a lot dirtier than in the past. Trash is strewn throughout Cruz Bay -bottles, plastic bags, food containers- and seems to sit from one week to the next. We had 2 different sets of friends staying out at the Weston who literally had to be coaxed into coming to town for dinner/shopping. They did not perceive it as a safe and welcoming environment. The public authorities are not going to do anything about this issue. Unfortunately, it will be up to the business community to maintain some standards of hygiene, or it will not be done. Cruz Bay probably has one initial shot with people staying at the villas or the two resorts, and if the impression is bad, if they continually have to step over trash and garbage, those people will not be back.

  2. “Changing menus, in some cases designing offerings with locals in mind”. Novel idea, however if Subway couldn’t make it, I wish them the best!

  3. I also was at Caneel Bay July 7th-14th. we spent most time on property.The times at Cruz bay docking site where NOT POSITIVE..
    The square across from ferry dock
    is a ” Hang Out” for locals.Whether it is or not it doesnt feel SAFE and is NOT VERY
    We were actually on a vacation home shopping trip,I’m sure there are not many of us BUYERS at this time..St John is a beautiful place,BUT NOT a beautiful ENTRANCE
    Local GOVT better step up FAST
    We didnt buy on ST.JOHN

  4. We returned to St. John for the 3rd time a few years ago, that trip was with our 11 and 13 y.o. sons. Stayed at Maho Bay camps (dh and I were at Caneel other times). When the kids first saw St. Thomas, they thought it was paradise! Then we ferried to St. John, spent a fabulous week…on the return trip to St. Thomas to fly out, they saw it very differently…”wow, it’s dirty! Look at all the garbage!” etc. From what I’m reading, St. John sounds like it’s heading the same direction. We come to St. John b/c of it’s “2/3 is Nat’l Park” distinction…we expect to see pristine and clean. We found the locals to be very friendly when we were there, and Cruz Bay though changed from 15 years ago was still quite enchanting. But with Grande Bay and now this…I don’t know. It is PRICEY to fly from Chicago to St. John, so we want it to be worth it for our vacation dollars. We would NOT spend our money to vacation on St. Thomas. PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE don’t let St. John go to the same trash-filled fate!

  5. I couldn’t agree more! Much of Cruz Bay seems to be going the way of Jamaica instead of Bermuda!
    The crime, trash and general perception of the populated areas are keeping people, like me, away from those areas.

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