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From The St. Thomas Source:
"Despite a whole morning of power failures, senators hit the ground running early Monday afternoon, passing through full session three major coastal zone permits -- one of which will allow for construction to start on the long-awaited Robin Bay Realty resort and casino on St. Croix."
Good news for St. Croix:
On a stark, muddy field, 10 gold-painted shovels dug into the ground and tossed the first clumps of soil Thursday, marking the start of a new era at Cruzan Rum; one that will see the territory become “the No. 1 rum capital in the world,” according to Gov. John deJongh Jr.
Thursday’s groundbreaking ceremony for the new Cruzan Rum wastewater treatment system drew more than 100 spectators, including more than half the Senate, Cruzan employees past and present, and executives from the St. Croix distillery’s parent company in Deerfield, Ill.
From David Fedeles, St. Croix:
Greetings from St. Croix! A great article about our island was a feature story in the October 2009 issue of Caribbean Travel + Life Magazine. If you missed it, check it out and I was quoted with a sidebar editorial shown below:
"FOR SALE" SIGNS Think Caribbean homeownership is only for Ponzi schemers and James Bond villains? Well think again. The dream of buying a residence in the United States Virgin Islands can be surprisingly attainable, with familiar tax laws and real estate practices defining the process and the good ol' American dollar making it happen. "And anyone searching for the Virgin Islands' biggest bang for the buck need look no farther than St. Croix," says veteran agent David Fedeles of Farchette & Hanley Real Estate, in Christiansted. With a median home price hovering around the $600,000 mark ($229,000 for condos) and no shortage of available properties, thanks to our lingering economic blahs, th e island is ripe for bargain hunting. We found a furnished, two-bedroom, two-bath Teague Bay home on the island's eastern tip priced at $639,000 (Ed. Note: now Sold!) and boasting a heated pool, a full acre of land, and a glorious view of Buck Island to the north. And three miles west of Christiansted on Pelican Cove beach, $249,500 buys a furnished two-bedroom condo with resort-style amenities and an ocean view (also Sold!)." Let's hope I get some inquiries and can 'stir up some action' from the stateside economic doldrums which impact St. Croix as well. Also newsworthy...
Home Depot gets Financing
Governor DeJongh approved final documents in late September for tax-increment financing, allowing the government to issue bonds based on the projected increased in property and gross receipts taxes the project will bring once completed. The construction financing is being provided by First Bank VI. The 44-acre mixed use development will be anchored by Home Depot and also will include an IHOP, medical offices, shopping, affordable housing amidst renovated sugar mill ruins and a solar and wind power plant. It is being developed by Caribbean Development Partners headed by local developer Jim Watson. Ground breaking is set for November 2nd.
Williams and Punch Clears another Hurdle
The Coastal Zone Management Commission gave permission for the developers to extend the beach at their proposed 378-room resort and casino north of Frederiksted. The developers noted this is a key component of their proposed development because the area became much rockier after Hurricane Lenny blew in from the southwest in 1999 and removed much of the sand there. Spokesmen for the project noted that the beach restoration project brings back the beach for recreation and also makes the area more conducive to turtle nesting, all with minimal effect on the environment. The developers are now working wit h the Army Corps of Engineers to get their permit as well as a land swap agreement with the VI Government to relocate the road inland and away from the shoreline which will need legislative approval as well.
Diageo Distillery Making Progress!
St. Croix welcomes the liquor industry giant Diageo which is building a state-of-the-art Captain Morgan Rum Distillery on 26 acres of land at the St. Croix Renaissance Group. This eco-friendly distillery will provide between 200and 300 temporary jobs. It is scheduled to open in 2011 and approximately 40 to 70 permanent jobs will then be created.
The Source is reporting:
Construction is moving on schedule and this fall St. Croix will see massive concrete slabs poured and walls built at the Diageo Captain Morgan Rum distillery, a company official said Thursday.
Speaking to Rotary of St. Croix at its weekly speaker luncheon, Dan Kirby, Diageo U.S. Virgin Islands vice president of supply, provided new details of the construction schedule while emphasizing the environmentally friendly features of the plant and Diageo's success at hiring mostly local workers to build the plant.
This seems to be a great story for the VI and especially St. Croix. Jobs, tax revenues - has there been any local downside reported on this project?
Real estate update from St. Croix Realtor David Fedeles
SUMMER IN ST. CROIX! It's a great time to relax, take a breather, and enjoy the slower pace of summer. It kicks off w/ a BANG w/ the ST. CROIX HALF IRONMAN TRIATHLON 70.3 on the first Sunday in May. And here I am "Jumping Up" with Tim O'Donnell at our festive 'street fair' teeming with local vendors and entertainment on Friday evening before the race. Tim became the Men's Champion two days later after several previous attempts, which placed him near the top in close races...and this year he also broke the course record. Congratulations TIM and Catriona Morrison of Scotland who was the Women's Champ! At sunrise on Sunday, participants took to the harbor for the first phase of this race for a 1.24 mile swim followed by a 56 mile bike race ar ound the island and up the famous .7 mile hill called "The Beast" which starts at a 14% grade to a grueling 21% grade. The last phase of the race is a 13.1-mile run....a great event for the athletes and the island!
Diageo Distillery Ground Breaking Ceremony! St. Croix welcomes the liquor industry giant, Diageo who will build a state-of-the-art Captain Morgan Rum Distillery on 26 acres of land at the St. Croix Renaissance Group. Diageo's distillery will have a 20-million-proof-gallon per year capacity. The construction of this eco-friendly distillery is slated to begin in several weeks (ground-breaking was just last week!) and will provide between 200 and 300 temporary jobs. The distillery is scheduled to open in 2011 and approximately 40 to 70 permanent jobs will be created. Diageo signed an 11-year lease agreement with five, 10-year renewal options with St. Croix Renaissance Group for the distillery site. They also purchased 20 acres of land on West Airport Road in Estate Diamond for the warehouse location that will store the rum before it is shipped to Maryland for bottling.
Robin Bay Resort Update On April 22 the Department of Planning and Natural Resources' Costal Zone Management (CZM) staff and committee listened to public testimony on the development of the Robin's Bay Resort and Casino located on St. Croix's southeast shore. The resort is comprised of an 870-room resort, including 746 residential condos, villas, single-family homes, and 56 time-share villas. Additionally, there will be swimming pools, 18-hole golf course and clubhouse, restaurants and a casino. By the end of May a decision on permitting will be announced by CZM.
Governor Sets 2006 Property Tax Deadline Governor DeJongh Jr. issued an executive order at presstime stating that 2006 property tax bills are due on July 1 - even though no court has given the V.I. Government permission to issue the bills. According to the executive order, 2006 property tax bills must be paid by July 31 or they will be considered delinquent; the deadline for appeals of bills is August 14. Three years of property taxes have gone uncollected because the Territory's property tax system has been tied up in litigation. The Governor has received assurances from the Tax Assessor's office that the bills could be issued in light of the huge budget shortfall that we are experiencing...pay those bills!
Virgin Islands Farmers' Cooperative The V.I. Farmers Cooperative is a group of local farmers in St. Croix and St. Thomas whose goal is to build and promote the agriculture industry in the Virgin Islands and to increase the availability of high-quality locally grown food and food products. The Cooperative's new Farmers' Market is located across from the Sports and Fitness Center and is open on Saturdays. Eventually the market will be open six days a week. Locally-grown fruits and vegetables of all varieties and types are offered for sale; St. Croix truly is 'going back to its roots' as the "bread-basket island."
SOME NEW LISTINGS AND UPDATES
Looking for a home with a Grande View? An elegant three bedroom, 3.5 bath home with gracious living areas, cypress ceiling, central air, hot tub and infinity pool with swim jet at gated Hibiscus Point in Carambola... realistically priced asking $1,095,000.
How about a Million Dollar View? A sumptuous home with three large suites in South Grapetree with tiled pool, apt. and covered gazebo...mesmerizing views of both North and South shores even Buck Island, fairly listed for $895,000.
Looking for Paradise? "Coyaba" is exactly what that means! Enjoy the unobstructed panoramic views of Buck Island from this charming 2-bedroom en-suite home with heated pool, also a very popular rental home. Listed below seller cost at $639,000.
Need Lots of Space with a View? Enjoy the wonderful breezes in this custom built three bedroom 3 bath home with a separate apartment and two room office, each with separate entrances on lower level...even a jacuzzi! Asking $439,000.
Searching for a Seaside Hotel? Ready for that "island dream"? The Waves at Cane Bay is a fabulous waterfront hotel located directly over the ocean, twelve suites all with balconies and great ocean views! Relax in the unique grotto pool sipping cocktails & watching the sunset...offering dinner 7 nights and even weekend brunch! $2,050,000 fully-equipped.
Developers take note! Cane Bay Plantation is a premiere hotel and development site at one of the best dive sites on the island site... reduced in price nearly half! This property features 25+ acres of build-able land Zoned R3 for condo, hotel or resort with over 440 feet of sandy beachfront, great house and hotel ruins. NOW $1,495,000... SELLER WANTS OFFERS!
Love a luxury condo? CARDEN BEACH for the ultimate in luxury and exclusively listed, final phase of brand-new Building 3 w/ three different floor plans and top-of-the-line finishes, prices starting at $845,000 with four already sold! Also included are 12 freestanding private villas (two sold!) w/ your choice of floor plans and building site; enjoy the best of waterfront living... call me for a private tour! Also at Carden Beach, we have a beautiful 2-bedroom top floor walk-in unit in Building 1 (Unit 522) overlooking pool, sundeck and Buck Island, asking $645,000.
Seeking sand in your toes? WALK TO SHOYS BEACH! Enjoy this custom-built, 3 bedroom 3 bath home with pool and all amenities in the beautiful gated community of Shoys w/ pool, large generator, even a well, now reduced to $1,195,000 fully furnished! Now priced to sell in today's market!
Some news that is a little old but I had been meaning to post - from The Source:
March 19, 2009 -- The Captain Morgan's rum distillery planned for St. Croix will release no molasses or other effluent into the sea, instead converting it to organic solids suitable for soil enrichment, Diageo officials told the V.I. Coastal Zone Management committee Wednesday. At the committee's public hearing on the Diageo CZM permit in the Henry E. Rohlsen Airport conference room, officials outlined an array of measures being taken to make the distillery both efficient and low-impact and emphasized their commitment to hire and train locally.
CHRISTIANSTED, U.S. Virgin Islands (Reuters) - Texas billionaire Allen Stanford, charged by U.S. securities regulators with an $8 billion (5.5 billion pounds) fraud, has purchased at least $34.7 million worth of property and leased 37 acres of land for about $805,000 per year on the Caribbean island of St. Croix.
Follow the link above for the list of properties.
The St. Thomas Source is reporting the following:
Jan. 14, 2009 -- The V.I. Coastal Zone Management committee Wednesday evening approved the CZM permit for the Amalago Bay resort development project in estates Williams and Punch, moving the half-billion-dollar-plus project one major step forward.
This is an article from the St. Thomas Source I have been meaning to post:
Sept. 18, 2008 -- Caribbean Development Partners, planners of the Island Crossing Shopping Center with Home Depot as the anchor tenant, presented its case for tax increment financing (TIF) to the full Senate in a hearing Wednesday in the Frits Lawaetz conference room.
Great news for St. Croix:
June 25, 2008 -- By 2011, if all goes well, a massive new Captain Morgan rum distillery on St. Croix will begin bringing in millions of dollars to the territory's coffers and create about 40 permanent jobs, said David Gosnell of alcoholic beverage titan Diageo at a press conference Wednesday in Christiansted.
From the AP:
CHARLOTTE AMALIE, U.S. Virgin Islands (AP) _ Federal authorities are seeking comment from U.S. Virgin Islands residents about groundwater cleanup and modifications to waste treatment operations at the Western Hemisphere's second-largest oil refinery.
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency officials joined representatives from Hovensa's refinery to pursue feedback on efforts to recover about a million gallons of oil spilled on the 1,500-acre refinery property in the 1980s.
The comment period ends April 26 regarding the ongoing cleanup and possible EPA permit changes at the giant Hovensa refinery on the south coast of St. Croix, where smokestacks stand adjacent to coral reefs and wildlife refuges.
Since recovery and treatment wells began operating in 1987, roughly 42 million gallons of petroleum waste has been reclaimed from the onsite groundwater at the refinery site, the EPA said in a statement.
While leaky sewer lines and tanks responsible for the property's pollution were repaired long ago, the federal agency says an estimated 1.2 million gallons of spilled oil still remains.
Hovensa, owned by New York-based Hess Corp. and Petroleos de Venezuela SA, the national oil company of Venezuela, is the largest private employer in the U.S. Virgin Islands. A spokesman for the company could not immediately be reached for comment.
Travel Weekly chimes in on the Wyndham deal:
"WYNDHAM HOTELS AND RESORTS will brand the 400-room Wyndham St. Croix Golf Resort & Casino, scheduled to open in 2010. The resort will serve as the cornerstone of a $250 million complex that will include the St. Croix Conference Center. The 294-acre site near downtown Christiansted is a short drive from the airport. The resort will have a casino (the second on the island); a Jack-Nicklaus-designed golf course; a spa and fitness center; four restaurants; lounges; retail stories; and a kids' club. The property will be St. Croix's second chain hotel, joining the Divi Carina Bay Beach Resort & Casino."
This thing just won't die - it looks like the Golden Casino project on St. Croix is not only alive, but kicking (although with a different name!):
Feb. 27, 2008 -- Wyndham Hotels and Resorts will manage the long-delayed Golden Gaming casino resort project on St. Croix's South Shore, developer Paul Golden announced Wednesday morning at The Palms at Pelican Cove.
Wyndham Resorts made its own announcement, broadcast on CNN at 8 a.m. Wednesday. "Golden Gaming" no more: Henceforth the project will be known as Wyndham St. Croix Golf Resort and Casino.
"After seven and a half years, Golden Resorts couldn't be more pleased and honored to have Wyndham managing the property," Golden said. "Wyndham's past experience with their 24 properties in the Caribbean and Latin America gives us the benefit of their sales, marketing and reservations system, their triple-rewards program for their members, and their network of Wyndham vacation-ownership condos. And they are well-known, experienced managers of hotels and resorts."
Another story from The Source today:
Jan. 30, 2008 -- Funding for the construction of a $32.5 million conference center on St. Croix is now back in the hands of hotel developer Paul Golden, provided that he meets certain conditions laid out Wednesday by the Public Finance Authority board. The stability of Golden's project -- a 400-room resort and casino near St. Croix's Great Pond -- had generated concerns over the past few months for board members, who voted in early July to put the conference center out for bid. At that point, Golden had failed to meet several deadline extensions to obtain the financing needed to break ground on the project, nullifying the authority's previous resolution to build the facility in conjunction with Golden's resort.
We had an earlier story about this project being dead, which appears to have been premature.
The St. Thomas Source is reporting today:
Jan. 17, 2008 -- There was a flurry of motions but little movement Thursday in U.S. District Court on St. Croix as Judge Raymond L. Finch heard a laundry list of defense and prosecution motions in the case of James A. Auffenberg Jr. and three other men charged with evading federal taxes by misusing the V.I. Economic Development Commission program.
The U.S. Department of Justice is charging that the four men illegally claimed a 90 percent federal tax break on more than $300 million funneled through the St. Croix-based company Kapok Management, L.P. It alleges that Auffenberg, a prominent car dealer in Swansea, Ill., illegally avoided more than $74 million in taxes from 1999 to 2002 by joining Kapok as a partner and shipping money to Kapok, run by Peter G. Fagan of De Leon, Texas; James W. Ferguson III of Amarillo, Texas; and J. David Jackson of St. Croix. All four have pleaded innocent.
This is a very interesting case - a guilty conviction here could have a major impact on the territory.
"I purchased a property in St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands, this summer. I've been in this business for 15 years and as we all do, think I know what I'm doing. Did I appreciate and take advantage of the information and ease of access to that information over the Internet? Yes. Was that access a key to the successful completion of my transaction? Yes. Would I dare risk doing the deal without a local agent, even as capable and knowledgeable as I am? No. Did the agent provide information and service invaluable to the deal? Absolutely."
Land-de Wilde Realty on St. Croix is making a big push on this property. It is showing up rather prominently in AdSense ads on many Virgin Islands sites I visit and in my Gmail account. The name of the property is confusing however from the website set up for it - is it "St. Croix Dome" or "The Complete Retreat"? They also need to work on their title tags at the least. Anyway - check it out if you are in the market for some non-traditional architecture on St. Croix.
Can't say that I didn't see this coming:
Nov. 7, 2007 -- After more than six years of delays, numerous extensions to its casino license, lawsuits by environmentalists and competitors and a Senate agreement to fund a $32 million conference center, Golden Gaming's plans to build a resort have come to a close with foreclosure and auction of the lands.
Paul Golden of Golden Gaming has tried to develop a casino resort costing several hundred million dollars on St. Croix's south shore since 2001. (See "Golden Gaming CEO Remains Steadfast in His Vision.")
On Dec. 1, 2006, the Connecticut-based hedge fund Silver Point Capital loaned Golden Gaming $15 million, secured by a mortgage on the casino development company's land holdings. Notice of default was received by Golden Gaming on June 12 and, on Aug. 30, Silver Point filed foreclosure papers on all of Golden Gaming's land holdings, claiming the lands in payment of the debt. On Oct. 25 a judgment was entered in Superior Court on St. Croix, saying the parties have agreed to terms of the foreclosure.
The St. Thomas Source is reporting the following:
"Oct. 12, 2007 -- The sale of a million-dollar piece of St. Croix property belonging indirectly to Jeffrey Prosser, former owner of Innovative Telephone, has been proposed to the U.S. Bankruptcy Court.
The proposal was submitted by Stan Springel, the court-appointed trustee charged with raising funds to meet the debts of Prosser's companies. The property is identified in the court filings as Plot 143 Estate Anna's Hope, East End Quarter, St. Croix. It is to be sold "as is."
Springel has set a price for the property, $1.15 million, and has selected a real-estate agent, Farchette and Hanley of Christiansted -- both subject to court approval. The real-estate agent's fee would be five percent, which Springel noted was less than the six percent often charged. "
Tough story on the proposed UVI Tech Park on St. Croix out today in the VI Daily News - it pulls no punches exposing the fact that nothing has happened for nearly 6 years with 13 million dollars spent:
"The Virgin Islands is chasing an unrealistic Silicon Valley fantasy and sacrificing practical economic development at the expense of taxpayers.
Since 2002, the territory has allocated at least $13 million on the gamble that the University of the Virgin Islands' Research and Technology Park will attract high-tech companies to move to the islands.
Much like the expensive promises that left St. Croix with the near-vacant Rohlsen Airport and the unused Ann Abramson cruise ship pier, the assumptions that drive the Tech Park are based on miscalculations and unrealistic expectations.
Questions raised about a St. Croix "diploma mill"
"In January, the school's accreditation was revoked by the Virgin Islands' new governor, less than two months after it was granted by the territory's acting commissioner of education.
Published reports in the Virgin Islands have accused Knisley and officials of the International Graduate Center of running a diploma mill – institutions of higher education that provide degrees for few credit hours and at higher-than-usual tuition."
Virgin Islands On Line has free classifieds for the USVI. If you have anything to sell, including homes, land, furnishing, etc. you should check it out. Leave an ad for FREE or maybe find something you need.
From the NY Times:
COLLEEN WILSON, a lawyer who relocated her family to St. Thomas for a job at a multinational insurance company this spring, has not rented a home since she was 21. Not in Britain, nor in Jamaica, nor in Florida. Here in the Virgin Islands, however, she has been renting a three-bedroom house for more than eight months. And she doesn’t like it.
“Renting seems like such a waste,” she said, of the modest house on a small lot in the eastern Red Hook section of the island that could be hers to own for slightly more than $1 million.
“But I’m just not comfortable with the range of prices here,” she said. “Based on the property values in Miami, where we lived before, I expected to purchase something nice for $500,000 or under within six to eight months of exploring the island. Everything I’m interested in is $1.2 million, and I can’t see myself mortgaging my entire lifestyle to incur that kind of debt.”
The VI Daily News is reporting:
"ST. CROIX - St. Croix is poised for more development at Annaly Bay on the northwest end of the island.
Throgmartin Co. announced Tuesday that it has sold 1,100 of the 2,500 acres of its Annaly Bay property to a newly formed company called Annaly Bay Resorts LLC. The company is made up of a group of California-based real estate investors.
Neither company released the purchase price.
Last November, Florida-based Throgmartin purchased 2,500 acres at Annaly Bay from local developer Jake Jacobus, who owns Carambola Resort, for an undisclosed amount of money.
In December, Throgmartin unveiled a master plan for a $500 million mega-resort and residential community to be developed over a 15-year period.
Throgmartin officials said they plan to develop only 1,327 of the 2,500 acres it purchased and would leave 70 percent of the 1,327 acres developed as green space, or natural open space."
There is more here. This is pretty exciting - it is great to see news about possible development on St. Croix.
The V.I. Daily News is reporting:
ST. THOMAS - The Public Finance Authority on Monday gave New Jersey-based developer Paul Golden additional time to get his finances in place for the $120 million resort and casino he plans to build on St. Croix's south shore.
The PFA governing board's members voted unanimously to extend Golden's deadline to April 5. If Golden's company, Golden Gaming, misses the new deadline, he risks losing out on the V.I. government's guarantee of an additional $32.5 million investment in a 12,000-square foot convention center proposed for the resort.
The government funding hinges on whether the company can line up 80 percent of the financing to complete the resort project, which includes a 400-room hotel, a spa and an 18-hole golf course near Great Pond.
There is a lot of interesting stuff in the article, with Golden hinting that he has lined up a major hotel name to manage the property. I don't know if I would trust comments like that but you never know.
From the AP:
June 29, 2005, 7:02 PM EDT
NEW HAVEN, Conn. -- The Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation, which operates Foxwoods Resort Casino, said Wednesday that it plans to build a 600-acre resort and casino in the U.S. Virgin Islands, the latest move by an Indian tribe to expand operations off tribal land.
The tribe said its plans include a 400-room hotel, a marina, casino, 160 residential lots, condominiums, two golf courses, retail shops, a convention center and botanical gardens.
Foxwoods, which is built on tribal land in Connecticut, is one of the largest casinos in the world. Other tribes, including the Mohegans, have diversified. The Mohegans, operators of Mohegan Sun, recently purchased the Pocono Downs racetrack in Wilkes-Barre, Pa., in anticipation of opening a slots facility.
The Mashantucket Pequots said they are working with William and Punch Partners, a development group that owns waterfront property on St. Croix, where casino gambling is legal.
Tribal spokesman Bruce McDonald said no additional information will be available Wednesday.
According to a news release issued by a lending company last year, the developers are planning to build "The Mills of St. Croix," on the site of one of the island's old sugar mills. It did not mention the tribe's involvement.
James A.D. Francis, chief of staff to Virgin Islands Senate President Lorraine L. Berry, said Wednesday that the casino plan was in development and believes the tribe's involvement will be viewed favorably by local officials.
"That would be good news for St. Croix because it would mean William and Punch had a financial backer to really assist them," Francis said.
At a Senate hearing last year, residents said they wanted the resort project but were concerned about environmental effects and that the developers may not obtain financing for the deal, The St. Croix Source newspaper reported.
"St. Croix is a market that has exciting possibilities, and any development, like our other enterprises, should respect the natural beauty of its surroundings," Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Council Chairman Michael J. Thomas said in a statement.
The nearly 600-acre site was purchased for $3.75 million, according to last year's news release by Kennedy Funding, a lending group, which said it had arranged a loan of $3.9 million.
Francis said casino developers must seek approval from the Virgin Islands Casino Control Commission. Legislators generally support casino gambling to increase tourism, he said.
8/4/2004 11:03 pm
CHARLOTTE AMALIE, U.S. Virgin Islands - A Las Vegas-based developer failed to address environmental concerns in its application to build a casino-resort near sensitive wetlands, a government regulatory agency has decided.
Golden Resorts did not provide plans for wildlife protection, trash removal, and sewage and drainage controls, according to the Coastal Zone Management Committee's 12-page ruling released late Tuesday.
The committee said it would officially inform the company of its decision this week, giving it 10 days to address the concerns.
Golden Resorts wants to build the $150 million resort about 50 feet from the mangrove-fringed Great Pond on the island of St. Croix.
The pond is home to many rare birds, including herons egrets and the white crown pigeons. The federally protected green and hawksbill sea turtles nest on the nearby beaches.
Environmentalists argue the resort would attract crowds to the normally deserted beaches, potentially destroying turtle nesting grounds and scaring off birds. They also say soil runoff from construction could cause other harm.
Golden Resorts attorney Kevin Rames countered the 290-acre resort would employ 1,200 people, 80 percent of whom would be from St. Croix, the largest and poorest island in the U.S. Caribbean territory. The 434-room resort would include a casino and golf course.
Rames insisted the resort wouldn't be any more environmentally damaging than the stray dogs, motorcycle riders and fishermen's shacks already around the area.
"The same interest groups who have concern about development don't seem to care about the fishing shacks and feral dogs there," Rames said. "But when you try to put something on the ground to employ people the objections flow fast and they flow heavy."
Golden Resorts has an appeal pending with the Board of Land Use Appeals, arguing it should have been granted the permit by default because the zone management committee failed to rule on its application within 30 days. That deadline passed in February.
The appeals board has agreed to hear the case in September, said Michael Law, the board's legal counselor.
Copyright © 2004 The Reno Gazette-Journal