By Alexander Britell
A major new hotel project is coming to St Thomas in the United States Virgin Islands.
The government of the United States Virgin Islands is working on a deal that would provide up to $10 million for an equity investment in a new 110-room hotel at Yacht Haven Grande in St Thomas, the territory announced.
The project would be set on Yacht Haven Grande, a megayacht marina that is among the largest in the Caribbean, with 46 megayacht berths and a max length of 656 feet.
IGY Marina’s St Thomas site is located alongside Charlotte Amalie Harbor in the heart of St Thomas’ capital, and also includes a shopping galleria and office complex, the Shops at Yacht Haven Grande.
According to United States Virgin Islands Governor Kenneth Mapp, the project would be an “upscale lifestyle” hotel, “flagged by a major four-star brand.”
“This agreement is great news for the people of the Virgin Islands as we continue to grow and expand our economy,” Mapp said.
The project would be the first new hotel in St Thomas in decades, a major boost for a destination that has itself been making a remarkable recovery from last year’s twin hurricanes, Irma and Maria.
Indeed, more than 50 percent of all accommodations in the US Virgin Islands are open and accepting guests, with more and more properties repairing or rebuilding.
In St Thomas and St John combined, there are around 2,500 units available, while St Croix boasts more than 1,300 units available at properties ranging from The Buccaneer resort to the hip new Fred boutique hotel in Frederiksted.
Funding for the public-private partnership project expected to come from a larger $1.4 billion agreement between the government of the Virgin Islands and ArcLight Capital Partners.
Under the deal between ArcLight Capital and Limetree Bay Terminals, the company will invest the aforementioned $1.4 billion to reopen the refinery portion of the operation and potentially create hundreds of new jobs and millions of dollars into the local economy on St Croix.