BVI's Bitter End Yacht Club returns to its roots

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A watercolor rendering of the Quarterdeck building at the Bitter End Yacht Club on Nevis.
A watercolor rendering of the Quarterdeck building at the Bitter End Yacht Club on Nevis.

One resort in the British Virgin Islands is finally able to move forward following the devastation caused by Hurricane Irma in September 2017.

The Bitter End Yacht Club on the far eastern tip of Virgin Gorda has launched its rebuilding project after more than 20 months of demolition and cleanup from the storm's damage.

The project included the removal of more than 100 structures and the cleanup of the resort's 64 acres.

Bitter End opened in 1969 as a remote island outpost and hangout that catered to yachtsmen and sailors.

"We have a unique opportunity to return to our roots by welcoming back the sailing, yachting and watersports communities first," said Richard Hokin, managing owner.

The Marina Village, which Hokin described as the heart and soul of Bitter End, will be the first element of the property to be redeveloped and will open during the 2019-2020 season.

Marina facilities will include a two-story, open-air complex with a lounge overlooking North Sound, marinawide WiFi and upgraded bathing facilities.

The resort's enhanced beach will feature a watersports center with a new Club Fleet available to visiting boaters, Virgin Gorda villa guests, day visitors and locals.

"Our fleets of Hobie Waves, Lasers, 420s, Sunfish, kayaks and paddleboards will include new watersports toys. Snorkel trips to nearby reefs, sailing, kiting and dive lessons and guided adventures led by our watersports crew will continue to be part of the resort's activities program," Hokin said.

Future enhancements will include yacht management programs, a beachfront restaurant and bar, a retail shop, event space and a market with provisions for boat trips.

After the marina and waterfront rebuild, the resort redevelopment will include accommodations and hospitality venues.

Cleanup efforts have focused on recycling as many materials as possible and restoring a mile of shoreline.

Since its closure, the owners and their crew have supported the local community through philanthropic projects, including the Bitter End Irma Relief Fund to respond to the catastrophic impact of Hurricanes Irma and Maria.

The resort launched a lifestyle brand called Bitter End provisions that includes gear, accessories and apparel now sold at many airports, yacht clubs and marinas around the world.

Another program called Provisions for Good donates $1 from every purchase to the nonprofit Bitter End Foundation.

"What we promise as we embark on this new chapter in Bitter End's history is that the spirit of the place will remain; we will honor our legacy and continue to focus our efforts on what is truly important to our community: the spirit of adventure, exploration and stewardship of our seas," said Lauren Hokin, founding family member.

"Bitter End 2.0 will feel incredibly fresh and exciting, yet sweetly familiar at the same time."

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