Mountain Top, one of the most popular attractions on St. Thomas before it burned to the ground last May, will rise again. The plan is to reopen Mountain Top by next winter season.

A new steel-and-concrete, open-air building will be constructed on the existing concrete slab. A large, concrete observation deck will extend from the interior bar area. Eight solar-powered fans will provide ventilation.

The new facility will accommodate up to 1,000 people at a time and will include souvenir shops, a restaurant and a bar.

Beverly Nicholson-Doty, the U.S. Virgin Islands' commissioner of tourism, described the site as "an icon."

"Residents and visitors who knew the old Mountain Top have missed it and have been calling for its rebirth," she said.

At 1,547 feet, Mountain Top was the highest point on St. Peter Mountain above the capital of Charlotte Amalie, and was a regular stop on island sightseeing tours. It also served as a popular venue for weddings and receptions.

The site called itself the home of the banana daiquiri. Bartenders claimed that the original recipe dated back more than 60 years, and that more than 7 million had been served as of 2008.

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