PETER ISLAND, British Virgin Islands -- Agents have more reasons
than ever to sell Peter Island resort this winter.
Newly renovated beachfront rooms represent an outlay of $4
million in recent upgrades and improvements.
Wayne Kafscak, managing director, said Peter Island "is in this
for the long term. The owners are committed to offering and
maintaining a quality product."
Peter Island appeared to rebound fairly quickly from the
cancellations received in the wake of the Sept. 11 terrorist
Tom Jones, reservations manager, said that "for every two
cancellations or postponements received, we'd get a new booking
from an agent for January or February."
Jones also reported the loss of "very little" Christmas business,
which requires a 10-night minimum stay.
In fact, the resort remained at near-sellout levels for the
The 52-unit resort, which occupies its own 1,800-acre island in
the British Virgin Islands chain, reopened Oct. 7 after a
monthlong, propertywide refurbishing.
The renovation is done each year while the resort is closed and
is part of an ongoing maintenance program.
However, the current renovation project involving the 20
beachfront rooms, which will be completed by mid-November, mirrors
the refit of the 30 harbor rooms done three years ago.
Kafscak said the project includes a new air conditioning system
for each guest unit as well as new bathrooms, lighting, soft goods,
furniture and a closet redesign.
"We're spending $155,000 per unit on this project," he said.
"There is a concerted effort to continually improve the existing
project and to put in what needs to be put in."
Although Peter Island has no plans to forsake its long-standing
policy of no televisions in guest rooms, fiber-optic cable lines
and data ports in room telephones are part of the current
"We're looking down the line toward our future communications
and technology needs," Kafscak said. "We are trying to put the
equipment in place now that will meet future technical
An office near the resort's lobby will offer e-mail access for
A new infinity swimming pool and a revamped menu plan were added
On the schedule for next year is the addition of a new and
faster motorlaunch to transfer guests to and from Tortola to Peter
"We have a loyal staff, a quality product, the support of travel
agents and a repeat guest ratio of more than 50%," Kafscak
Agents, in fact, account for more than 60% of Peter Island's
The resort pays 10% commission on packages.
Peter Island's customers are primarily from the U.S. with high
growth rates taking place in the honeymoon and weddings
In 2000, Peter Island experienced its best year ever in terms of
volume, sales and repeat business.
Kafscak attributed the high numbers to "a concerted effort to
consistently offer a quality product."
"Word of mouth is taking hold, and agents realize that we are
here to stay," Kafscak said.
He and his sales team were in New York for a week of agent-based
meetings and presentations when the terrorist attacks occurred.
Kafscak hopes to reschedule the presentations for a later date
and to step up the schedule of fam trips to Peter Island.