GUSTAVIA, St. Barts --- With the news that an airport renovation project scheduled for next fall in St. Barts will effectively close the island to air traffic (and most visitors) for at least two months, most hotels and villas also will close for their own renovations, redos and refurbishments.

St. Jean Airport, famous for its 900-foot runway sandwiched between a mountain and the sea, will repave that runway -- but not extend it -- and add emergency landing lights for use in bad weather, although the airport will continue to restrict night landings.

Ferry services will continue to operate from St. Maarten to St. Barts during the airport closure, which is slated for September and October.

In other island news, the 16-room Eden Roc resort, St. Barts' oldest hotel, purchased the adjacent Filao Beach resort and will close both properties from March 31 to Nov. 1 to convert Filao's current 33 rooms into 14 beachfront suites, remove Filao's pool, enlarge the beach and expand the beachfront restaurant.

To contact reporter Gay Nagle Myers, send e-mail to [email protected].

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