Some of the revenue generated from the proposed reopening of the Hovensa oil refinery on St. Croix is earmarked for the development of a 110-room hotel at Yacht Haven Grande in St. Thomas, reports VI Consortium.

The USVI proposes to reopen the oil refinery in January 2020. It closed in 2012. 

USVI Gov. Kenneth Mapp, who spoke at a press conference at Government House on St. Croix on July 2, said that "$10 million from the closing payment from purchaser ArcLight Capital Partners will be used as an equity investment for the new hotel. This will represent a private-public partnership between the government and Island Global Yachting, the developers of Yacht Haven Grande."

One of the requirements of the deal is that the hotel would be branded as a Hilton, Hyatt or InterContinental.

"This is to diversify the types of loyalty programs represented in the territory, attracting new visitors loyal to certain brands," he said.

The hotel will be one of the few new hotels constructed in the U.S. Virgin Islands in recent years.

The Fred, a 14-room beachfront property in Frederiksted, St. Croix, opened last December. Carambola Beach Resort on St. Croix's  north coast opened in 1986.

St. Thomas did have a hotel under the name of Yacht Haven Grande near the cruise pier until it was battered by Hurricane Marilyn in 1995 and finally torn down years later to make room for a yacht marina, shops and condos.

The legislature must approve the refinery agreement before the new hotel can be constructed. If the senators approve the deal in a special session on July 25, a construction timeline for the hotel can be developed.

JDS Travel News JDS Viewpoints JDS Africa/MI