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December 30, 2003

Fast Ferry, Seaborne to offer package deal

From the Daily News:

Monday, December 29th 2003

ST. CROIX - Seaborne Airlines and V.I. Fast Ferry have teamed up to offer discounted round-trip excursions between St. Croix and St. Thomas.

Under the "Super Sea and Sky package," customers will be able to take a Seaborne flight from St. Thomas to St. Croix and return to St. Thomas via the Fast Ferry.

The package is expected to maximize "stay time" at the destinations, according to Omer ErSelcuk, chief marketing officer at Seaborne Airlines.

For example, he said, if a customer wants to spend two full days on St. Thomas, the customer can fly Seaborne and be on St. Thomas by 8 a.m. on Saturday and stay until 8 p.m. Sunday by taking the V.I. Fast Ferry back home.

"People will be able to stay later on either island by flying with us and coming back with the ferry, because we don't fly at night," ErSelcuk said.

Peak travel will cost $90 roundtrip, $80 during off-peak hours from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. and all day weekends, he said.

ErSelcuk said that his company and V.I. Fast Ferry are still competitors but decided to enter into a "pro-rate agreement" to stimulate the inter-island market travel by offering prospective consumers savings, flexibility and choice.

The Super Sea and Sky will offer savings of combined one-way rates from Seaborne and the Fast Ferry. Customers can book tickets by calling either Seaborne or V.I. Fast Ferry.

Seaborne employs over 130 residents and carries about 175,000 passengers a year, ErSelcuk said.

V.I. Fast Ferry, now entering its fourth year of operations in the Virgin Islands, is a subsidiary of Boston Harbor Cruises, the second-largest private passenger cruise service in the United States, according to Kevin Matthews, marketing director. V.I. Fast Ferry operates the 600 passenger Salacia from November to May and employs roughly 15 residents.

Posted by afinta at 12:07 PM | Comments (1)

December 27, 2003

The Governor Vetoes The Budget

Govenor Turnbull vetoed most of the 2004 budget. Senators appear stunned. Oh well...

Posted by afinta at 12:32 PM

December 16, 2003

St. John To Get New Post Office

The St. John Source is reporting the following:

"Dec. 10, 2003 - A new post office for St. John is on the front burner, said Glenn Jackson, who serves as postmaster in St. John.
      "Soon, very soon, St. John will have a new modern post office," she said to the two dozen people gathered Wednesday at a St. John Business and Professional Women-sponsored forum at the Legislature building.
      She did not have a date for work to begin or a location, but said that it may turn out that the U.S. Postal Service utilizes an existing building or swaps land with the U.S. Interior Department. The Interior Department oversees activities at the V.I. National Park."

That seems like good news, but the article also mentions that the USPS needs to cut man hours out of St. John. The Sugar Estate PO here on St. Thomas has been swamped with the holiday rush, and if anything it seems like we need more postal workers, not less. I still can't make sense of the story of the mail leaving the VI for sorting in Puerto Rico either...
     
Click here to read the whole story

Posted by afinta at 04:26 PM | Comments (0)

DOWNTOWN NIGHTLIFE

The St. Thomas Source is reporting on the new Downtown Destination Nite which is supposed to happen every Tuesday night. This is a great idea and I hope it works for everyone - we will do our part by going into town for dinner tonight! It would be great to see some nightlife return to the waterfront. You can read the whole story here

Posted by afinta at 04:15 PM

December 09, 2003

It's coming...

HOME Depot to open first store in US Virgin Islands

St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands - December 9 - Home Depot will open the doors to its first store in the U.S. Virgin Islands on Dec. 11. The 97,000-square-foot store will feature Home Depot’s latest floor plan, newly redesigned departments, a special home decor section and a garden center, as well as products that cater to the tastes of customers in the Virgin Islands, the company said.

"Like a store in Key West or Puerto Rico, the product mix will be different than what you find in the typical Home Depot store," Home Depot spokesman John Simley told HCN.

Similarly to U.S. and Canadian stores, the St. Thomas store will also offer "how-to" clinics, including "Do it Herself" workshops, specifically for female shoppers. Area contractors and neighboring residents who received direct-mail invitations will get a sneak preview of the store on Dec. 10.

The world’s largest home channel retailer decided the Virgin Islands was ripe for a Home Depot location given the demand here. "We had a lot of people that were shopping at stores in Florida and Puerto Rico and then transporting the products back to the Virgin Islands," Simley said. "There is a tremendous amount of new sales we can pick up by being in this market."

Among Home Depot’s 1,654 stores, the retailer operates eight stores in Puerto Rico.

Posted by afinta at 11:54 PM | Comments (2)

Open Thread

Well, things are just warming up and my host informs me that I have to change servers! I am really busy migrating to a new box, it is a lot of work, especially when you don't know what you are doing. Feel free to discuss anything VI here - I might not have a chance until next week!

Posted by afinta at 07:54 PM

Only Here

Caribbean Sun had been a pet project of the tourism department here - how this debacle occurred is beyond me:

Airline cancels flights from P.R. after V.I. refuses registration
By TIM FIELDS
Tuesday, December 9th 2003

Just days before Caribbean Sun Airlines was to launch new flights to St. Thomas and St. Croix from Puerto Rico, the company canceled its plans after the Lt. Governor's Office refused to register the company because its name is too similar to existing companies in the territory.

Read the whole article here

Posted by afinta at 07:51 PM | Comments (1)

December 03, 2003

U.S. Virgin Islands On NBC Jumbotron in New York's Times Square

UNITED STATES VIRGIN ISLANDS, December 3, 2003 - Commissioner of Tourism Pamela C. Richards is pleased to announce that the United States Virgin Islands once again is projecting images of our tropical paradise above New York's Times Square and in hundreds of subway cars throughout New York City this winter.

The Department of Tourism has been advertising on the NBC Jumbotron screen since November 17, 2003, and will continue to run the ads until January 4, 2004. The new ads recommend that hurried New Yorkers and New York City tourists enjoy a "Red, White and Blue" Christmas, by featuring the white sands, blue waters and red boats and sails of the USVI. In addition, through images of green fields, children playing on the beach and scuba divers, onlookers are encouraged to make a few New Year's resolutions to relax, laugh and exercise more. The beautiful warm images of America's Caribbean will be seen during the busiest shopping and sightseeing days in New York City, as well as during the famous Times Square New Year's Eve celebration, which welcomes millions of revelers each year. The screen stretches to 30 by 40 feet in size, making it the world's largest television, viewed by more than 1.5 million individuals on any given day.

"We ran a similar campaign during the 2001-2002 holiday season, which proved incredibly successful during a difficult time for the tourism industry," Commissioner Richards stated. "I have no doubt that this year's efforts also will result in increased bookings to the Territory as well as an increase in overall branding awareness of our unique U.S. destination."

The Jumbotron screen ads are just one component of the Department of Tourism's new winter marketing campaign. In addition to the video blitz, passengers aboard subways throughout New York City are once again enjoying a variety of scenic banner ads that adorn more than 570 of the city's trains. Images of beaches, breathtaking vistas and sunny skies leave commuters daydreaming of a warm tropical vacation during New York's cold winter days. This year's subway campaign debuted on November 3, 2003, and will continue until December 28, 2003.

The simultaneous "USVI Ice Breaker" promotion provides visitors an array of value-added incentives, making following the lure of the ads and booking a vacation to St. Croix, St. John and St. Thomas during the holidays even more attractive. The wintertime promotion includes the seventh night accommodations free, $50 in sightseeing and shopping money upon arrival and a host of other savings opportunities.

Posted by afinta at 05:49 PM | Comments (1)

December 02, 2003

"Rumble in Paradise"

ESPN2 Boxing Event To Broadcast Live From St. Thomas

"Rumble in Paradise" Brings Six-Fight Card to 90 Million Viewers

UNITED STATES VIRGIN ISLANDS, December 2, 2003 - Commissioner of Tourism Pamela C. Richards is pleased to announce that the first major boxing event to be held in the U.S. Virgin Islands will take place on Friday, December 5, at the University of the Virgin Islands Sports & Fitness Center on St. Thomas. The government of United States Virgin Islands, in association with Sugar Ray Leonard Boxing and Sterling Promotions, will bring "Rumble in Paradise," a six-fight card event to St. Thomas, which will be nationally televised to more than 90 million viewers on the ESPN2 cable network beginning at 9 p.m. EST.

"The U.S. Virgin Islands is proud to host this simulcast television sports event," Richards said. "We are committed to bringing high-caliber events to the territory that showcase our islands and provide quality entertainment and sporting events for our residents and visitors to enjoy."

As a part of ESPN2's Friday Night Fight Series, the "Rumble in Paradise" event will feature two main boxing matches, as well as four other fights. Headlining the event will be a Title Fight for the WBO's NABO Lightweight Title featuring Courtney Burton (19-1) of Benton Harbor, MI versus Francisco Lorenzo (19-2) of San Cristobal, DR. The co-main event features a match up of top Welterweight's featuring Carlos "El Indio" Quintana (14-0) of Puerto Rico versus David Estrada (15-1) of Chicago, IL. Six-time world-championship boxer and former Olympic Gold Medallist, Sugar Ray Leonard will be available for autographs and photos with fans in attendance at this spectacular event.

Tickets are currently available online at www.sterlingboxing.com. Tickets may be purchased locally at the following locations in the U.S. Virgin Islands: Modern Music (Havensight), Sports-O-Rama (Lower Main Street), Champs (Tutu Mall), Petite Pump Room (next to Seaborne Airlines), Sunrise Pharmacy (Red Hook), Nisky Pharmacy (Nisky Center), Forever Flowers (Frenchtown), Family Billiards Center (Sub Base), St. John Drug Center and St. John Car Rental. Tickets are available for $75, $50 and $25.

For more information about "Rumble in Paradise," call Sterling Promotions at (702) 471-9027, or Sugar Ray Leonard Boxing at (310) 471-3100. Additional information is available online at www.sterlingboxing.com and www.srlboxing.com. For more information about the United States Virgin Islands, call (800) 372-USVI (8784), visit www.usvitourism.vi, or contact the nearest USVI Department of Tourism regional office in Atlanta, Chicago, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, Washington, D.C. or Toronto.

Posted by afinta at 10:43 PM

Open Thread

We have been really busy here and not had a lot of time to gather news. We are working on some back end issues and also some new content areas for USVI-On-Line and Caribbean-On-Line, as well as some new ideas for sites that are not Caribbean related. In the news - the weather is beautiful, the Berry brohters fund raiser seemed to go well, the Yacht Haven project has the green light... and that is all I have heard lately! Feel free to talk about what you want on this thread.

Posted by afinta at 09:30 AM | Comments (4)