Following you will find a newsletter regarding the Westin timeshare resort located on St. John, USVI and the impact Hurricane Irma had on the resort. This newsletter is re-printed in its entirety with no editing, for your review:
Dear Fellow Coral Vista Owner:
This is our second letter to you from your owner-elected representatives to the Coral Vista Board of Managers. We had planned to write to you following our budget approval meeting; however, because Hurricane Irma has so profoundly affected the Westin St. John and the entire island, we know that owners are concerned and want information.
The storm was devastating for our island and many other Caribbean islands. There was major damage in downtown Cruz Bay and most of the structures in Coral Bay were destroyed. Many people are homeless throughout the island. Fortunately, all staff members and guests who were at the resort when the hurricane hit were uninjured, and all guests were successfully evacuated to Puerto Rico to continue their travel home. At present, the only electrical power on the island is the power from generators, including generators at our resort, and we don’t know when the electric utility on St. Thomas will start up again. Most of the vegetation on the island was lost, and we all hope it will grow back. A few restaurants and markets on the island have recently reopened. The airport in St. Thomas just reopened and mail service has resumed. Gifft Hill School and First Bank are now open, and the ferries and car barge are running, but on a limited schedule. While these are all encouraging signs of progress, the road to recovery will be lengthy.
The resort suffered extensive damage. The pool filled with sand and mud, Snorkels and the gazebo were destroyed, and the Sunset Bay buildings and lobby building suffered serious roof damage. Vistana has engaged a contractor who has been conducting a careful inspection of all buildings and cleanup of debris has been ongoing for the past few weeks. Fortunately, we have insurance coverage to cover the loss from the hurricane damage and the insurance claim is already in progress.
As a result of the storm, management has determined to close the resort, at least through June 2018, while major repair work is being done. Vistana has recently communicated with owners regarding vacation opportunities during that time period.
The Board is further reviewing the proposed 2018 budget in light of the temporary closure of the resort, and we will be in touch soon to provide more information on this matter.
We will share more news on the progress of the repairs and remediation as it becomes available. The annual meeting, scheduled for March 6, 2018, will be held as planned but will be relocated to Orlando, Florida.
The residents of St. John and other US Virgin Islands are desperate for humanitarian assistance in providing the basic necessities of food, clothing and shelter. Please consider providing support toward this effort. Following are links to organizations directly committed to providing USVI humanitarian relief.
St. John Community Foundation – http://thestjohnfoundation.org/
Community Foundation of the Virgin Islands – http://cfvi.net/
St. John Rescue, Inc. – http://www.stjohnrescue.com/
Thank you for your concern and support.
James Miller, II
Syed Sarmad, Principal Broker for Advantage Vacation