The near miss from Hurricane Jose cost the territory roughly $15 million to $18 million in lost business.
That figure is based on average gross receipts adjusted somewhat for the increase in economic activity that generally proceeds a storm as residents stock up on supplies.
Joe Aubain, executive director of the St. Thomas -St. John Chamber of Commerce, did the arithmetic. He started with the territory's annual gross receipts, figured a daily average, then determined a loss of two days worth of gross receipts. He came up with a $25 million loss, which he then adjusted downward to $15 million to $18 million.
"It may be off a million or two," Aubain said, but he believes he's in the ballpark.
The territory lost six cruise ship visits because of the storm and flights for two days. Virtually all businesses were closed for at least a day. Some were closed for three days.
The hotel industry, especially on St. Thomas and St. John, was hard hit.
Richard Doumeng, president of the St. Thomas-St. John Hotel and Tourism Association, said his group has not made a loss-of-business assessment yet, but "it's certainly six figures, primarily because of the amount of cancellations."
October was a slow month, he said, or the losses would have been higher.
Hoteliers were still preoccupied with helping guests who wished to leave early make airline accommodations this weekend, Doumeng said. "Probably on Monday we'll be thinking about costs."
No one was complaining, though, given the territory's good fortune in escaping a direct hit.
"I can't dwell on what was lost," said acting Tourism Commissioner Michael Bornn.
He predicted no long-term ill effects.
"We had no bad coverage as far as we know," he said, adding that he had spoken with many travel agents, wholesalers and travel media representatives immediately after the storm to assure them the islands were not damaged significantly. Martin Public Relations also sent releases to mainland media saying the islands had fared well.
In fact, Bornn said, "I'm hoping we're going to get positive effects" from Hurricane Jose in the form of free publicity for emerging from the ordeal unscathed.