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SIGN SYSTEM TO HELP FOLKS FIND THEIR WAY AROUND

Dec. 18, 2001 – The St. Thomas-St. John Hotel and Tourism Association has a plan to end some of the driving confusion tourists and many residents face: a directional signage system that's to start going up on St. Thomas next spring.
"People get lost. I get lost, especially at night," Jayne Hillner, association president, said at the group's monthly meeting Tuesday at Caneel Bay Resort on St. John.
The signs will feature green lettering on a white background with a starfish named Tommy as the recurring character. "We saw a starfish with an attitude," said Mary Gleason, who worked on the committee developing the signage program.
The signs will be put up only on St. Thomas because St. John already has its own new signage system in the works — a project of the island's Gateway Planning Committee.
Hillner envisions the design of the St. Thomas signs coming to represent hospitality in viewers' minds. "We want something that we can take to trade shows and say, 'This is us,'" she said.
Once the directional signs are up, she said, the starfish logo will be used on maps of the island. Eventually, she would like to see the logo adopted for advertising, promotion and other tourism-related uses such as hospitality training.
The concept for the signs came from a group of Ivanna Eudora Kean High School art students. Gleason said the ideas generated by the students were fine tuned by a professional artist. A hotel association fundraiser in July netted the organization $5,000 to get the sign program under way, Hillner said. Another fundraiser will be held in January — "and, hopefully, we'll get some government funding," she added.
As nearly 125 members finished their holiday luncheon at Caneel's Turtle Bay Restaurant, Hillner outlined accomplishments made by the association in the last year. Among the most satisfying, she said, was that 500 people attended "service excellence" training in May. "It's basically being nice to people," she said.
The hotel association also began surveying departing air passengers to find out how they liked their visit. "It's important to make sure we're doing our best," Hillner said.
Richard Doumeng, who resigned as president of the association on Dec. 5, urged his fellow hoteliers and allied members Tuesday to get involved. "People in this room have to be instigators of change," he said. "We live in a change-resistant town."
Among the reasons he had given for his resignation were difficulties in working with the local government.

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Dec. 18, 2001 - The St. Thomas-St. John Hotel and Tourism Association has a plan to end some of the driving confusion tourists and many residents face: a directional signage system that's to start going up on St. Thomas next spring.
"People get lost. I get lost, especially at night," Jayne Hillner, association president, said at the group's monthly meeting Tuesday at Caneel Bay Resort on St. John.
The signs will feature green lettering on a white background with a starfish named Tommy as the recurring character. "We saw a starfish with an attitude," said Mary Gleason, who worked on the committee developing the signage program.
The signs will be put up only on St. Thomas because St. John already has its own new signage system in the works -- a project of the island's Gateway Planning Committee.
Hillner envisions the design of the St. Thomas signs coming to represent hospitality in viewers' minds. "We want something that we can take to trade shows and say, 'This is us,'" she said.
Once the directional signs are up, she said, the starfish logo will be used on maps of the island. Eventually, she would like to see the logo adopted for advertising, promotion and other tourism-related uses such as hospitality training.
The concept for the signs came from a group of Ivanna Eudora Kean High School art students. Gleason said the ideas generated by the students were fine tuned by a professional artist. A hotel association fundraiser in July netted the organization $5,000 to get the sign program under way, Hillner said. Another fundraiser will be held in January -- "and, hopefully, we'll get some government funding," she added.
As nearly 125 members finished their holiday luncheon at Caneel's Turtle Bay Restaurant, Hillner outlined accomplishments made by the association in the last year. Among the most satisfying, she said, was that 500 people attended "service excellence" training in May. "It's basically being nice to people," she said.
The hotel association also began surveying departing air passengers to find out how they liked their visit. "It's important to make sure we're doing our best," Hillner said.
Richard Doumeng, who resigned as president of the association on Dec. 5, urged his fellow hoteliers and allied members Tuesday to get involved. "People in this room have to be instigators of change," he said. "We live in a change-resistant town."
Among the reasons he had given for his resignation were difficulties in working with the local government.