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Charlotte Amalie
Saturday, May 28, 2022
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St. Croix and the Big Picture

Dear Source:
I do not normally write letters like this, but I really feel strongly that St. Croix is looking in the wrong place to boost its economy. A downtown casino is not the way to go. Like so many regular visitors to St. Croix, I feel as though this is my home away from home and I take great pride in it. I am concerned with the condition of our historic downtowns and do want to see something done to not only preserve their historic charm, but to also attract visitors to experience that charm.
A downtown casino runs against what I thought St. Croix was all about and what attracts its most loyal visitors – laid back, historic, Caribbean charm. A downtown casino is a crass addition to Christiansted. Convention centers, parking garages and guard dogs are what I expect to see in US cities, not part of a historic Caribbean waterfront. I do not think that the project sponsors understand the true charm and attraction of St. Croix and it clearly shows.
Given the current economic crisis, shouldn’t the Government be focusing on a more widespread solution anyway? St. Croix is a great place to visit, but I never see any real advertising. I do, however, see plenty of ads for Aruba, Jamaica, Cayman Islands and the Bahamas. If the Government spent the money needed for this downtown project on more advertising, the entire tourism industry would grow and that would feed into other sectors of the economy. In addition, increased tourism demand would attract new investments in tourism. If Jamaica can fill its hotels even when it is the murder capital of the Caribbean, why can’t St. Croix? When I tell people I am going to St. Croix for vacation, unless they know me, they know nothing other than it is probably an island in the Caribbean. But they have all seen ads for Jamaica and can sing the theme song! Something is wrong here.
I am an avid vegetable gardener. I know that if I want a healthy and abundant crop, I must tend to the entire garden – providing all the plants with water, fertilizer and care. I do not focus all of my resources on one tomato plant hoping that this one plant will fill my canning jars.
I will always visit my home away from home, and I want to see others come and experience the same hospitality and charm. St. Croix needs to focus on the big picture, not a downtown casino.
Bill Neumann
Springfield, Mass.

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Dear Source:
I do not normally write letters like this, but I really feel strongly that St. Croix is looking in the wrong place to boost its economy. A downtown casino is not the way to go. Like so many regular visitors to St. Croix, I feel as though this is my home away from home and I take great pride in it. I am concerned with the condition of our historic downtowns and do want to see something done to not only preserve their historic charm, but to also attract visitors to experience that charm.
A downtown casino runs against what I thought St. Croix was all about and what attracts its most loyal visitors – laid back, historic, Caribbean charm. A downtown casino is a crass addition to Christiansted. Convention centers, parking garages and guard dogs are what I expect to see in US cities, not part of a historic Caribbean waterfront. I do not think that the project sponsors understand the true charm and attraction of St. Croix and it clearly shows.
Given the current economic crisis, shouldn’t the Government be focusing on a more widespread solution anyway? St. Croix is a great place to visit, but I never see any real advertising. I do, however, see plenty of ads for Aruba, Jamaica, Cayman Islands and the Bahamas. If the Government spent the money needed for this downtown project on more advertising, the entire tourism industry would grow and that would feed into other sectors of the economy. In addition, increased tourism demand would attract new investments in tourism. If Jamaica can fill its hotels even when it is the murder capital of the Caribbean, why can’t St. Croix? When I tell people I am going to St. Croix for vacation, unless they know me, they know nothing other than it is probably an island in the Caribbean. But they have all seen ads for Jamaica and can sing the theme song! Something is wrong here.
I am an avid vegetable gardener. I know that if I want a healthy and abundant crop, I must tend to the entire garden – providing all the plants with water, fertilizer and care. I do not focus all of my resources on one tomato plant hoping that this one plant will fill my canning jars.
I will always visit my home away from home, and I want to see others come and experience the same hospitality and charm. St. Croix needs to focus on the big picture, not a downtown casino.
Bill Neumann
Springfield, Mass.