Gov. Albert Bryan Jr. announced Monday he signed a lease agreement between the V.I. Government and Christiansted Harbor Resort Hotel and Marina, LLC to invest $25 million for renovations and to manage the Hotel on the Cay property for 60 years. He said he submitted the lease to the Legislature for approval, also on Monday.
The property is located on Protestant Cay in Christiansted Harbor. Currently, the 7.2-acre island contains a hotel with 55 rooms. Under the agreement, the company will renovate the existing rooms and build 60 more rooms. They also will renovate the restaurants and pool and construct dock extensions and additional structures.
The project is to be completed in two phases — Phase 1 should take 34 months at a cost of $8 million, and Phase 2 is projected to take 30 months and cost around $17 million.
The project has been on the drawing board since October 2020, when the lease for the hotel development and operation was put out to bid. Christiansted Harbor Resort Hotel and Marina, LLC was the winning bid among several bidders, the governor said.
“(But) today, in continuation of that push for bringing more rooms and bringing more things to do on the island of St. Croix, specifically, we are proud to announce today we sent to the Legislature a fully executed lease agreement for the government of the Virgin Islands and Christiansted Harbor Resort and Marina LLC for the redevelopment of the historic 7.2 acres of the Hotel on the Cay property and that we are transmitting that full agreement down to the Legislature,” Bryan said. “This is a big win for St. Croix.”
Also, during the weekly Government House briefing, Dr. Esther Ellis, the territory’s epidemiologist, updated the community on the coronavirus numbers and said “there is a slight increase from last week.” Winter is approaching and there are six new strains of COVID — XBB, BQ, BA4.6, BQ1, BQ1.1, BF 7 — that are fast spreaders, so the vaccine is as important as ever, she said. The virus is endemic now, which means it “is always circulating” in the public, and there is no group immunity.
Currently, there are 41 active cases in the territory with 36 on St. Croix, three on St. Thomas and two on St. John. One person is hospitalized at the Juan Luis Hospital on St. Croix and three at the Schneider Regional Medical Center on St. Thomas. Of those patients, one was vaccinated and boosted, but none had been given the new bivalent booster, said Ellis.
Ellis also recommends adults and children get a flu shot, as well.
“Children and immune-compromised are the most at risk for getting the flu and so they would definitely need to get the flu shot as well, prior to our flu season,” Ellis said.
Bryan also listed ongoing projects to increase tourism on St. Croix including repaving roads in the town of Frederiksted, improvements to the Ann E. Abramson Pier and the reconstruction of the Vincent Mason Pool.