Two marina developments planned on the U.S. Virgin Island of St. Croix could eventually offer expanded opportunities for yachtsmen.
Developers of a $575 million resort, casino and marina project received a thumbs-up in January 2009 from the local Coastal Zone Management Committee. This green light paves the way for William and Punch Partners, LLC, in joint venture with the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation, owners of the Foxwoods Resort Casino in Connecticut, to begin development of the Amalago Bay Resort and Casino.
The development is slated to be built on nearly 600 acres of the hilly northwest shore, including nearly 2000 feet of white sand beach, approximately one mile north of the town of Frederiksted.
According to the developers’ plans, the 62-slip marina will conjure up images of a “quaint mariner’s bay” or lagoon. Seemingly old buildings and structures will reflect days-gone-by to create the “feel of the community” reinforced in all new construction. Malls, arcades and walkways will reflect the “gentle wear and tear brought about by generations of living,” adapted for modern functionality.
Kevin Rames, vice president of development for William & Punch, LLC, says, “St. Croix is woefully underserved with respect to the marine infrastructure. The creation of an inland marina on the west end of the island not only provides an extraordinary opportunity for pursuits such as deep sea fishing and scuba diving, but it also provides a degree of safety for boaters in the Eastern Caribbean that is not available on the west end of St. Croix. We look forward to welcoming boaters from Puerto Rico, St. Thomas, St. John, the British Virgin Islands as well as wider Caribbean.”
Plans also call for a 302-room luxury hotel and spa, 56 beach villas, waterfront condominiums, spa villa units, a casino, restaurants, resort amenities, conference space, an 18-hole golf course, a rainforest horse-back riding, bicycle and jogging trails.
A separate project announced in 2005 is the proposed $47 million marina spearheaded by Gallows Bay Development, to be located east of Christiansted. The project is currently on hold, says Duane Bobeck, until the VI Port Authority moves.
“We’ll remodel for megayachts,” says Bobeck. “Fuel is an especially big draw because of its low price here. In fact, Larry Ellison, who owns the 452-foot Rising Sun, came to visit St. Croix, and fuel, this past winter.” The marina will include 80 slips, including berthing for a 375-foot megayacht.
The government’s extension of the town’s boardwalk would allow boaters easy access to shopping and dining. No date has been announced for completion. “If we can find a way to get the project started sooner, we will,” says Bobeck.