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Re: Realistic time frame to return [Re: PKwx] #142670
09/14/2017 12:01 AM
09/14/2017 12:01 AM
Joined: May 2006
Posts: 380
Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
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KGB Offline
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Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
And at the same time - if you are looking to buy a property in Sxm - right now would be the perfect time!


"Often Wrong, Never in Doubt"
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Re: Realistic time frame to return [Re: PKwx] #142671
09/14/2017 07:52 AM
09/14/2017 07:52 AM
Joined: Apr 2005
Posts: 6,414
Long Island, New York
sxmmartini Offline
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Quote
PKwx said:
3-4 years and not another 10 till its fully back. Much of the buildup has occurred since Louis plus more. It took 22 to get this this point it's not going to get rebuilt overnight. Lack of skilled labor, between all the damage in the Island and the US...the trades are going to be plenty busy...unless it comes from Europe. Lots of folks will give up and leave but others will see it as a opertunity and build. All this will take a long time. How many year did it take Dawn Beach to be rebuilt and Mullet to be torn down after Louis? Get my point. St Martin will never be the same, it will be different. Some will like it more and others will not.

Now look at the other side...It will be like going to St Martin 25 years ago...for awhile...cozy beach bar shacks..no mega bars on OB...Lolos once agin cooking out of drums...


IMHO I rebuilt in 1995 with no Kooyman, Ace, Cost you Less etc. There is so much skilled labor on SXM that anyone can get repairs done without delay. <img src="http://www.traveltalkonline.com/forums/images/graemlins/handshake.gif" alt="" />


"I generally avoid temptation unless I can't resist it." Mae West
Re: Realistic time frame to return [Re: sxmmartini] #142672
09/14/2017 08:45 AM
09/14/2017 08:45 AM
Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 12,479
Brookfield, CT.
pat Offline
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pat  Offline
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Quote
sxmmartini said:
Quote
PKwx said:
3-4 years and not another 10 till its fully back. Much of the buildup has occurred since Louis plus more. It took 22 to get this this point it's not going to get rebuilt overnight. Lack of skilled labor, between all the damage in the Island and the US...the trades are going to be plenty busy...unless it comes from Europe. Lots of folks will give up and leave but others will see it as a opertunity and build. All this will take a long time. How many year did it take Dawn Beach to be rebuilt and Mullet to be torn down after Louis? Get my point. St Martin will never be the same, it will be different. Some will like it more and others will not.

Now look at the other side...It will be like going to St Martin 25 years ago...for awhile...cozy beach bar shacks..no mega bars on OB...Lolos once agin cooking out of drums...


IMHO I rebuilt in 1995 with no Kooyman, Ace, Cost you Less etc. There is so much skilled labor on SXM that anyone can get repairs done without delay. <img src="http://www.traveltalkonline.com/forums/images/graemlins/handshake.gif" alt="" />


Wendy,

With all due respect, and not to be argumentative, but in absolute honesty I think your comment is very misleading. You may not have had all the great means of purchasing materials available today when they are up and reopen for business - I'll concede that point, but we're not talking about anyone or someone here. We're talking about almost EVERYONE being in need of one kind of repair or another right up to and including complete reconstruction from the ground up.

And quite truthfully, my DH has been in the construction field since he was sixteen and I've been around it most of my life, too. We've seen some of what passes for good construction on the island and we just shake our heads. IMHO, and that's what this is - purely MY OPINION - if more attention was paid to the mechanics and ability levels of some of the island tradesmen and what they're doing, you probably wouldn't have nearly as much destruction as we're seeing island wide.

I'm not trying to be critical of anyone or anything specifically, but I have to say, just because you own a hammer and a saw, that doesn't mean you're a qualified builder. As I said somewhere earlier, Rome wasn't built in a day and the island, as much as we wish it was so, will not be rebuilt in a few months and probably not totally rebuilt even in a year. Just MHO! <img src="http://www.traveltalkonline.com/forums/images/graemlins/handshake.gif" alt="" /> <img src="http://www.traveltalkonline.com/forums/images/graemlins/handshake.gif" alt="" />


Respectfully,

pat



"Always keep your words soft and sweet, just in case you have to eat
them."
Re: Realistic time frame to return [Re: pat] #142673
09/14/2017 10:12 AM
09/14/2017 10:12 AM
Joined: Apr 2005
Posts: 6,414
Long Island, New York
sxmmartini Offline
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Quote
pat said:
Quote
sxmmartini said:
Quote
PKwx said:
3-4 years and not another 10 till its fully back. Much of the buildup has occurred since Louis plus more. It took 22 to get this this point it's not going to get rebuilt overnight. Lack of skilled labor, between all the damage in the Island and the US...the trades are going to be plenty busy...unless it comes from Europe. Lots of folks will give up and leave but others will see it as a opertunity and build. All this will take a long time. How many year did it take Dawn Beach to be rebuilt and Mullet to be torn down after Louis? Get my point. St Martin will never be the same, it will be different. Some will like it more and others will not.

Now look at the other side...It will be like going to St Martin 25 years ago...for awhile...cozy beach bar shacks..no mega bars on OB...Lolos once agin cooking out of drums...


IMHO I rebuilt in 1995 with no Kooyman, Ace, Cost you Less etc. There is so much skilled labor on SXM that anyone can get repairs done without delay. <img src="http://www.traveltalkonline.com/forums/images/graemlins/handshake.gif" alt="" />


Wendy,

With all due respect, and not to be argumentative, but in absolute honesty I think your comment is very misleading. You may not have had all the great means of purchasing materials available today when they are up and reopen for business - I'll concede that point, but we're not talking about anyone or someone here. We're talking about almost EVERYONE being in need of one kind of repair or another right up to and including complete reconstruction from the ground up.

And quite truthfully, my DH has been in the construction field since he was sixteen and I've been around it most of my life, too. We've seen some of what passes for good construction on the island and we just shake our heads. IMHO, and that's what this is - purely MY OPINION - if more attention was paid to the mechanics and ability levels of some of the island tradesmen and what they're doing, you probably wouldn't have nearly as much destruction as we're seeing island wide.

I'm not trying to be critical of anyone or anything specifically, but I have to say, just because you own a hammer and a saw, that doesn't mean you're a qualified builder. As I said somewhere earlier, Rome wasn't built in a day and the island, as much as we wish it was so, will not be rebuilt in a few months and probably not totally rebuilt even in a year. Just MHO! <img src="http://www.traveltalkonline.com/forums/images/graemlins/handshake.gif" alt="" /> <img src="http://www.traveltalkonline.com/forums/images/graemlins/handshake.gif" alt="" />


Pat,

With all due respect, and not to be argumentative, but I work for Commercial Roofing and Sheet Metal (zinc) in NYC. I am the office Manager. Sincerely, Wendy


"I generally avoid temptation unless I can't resist it." Mae West
Re: Realistic time frame to return [Re: sxmmartini] #142674
09/14/2017 11:31 AM
09/14/2017 11:31 AM
Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 1,529
Long Island, NY
RICKnGRACE_LI_NY Offline
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<img src="http://www.traveltalkonline.com/forums/images/graemlins/handshake.gif" alt="" /> <img src="http://www.traveltalkonline.com/forums/images/graemlins/handshake.gif" alt="" />Not to be argumentative but being an office manager in the construction field vs actually doing construction is like comparing apples and oranges. Not to put down what you know but there is a difference.

That being said, as we have all traveled around the island you can she that much of the construction is shoddy. Not saying your home is, but I think Pat has a point about the construction in general


Rick and Grace
Re: Realistic time frame to return [Re: sxmmartini] #142675
09/14/2017 12:13 PM
09/14/2017 12:13 PM
Joined: Jan 2014
Posts: 212
Michigan
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I think that I would agree with Pat a little more on this subject, but please let me tell you why.

I don’t think that there is any one specific time or if any of us really have an idea when it will be a good time to return. I think that it will be a different amount of time for each different individual. Each one of us looks for something different when we arrive. Some want a luxury resort with all of the amenities. Some want a simple room with a beach view, some would be happy in a tent if they had access to a beach. Some need fancy restaurants with a wonderful chef. Some just want ribs cooked over a barrel. Each one of these items would have a different construction schedule and time frame.

Also, as you read on please realize that I own a construction company that has been in business 60 years. I have personally been in the Construction Industry for 25 years. We build both commercial residential projects so I have a pretty good understanding of how the system works around here. Granted things may be different in the islands but much will be the same.

In my opinion, the ones that will rebuild first and fastest will be the ones with cash that can afford to finance the rebuild. If the Owners have to involve the insurance companies (and I am speaking with lots of experience on this subject) then this will slow the process down. Insurance companies require bids (sometimes more than one) and back-up documentation, all of which take time and manpower to prepare. The last ones to rebuild will be the ones with no insurance and/or limited finances.

Another thing to keep in mind is the Law of Supply and Demand. We deal with this on a daily basis. With so much devastation throughout the Caribbean (not only St Martin) there is going to be a huge demand for building materials throughout the Caribbean and in the Southern USA for that matter. What this means to anyone trying to build (or rebuild) is that the price of building materials is going to escalate. This escalation will cause problems with the people with limited finances as well as the insurance companies. In Addition, there is always a difference in what the Insurance Companies are willing to pay vs what the actual construction costs are. This will again slow the process down while it is sorted out.

Now we can talk about the labor force. Granted there will be a lot of people looking for work but not everyone can do construction. Every crew is going to need at least one or two seasoned workers to lead them. As these seasoned workers get scooped up the labor force will be saturated with unskilled laborers, which can cause as much bad as good when it comes to construction schedules and the amount of work a company can handle. Not to mention that there could very well could be a big demand for the skilled laborers (remember what the Law of Supply and Demand does to cost).

Between the new cost for materials and labor the construction costs are going to rise for a while. The reality of the situation is that those with the cash are going to be the ones that rebuild first and will probably get the best deals before the cost start to rise. The next few months after that will be a struggle for some to get their projects done trying to get materials and labor at a cost they can afford.

In my opinion, the bottom line is that it will quite a while before we see any kind of assemblage of finished products. You will see small pockets of competed projects here and there, from those with the cash. You will also see lots of folks waiting in line to be next. Areas such as Grand Case, Orient, etc. that received so much devastation will take time to get back to its former glory. I personally cancelled my vacation in February of 2018 because I am fairly confident that the island will need more time that that to heal.

So, in answer to the question when is a “Realistic time frame to return”, it can really only be answered by you and what do require when you return to St Martin?


***********************************************

Next vacation is scheduled for February 7th through February 19th in Grand Cayman.

A totally new Adventure is awaiting us!!
Re: Realistic time frame to return [Re: mprevo] #142676
09/14/2017 12:36 PM
09/14/2017 12:36 PM
Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 12,479
Brookfield, CT.
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What an awesome response. Thank you for your expertise and your eloquence.

We're in the process of trying to regroup over several trips we had already booked - very sad to think of a year without St. Maarten but if that's what it is, c'est la vie? And believe me, please, I don't say that casually. <img src="http://www.traveltalkonline.com/forums/images/graemlins/handshake.gif" alt="" /> <img src="http://www.traveltalkonline.com/forums/images/graemlins/handshake.gif" alt="" />


Respectfully,

pat



"Always keep your words soft and sweet, just in case you have to eat
them."
Re: Realistic time frame to return [Re: pat] #142677
09/14/2017 01:01 PM
09/14/2017 01:01 PM
Joined: Aug 2010
Posts: 34
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tonydead Offline
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Ribs cooked over a barrel is good enough for me!

Really the only point Wendy was making that generated all this disagreement is the amount of skilled labor. I'd imagine that with all the high rise condos, resorts and the bridge being built in the last 5 or 6 years there is more skilled labor on SXM than ever before.

Re: Realistic time frame to return [Re: tonydead] #142678
09/14/2017 01:25 PM
09/14/2017 01:25 PM
Joined: Jan 2008
Posts: 410
Toronto, CANADA
Ritchard Offline
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Quote
tonydead said:
Ribs cooked over a barrel is good enough for me!


Me too, when to we leave?

Saint Martin Rentals posted on Facebook earlier :

Hi everyone, we've survived Irma ! Our office is badly damaged but we will get there. Everyone on island is hands on deck to get us back in shape.
However, to be realistic, we'll be contacting all our September, October and November guests to postpone their vacation here with us at Orient Beach, Grand-Case and Nettlé Bay. Though the bulk of our homes will be back on track, we are not sure, you'll be able to experience the full range of what Saint-Martin has to offer.
See you all at Christmas!

Makes me think we may get our Feb vacation after all. It won't be the same, but it may be a bit of an adventure instead. I hope there's some way we can be of help for part of our stay.

Last edited by Ritchard; 09/14/2017 01:28 PM.

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Re: Realistic time frame to return [Re: mprevo] #142679
09/14/2017 01:46 PM
09/14/2017 01:46 PM
Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 1,529
Long Island, NY
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<img src="http://www.traveltalkonline.com/forums/images/graemlins/Clapping.gif" alt="" /> <img src="http://www.traveltalkonline.com/forums/images/graemlins/Clapping.gif" alt="" /> <img src="http://www.traveltalkonline.com/forums/images/graemlins/Clapping.gif" alt="" /> <img src="http://www.traveltalkonline.com/forums/images/graemlins/Clapping.gif" alt="" /> <img src="http://www.traveltalkonline.com/forums/images/graemlins/Clapping.gif" alt="" />

That was one heck of a post. The insight you bring, with the knowledge you have and the common sense you employ, should enlighten many on this Board.

Thank you


Rick and Grace
Re: Realistic time frame to return [Re: mprevo] #142680
09/14/2017 01:51 PM
09/14/2017 01:51 PM
Joined: Jun 2008
Posts: 2,612
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LBI2SXM Offline
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Totally agree with you. We lost the 1st floor of our home to Sandy. An insurance adjuster arrived 5 months later. We had to put some of our own money in just to make it livable after 5 months. Oh, we had water and power but nothing else. Try camping in your own home. Try to find carpenters who will not rip you off. If the islanders have to wait for insurance money, God help them, who knows how long that will take. Mprevo is right, then you need materials and sound reliable workers. Vacation time is going to tale a long time. Residents come first!

Re: Realistic time frame to return [Re: LBI2SXM] #142681
09/15/2017 09:15 AM
09/15/2017 09:15 AM
Joined: Jan 2014
Posts: 212
Michigan
mprevo Offline
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Couple more thoughts on the island repairs:

A lot of the repair schedules will vary and will depend on what is actually being done. The big resorts and apartment complexes are more “Heavy Construction/Commercial” in nature and will take the larger construction companies to perform to work. Their workers are going to be the most skilled and most trained on the island. It would not surprise me if they don’t import companies/workers. None of these resorts are going to want to “wait in line” to be next.

The smaller projects like most of the restaurants, homes, beach bars, etc. will probably be rebuilt with the “local labor”. These types of projects or more “residential” in nature (Yes, a restaurant can be considered residential construction because they are built mostly like a house anyways). These projects can be completed with whatever labor they can get their hands on. Things may not be perfect when done, but this is a Caribbean Island and from what I have seen in the past, most of the structures are built far from perfect.

The big resorts are going to be mostly specialized materials. They will special order most of their materials (trusses, roofing panels, windows, furnishing, etc.). These repairs probably won’t affect the overall schedules of the smaller building repairs since the larger companies that will do this work already have lines from Suppliers. When you order 100’s of windows, TV’s, doors, etc. you buy directly from the manufacturer (not the local suppliers) to get the best pricing.

Materials for the smaller projects will be more of an issue. These materials will be more “generic” in nature and snatched up by the locals as soon as they arrive for their repairs. There will be a lot of waiting for materials and you will probably see a lot of structures half completed while they wait for supplies. You will probably also see a lot of “just make it work” type of repairs (tarps for roofs, mismatched colors, temporary wood structures, etc.). Which will work OK considering that the labor force doing many of these repairs will probably be the unskilled laborers.

All in all, repairs will probably be happening every day for the next 2 to 3 years. You will see many folks opening for business with half completed structures just to earn money so they can finish. Who can remember Pedro’s a couple years ago that went thru the high season with a blue tarp for a roof?


***********************************************

Next vacation is scheduled for February 7th through February 19th in Grand Cayman.

A totally new Adventure is awaiting us!!
Re: Realistic time frame to return [Re: mprevo] #142682
09/15/2017 09:54 AM
09/15/2017 09:54 AM
Joined: Aug 2003
Posts: 176
Lake Orion, MI
gomer36 Offline
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Lake Orion, MI
I often get involved with catastrophic event recovery as part of what I do (power generation, transmission and distribution equipment) but that's typically limited to individual events like a factory fire, or a customer who's facility was part of a larger disaster such as the flooding with Harvey. One general observation I've made is that the haste in which the insurance companies drive claim settlement and reconstruction is greatly accelerated if their insured has a rider policy that covers loss of revenue while they are down. Some customers even have coverage that pays employee salaries and benefits until the facility is back up and running. I've seen this with everything from auto plants to hotels...sending cargo jets for materials and workers, dedicated trucks and transport with multiple drivers to keep them moving, paying huge fees to expedite normal equipment lead times, etc. All because those costs were small compared to what was being paid out under the loss of revenue coverage. If any of the properties carried that type of insurance on the island, you'll be amazed at how fast they get back up versus the properties that have standard coverage.

Hopefully, we don't have a repeat of the insurance fraud that some resorts and businesses suffered after Luis, when it was found their insurance agent had stolen their premiums. If I remember, this was one of the reasons Mullet Bay Resort was not rebuilt. I'm guessing (hoping) that there was far more vigilance and oversight in that regard going forward. <img src="http://www.traveltalkonline.com/forums/images/graemlins/handshake.gif" alt="" />


"When one encounters a man of rare intellect, one should endeavor to discover what beer he drinks."

Gomer
--------------------------------------------------
Re: Realistic time frame to return [Re: gomer36] #142683
09/15/2017 10:21 AM
09/15/2017 10:21 AM
Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 12,479
Brookfield, CT.
pat Offline
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Gomer,

I doubt most island businesses hurt would have the extended coverages you've mentioned due to high costs but this is a great post right up to the question/issue of fraud with reference to Mullet Bay. Theirs was not a matter of insurance fraud - I believe the resort you're thinking of was the Dawn Beach Resort. Supposedly, they (DB) paid their premiums to someone who enjoyed the money and never paid the bills. He took the money and ran. Mullet Bay Resort was more of a dispute between the family who owned the property and the individual unit owners and was ultimately settled many years later and hundreds of thousands of dollars in legal fees later. The unit owners did ultimately receive some of their moneys back but still took a heck of a hit on their dream properties. We almost purchased one of these units but decided on Towers timeshare instead. Thank heavens!! <img src="http://www.traveltalkonline.com/forums/images/graemlins/handshake.gif" alt="" /> <img src="http://www.traveltalkonline.com/forums/images/graemlins/handshake.gif" alt="" />


Respectfully,

pat



"Always keep your words soft and sweet, just in case you have to eat
them."
Re: Realistic time frame to return [Re: Ted_n_Jan] #142684
09/15/2017 11:03 AM
09/15/2017 11:03 AM
Joined: Aug 2012
Posts: 186
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foreversxm Offline
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I think those that are saying to give the island time to get their life's in order is the worst thing the locals need or want to hear. They will not take tourist until its ok anyhow. Sure a few months but these people are NOT sitting on big savings accounts or any savings like the ones say to not go. I am already hearing good thing and progress is being made. Lights , phone, internet all coming back day by day. The Dutch I bet will stay a long long time and you will see a much better governed Island. Law and order is under control again and I thing they will learn from what has happened. Plenty of hotels will get back open and to not go back is a true fair weather friend. Those that really love St Maarten need to go back. They still have great beaches, warm sun and great food and people and that's all I need. My Hotel will be open and my flight is going so mid December trip is still on. Just go!

Re: Realistic time frame to return [Re: mprevo] #142685
09/15/2017 12:11 PM
09/15/2017 12:11 PM
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Posts: 185
VitaMan Offline
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Mprevo, a couple of great, informative posts. The workers on the "heavy construction" sites will for the most part be dedicated company employees and not available to "freelance" on smaller projects. The same with their materials.
Depending on the local freelance labor force can be problematic. On the island the gardener is also a painter, the painter also knows carpentry, the carpenter also happens to be an expert plumber, and the plumber also does electrical work. The one thing they have in common is they all talk a great game. But when you finally find a qualified, competent tradesman, they take on more jobs than they can handle. So they may spend a couple of hours on your job, then move on to the next job for a couple of hours, and so on just so they can show some progress on each of the jobs. But sometimes they can't even devote a couple of hours to your job, so they leave you in the hands of an apprentice, and you're kind of back dealing with an inadequate level of work product.
Just my thoughts, but based on personal experience over the years of owning on the island.

Re: Realistic time frame to return [Re: foreversxm] #142686
09/15/2017 12:30 PM
09/15/2017 12:30 PM
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Posts: 2,612
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LBI2SXM Offline
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Have you seen all the videos of the destruction? I assume you saw some. What did you see? Have you ever been through a hurricane? I have faith that SXM will survive and be better than before but lets be realistic here. 99% of homes and businesses have some kind of damage, some more than others. Yes the Red Piano, Toppers, the Super U, to name just a few are up and running. Bless them, they apparently faired well. Most of the residents are homeless and trying to survive. The mosquitos alone are eating the people alive in the BVI. Do you think SXM won't be faced with that? Repellent isn't working, there are too many of them and then comes the disease they carry. They are spraying thousands of acres in Texas today because of the bacteria present. SXM residents are having serious problems and we need to help them not invade them. There are relief funds, clothing drives, money all which will be useful to them now, not tourism. In time, absolutely, just not now.

Re: Realistic time frame to return [Re: LBI2SXM] #142687
09/15/2017 12:37 PM
09/15/2017 12:37 PM
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Re: Realistic time frame to return [Re: LBI2SXM] #142688
09/15/2017 01:04 PM
09/15/2017 01:04 PM
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sasasal Offline
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You are correct... This will not be a vacation for a long while...We who have a home must go back, when? who knows... To a house left? who knows. But there is no escape for us, and for the poor people that live on Island and have no where to run... The big issue is water and elec. without those, nothing will resume, and people will suffer. this is one time gebe need to work and work hard...

Re: Realistic time frame to return [Re: sasasal] #142689
09/15/2017 01:37 PM
09/15/2017 01:37 PM
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Joined: Jun 2008
Posts: 2,612
You WILL get back to your home and repair the damage. Some way the will to rebuild is greater than giving up. You can and will do it in time. Our home was totaled but we fought and prayed and did get through it (and we are far from young and DH was diagnosed with Lymphoma at the same time!) Keep a positive attitude and you can do anything!!! <img src="http://www.traveltalkonline.com/forums/images/graemlins/Clapping.gif" alt="" /> <img src="http://www.traveltalkonline.com/forums/images/graemlins/Clapping.gif" alt="" /> <img src="http://www.traveltalkonline.com/forums/images/graemlins/handshake.gif" alt="" />

Re: Realistic time frame to return [Re: LBI2SXM] #142690
09/15/2017 01:54 PM
09/15/2017 01:54 PM
Joined: Mar 2017
Posts: 354
S
sasasal Offline
Traveler
sasasal  Offline
Traveler
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Joined: Mar 2017
Posts: 354
Those are beautiful words. and given what you have been through with health issues, you should know... Our only concern is our age. We went through luis in 1995 and some small hurricanes after, but this is way more major and we are up there in age... So everything in life has a time limit. I believe lives are way more important to material stuff, but on the other hand, lots has to do with endurance... We will see... To bring the Island back, everyone has to take part in repair... I think with this much there will be many that just walk away. Sad but true... Recovery will take time. Some have the time, others do not... that life, that us... thanks for your upbeat reply

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