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How long until you'd consider the BVI "back to normal"? #155396
02/21/2018 05:13 PM
02/21/2018 05:13 PM
Joined: Jan 2014
Posts: 34
JCarver27 Offline OP
Traveler
JCarver27  Offline OP
Traveler
Joined: Jan 2014
Posts: 34
I'm following along with all the different Facebook groups....but that only gives you so much info. How long would you guys expect for ferries and customs and restaurants to consider themselves back to normal? Or are they there now?


O-H!

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Re: How long until you'd consider the BVI "back to normal"? [Re: JCarver27] #155397
02/21/2018 06:05 PM
02/21/2018 06:05 PM
Joined: Oct 2009
Posts: 420
Memphis, BVI, CT
R
RatmansWife Offline
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RatmansWife  Offline
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R
Joined: Oct 2009
Posts: 420
Memphis, BVI, CT
Having made three trips down here since Irma, I would say a very long time. Even places that are open, like Pusser Sopers, are a shadow of their former selves. Many places have not re-opened. There is no Customs building at West End. Maybe half the homes lost their roofs, and only a few have been replaced. Many folks don’t have the money. Schools and government buildings are in rough shape, as are many businesses in Road Town. Normal, in my guess, is years away.

Re: How long until you'd consider the BVI "back to normal"? [Re: JCarver27] #155403
02/21/2018 06:52 PM
02/21/2018 06:52 PM
Joined: Jan 2014
Posts: 34
JCarver27 Offline OP
Traveler
JCarver27  Offline OP
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Joined: Jan 2014
Posts: 34
Wow. Not the answer I was expecting, but thank you anyways. Breaks my heart all over again.


O-H!

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Re: How long until you'd consider the BVI "back to normal"? [Re: JCarver27] #155409
02/21/2018 07:43 PM
02/21/2018 07:43 PM
Joined: Feb 2008
Posts: 20
Madison, WI
B
BadgerSailor Offline
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BadgerSailor  Offline
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B
Joined: Feb 2008
Posts: 20
Madison, WI
We're on a charter this week and seeing it first hand agree getting back to normal will take a long time. But The reduced ferry schedule wasn't a problem for our guests. According to an article in the BVI Beacon some boats on the beach at Trellis have been given notice to remove them within one year. Seems like not much will happen there until they are. On the other hand there is Quite a bit of rebuilding occurring. Cooper Island looks substantially rebuilt already and when it reopens soon that will be a great stop again. Pirates Bight has one place open and they're working on the full sized restaurant. There was a ship in Road Town today delivering what appeared to be 3 new cats for one of the fleets. So there is a lot of step by step progress. We're enjoying the trip this year but think future years will be better and better.

Re: How long until you'd consider the BVI "back to normal"? [Re: JCarver27] #155410
02/21/2018 08:19 PM
02/21/2018 08:19 PM
Joined: Oct 2000
Posts: 3,822
South Sound Villa Virgin Gorda
tpcook Offline
Traveler
tpcook  Offline
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Joined: Oct 2000
Posts: 3,822
South Sound Villa Virgin Gorda
Having just come back, I think the ferry service will be back at most within 6 months. Roadtown Fast Ferry has 2 new 300 passenger cats but does not use them on the RT to STT run as there is little traffic. Speedy ferry is up and running but two ferries have open bottoms and are bring repaired. Maybe another 6 months to repair. Smith's ferry has no boats.

Government has MANY buildings that will require 10's of millions to repair each. They are trying to borrow money. Problem is how is how does it get repaid.

Leverick Bay is back to normal. Lots of work still to do but everything is open. Houses are getting repaired but like my own villa, I just settled with the insurance company and are now going full speed to repair which will take 8-10 months.

Beaches are fine but little vegetation means no place to stay out of the sun. Cruise charter boats are coming back either being repaired or replaced so that industry should be fine in 6 months.

So in a nutshell the big problem is how does all this get paid for. Many locals have no insurance, the Catholic Church on VG has no insurance and needs a roof and has only found 1/2 of the pews. ONly 50 families support the church so money is tight.

The other problem is almost no tourists and I can understand that. That will take a couple of years to bring back.

The mood on VG is VERY up beat and if you can do construction you are fine.

Last edited by tpcook; 02/21/2018 08:20 PM.

tpcook
Re: How long until you'd consider the BVI "back to normal"? [Re: JCarver27] #155412
02/21/2018 08:36 PM
02/21/2018 08:36 PM
Joined: Jan 2007
Posts: 1,091
Saint Thomas, USVI
CaptainJay Offline
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CaptainJay  Offline
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Joined: Jan 2007
Posts: 1,091
Saint Thomas, USVI
I actually hate the word "normal". But I will try to respond to this anyway. By "normal' if you mean when will the area be like it was before September 2017? The answer is never. The kind of event that we all went through, two cat five hurricanes in two weeks changes every thing. Nothing will ever be exactly the same. Some businesses with thrive, some will fail and some will just hang on. Places like Bomba's for example seem doomed. The Willy T's seems posed for a comeback but with descriptions like bigger and better it could easily become a watered down commercialized version of itself. Some would like that better some would not. Other businesses will spring up from the ashes. The inevitable march of time and change will be the only normal for some time.

Having said that the Virgin Islands are still one of the most beautiful places on the planet. The opportunity to spend some time in a less crowed Virgin Islands should not be missed. I would assume from the OP's comments the underlying question is when should we come back? That is a much simpler question. Come back now or at least as soon as you can work it out. There are boats available. The sailing and water are as spectacular as ever. The businesses that are open will welcome you. The crowds are down and you can feel good about supporting the industry that a lot of us make a living at. You might also find that a simpler experience with more quality time and less stuff is good for the soul.

So think of this as the "new normal". Great sailing, a few less tourist traps and a spectacular destination.

Jay



Last edited by CaptainJay; 02/21/2018 08:38 PM.
Re: How long until you'd consider the BVI "back to normal"? [Re: JCarver27] #155414
02/21/2018 09:15 PM
02/21/2018 09:15 PM
Joined: Jul 2003
Posts: 151
Alexandria, VA and Lusby, MD
ohstate Offline
Traveler
ohstate  Offline
Traveler
Joined: Jul 2003
Posts: 151
Alexandria, VA and Lusby, MD
We were on Virgin Gorda last week. What we love about VG (9th visit over 20 years) are the people and the natural beauty. Those are still there, although a bit distressed. The people are still wonderful. Happy to have visitors. Some are eager to share their stories of survival and others just want to show you how they are moving on. You can book a room (or villa), there is plenty of food in the grocery stores to cook at home, there are enough restaurants to eat out at if you want. You can still dive with Dive BVI (probably others). Rental cars are available (we used Mahogany). Star gazing has never been better with all the street lights out. We actually had the best beach in the world entirely to ourselves for a good part of the week. The mooring ball races that we usually witness at the Baths was nonexistent. The airport is open, even without power. Go if you can. Although I do miss Mad Dogs, in particular Edith. We would have lunch there almost every day. BLTs and Red Stripes, watching the kestrels hunt lizards in the field.

Last edited by ohstate; 02/21/2018 10:02 PM. Reason: Grammar


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Re: How long until you'd consider the BVI "back to normal"? [Re: JCarver27] #155417
02/21/2018 09:44 PM
02/21/2018 09:44 PM
Joined: Feb 2016
Posts: 33
S
SailNow Offline
Traveler
SailNow  Offline
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S
Joined: Feb 2016
Posts: 33
Great answers above. Here is my short answer. Sailing tourism is coming back quickly. The restaurants and small hotels will be close to normal by next season. The major resorts are probably back in two seasons. Despite the damage and the full blown Christmas winds we have had a great week. Tourists, particularly sailors, are keeping the area afloat as they rebuild. Thrilled to be here.

Re: How long until you'd consider the BVI "back to normal"? [Re: JCarver27] #155438
02/22/2018 12:50 PM
02/22/2018 12:50 PM
Joined: Sep 2010
Posts: 5,451
Massachusetts
maytrix Offline
Traveler
maytrix  Offline
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Joined: Sep 2010
Posts: 5,451
Massachusetts
I think Jay hit the nail on the head..

We saw first hand what Irene did 6.5 years ago in Vermont. I'm sure others have seen what Katrina did, Sandy, and even Irma did in Florida..etc. Some of the businesses in these places have never come back. We still see a few businesses in Vermont that are standing, but empty and nothing being done due to the cost of repairs. And this is in the States where we have a lot more resources and money available and still 6.5 years later, things are not back to what they were. With that said, the new "normal" is fine and there's really no downside to it - aside from a few abandoned buildings.

I imagine everything in the BVI (like it always has) will move even slower and take longer. The damage there was worse. And like all the other places hit with storms (except maybe Sandy given the value of the land in areas hit) we'll see some businesses come back and some disappear forever. And eventually - a long while from now likely see a new one here or there.

Fortunately the big attraction to the BVI is the environment - wind, water..etc. that's all still there and enjoyable. I know we're itching to go back as soon as we can.


Matt
Re: How long until you'd consider the BVI "back to normal"? [Re: maytrix] #155442
02/22/2018 02:47 PM
02/22/2018 02:47 PM
Joined: May 2002
Posts: 15,505
Tortola/ Sonoma, California
Manpot Online content
Traveler
Manpot  Online Content
Traveler
Joined: May 2002
Posts: 15,505
Tortola/ Sonoma, California
To put a positive spin on this..I think we will be back to the way we were in the 80's..less traffic..less crowded beach bars...less fighting over the almighty $$..for me that is bringing the BVI's back to the place I first fell in love with and why I sunk everything I had into buying a beachfront home there. Just my HO..Now if the damn ( pathetic insurance check would clear...)

Re: How long until you'd consider the BVI "back to normal"? [Re: JCarver27] #155449
02/22/2018 03:31 PM
02/22/2018 03:31 PM
Joined: Mar 2007
Posts: 364
Florida
R
rfrimmel Offline
Traveler
rfrimmel  Offline
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R
Joined: Mar 2007
Posts: 364
Florida
Are the cruise ships coming back or are the islands not ready for the big crowds?

Re: How long until you'd consider the BVI "back to normal"? [Re: CaptainJay] #155511
02/23/2018 11:54 AM
02/23/2018 11:54 AM
Joined: Jan 2014
Posts: 34
JCarver27 Offline OP
Traveler
JCarver27  Offline OP
Traveler
Joined: Jan 2014
Posts: 34
Originally Posted by CaptainJay
I actually hate the word "normal". But I will try to respond to this anyway. By "normal' if you mean when will the area be like it was before September 2017? The answer is never. The kind of event that we all went through, two cat five hurricanes in two weeks changes every thing. Nothing will ever be exactly the same. Some businesses with thrive, some will fail and some will just hang on. Places like Bomba's for example seem doomed. The Willy T's seems posed for a comeback but with descriptions like bigger and better it could easily become a watered down commercialized version of itself. Some would like that better some would not. Other businesses will spring up from the ashes. The inevitable march of time and change will be the only normal for some time.

Having said that the Virgin Islands are still one of the most beautiful places on the planet. The opportunity to spend some time in a less crowed Virgin Islands should not be missed. I would assume from the OP's comments the underlying question is when should we come back? That is a much simpler question. Come back now or at least as soon as you can work it out. There are boats available. The sailing and water are as spectacular as ever. The businesses that are open will welcome you. The crowds are down and you can feel good about supporting the industry that a lot of us make a living at. You might also find that a simpler experience with more quality time and less stuff is good for the soul.

So think of this as the "new normal". Great sailing, a few less tourist traps and a spectacular destination.

Jay



Love this response. Thank you.

And thank you to everybody else that has posted since I last did. I love these islands, just like you all do.


O-H!

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Re: How long until you'd consider the BVI "back to normal"? [Re: Manpot] #155541
02/23/2018 02:41 PM
02/23/2018 02:41 PM
Joined: Jun 2008
Posts: 2,236
L
LBI2SXM Offline
Traveler
LBI2SXM  Offline
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L
Joined: Jun 2008
Posts: 2,236
Originally Posted by Manpot
To put a positive spin on this..I think we will be back to the way we were in the 80's..less traffic..less crowded beach bars...less fighting over the almighty $$..for me that is bringing the BVI's back to the place I first fell in love with and why I sunk everything I had into buying a beachfront home there. Just my HO..Now if the damn ( pathetic insurance check would clear...)


That's exactly the reason we fell in love with the BVI's. Remember when? The 80's were great! (wish be bought then).

Re: How long until you'd consider the BVI "back to normal"? [Re: LBI2SXM] #155546
02/23/2018 03:45 PM
02/23/2018 03:45 PM
Joined: May 2002
Posts: 15,505
Tortola/ Sonoma, California
Manpot Online content
Traveler
Manpot  Online Content
Traveler
Joined: May 2002
Posts: 15,505
Tortola/ Sonoma, California
Yes..the cruise ships are back...got to keep that big block of voting cab drivers happy! More important than fixing the infrastucture..lets import palm trees!


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