By Kate Norfleet
The St. John Chapter of the St. Thomas/St. John Chamber of Commerce is pleased to report updates on several projects on which we have been working.
Don Porter, in charge of the coordination of V.I. Port Authority (VIPA) and Department of Tourism (DOT) officials to assist late arriving passengers coming to St. John with water taxi information, has done a wonderful job of acting as liaison.
VIPA, DOT, Dolphin Water Taxi and Dohm’s Water Taxi are working to establish clear communication with the airlines, taxis and guests as to what options are available for visitors arriving too late to meet the last scheduled ferry at midnight.
A voucher program is in the works, as well as signage and handout cards with phone numbers and contacts, for distribution to the villas and other locations where guests and locals can get them. The goal is to have all in place before Christmas week, though that is fast approaching.
Les Anderson is making good progress on the design and construction of the greeter welcome cart. The greeters will work out of the cart to welcome visitors disembarking from the ferries and offer a free rum punch.
Anderson has generously agreed to create the cart for a nominal amount with materials being donated by himself and MSI. Kate N Design and Don and Katie Porter donated the funds for the custom wooden wheels which will be used.
And a fabulous thank you goes to St. John Small Accommodations Council for their donation of $1,500 which has helped get the chapter past the halfway mark on the funds we need to complete the cart. We still need at least $1,000 to meet our commitment and are asking the business community to help with whatever donations they can make.
Any amount will help and the donation is tax deductible as a business expense if anyone makes the check to the St. Thomas/St. John Chamber of Commerce. Until the cart is finished, the greeters will have a table to work from. We expect the program to launch any day now.
The public hearing which VIPA scheduled regarding the ferry turnstiles did not happen in November as hoped.
The Coral Bay group of business owners is having another meeting at Shipwreck on Thursday morning, December 11. The Chamber is close to confirming a guest speaker from the Department of Tourism and will send out an email once the speaker is confirmed. The meeting is scheduled to begin at 8:45 a.m.
In this busy holiday season, everyone is still forging forward to help guests, residents and businesses have a successful and positive experience of St. John. The next monthly chamber meeting is Tuesday, December 30, however, it may not be at St. Ursula’s multipurpose center as usual due to scheduling conflicts.
Last but not least, another Business After Hours is in the planning stages. Once all is confirmed the word will be sent out.
For more information email [email protected] or call Norfleet at 693-9099.