Watch out for tourists searching beaches, ruins and more across the island on the hunt for hard-to-find answers to riddles.
The St. John Treasure Map and Guide, a new interactive island map, will be available at the Red Hook ferry terminal, Loredon Boynes dock and across the island early next year.
The map separates the island into five separate segments which each correspond to a different adventure. Each adventure — which include suggested beach time or short hikes — asks the map user to answer a series of questions and solve several riddles.
If a tourist enjoys all five adventures and solves all of the riddles, they will be able to answer the master question and enter to win a return trip for four to Love City.
The brainchild of a long-time island shop owner and an advertising veteran, the St. John Treasure Map and Guide is poised to change how people explore Love City.
Jennifer Knowles-Donnelly, who owns the Jolly Dog stores, and Denise Barbier, formerly with the V.I. Daily News, had been discussing new advertising avenues for years and conceived the island treasure map concept over the summer. The idea centered around how to get people to actually go into stores and other sites.
“I was looking at a way to get people inside my store,” said Knowles-Donnelly. “To answer one of the questions in one adventure you have to go inside and read a sign on the wall — which actually gets a person into the store.”
“And it’s really fun,” said Barbier. “It’s like a combination of a scavenger hunt and a road rally.”
Each adventure has its own theme, with the Coral Bay adventures — there is one for the south side and one for the eastern area — actually written in Pirate speak.
“On this side of the island, we’re pirates,” said Knowles-Donnelly. “There are other themes for other adventures but you’ll have to wait to see the map.”
The adventures are also designed to be fun family activities which can take a day each.
“We’re hoping people take pictures and keep their maps as souvenirs of their trip,” said Barbier. “Each adventure was designed to be a day-long event with people taking their time and stopping here and there for beach time or lunch.”
“People were always asking me what there was to do around here,” said Knowles-Donnelly. “The adventures are the perfect way to explore St. John and to have a chance to win a trip back. It’s really exciting.”
Barbier and Knowles-Donnelly had so much fun designing the adventures — which took them around the island on some new adventures of their own — they’re certain the new maps will be a hit.
For more information about the St. John Treasure Map and Guide, check out the website www.islandtreasuremaps.com, which should be complete this week.