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Island News

Patriot Cheerleaders Visit St.Maarten for Photoshoot

patriots cheerleaders 2Divi Little Bay Beach Resort welcomed the popular Patriots Cheerleaders to the island on July 23rd, 2018 with a meet and greet cocktail party with invited guests. 

The girls are here to shoot their 2019 swimsuit calendar and film various video productions.  Minister of Tourism Stuart Johnson was among the invited guests and welcomed the ladies to The Friendly Island. 

Representing the 5X Super Bowl Champion new England Patriots, the Patriots Cheerleaders entertain thousands of fans from the side lines of Gillette Stadium, participate in goodwill missions and appearances and have entertained at high-profile events such as Super Bowls, Pro Bowls, and international games. 

Divi Little Bay Beach Resort General Manger Anne-Marie Brooks personally welcomed the ladies to the island during the event and wished them success with their 2019 calendar.  

News Courtesy of Caribbean Gems

107 New Businesses Opened Since Irma

A total of 107 new businesses have opened in the country since the passing of Hurricane Irma, initial statistics coming out of the Economic Census Survey show.

According to the Department of Statistics STAT, the majority of these new businesses are in the food service sector.  These new businesses currently employ 386 persons, 201 or 52 per cent of whom are female.  According to STAT, the legal form of new businesses is almost evenly divided among limited ability NVs (29 per cent) and BVs (28 per cent), and sole proprietorship (26 per cent).  The roughly 1700 businesses that were actively operating before the September 2017 hurricanes and mostly NVs, with sole proprietorship being the second.  Wholesale and retail trade represents the biggest portion of these businesses with accommodation and food service being the second largest sector. 

News Courtesy of Caribbean Gems

Oyster Pond Resort Reopens After Repairs, Remodelling

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After nine months of reconstruction and remodeling due to Hurricane Irma, Oyster Bay Beach Resort officially reopened June 1 with close to half of its accommodations and all of the amenities online.  The remainder of the resort is expected to be complete by year’s end.  As rooms are completed, they will be available to the guests. 

All the amenities of the resort have been re-constructed, including the resort’s signature ocean-front Infinity Pool.  The pool has been upgraded with a new pool deck and water features.  There are also a completely redesigned and refurbished lobby, gym, guest laundry, bodega and spa.

News courtesy of Caribbean Gems

Port St.Maarten Sees 15 Percent Growth in Cruise Passengers

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Port St. Maarten has seen a growth of fifteen percent over projections from January to June.  Port management anticipates a “stable off-season” and a “strong” high season similar to pre-Hurricane Irma numbers in 2017.  A total of 733,666 cruise passengers via 230 cruise ship calls visited in the first half of the year.  March had the highest number of calls (55) with cruisers numbering 137,375.  April had 39 calls and 128,714 passengers.  May and June clocked more than 120,000 cruise passengers each, via 30 and 27 ship calls respectively.  May brought 120,907 and June 120,226.  There were 112,511 passengers and 37 ships calls in January.  February had 113,893 cruise passengers via 42 ship calls.  The country will see an increase in European cruise lines starting in October.  This is expected to further add to current forecast numbers for the high season, bringing the tally to pre-hurricane numbers.  

News Courtesy of Caribbean Gems

Multihull Challenge Sets Sail in February

aerial catamaraon sThe Caribbean Multihull Challenge/St. Maarten will set sail for the first time February 8 to 10. Organized by the St. Maarten Yacht Club, founders of the St. Maarten Heineken Regatta, The Challenge will be open only to multihull.

Back in the 1950’s St. Maarten was the birthplace of multihull sailing in the Caribbean with inspired designs from Peter Spronk who built boats here that are still sailing today. '

The Caribbean Multihull Challenge St. Maarten will embrace all that is great about multihull sailing. “This event will welcome every multihull type: Gunboats, Trimarans, Lagoons, Leopards, Fontaine Pajot and Sprong boats,” said Steering Committee Chairman, Petro Jonker.

He continued, “We will even throw in a Pirate Class so local charter boats with fun handicaps can also race. The whole idea is to offer creative races that will put a smile on every sailor’s face.

News Courtesy of Caribbean Gems

Divi Resorts Seeks to Add 98 New Rooms

LittleBay Rooms Collage1Divi Little Bay Beach Resort is exploring the possibility to add 98 rooms to its inventory of 128 rooms. Of the total, 110 rooms are operational post-Hurricane Irma and the rest are expected back online soon.  The resort is fully booked for July. 

The news of the expansion was shared by Tourism and Economic Affairs Minister Stuart Johnson following a meeting with Divi Resorts International President and General Managers.  The possible expansion and the near completion of repairs for the existing rooms are a “positive sign” for the economy and tourism recovery. 

Johnson said, “More investments from the private sector will help to ensure our economic viability.”  

News Courtesy of Caribbean Gems

Nature Foundation Relaunches Coral Restoration Program

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Hundreds of children gathered at different locations around the island over the long holiday weekend to enjoy Nature Foundation which has started to populate its first coral nursery structures again after most of the previous coral nurseries were damaged or destroyed by Hurricane Irma and Maria.

The Foundation has slowly started to implement its “Fragments of Recovery” coral restoration projects with installing the first two coral reef nurseries in an attempt to repopulate hurricane damaged reefs around the island with rare coral species.  The first Staghorn corals have been transplanted to the coral nursery station on the dive site Moonscape close to Simpson Bay.  The two nursery ladders from the Nature Foundation are now populated with coral fragments in order to raise new coral colonies to repopulate the diamonds coral reefs. 

In the coming month more nursery ladders will be places and populated with Staghorn and also Elkhorn fragments.  The coral nursery will be checked and cleaned regularly to prevent algae growth and to secure optimal growth conditions for the corals.

 

News courtesy of Caribbean Gems