St. Croix Island Of Opportunity

St. Croix Island Of Opportunity

Having just returned from St. Croix, I’m still trying to​ figure out what’s happening with this island. is​ it​ dying a​ slow death from neglect, or​ swollen with opportunity & poised for serious growth? Its current state might lead one to​ either conclusion.

While there, I had a​ great time, enjoyed some spectacular scuba diving, ate excellent food at​ super prices, and even had time to​ drive most of​ the island looking through history and rainforests.

But the thing is, most everywhere I looked, the place seemed like it​ was falling apart. it​ reminded me of​ the 3 C’s of​ rehabbing houses – Clean it​ up; Cut the grass; & Cover the walls. With the exception of​ a​ handful of​ places in​ Christiansted, and the Frederiksted Pier & park area, much of​ the rest of​ the island could use some serious attention.

Many roads are a​ nightmare, and “scenic drive” should not mean the absence of​ anything resembling pavement. Simply cutting the 6’ tall grass obscuring oncoming traffic on most northern roads would make those steep, sharp turns far less hazardous. it​ would also let visitors enjoy the gorgeous views, not to​ mention restoring 2 full lanes for vehicles.

The island has a​ lot of​ history, but sometimes it’s hard to​ see or​ even find. For example, while visiting the Whim Plantation, most of​ the signage describing the exhibits and past culture were either faded away, washed out, or​ missing entirely.

In Christiansted, I followed a​ map that notated the location of​ the house where Alexander Hamilton once lived. But arriving at​ that spot, found no sign, plaque, or​ other indication I’d arrived at​ the correct place. After asking several locals, one finally verified the correct structure.

St. Croix has so much going for it, that it’s hard to​ understand why those who should be interested in​ its welfare don’t appear to​ be doing anything about improving the islands image. The advertising and promotional materials found in​ all the usual places indicate that tourism is​ indeed desirable, and an​ acknowledged contributor to​ the local economy, but I got the overall sense it​ wasn’t a​ particularly high priority.

This was really surprising to​ a​ first-time visitor, but the message coming across was clearly one of​ “what you see is​ what you get – take it​ or​ leave it”.

I would suggest that those there, in​ government and other groups involved in​ the tourism industry, who clearly talk a​ good game, get serious about sprucing up their island and making it​ inviting to​ tourists.

Otherwise, the promotion noise rings hollow. They should stop doing it​ immediately, and just fade away entirely.

For those who may be interested in​ finding their own place in​ the sun, I have to​ say that St. Croix still has a​ lot going for it, regardless of​ whether it​ gains more prominence as​ a​ tourist destination. It’s a​ beautiful island, and one where prices remain well below most other Caribbean destinations. You can still find plenty of​ places to​ build, or​ existing places to​ buy, without breaking the bank.

Whether the tourism industry gets its act together or​ not, doesn’t really matter to​ someone looking for a​ good deal on property. if​ things stay as​ they are, property values will continue to​ grow gradually, and the island will remain much as​ it​ is.

On the other hand, it’s a​ good time to​ get in, and values could increase dramatically. The islands large size (compared to​ many others) would allow for years of​ growth before it​ comes close to​ becoming densely populated.

So whether St. Croix stays stagnant or​ spruces up and gains attention, there’s not really a​ down side for those looking for property.

I for one hope they get serious about fixing up and promoting the island. The handful of​ things mentioned earlier would be a​ good start, and take hardly any time to​ rectify.

Whether they do or​ not, as​ someone interested in​ scuba diving, it’s still worth several trips back, just to​ spend time visiting the famous “Wall” along the north shore, where the reef drops off a​ few thousand feet down – awesome diving!

St. Croix Island Of Opportunity

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