Wednesday, February 18, 1998

US Virgin Islands

[singlepic id=4817 w=180 h=40 mode=web20 float=left]Good morning! This is Alex Randall with Good News Headlines


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Department of Tourism Details Campaign

Wylie Whisonant says that the Department of Tourism is promoting the territory and to prove the point, Whisonant pointed to the television advertising campaign in the prime markets. We have 16 weeks of advertising on shows like Good Morning America and The Today Show as well as Sienfeld, ER, NYPD and the X-Files. 16 magazines are carrying our print advertising and there is a major campaign with 8 top travel wholesalers. More importantly, there is a major public relations effort that keeps the Virgin Islands in the news media – here’s where we are way ahead of the competition. We had over 15 cover stories in major magazines during the last year.

Today’s Photo: St. Croix Fort – New plan coming.

Current Conditions in Paradise:

Temperature: 86 Degrees at 12 noon Skies: Sunny, Occasional Cloud Chance of Showers: Slight to 10%: Water Temp: Perfect Beach and Swimming Conditions: Perfect Sailing and Diving Conditions: World Class! Drinks: Ready

The Governor Signed Promotional Contracts

Governor Schneider announced that he had signed contracts with our major advertising and public relations firms worth nearly 3 million dollars. Martin PR has a million dollar contract to develop the strategic marketing program and the Governor also signed contracts with our major advertising partner and a new contract with a Japanese firm to promote the Virgin Islands in Japan. There is another contract to promote the Virgin Islands in Italy and Spain.

How many Hotel Rooms Do We Have?

Wylie Whisonant spoke at length today on Addie’s Morning Show about the efforts to promote the Virgin Islands in the states and said in passing that we have fewer than 5000 hotel rooms in the territory. Addie asked how many hotel rooms do we have? The answer is 3823 in St. Thomas St. John and 1043 in St. Croix for a total of 4866 hotel rooms.

Price Waterhouse Checks WAPA

A team from Price Waterhouse, the giant accounting firm is in the Virgin Islands to assess the feasibility of privatizing WAPA. It is expected to take several months for the accounting team to size up the water and electricity elements of WAPA and determine how to sell the utility to a private investor. The Governor also said he is investigating privatizing hospital depts. and waste collection.

Senate Finance Committee Tables Long Distance Tax

The Senate Finance Committee met yesterday and dealt the tax on long distance telephone calls the ultimate snub, they tabled the bill and moved on to other matters.

Housing Authority Says Home Ownership on Track

The Housing Authority is opening this years home ownership season with an active program to help more renters become owners of their homes. Last year the Housing Authority made 15 tenants into home owners and they plan to increase that with a major effort this year. All residents of Kirwan Terrace are invited to a come to a gathering tomorrow at 7:00 PM. Residents at Walter Hodge Pavilion are meeting on Sunday at 3:30.

New Business Coming

Governor Schneider met with Former Illinois Governor Frank Thompson to talk about Thompson’s new business venture. Prime Retail Inc. just held their board meeting at the Ritz and they want to open a retail store on this island.

Hospital Roof Moves Forward

Attorney General Julio Brady stepped in to keep the hospital roof reconstruction moving forward. The former roofing contractor had tied up special materials that were custom fit to the roof in the shipping yard. The Attorney General Julio Brady intervened to release the equipment and get the roof done.

The New Yacht Haven is a Step Closer to Reality

The new owners of the Ramada Yacht Haven are a step closer to their goal. The CZM panel approved the transfer of the permits held by the old hotel and marina to the new owners. The Malaysian holding company is calling the site the Safe Haven Marina. Sounds good doesn’t it.

Coming Up:

On a somber note, Corrections officers are gathering at the Criminal Justice Complex at 5:30 PM to plan their tribute to fallen Territorial Court Marshal Randy Stephens Juanita Gardine Elementary School µ Leonard Dober Elementary School PTA meeting is scheduled 5:30 PM at the school. UVI Small Business Development Center has a seminar on February 18th at Gertrude’s Restaurant in St. Croix on the topic of Management and its Impact on Bonding. Call 690-5270 The Seminar will repeat on St. Thomas on February 19th at Nisky Center. Call 776-3206 Video on Montserrat – Victor Sidney is inviting everyone to come see a special video performance about Montserrat at Victor’s New Hideout at 7:00 PM Bolongo Bay Homeowners Association is meeting at Iggy’s Restaurant at 7:00 PM The topic is the rezoning of the area. For Virgin Islands Christian Ministries Mall. Virgin Islands Toastmasters Club 4040U is meeting at the Chamber of Commerce Conference Room at 6:00 PM Coming Up Tomorrow: Board of Nurse Licensure will meet at 8:30 AM at the Board of Nurse Licensure Office Kongen’s Gade #3 St. Croix literacy program has a training session for volunteers to teach adults how to read and write. at Florence Williams Public Library at 6:00 PM 773-1095 Dept. of Human Services is making free Senior Citizen Identification cards available to seniors on February 18 th St. John Multipurpose room 10:00 AM – to 1 PM Radiant Suns Troupe will meet tonight at 8:00 PM at WAPA Administration building.

Water Island Report

The segment of the Virgin Islands Tourism budget dedicated to advertising and promoting Water Island was doubled again this year. Since the figure for promoting Water Island last year was zero, the immediate doubling of the budget was seen as a tremendous vote of support for the last Virgin. “We still have nothing to spend promoting Water Island at least we are keeping pace with the pace of change on the island.” said a Chamber of Commerce representative. He went on to say, “Nothing Ventured, Nothing Gained.

It’s your Good News! You tell us and we’ll tell everyone.