84.3 F
Charlotte Amalie
Saturday, July 13, 2024


Once again I must credit Sen. Adelbert Bryan for seeing beyond the smoke and questioning the fire. Why would anyone even discuss Industrial Development Benefits for the Ritz-Carlton expansion at this point in time?
It is my understanding IDC exists to attract business to the United States Virgin Islands. This program is supposed to grant benefits necessary to bring new businesses or encourage existing businesses to expand in order to create new jobs for unemployed and underemployed Virgin Islanders. A secondary benefit to the community is the synergism created by the new or expanded business purchasing goods and services from existent community businesses.
There is no question Ritz-Carlton is a successful business that is good for our community. The question is: Does the Ritz-Carlton need IDC benefits to encourage their expansion?
It is my understanding the existing property was devalued to the point it became financially prudent for Ritz-Carlton to assume its management. It is my further understanding that from the time of Ritz-Carlton's involvement the top-of-the-line suites were consistently booked. Based upon the success of their venture, Ritz-Carlton determined it would be financially beneficial to expand with additional top-of-the-line suites thereby decreasing the marginal cost of the existing infrastructure and maximizing profitability.
This decision was made, proposals were developed, permits were obtained, construction was initiated and resort stay units were marketed for presale. To my knowledge, Club Ritz-Carlton marketing has been most successful and the vast majority of the resort units are, in fact, pre-sold.
Why, therefore, would the Virgin Islands Government entertain a motion for IDC benefits? I can well understand Ritz-Carlton asking for IDC benefits. After all, if someone wants to ice my cake, who am I to refuse them. But if the cake is already scheduled for complete consumption, why ice it?
If I am wrong, I would most enjoy being educated. If my assumptions are correct, however, there is no question as to why our government is broke. Furthermore, we also know some of the rascals responsible for breaking it.

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