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Charlotte Amalie
Saturday, July 13, 2024


April 15, 2004 – St. Croix scuba dive business representatives promoted what their island has to offer underwater to several thousand potential V.I. visitors at the recent Beneath the Sea trade show in New Jersey.
The Virgin Islanders took part in the exposition representing DIVERSe VIRGIN Inc., an alliance of St. Croix scuba dive operators.
The expo, billed as "America's largest consumer dive and travel show," was March 26-28 at the Meadowlands Exposition Center in Secaucus, N.J. It was the 28th such event for Beneath the Sea, an award-winning not-for-profit corporation dedicated to increasing awareness of the Earth's oceans and the sport of scuba diving.
"Beneath the Sea is the largest scuba diving consumer show in the United States," Michelle Pugh, president of the V.I. organization, said in a release. "This was our first time to exhibit at any show; so, to start out with the largest one was almost intimidating. But it went great."
The expo featured seminars, workshops, exhibits and demonstrations by hundreds of scuba manufacturers, dive shops, the resort and travel industry, and other scuba-related professionals.
According to Pugh, "There was a tremendous amount of interest in St. Croix from people who had no idea that the diving is so good here."
The not-for-profit DIVERSe VIRGIN Inc. is made up of seven St. Croix retail dive operations: Anchor Dive Center, Cane Bay Dive Shop, Dive Experience, N2theBlue, St. Croix Ultimate Bluewater Adventures, SCUBA Shack, and SCUBA West.
Among those taking part in the Beneath the Sea expo were Ed Buckley of St. Croix Ultimate Bluewater Adventures, Christine Hendley of Anchor Dive Center, Pugh of Dive Experience, Suzanne Rosbach of Cane Bay Dive Shop and Dave Wryzykoski of Anchor Dive Center.
According to the DVI release, the organization also will have booths at upcoming expos in Chicago, Houston and Long Beach Calif. where representatives will hand out brochures from the dive shops and from "friends of the DIVERSe VIRGIN" including hotels and rental-car companies.
They'll also have information to share about the group's new Dive the Island Passport, which allows scuba enthusiasts to dive with several shops for one price. "This has really generated some excitement, as it's the first such promotion that we're aware of in the dive industry," Pugh said. "People can't believe that businesses that are essentially competitors are working together like this." To learn more about DIVERSe VIRGIN Inc., visit the DVI Web site, or call Ed Buckley at 773-5994.

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