April 20, 2004 -With the lease on his 14-acre site at Maho Bay due to expire in eight years, Maho Bay Camps owner Stanley Selengut is slowly shifting operations to his compound at Concordia, developed on 51 acres of land that he owns.
"Over the years, we'll add a restaurant, a performing arts area and a more sophisticated crafts center," Selengut said Tuesday of Concordia, which is now the site of 11 Eco-tents and nine studio condominiums. He said he expects to add six more Eco-tents in the next year.
Unlike the Maho Bay tents, the Eco-tents have their own composting toilets, hot showers and solar refrigerators. They also showcase sustainable development practices. (See the Maho Bay resort properties Web site.)
Selengut doesn't envision that the Concordia will ever reach the density of his Maho Bay project. The campground, located on the leased land, has 114 tents. Directly uphill sits another Selengut property, Harmony Studios, located on land he also owns.
What will become of Harmony Studios once the lease from Geri-Geri Corp. on the campground property runs out "depends on what happens to Maho," Selengut said.
He said he doesn't expect to be offered an option to renew the lease for the campground because the rent would be too high.
Selengut said he hopes the V.I. National Park buys the property, since it sits within park boundaries. If the park can't raise the funds, a private non-profit organization could buy it for the park.
The Trust for Public Land is just starting talks with the Geri-Geri Corp. in hopes of acquiring the land for the park, trust project manager John Garrison said on Tuesday. (See "Trust for Public Land buys acreage at Maho".)
Selengut, 75, acquired the lease for the Maho Bay Camps land in 1974 and opened the environmentally friendly resort two years later.
He said that guests have been expressing so much concern about the fate of Maho Bay Camps lately that he decided to put out a release to let people know about the intended shift to and expansion of Concordia.
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