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LOCAL INN TO BE PRIZE IN ESSAY CONTEST

How would you like to own a 15-room bed and breakfast on St. Thomas? All you have to do is say why in 150 words and submit your essay with $100 and you could be the new owner of the popular, historic Danish Chalet Inn. To win, submit your essay by clicking here or go to the ad in St. Thomas Source.
The contest is being advertised via the Internet. It is a first for small inns. Nothing like this has been done over the World Wide Web before, according to inn owners Frank and Mary Davis.
The inn was offered in a similar contest in 1995. But Hurricane Marilyn hit on Sept. 15, which was the contest deadline. The inn was damaged enough that the Davises canceled the contest and returned all of the entry fees.
Now, after four years and $70,000 in improvements, the Davises feel it's time to run the contest again. Frank and Mary, at 78 and 74, respectively, are ready to turn over the reins. After 53 years in the hospitality profession, they say they are ready to enjoy their golden years.
Built in the mid 1940s of concrete construction, with 4,454 square feet of living area, including furnishings and fixtures, with 40,000 gallons of cisterns and 7874 square feet of land, with walkways, flowers and palm trees, plus a sundeck and Jacuzzi spa, the Danish Chalet Inn, appraised at $500,000, is a small innkeeper's dream, according to Frank Davis.
The difference in the contest this time, he said, is that contestants will be able to submit their essays over the Internet.
Each entrant will receive a voucher good for $100 that can be used against a room at the inn after the contest winner is announced. The voucher will be good for three years, Davis said.
Even though the contest will reach people all over the globe via the Internet, Davis still wants local Virgin Islanders to have a chance to win the inn.
"We want as many ‘Virgin Islanders' as possible to enter, hoping that one will be the talented winner and have the opportunity of owning their own turnkey business with a minimum of investment," Davis said.
The Davises said they are hoping to find someone with the same interest, personal pride and hospitality standards that have been the major factors in the success of the inn over the last 14 years.
They will choose the top 150 essays and turn them over to a literature class at the University of the Virgin Islands for final selection. A first-, second- and third-place winner will be chosen in case the first-place winner cannot accept the inn for any reason.
The Davises will spend up to 30 days with the new owners to familiarize them with the property, local customs and community.
After that they will travel, write and offer occasional services to other inn owners in the Caribbean who would like to get away for a week or two.
"With our 53 years of experience, we would like to hope other small inn owners feel secure in leaving their property in good hands," Mary Davis said.

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