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Tuesday, October 4, 2022
HomeNewsArchivesCrown Bay Tenants Receive Welcome News From VIPA

Crown Bay Tenants Receive Welcome News From VIPA

Tenants in the Austin “Babe” Monsanto Marine Terminal have not convinced the V.I. Port Authority to reduce their rents, but during a Wednesday board meeting they got a break on late fees.
The VIPA board approved a measure to not assess a 5-percent late fee for tenants who pay their rent late for the months of May through September.
However, interest on the balance due will accrue.
Rent is due on the fifth, property manager Diana Richardson told the VIPA board at its St. Thomas headquarters. The grace period ends the third week of the month.
“I think landlords in the territory recognize the extreme hardship, so they have given some rent considerations because of the extraordinary circumstances of the retail sales to the cruise ship passengers,” local businessman and VIPA tenant Louis de Lyrot, of the Caribe Beach Resort, said in a telephone interview.
De Lyrot cited current, sharply curtailed spending patterns of cruise ship passengers as devastating
Kiosk vendors at the facility, which locals call Crown Bay, have been especially hard hit according to VIPA Executive Director Kenn Hobson.
“In essence, we’ve had a request from the tenants,” Hobson said. “We’ve waived the 5 percent late fee.”
Customers at the facility were happy with the news.
“Late fees are standard on any commercial lease, plus interest and all,” Rui Costa of Costa Java café said. “They [VIPA] have been very flexible with me. They need to be more flexible with the tenants on the rent as many other places have done.”
Costa said that business is slow.
“This summer is different from last summer,” Costa said. “Last summer we went for almost 10-11 weeks without a cruise ship. This summer we have had cruise ships every week.”
Other Port Authority tenants were enthusiastic for what they see as a pro-business stance by the authority’s board.
“This is an example of a port authority working with local businesses,” Omer ErSelcuk, CEO of Seaborne Airlines and VIPA tenant in several locations, which were not included on the late fees waiver. “The Port Authority should be the crown jewel of the Virgin Islands. The management of its facilities is what allows us to do commerce here. The real winners of the action are the customers of the businesses, not the businesses, themselves. The customer wins.”

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