79.6 F
Cruz Bay
Thursday, March 23, 2023
HomeNewsArchivesFriends of National Park Launches New “Villas for the Park” Program

Friends of National Park Launches New “Villas for the Park” Program

Friends of Virgin Islands National Park is unveiling a new villa partner program that will benefit island villa owners, villa managers and V.I. Islands National Park. “Villas for the Park” now gives St. John visitors a way to support the park at no cost when they stay at vacation rentals found on the Friends Web site. The vacation stay generates a donation by Villa Partners that translates into protection and preservation for the park.
When visitors are looking for a vacation rental, they simply use the portal to many villas and vacation rentals to choose from at www.friendsvinp.org/villas. Once the guest completes their stay, the Villa Partner makes a donation to Friends that directly benefits the park, which keeps visitors coming to St. John. Villa Partners are listed on the Villas for the Park page in order of donation levels: 15, 10 and 5 percent, so that visitors can choose a villa based upon level of park support, as well.
The program was conceived by Friends development director Karen Vahling, who wanted to create a fresh fundraising approach to support the organization’s 23 programs and projects in the park.
“Friends has a valuable reach to over 3,000 loyal members, an extensive e-mail database, a high-traffic Web site and tens of thousands of social media contacts. This powerful reach brings St. John lovers who are looking for their next stay together with Villa Partners who support the park.” said Vahling. “This is truly a win-win situation.”
Every villa manager contacted so far has signed up for the program. Cimmaron St. John, for instance, donates 10 percent for every guest who books through the Web site – even for repeat bookings. There is no price difference for the guests who use the Friends Web site portal to view Cimmaron’s 60 villas or other partner properties.
Another bonus for villa shoppers: a free Family Friends Membership when they complete a booking. The membership card gives valuable discounts on shopping and activities with Friends Affinity Partners during their stay, as well as discounts on Friends of the Park Store merchandise. Once enrolled, members are engaged in national park news through “Tidings,” Friends’ tri-annual newsletter, encouraging them to come stay again, to attend Friends events and to support the park.
There is no cost to be added to the Friends Web site because a Villa Partner and any villa owner or manager can register online at www.friendsvinp.org/villas under the “For Villa Owners” tab. Each Villa Partner is given space for one “flagship photo” and one paragraph summarizing their villa or villas managed.
“Visitors need accommodations; villas need business; our park needs protection. Friends can help,” said Vahling. “Together, we can accomplish great things for our Virgin Islands National Park.”
For more information or to get set up as a Villa Partner at no cost, contact Karen Vahling at 779-4940 or kvahling@friendsvinp.org or visit www.friendvinp.org/villas

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Keeping our community informed is our top priority.
If you have a news tip to share, please call or text us at 340-228-8784.

Support local + independent journalism in the U.S. Virgin Islands

Unlike many news organizations, we haven't put up a paywall – we want to keep our journalism as accessible as we can. Our independent journalism costs time, money and hard work to keep you informed, but we do it because we believe that it matters. We know that informed communities are empowered ones. If you appreciate our reporting and want to help make our future more secure, please consider donating.