I'm investigating the idea of opening or buying into a small beach/tiki bar in the USVI. Not exactly original but it's one of three I have. I'm also looking at scuba instructing or flight instruction and giving airplane rides. Anyone of the three is OK with me ...the real goal is to get off the mainland. Any thoughts are welcome.
you might call sapphire beach resort. their restruant is available
There are already two flight schools and sight seeing companies on STX. Probably slim pickings there.
I would suggest moving down and getting a job as a scuba instructor - you could get one of those jobs pretty easily, assuming you already have all the proper certifications. Then from there, you could build on your other dreams. There is a flying school on STT that you could possibly work for...and if you've never owned a bar before, I would highly recommend working as a bartender for a while before following that dream any further - it'll give you wonderful and invaluable insight as to the day to day doings of a bar - just how much hard work and time you put in vs the little amount of reward!
If there is a will, there is a way. Take the plunge!
You could also see about getting a job for Seaborne if you're a pilot. I like St. Croix best of the VI, but come on down. If you are certified as a scuba instructor and a pilot and are willing to bartend just in case, you'll do just fine.
Flyboy, it looks like I will be following in your footsteps. I'm separating from the Air Force in the next few months and plan on taking at least a year in the USVI. I'm also a CFI and SCUBA enthusiast, but I particularly want to learn to sail while I'm there. I have a flying club in Las Vegas on the side (www.monarchsky.com) and I'm thinking about bringing one of the planes (probably a Cherokee 6) down to the islands with me. I could also bring a C-172 if there is a decent demand for flight instruction. Bottom line, I'm looking at some creative business opportunities to make ends meet while on the islands. We should chat and see if there is any room for collaboration. E-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org when you get the chance...
racoe_2000 -- There is a lot more demand for flight instruction on St. Croix than the current providers can handle. I know quite a few people who would love to take lessons if there was an instructor available with appropriate aircraft. Have you been on any of the military flights that have spent crew rest on STX in the past few years? My husband owns the FBO (Caribbean Flight Center) on STX that handles and refuels military aircraft and he's also interested in adding some flight instructors to operate out of his facility. There is one who does some instruction and scenic flights from there occasionally, but he can't handle the many prospective students. We have a new hangar and will be adding more office space to accommodate tenants' needs. There is also a large need for Part 135 charter operators in the islands as many residents would love to island hop to places not readily accessible via the commercial operators.
When you are bringing your planes here, get ready for an adventure! I've done the trip between Florida and STX a couple times in an Aztec and know people who have brought down single engine aircraft. There are a couple long hops over water when you really hope you don't hit headwinds so you have enough fuel to make it to your next stop.
The SCUBA diving is great, but not an enormous money maker for instructors and divemasters, especially outside of winter tourist season. The restrictions on not flying right after diving also make those two professions somewhat incompatible.
If you want to talk about opportunities for flying, sailing and SCUBA on STX, feel free to call me (340-514-5591). My husband has the flight info and I am a SCUBA instructor. We also have a 65' sailboat. One stop shopping! 🙂
You and your husband are just the kind of people I want to meet! As you can probably tell from my post, I'm kind of a jack of all trades. Sounds like you guys are too...
I was in STT about 20 years ago, but never with a military transport. My uncle used to charter sailboats every year and I was lucky enough to accompany him on one of these trips and that is how I fell in love with the Caribbean (and sailing, incidentally). BTW, I found your husband's website and I think I sent him an e-mail a couple of days ago. Small world!
Thanks for the tip on getting to STX. The Six has about a 700nm range, so I think it will be ok. On the other hand, the C-172 will probably find things a bit tight.
I will definately be calling, but I'll warn you, I have loads of questions. If you don't mind having your brain picked by a "mainlander," when's a good time to call?
She is being modest, she is also the best, IMHO, realtor on STX.