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Do you Feel a Recession in The USVI

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rokipatel
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April 28, 2008 7:56 pm  

My Answer is yes and no? Yes because all locals are complaining about the economy. No? because i see stores in Charlotte amalie full with tourist with bags in their hands. I think people here in the islands are complaining more about inflation like gas and food and transportation prices than actually the slow economy. At least that is my perception.


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terry
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April 28, 2008 8:10 pm  

Judging by the tourists may not be a good gauge. After all they do have the money to travel. The average income person may not be able to afford to travel right now.
Alexandra has told me that the high end homes are still selling very well. It;'s the middle priced homes that the average person can't afford right now.
People with money are still spending at least some of it.


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Trade
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April 28, 2008 9:42 pm  

It ALWAYS trickles down. And it takes longer to recover.


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East Ender
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April 29, 2008 2:16 pm  

roki: The locals ALWAYS complain about the economy, good or bad.


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Trade
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April 29, 2008 2:40 pm  

Very true, EE but here on STT this summer I'm afraid a lot of businesses will be going under, not necessarily due to a recession but due to the huge decrease of cruise ships coming in. And that affects most everyone here even if they don't rely on ships directly.


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rokipatel
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April 29, 2008 3:11 pm  

I don't really see a decreased in cruise ships actually i was told that the amount of tourist in general in STT and STJ has gone up. The problem for local business is the price of Energy and electricity and transport of goods to sale in the islands. This high energy prices have cut into their profits so allot busineses have opted to adjust prices but other because of competition are taking the brunt head on. I think that those busineses with very low margins are either going to close or downsize. In regards to Cruise ships this ones are still the cheapest vacation available even if they raise prices because of fuel people are still going on vacation.


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trw
 trw
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April 29, 2008 3:29 pm  

rokipatel how long have you lived here?


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rokipatel
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April 29, 2008 3:39 pm  

I have been living here probably 2 months but i lived all my life in puerto rico and i have been doing business and living part time here for 15 years. The tourism industry in Puerto Rico and the USVI is linked!!!!


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Trade
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April 29, 2008 3:45 pm  

I know the statistics on the ships for this summer & it's the worst decrease I've EVER seen. This is also the first year in ages we had no ship days in the height of the season so Rokipatel, unless your livelihood is dependant on ship arrivals, I'm afraid you don't know what you're talking about regarding them. The rent for retail spaces is also outrageous & never decrease.


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trw
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April 29, 2008 3:51 pm  

just wondering,i'm probally one of the few people here that do not want to see cuba open back up for american tourism simply because it's too close to the states and would syphon off too many people and i think i was on puerto rico for a day back in the 90's and most tourists here on stx would rather bypass puerto rico's airport if at all possible,i've spent way too many layover hours in that airport over the years.


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rokipatel
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April 29, 2008 4:39 pm  

Trade if you look at the statistics even thou they have been less visits by ships this has had very little impact in the amount of tourism in STT & STJ i have in my hand the statistics from the Hotel Association of STT And STJ as well as the statistics from the Puerto rico tourism company in regards to cruise ship passengers the amounts are more or less the same why is that because now the cruise ships are larger and could fit more than ever. Now this is funny money spend by tourist in the USVI is at all time high. Arrivals by USVI Airports is up 11.9% so maybe we are getting more tourist by air staying in hotels in STT and STJ more than ever. In San Juan air arrivals are up 9% closed 11 million passengers in 2007 San Juan is meter for arrival of tourism in the region. Also traffic in Cyril King Airport is up almost 10%. If you have any other info that contradicts this please post it but don't tell me i don't know what i am talking about.


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Trade
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April 29, 2008 4:58 pm  

Your statistics mean squat. Watch the businesses close. There will be many jobs lost & anyone in retail will tell you that in the main, ship passengers don't spend the way they used to. Two ships that leave from SJU fill up regularly with EXTREMELY low-paying passengers from PR at the last minute just so the ship will sail full. They don't spend. Some pay as little as $300.00 or $350.00/pp per week & don't have the $$ to spend.

This is the first year that starting in May, there are 13 days with NO ships. That's almost 1/2 the month. There are no statistics on it because it's not MAY yet. Get it?


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rokipatel
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April 29, 2008 5:25 pm  

That is your personal Opinion and Perception but business people base their actions on FACTS and not perceptions. All the merchants that i have met here in STT are complaining about high transportation cost and Energy cost very few are complaining about lack of tourist. Now you have to take into account that 15 years ago there was a certain amount of businesess in STT that number has double or triple since then, Why is that is because people see the potential of retail development in STT. Back then the pie piece was big enough to make some local merchants rich now the pie has grown some but the amount of people that want to eat the pie has grown even more.


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rokipatel
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April 29, 2008 5:32 pm  

Now i am going to talk about Perception and my opinion and opinion of many of my friends that live in PR and take Cruises or come to USVI. Besides that USVI is a very close and convenient vacation spot to Puertoricans it has always been highly regarded a Shopping mecca to get Jewerly, Watches, Perfumes, and Liquor at better prices than in Puerto rico. Since May 2007 Puertoricans have been paying 7% IVU ( sales Tax) that they did not pay before this was imposed by Government to save Government Jobs and save the Government from a Economic Collapse. Allot of my friends come here and they get there watches actually my first Rolex i bought here in STT i save allot of Money because in Puerto rico there is a Luxury tax so i don't see what you are talking about people in Puerto rico getting on cruises in SJU and spending no money in STT.


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stxem
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April 29, 2008 5:44 pm  

Roki, why bother starting up all these threads and inviting discussion if you already know the answers to everything? Seems a bit silly if you just keep preaching to yourself and knocking down the opinions of everyone else...


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Trade
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April 29, 2008 5:47 pm  

I AM a businessperson dealing with tourists ALL the time. Do you really believe we sell nothing but Rolexes here on STT? You've been here 2 months. I've dealt with tourists HERE for 26 years. People from PR I see aren't buying Rolexes, they're haggling over $3.00 merchandise & asking for discounts. That's the reality of retail in STT. Yacht Haven Grande is a ghost town sadly. Stick to what you know & it isn't retail.


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rokipatel
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April 29, 2008 5:58 pm  

I am not talking about Yacht Haven grande i have met with several business owners i am not talking to talk you simply have an opinion that is different of allot of local businesess that i have met i have been coming to this island and doing business too for 15 years and believe me there are better bargains here that in puerto rico when it comes to Jewerly and other materials. One thing i have never seen is a Puertorican haggling about $ 3.00 dollar t-shirt but i respect your opinion please respect my opinions and the facts.


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Cory
 Cory
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April 29, 2008 6:01 pm  

my dad is stronger than your dad, ive been here longer than you have...blah blah

wow, these forums are more brutal than i thought!

Seems like too many people have a chip on their shoulder and are know-it-alls..

Give some advice, make a comment and move on..jeez

Cant you all just get along and agree to disagree?

PS, i am starting a business and its not related to tourism 🙂 YaY


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simkiss
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April 29, 2008 6:08 pm  

the difference, I will surmise, is based upon the fact that the recession is media-created and media-driven. there is no real recession. people just believe what they see, read, and hear, sadly. housing dropped because speculators burst that bubble, oil will burst too as speculators burst that bubble, then soon it'll be food, etc. prices are where they are because it's a market economy. I bet if they keeping saying watchout for $200 oil, it'll happen as long as people don't care who gets hurt while they make money. we have to buy houses, oil, food, etc. so we are at the mercy of the money players. the economy is sound. it's inflation that's killer. the richer are getting richer but the poor are not getting poorer. they're just not keeping pace. it's rather sad. I feel necessities should have regulated trade. this is all the end result of untethered greed on the part of a few. we'll just have to ride it out.


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Cory
 Cory
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April 29, 2008 6:11 pm  

Great post!

..but didnt you mean to say poor are getting poorer?


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simkiss
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April 29, 2008 6:20 pm  

thanks
i did not mean to say poor are getting poorer, because they're not. they're staying flat to minor growth. this false inflation/false recession really chaps me, but I rely on God and He never lets me down!


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Trade
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April 29, 2008 6:22 pm  

Then you don't spend a lot of time in stores on Saturdays & Mondays, Roki. I do. It's not just Puerto Ricans haggling, it's a big percent of mostly Carnival passengers. Since I'm in the business & deal with it daily, I suspect I might have a better handle on it. I'm also very familiar with retail locations downtown & other locations. When you're on the front lines then your opinion might have some validity. When I see wrong info being posted I will respond. I don't get my "facts" from travel guides or other sources. I get it from my paycheck & sales figures, both my own & those I know in the business.

Rent doesn't go down when times are bad. Many businesses after Hurricane Marilyn went under because they couldn't afford the downtown rents & were longtime tenants but that didn't cut any slack with the landlords. There were quite a few places closed with no new tenants because the landlords waited it out rather than lower the rent.


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trw
 trw
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April 29, 2008 7:06 pm  

and roki your stats mean nothing over here on stx.


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Talonz82
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April 29, 2008 10:14 pm  

Yes, yes, no , no, no again, yes, maybe, hope so, uncertain.......................people what ever you are going to see will reflect, NEXT year.....everyone bought their tickets before any recession, and they certainly weren't going to lose their money...................the recession will determine how much money people will spend next year....as a major tourist provider, our numbers were below average this year. Everyone....Good luck for next year!


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Exit Zero
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April 29, 2008 11:43 pm  

My first! Rolex, My Lexus 470, My house in Peterborg -- What recession?


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