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DixieChick
(@DixieChick)
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knew it!!!!

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Topic starter Posted : January 18, 2012 4:03 pm
blu4u
(@blu4u)
Trusted Member

I thought Hovensa and Citgo are one in the same. No? Both owned by Chavez. I very well could be wrong. Very sad news for STX. Where do you find 1900 jobs? Bad.

North Dakota

http://www.bls.gov/web/laus/laumstrk.htm

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Posted : January 18, 2012 4:06 pm
DucMan
(@DucMan)
New Member

Again. My sources have stated CITGO is purchasing the refinery. PDVSA sells their end to their US Arm- Citgo. Hess sells their end to CITGO.

HOVENSA closes. All Union, WAPA, VIG, Legislative Deals are voided. WITHIN 90 DAYS, Citgo reopens it.This has happened before in Texas. 1/10 of Venezuela's oil production comes here A DAY (350,000 x 121 = $42,350,000). Do you think that Venezuela will effectively end 1/10 of their GNP?

Face the facts- we must start better negotiations, not like our previous Caribbean neighbors who got the short end of the deal "when the new company took over"....

I don't see this happening, as it still leaves the refinery running on fuel oil, and it still needs $700 million in upgrades to satisfy the EPA. Shutting the refinery would actually be better for Venezuela, as they would still be able to sell their crude on the open market, but avoid losing $100 million a month on an inefficient refinery.

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Posted : January 18, 2012 4:19 pm
HappyFace
(@HappyFace)
Advanced Member

PDVSA already owns Citgo (Chavez) he FXXXed up texas in 2000, don't know what he would be able to do for ST Croix.:S

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Posted : January 18, 2012 4:28 pm
Beeski
(@beeski)
Trusted Member

Again. My sources have stated CITGO is purchasing the refinery. PDVSA sells their end to their US Arm- Citgo. Hess sells their end to CITGO.

HOVENSA closes. All Union, WAPA, VIG, Legislative Deals are voided. WITHIN 90 DAYS, Citgo reopens it.This has happened before in Texas. 1/10 of Venezuela's oil production comes here A DAY (350,000 x 121 = $42,350,000). Do you think that Venezuela will effectively end 1/10 of their GNP?

Face the facts- we must start better negotiations, not like our previous Caribbean neighbors who got the short end of the deal "when the new company took over"....

I don't see this happening, as it still leaves the refinery running on fuel oil, and it still needs $700 million in upgrades to satisfy the EPA. Shutting the refinery would actually be better for Venezuela, as they would still be able to sell their crude on the open market, but avoid losing $100 million a month on an inefficient refinery.

if Venezuela has nowhere else to refine the heavy crude...they need Hovensa's Coker and can afford the losses....maybe our Governor / Delegate can make an appeal to Washington to have the EPA lift their restrictions.....and maybe the rumored Natural Gas power plant using Trinidad gas can happen.....I'm trying to remain optimistic

http://seekingalpha.com/article/25485-heavy-crude-why-venezuela-and-the-u-s-need-each-other

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Posted : January 18, 2012 4:34 pm
croixlover
(@croixlover)
New Member

In addition to CITGO or someone else possibly coming to pick up the pieces...now is a good time to create an overall strategic business plan for the island. For instance...if a resort or two were to FINALLY get approval (some have waited for over 10 years now), there are a lot of jobs in both building then running these places. Tourists then come for a week or a month at a time and spend money at all of the stores and restaurants...and the tide rises for all. Much better than cruise ships for part of one day. Also...revisiting/revising an EDC plan that entices businesses of ALL kinds to come to the island...with no shenanigans...is needed as well. For a short time in the mid 2000s, all kinds of money was coming to the island, people buying property, goods and services of all kinds.

Part of the problem is too much reliance on any one industry vertical...in this case oil. While we don't want JUST tourism either, if a couple of the resorts were up and running right now...or even in the building stage...it wouldn't be AS big a blow to the island should Hovensa end up down to just 100 employees. If we have tourism, financial services, "near shoring" (call centers, software development, etc.), rum production, etc., and whatever remains of the oil industry there....it becomes a more resilient economy.

It's going to take some leadership from the government, and a positive attitude on all of those involved to get through this...but it can happen. It's normal to feel horrible when something like this happens...it's almost like a death in the family...so everyone should grieve and hand-wring for a SHORT time, but then get busy with a plan and execute on it.

The people on St. Croix are strong!!!! If you can survive a disaster like Hugo...you can get past this too!

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Posted : January 18, 2012 5:35 pm
HappyFace
(@HappyFace)
Advanced Member

croixlover,
Thanks for the keep a stiff upper lip statement. However it's not that easy, most of what you stated are in place, however the overall economy is in the tank. This is one serious blow to the the US Economy not only ST Croix. I have no guess on this one.

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Posted : January 18, 2012 5:45 pm
speee1dy
(@speee1dy)
Expert

croixlover, i don't think this is a "build it and they will come" situation. Too many vacant hotel rooms on island as it is.

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Posted : January 18, 2012 6:21 pm
BeachcomberStt
(@BeachcomberStt)
Trusted Member

This article has some quotes from the Governor and a few senators.

http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/businesstechnology/2017264548_apcbvirginislandsoilrefinery.html

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Posted : January 18, 2012 7:13 pm
DixieChick
(@DixieChick)
Trusted Member

i agree. i think it would be to little to late. maybe the local govt will find out just how important the refinery was to st. croix.
the crime is just beginning. where will people work??
its time to move

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Topic starter Posted : January 18, 2012 7:15 pm
603yoga
(@603yoga)
Active Member

Thanks to croixlover for the positive attitude. Always better to be solution-minded rather than problem-minded, even if optimism doesn't come easily in this situation.

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Posted : January 18, 2012 7:16 pm
Hiya!
(@Hiya!)
Trusted Member

Speedy, actually many of the hotels are doing very well thanks to the Danish Charter starting again.

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Posted : January 18, 2012 7:18 pm
DixieChick
(@DixieChick)
Trusted Member

what will happen when the season is over though?. the hotels are not filled. i bet divi has lots of openings.

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Topic starter Posted : January 18, 2012 7:24 pm
Hiya!
(@Hiya!)
Trusted Member

Actually yest the charter is going year round. It is not just a seasonal thing at all, it's a HUGE boon to the economy and most people don't even know about it.

Divi, ALWAYS HAS A LOT OF OPENINGS. They made the deal with the devil to get the casino open and they HAVE TO go through the dept of labor to hire anyone. So the pickings are slim and turnover is very high, especially in certain positions. Plus last I heard they went to all inclusive which is a horrible idea because their food is just ehh at best.

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Posted : January 18, 2012 7:28 pm
speee1dy
(@speee1dy)
Expert

I dont see it as a huge boon to the economy. it might be a little perk me up but they usually stay at the divi hotel. or at least a group of them do. still not enough tourists to build any new hotels. the only time the island has full occupancy is for the triathelon.
any casino that tries to open here will have to make a deal with the devil, just the way it is here.
divi resort food can be good but the buffet is just so so.

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Posted : January 18, 2012 7:51 pm
Hiya!
(@Hiya!)
Trusted Member

They stay at 8 different hotels. That's pretty much guaranteed money every week. It is a HUGE deal to these businesses. And everything picks up. The downtown is vibrant because of them. They many not spend as much on retail as Americans do but they like to eat and now that most of the local restaurants know to add on the tip, most of them love the Danes money too. The excursions company's are doing very well off the danes.

Now to your second part to build new hotels you your talking about which I assume are the mega resorts that never got off the ground and probably will not and that is not all the VI fault for once. You need to have more flights in here, to have more flights you have to have something to offer tourists. Its a bit of the chicken or the egg.

And that is not true about the occupancy. Whomever you are getting your information from it's completely wrong. Many of the hotels run at full or near full occupancy in season and with the charter many of them will continue to do so. Hovensa really did not figure in to any hotel's bottom line unless they were doing a TURNAROUND. And then they would get gouged. Now when they were running at full capacity it did help the local rental market and rents were high cause they could get it.

We will have to agree to disagree about Divi food as that is subjective.

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Posted : January 18, 2012 8:29 pm
stiphy
(@stiphy)
Trusted Member

While I appreciate the positive outlook and I agree with a lot of what croixlover says, there are fundamental ways of thinking that must change here if we are to remain economically competitive with the rest of the US and the world. I can't help but rant a bit, maybe because realizing what will happen here to the small middle class that we have due to this closing is upsetting:

- Education is the key to everything in the 21st century. To be uneducated is to seal your own fate. We need to start valuing that above all else. It is sad to me how many people I meet here who are uneducated. There is no excuse for this here, there, or anywhere especially in todays age of the internet! Anything you want to learn is accessible to everyone, the problem is many don't value learning which is the core tragedy in all of this. The thing that will set us apart from the India's/China's/rest of the world is the level of education we attain. This has to be our number one focus, not just through better schools but through a different cultural outlook that values education and learning above all else.
- Stop looking for handouts! On the individual side, welfare is not a way of life, it is a safety net that you should feel a little bit ashamed of having to use and try to get off of it as quickly as possible. The government is not here to help anyone, it's here to make sure there is a level playing field in place for us to help each other and do business fairly. At the government level the solution can't always be to beg the federal government for more money. Our politicians need to start spending within our means to create said level playing field and stop corruptly wasting money to enrich friends/relatives/themselves. No one is owed anything, go out and earn it!
- A job is not an entitlement. We need to adopt "at will" employment like most other places in the states so that businesses aren't afraid to hire people as its so difficult fire them if things don't work out.
- Crime is serious and has to be treated seriously. While this ties into some of the other issues above, there are core problems with our police department that need to be addressed.
- Local government is important...we have none. All we have is a Senate and Governor, no town councils, county councils etc. that work with issues at the uber local level to make sure things are getting done. The territorial government should be shrunk to 5 or so senators and a governor who make few decisions that affect the territory as a whole. But we should have a St. Croix and St. Thomas county council and county executive. One could also argue for a Christiansted, Fredericksted, and Charlotte Amalie Mayor and city council (municipal government). This works well on the Continent as it keeps politicians as close to the people they serve as possible. I know this one is something not everyone agrees with me on but I think it's important.
- Unmaintained property needs to be condemned and auctioned off. Living in squalor breeds a sense of failure that is unacceptable. Our towns consist of some nice properties surrounded by squalor that is unacceptable. Those who work hard to keep their property nice shouldn't have to have their property degraded by those who don't.
- The Wapa issue needs to be addressed. All options need to be on the table to bring down energy costs here no matter who's interests they step on. Run lines for Puerto Rico, bring in Alpine Energy, use solar/wind if it would bring down costs (my limited research indicates it doesn't unforutnately), something has to be done to cut our rates in half.

Once these things change here's some of what I see as being posssible:
- We have 1 big natural resource on island and that is the natural beauty that tourists love to flock to. We need motivated, educated people to work at a high level to provide those tourists with an experience they cannot get elsewhere. That of a place that is uniquely Caribbean yet still familarly American. What a killer combination that we wil not be able to utilize until we have educated and motivated people hungry to provide this experience enriching themselves in the process
- Natural resources aren't everything. Another huge benefit that we have is the ability to create a favorable tax environment while still being under the US flag. Again, this is a unique thing we have to offer. But to truly offer it we have to have educated and motivated people for the businesses that relocate down here to rely on for services.

It's far more difficult to change attitudes toward education, government, and entitlement than to say "if you build it they will come" but I also think its far more realistic to think that those are the things that are required for true prosperity, here, there, or anywhere.

Sorry for the long rant and I'm sure others will disagree with me but I really do hope that this is a catharctic event that ultimately leads to a much higher level of living in the very long haul for my fellow Virgin Islanders.

Sean

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Posted : January 18, 2012 8:33 pm
DixieChick
(@DixieChick)
Trusted Member

what will happen in the summer when the hotels are not full? work in retail now and its slowwwwwwwwwwwwwww!!!
tourists may come here but they are not shopping much.

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Topic starter Posted : January 18, 2012 8:34 pm
HappyFace
(@HappyFace)
Advanced Member

Stiphy.
The USVI had a municipal form of Gov in the past but was changed because of corruption. If you think nepotism is bad now only first blood then got hired.This is a Crib to Grave Society living on entitlements. Everything you have stated above has been offered to the local population, they have no real interest.

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Posted : January 18, 2012 8:49 pm
stiphy
(@stiphy)
Trusted Member

Happy,

Interesting thanks for the info on municipal government, when was this if you don't mind me asking?

I am afraid that you are right that there is currently no real interest in what I said but I think that crib to grave entitlement societies are not sustainable in the long run. In an area with as many challenges as the Caribbean (lack of economy of scale and natural resources) it is especially hard for that model to succeed. I guess my hope is that this negative event (Hovensa closing) provides the catharsis for this attitude to change.

Sean

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Posted : January 18, 2012 8:57 pm
speee1dy
(@speee1dy)
Expert

hiya, if i am wrong i am wrong. i do see the danes walking around down town but it just does not seem like a lot of them.
i have only eaten at the divi resort one meal and it was good and one buffet and it was so so. i like the pizza but not consistent
i just do not see that building more resorts will do anything at this time. my opinion.
dixie, i know what you mean, not really busy at all.

sean, you said a lot of great things and education is key..

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Posted : January 18, 2012 9:45 pm
speee1dy
(@speee1dy)
Expert

just curious, is this going to affect those who have already retired from hovensa. will they loose their retirement

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Posted : January 18, 2012 9:56 pm
HappyFace
(@HappyFace)
Advanced Member

Stiphy,
It was under the Organic Act of 1936-1954, Had to be 25 years old and live in the voting district of the municipality for 3 years, each Island was a municipality. The Organic Act of 1954 changed to Senate at large.

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Posted : January 18, 2012 10:12 pm
tmleeke
(@tmleeke)
Advanced Member

[

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Posted : January 19, 2012 4:47 am
DaChief
(@DaChief)
Advanced Member

I think that 2012 will be a very interesting year. I offer the following predictions:

1) Record Unemployment Levels
2) 10% or more increase in LEAC
3) Pols force acceptance of new energy contractors
4) Record Crime in the areas of Buglaries/Robberies
5) 20% Loss of the USVI Tax base
6) Property Devaluation
7) 10% Loss of Property Tax Base
8) Downgrading of VI Bonds
9) Additional Government Lay-Offs
10) At least three Elected Officials will be subject to Recall
11) Court Battles over the Recall Result
12) 3rd/4th Quarter- New refinery Ownership- will retool parts to Natural Gas & LNG Storage-Terminal
13) 2013- Refinery Reopens on "New Deal"
14) 2nd Quarter 2013- Stability will resume, things start to normalize.

God Save the USVI

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Posted : January 19, 2012 5:01 am
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