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St. Thomas Update?  

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Flipflop
(@flipflop)
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Joined: 4 years ago
Posts: 2
September 29, 2020 11:02 am  
Posted by: @jdldesign

I’m posting this under a couple of different categories because I really am looking for some insight, and find this particular thread parallels a bit of what I’m asking, so excuse the fact that it’s a bit of a segue... (Although it does apply to some of the comments above about luring affluent non-tourist, permanent residents)... 

I am new here on this forum, so I hope this is the right place to be asking this...I have been looking to move from stateside for quite some time and USVI has been on my radar for about three years (it was that darn HGTV Caribbean Life show that introduced me!).... but what is the current “tone” regarding the local economy and the future of it for USVI? The whole world is in a weird place because of Covid, obviously, but BOTH the political unrest in the US combined with covid have forced many people in the states to really analyze why they are living where they are. The major topic of conversation in the states right now is: “Where will you be moving post-election?” Today, a large percentage of the population here is contemplating a move out of the US in their not so distant future...and now that everyone realizes how doable their jobs are by working remotely, I actually predict a mass exodus (even if temporarily) from the states to other parts of the world. As an entrepreneurial minded person, I see that as a potential boon for USVI’s economy, but as I’ve read on many forums over the years, it sounds like USVI’s infrastructure wouldn’t necessarily be able to handle an influx of new residents. Is this ever a discussion amongst the residents there? Are you aware of this current buzz in the states for relocating outside the US mainland? And are those of you who live there feeling optimistic about the conditions there and potential for a future upswing in the economy/tourism/or opportunities for other industries not related to tourism? Over the last three years I’ve seen more and more comments on forums that the islands have recently become depressed (hurricanes notwithstanding), more riddled with drugs and crime because the decrease in tourism has hurt the local economy, and people have moved away. 
SORRY for the rambling! Any insight is appreciated! Thanks! 

Have you been? I just returned from our 4th trip this year. We went to make an offer on a place there. It’s extra different right now. It isn’t HGTV. Drugs in St. Thomas have usually been more party drugs. This is the first trip where I’ve noticed more “pill” like, but we aren’t Red Hook folks so I may miss that sometimes. Our bartender was nodding out on us and definitely not from drinking. A lot of the great service industry folks aren’t working right now. Covid has definitely messed things up. This board says it over and over, do a premove visit. 


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scout77
(@scout77)
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Joined: 4 months ago
Posts: 21
October 2, 2020 3:56 pm  

@jdldesign I wonder about this all well, whether the USVI will be on a lot of people's lists being able to work from home. Most people I know in this position are leaving NYC but want to stay in the northeast and want more space in a diverse, educated town with good schools.  The biggest of issues in the USVI with people coming to live and work from home are housing (shortage), not super reliable internet/power, and schools if they have kids. The public schools are just not what people coming from the states are looking for and the private schools are expensive (12-20kish per child per year) with limited spots. I think a good number of people will come and leave, as usual. 


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vicanuck
(@vicanuck)
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Joined: 11 years ago
Posts: 2558
October 2, 2020 4:56 pm  
Posted by: @jdldesign

As an entrepreneurial minded person, I see that as a potential boon for USVI’s economy, but as I’ve read on many forums over the years, it sounds like USVI’s infrastructure wouldn’t necessarily be able to handle an influx of new residents. Is this ever a discussion amongst the residents there? Are you aware of this current buzz in the states for relocating outside the US mainland? And are those of you who live there feeling optimistic about the conditions there and potential for a future upswing in the economy/tourism/or opportunities for other industries not related to tourism? Over the last three years I’ve seen more and more comments on forums that the islands have recently become depressed (hurricanes notwithstanding), more riddled with drugs and crime because the decrease in tourism has hurt the local economy, and people have moved away. 
SORRY for the rambling! Any insight is appreciated! Thanks! 

As a 16 year resident and business owner, my observation is that more whites are leaving than coming, but, more POC are coming back from the mainland than leaving.

We're leaving because we no longer need a "bricks and mortar" presence as our business has mostly migrated to the internet and the production facility is no longer necessary due to industry changes.

We're tired of hurricanes, the endless home maintenance, the high cost of unreliable electricity, the lack of healthcare/insurance options, and the inept government with its reams of associated red tape.

We've noticed over 16 years that nothing changes in the VI unless it gets worse. The government and its retirement system are about to become insolvent which will be chaos for the economy. The economy is actually shrinking here because 1) high electricity rates and 2) the internet is taking over the entire retail economy. We're tied of eating in the same old restaurants driving on crappy roads too.  

The one bright spot was that we had decent internet access but even that has gone for a sh*t now that COVID has caused kids to take on virtual learning.

We're tired of it and done with living in the VI. I wake up every morning looking forward to being a day closer to leaving. I know this sounds whiny, but, I'm just telling it like it is.


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