Tragedy for residents and visitors of STT
IHOP is leaving our fine island! The owner of our local IHOP can't afford the high price of it's rent along with the HORRIBLE WAPA fees and now it's costing us a great food establishment that many of us go to and support. The owners want to thank all of the community for coming out to support them and it's not the lack of customers or the prices of the food, it's the enormous costs involved with staying on THIS ISLAND. It is so sad that we're losing this place and the jobs that it brings. If a place as nice and supportive as IHOP i going to go under, then imagine the other "mom & pops" that aren't going to make it causing more unemployment, thus causing more crime.
Isn't there anything that any of us have the power to do to control what WAPA is doing to the people of this island? Ifa anyone knows the governor, please give him the head's up that St Thomas loses again because the infrastructure of government can't seem to pay their bill.
The article on St Thomas Source / Onepaper quotes the owners as paying $11K in Wapa monthly, $3K for cooking gas, and $13K for rent. They also own some Subway's here so are not naive about island business or inexperienced, but the escalating energy costs for them and by extension many others caused them to reevaluate things.
Quite a few chain style operations have come and gone in the VI after Corporate people compare the high costs of trying to do business here against any of their other stores.
Yep, it is very sad to see IHOP go. We were estatic when it opened, and ate there quite often. Our energy costs are going to stifle any new business on the island, and I don't know what the answer is. Renewables are great, but won't fill the void. It is going to be a problem until the government pays its bills, WAPA is privatized, and a major shift away from fossil fuel is possible.