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Archive for May 20th, 2009

Entrance to the Westin Resort

Entrance to the Caneel Bay Resort

Entrance to the Caneel Bay Resort

Caneel Bay finally has its stone entrance/guard house/gate in place, wide going in, narrow going out.

For many months you could hear the chatter of French Creole and the pounding of sledges against stone, as the Haitian stone workers toiled at the front entrance to Caneel in the construction of this impressive stone guardhouse. During the construction, traffic was diverted to a dirt track around the site.

Now, as before, a guard sits in an open structure in order to control the ingress and egress of visitors, taxis, vendors and guests who arrive to the property by road. Now, as before, entrance to the resort is barely restricted. Visitors can park in the visitor parking lot and go to the beach, shops or restaurants and vendors can head to the employee parking lot where they can enter though a further security check.

Being that nothing much has changed, except the nature of the checkpoint, what was the purpose of this project? Anyone who has had stonework done here locally knows the high cost of such construction? Why lay out this kind of money, when times are tough in hospitality industry? Beats me.

Security? I doubt it. A guard on duty, is a guard on duty. Unless we subscribe to the “Three Little Pigs” syndrome, it won’t make a difference if they sit in a house of straw, a house of sticks or a house of stone.

The only thing I can come up with is an effort to make a statement. The vast majority of Caneel Bay guests arrive by sea and spend their whole stay on the property, so they’ll never even pass through his gate. The statement, therefore, must be meant for locals who now have to face this intimidating structure at the entrance to the resort.

The Westin on the other side of the island seems much more welcoming and just as secure.

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Brought to you by Gerald Singer, St. John US Virgin Islands (USVI)