Greetings from the Bitter End team. We hope you’re all having a great summer on, in and off the water, wherever you may be. It soon will be a year since Hurricane Irma scored her direct hit on North Sound, with her sister, Maria, visiting a handful of days later. As most of you know, their unladylike behavior left virtually every structure at Bitter End smashed beyond repair and wrecked most of BEYC’s large and small boats.
As I write this from Bitter End, we’re in the midst of Phase 2 of the cleanup project, which is focused on dismantling structures and disposing of debris. There are 60+ workers on property, supported by heavy equipment and dump trucks. We have acquired a low-emissions, environmentally-friendly incinerator to dispose of organic debris, mostly wood; and we will remove other debris for appropriate offsite disposal.
There’s no doubt that it’s a daunting task to clear our 64 acres of an estimated 3,000 tons of debris from the nearly 70 shattered buildings; to prepare the property for new construction; and to get Bitter End back up and running. But, for us, it’s a very special and exciting opportunity that the entire team is tackling with enthusiasm and optimism. We are working with our architect, Matthew Falkiner of Simplemente Madera, to make sure “BEYC 2.0” will reflect its 50-year legacy of laid back fun and that it will personify the welcoming and friendly energy, vibe, spirit and respect for the natural environment that always has been Bitter End’s lifeblood.
We’re focused on having our mooring field, marina and harbor-front operations, including food, beverage and retail, in full swing by spring, 2019. By then, we will be on our way to building out the rest of Bitter End’s Village center as well as planning and mobilizing for follow-up phases across our 64 acres and along our mile of shoreline. Each day’s progress brings us closer to welcoming you ashore at Bitter End once more.
Bitter End 2.0 will continue its commitment to the Virgin Gorda community, which remains very much in need of support. Aided by the generosity that our guests and friends have shown over the past year we have been able to:
–Respond, within 48 hours of Hurricane Irma’s passage, to the acute needs of Virgin Gordians for emergency evacuations, food, water, medical and other critical supplies. This only was possible through the kindness and generosity of friends in Puerto Rico and North Sound.
–Bring timely and sustained post-hurricane emergency financial assistance directly to Bitter End’s 170+ employees.
–Sponsor a Holiday Party featuring Santa and toys for the local Virgin Gorda Community.
–Continue our support of “VISAR” (Virgin Islands Search and Rescue).
–Contribute meaningfully to the BVI Tech Ed Project, which through a grant in partnership with other BVI hospitality industry participants, has facilitated donation of 650 Chromebooks to the Ministry of Education & Culture of the British Virgin Islands; and has resulted in a follow-on grant for additional Chromebooks that will ensure that BVI high school students in private and parochial schools have access to this technology as well.
–Conduct, along with Sunchaser Scuba, World Oceans Day shoreline and seabed cleanup in North Sound.
–Sponsor the non-profit Saira Hospitality School’s training initiatives for Virgin Gorda and other BVI residents.
Your support and generosity continue to be instrumental in making possible these and future initiatives to assist our community. Fundraising and support for the community will remain a key feature as we ramp up BEYC 2.0. We continue to be amazed by the Bitter End community’s inexhaustible compassion and the persistent energy, strength, support and generosity that reinforces our resolve every day to turn this challenge into the exciting opportunity of bending on new sails and continuing with the remarkable voyage that has been and will continue to be Bitter End.
So please stay tuned! During the runup to BEYC 2.0, please help us at #BringBackBitterEnd by getting out your favorite Bitter End gear, wearing it and using it on the water this summer. Then share the fun with us on Facebook and check for updates there on Bitter End’s resurgence, including some exciting new things that we’ll share with you very soon.
Thanks to every one of our treasured Bitter End friends for your incredible support and your devotion to Bitter End and the BVI over its 50-year history and especially during the past tough ten months.