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Local business opposes controversial decision to ban minors from TPP

- said the decision was made without consultation from tenants & labelled it discriminatory against local people
Tortola Pier Park (TPP) has controversially baned children 17 years of age and under from the Government facility unless accompanied by an adult who is at least 21 years of age. Photo: VINO
Tenants of Tortola Pier Park (TPP) were notified of the controversial decision in a letter dated December 15, 2017 from Chief Executive Officer of TPP, Dona L. Regis. Photo: Team of Reporters
Tenants of Tortola Pier Park (TPP) were notified of the controversial decision in a letter dated December 15, 2017 from Chief Executive Officer of TPP, Dona L. Regis. Photo: Team of Reporters
Sweet Tease, owned by young Virgin Islander Kareem-Nelson Hull, is strongly opposed to the ban imposed on minors by the management of Tortola Pier Park (TPP). Photo: Provided
Sweet Tease, owned by young Virgin Islander Kareem-Nelson Hull, is strongly opposed to the ban imposed on minors by the management of Tortola Pier Park (TPP). Photo: Provided
ROAD TOWN, Tortola, VI- The decision by the management of Tortola Pier Park (TPP) to ban children 17 years of age and under from the Government facility unless accompanied by an adult who is at least 21 years of age is not sitting well with some businesses there.

Tenants of TPP were notified of the controversial decision in a letter dated December 15, 2017 from Chief Executive Officer of TPP, Dona L. Regis.

This follows on the heels of Minister for Education and Culture Hon Myron V. Walwyn (AL) recently stating that students of Elmore Stoutt High School have been "wreaking havoc" in Road Town and that Government was looking to end the shift system as a means of adressing the problem.

Parental Guidance Required

According to the letter to TPP tenants obtained by this news room, TPP has been faced with "disruptive minors at Tortola Pier Park (TPP). In this regard we have proposed a Parental Guidance Required program (PRG) at TPP in an effort to improve safety and security at the facility. The PGR program is routine within the mall/shopping centre environmentalists as a proactive measure to ensure safety and comfort of all patrons. At TPP this program is aimed at providing a comfortable, family-friendly shopping experience for all guests which is in keeping with the Berthing Agreements."

It said effectively immediately, the PGR programme will require that, all patrons age 17 and under, must be accompanied by a parent or supervising adult who is at least 21 years old.

It also said that over the next few weeks the TPP management will embark on a public relations campaign to advise the community accordingly and will also place signage at the facility.

Local business oppose ban

But the ban imposed by TPP is not sitting well with some business, especially those whose customers include a large number of teenagers.

It has especially left a bitter taste in the mouth of Sweet Tease- Virgin Islands Bubble Tea, whose owner Kareem-Nelson Hull has gone public with his disagreement over the ban.

"As a business owner in the Tortola Pier Park I am completely against the decision to ban all teenagers from freely entering the Pier Park unless accompanied by a 21 year old Adult," Mr Nelson-Hull wrote on the BVI Community Board's Facebook page and confirmed to this news site.

According to the young business owner, "Peter should not pay for Paul. How dare TPP decide to ban the very demographic that supports Sweet Tease, Swirlzzz, Crocs, URBAN VI, Body Glam, Envy and JBY? And still expect rent to be paid? Our teenage customers have been well behaved, they’ve become our friends and we enjoy serving many of them at Sweet Tease."

Mr Hull further said the TPP directors "are out of line" to impose the ban and doing so "with no consultation and agreement from its tenants, but rather a letter telling us it will be implemented."

The young Virgin Islander also wanted to know who is the TPP to extend the legal age of an adult to require that teens are not only accompanied by an adult, but that adult has to be 21 years of age.

"The facility was built for every self respecting and well behaved Virgin Islands resident and visitor, so it is the behavioral offenders that must be policed and banned, not all."

He termed the move by TPP "a discriminatory move against local young people" as an unaccompanied tourist teenager will be allowed to enter from ship or land without supervision.

"I am against it. I will not support it. And if you are young and have green money and can behave SWEET TEASE will be open to serve you!"

Many persons on social media have also been condemning the ban on minors, calling it discriminatory, unfair, illegal and misguided.

"The travesty is the lack of consultation or proper consultation with stakeholders prior to making a decision. Sadly this is becoming the norm in this Territory," one person commented.

Meanwhile, up to the time of publication, Leasing and Marketing Manager at TPP, Meslyn M. Allan did not respond to our queries on the ban.

27 Responses to “Local business opposes controversial decision to ban minors from TPP”

  • Riteway (23/12/2017, 10:12) Like (35) Dislike (0) Reply
    Some of them need to be banned from Riteway -pasea. They don't behave up there at all.
  • Samuel G. Adams (23/12/2017, 10:19) Like (41) Dislike (4) Reply
    Well it's about time someone control minors, I praise the TTP for taking such action which needed if the BVI wants to attrack international visitors, unsupervised minor are detriment to businesses in the park. I don't know who local business won't want this program in place. In Disney minors can't enter just like that. In Vegas in the hotels, Sporting Arenas they can't do that either. It's not discriminatory, it's a security mechanicism for control and smoother operation of the facility. Sam G. Adams, Connecticut, USA.
    • @ Samuel (23/12/2017, 11:18) Like (11) Dislike (14) Reply
      The BVI is not the United States and the TPP is not Disney or a hotel or a casino. The TPP is more comparable to a shopping mall and minors are not banned from malls in the US. Tighten up your security measures TPP and deal with the offenders. Don’t punish all teenagers because you can’t properly police offenders. It must be obvious that this will cause the teen age driven stores to lose business as parents will not come to the TPP each time teens want to hang out. It is a premature decision and the usual knee jerk reaction of the BVI Government to ban everything, it does not want to think about controlling.
      • What A World We Live In... (24/12/2017, 07:56) Like (2) Dislike (1) Reply
        In some places minors are banned completely without parents or they're banned partially with stipulation. Just next door in STT, school children cannot enter a lot of establishments –particularly food franchises and the mall– without adult supervision during school hour, regardless of whether or not they're in school uniform.
  • 911 (23/12/2017, 10:20) Like (12) Dislike (25) Reply

    look how a women from St. L@#$$ come here and knocking about locals and now telling them where to go!

    But I blame funny man too, he made a mess of the education system, as Mitch said, the chicken coming home to roost

  • Lb (23/12/2017, 10:21) Like (13) Dislike (4) Reply
    One tenant opposed.
    • Really? (23/12/2017, 11:20) Like (15) Dislike (5) Reply
      You really cannot see the issue here. There is a social problem in the BVI, we cannot address it by banning everything. Everything that offends us we ban and leave the real issue unaddressed. The problem will pop up somewhere else. It’s lazy governing and thoughtless administration.
  • nonsense (23/12/2017, 10:26) Like (34) Dislike (7) Reply
    The usual BS from this guy. How is it discriminatory? What about the businesses affected by the nasty behavior they dont count as well? If kids are coming off the ships surely they wont be by themselves and in the 2yrs the pier park has been there we havent heard of one single incident involving a cruise passenger behaving badly. We promote bad behavior and ignorance in this place thats why we cannot do better. Too many little kids in grown folks business and I am happy with this new rule. You cannot please everyone but this had to happen based on the brazen incidents in there recently.
  • parent (23/12/2017, 10:58) Like (9) Dislike (2) Reply
    i did not read what the press release said. but i support the restrictions during school hours, which is very appropriate.

    if it is outside of school hours i can understand the cincern if the business community.
    • @parent (23/12/2017, 11:23) Like (5) Dislike (3) Reply
      I agree with you on that. ID should be required. Perhaps the TPP can create the ID card system for these teens. Think outside the box. If during school hours you send them back. But I do not agree with a total ban on all youths without parental supervision. It is discriminatory against well behaved teenagers and cannot be justified in principle.
  • Flatbush USA (23/12/2017, 11:43) Like (24) Dislike (1) Reply
    I have traveled and sat in many public facilities cinemas, Shopping Malls, sport facilities and others. Many minors some visited these places and as far as I observed there were no serious issues (fights, cursing or other anti-social behaviors ) I am not saying they don't occurred either. When ever I come back here it is a different story most of our young people , not all, cannot go to a function not even school without fighting, cursing and stealing and physically destroying the place. It seem like the "in thing" hereI am not sure if banning them from the Pier Park is the right thing to do but something has to be done and unfortunately it may not go down well with some people. Parents ..some of them are just allowing their young children to go wild without no form of supervision and when ever they get in trouble it is always somebody's fault. On the other hand as adults we encouraged these behavior by not being examples to them. There is an old proverbs that says "bend the tree while it is young" Name brand clothing and other expensive gifts do not necessarily prepare your child to be producTiverton citizens.
  • Smart thinkers (23/12/2017, 11:55) Like (7) Dislike (2) Reply
    They’ll just turn up with their 21 year old girlfriend and boyfriend.
  • See (23/12/2017, 11:56) Like (19) Dislike (1) Reply
    how about getting rid of the ban and just punishing the offenders or even arrest them if necessary . All kids are not bad but the bad ones need to be stopped . Small things today . Big things tomorrow . Bring back discipline and involve or fine the parents as well. They need the message as well
  • just asking... (23/12/2017, 13:36) Like (5) Dislike (3) Reply
    Is this even legal on public spaces?
  • Register (23/12/2017, 14:17) Like (5) Dislike (0) Reply
    Parents come register your children. Have a registration drive. Give them a card /I'D. If you misbehave then suspend them, Two weeks, month ECT. Reward good behaviour. Sometimes I wonder what patents think. Wouldn't this help you? Do you know where you children are? How they behave? Shouldnt they be supervised anyway?
  • WTF (23/12/2017, 15:02) Like (7) Dislike (4) Reply
    Ha ha just read the blue site, look unpopular, under investigation, irrelevant MVW who Dr. Pico put in his square box trying hard to make a come back. Poor Falla
  • I don't like it (24/12/2017, 03:12) Like (3) Dislike (3) Reply
    Youths will be youths. When we were youths we werent perfect in our behavior.. They need to stop letting power get to their heads.. The legal age for working in the BVI is 16. These youths spend money. Dont kno where they get it from While the adults jump on a plane and go st Thomas or Puerto Rico to shop the youths stay here and shop...
    • @I don't like it (24/12/2017, 08:18) Like (4) Dislike (0) Reply
      "Youths will be youths when we were youths we weren't perfect in our behaviou" I don't know where you grow up. While we were not perfect in our behavior it was not as bad as it is now. For instance at age 16 and under if you went to certain business to buy things with large sums of money bet your parents will know about it and u better explain how u got it..then everyone knew who u belong too. Any child could go to a business place today and buy the most expensive item without raising an eyebrow and we say "oh their parent rich". When we go out it used to be as a family us kids were proud to be with our folks . If we go out alone we had to account for where we went and return at certain time. To see 8 and 10 year old children out late at night 1 and 2 o clock in the morning unsupervised in the most skimpy clothing makes me so afraid. With so many strangers and culture in the place u just don't know.
  • The World We Live In... (24/12/2017, 07:52) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
    Asking that parents actually be parents by supervising their minors and stopping them from running amok on unsuspecting people is discrimination. What will we think of next?
    • The Youths will remember (26/12/2017, 10:18) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
      The Youths will remember the hurt they feel from this move. They will carry that hurt through their lives and maybe ban the place when they become Money Earners...The repercussions out weighs the banning..
  • Wow.. Wow.. What's their reason/s (26/12/2017, 10:12) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    Can't see how people could agree with this this. The Pier Park is like one big Mall and we are banning teenagers from the mall.. Teenagers get some of their entrepreneur ideas from what they see at the mall or businesses..The Mall is also a learning experience for teenagers.. This move has to be revisited with the involvement of the Pier Park business community..
  • Animals (26/12/2017, 13:33) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    You act like animals you are treated like animals its that simple! Often the greater society must pay for the fools when the greater society refuses to address those that are acting the fool.

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