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Solution underway for long standing Smugglers Cove vendors’ saga

- Vendors call for a system to manage their operations!
The Government is currently working on a tentative solution for the vending issue which is expected to be brought for discussion among vendors in coming months.
The fighting among some vendors has reached a high point where two have recently been charged following an altercation over selling spot.
The fighting among some vendors has reached a high point where two have recently been charged following an altercation over selling spot.
Vendors at Smugglers Cove said they would like to have a system to govern their operations to minimise the issues among them which can affect their businesses.
Vendors at Smugglers Cove said they would like to have a system to govern their operations to minimise the issues among them which can affect their businesses.
ROAD TOWN, Tortola, VI – A solution will soon be brought forward to address the long standing problem among vendors at Smugglers Cove which has reached a stage of assault and wounding in one instance amidst concern to preserve the area as a natural and tranquil attraction for both residents and tourists who uses the beach on a daily basis.

The latest situation came to light last Saturday February 4, 2012 when an argument between two vendors regarding selling spot escalated into an altercation and resulted in both vendors being charged.

First District representative Hon. Andrew Fahie told Virgin Islands News Online when contacted about the issue that since late 2011, he has been in discussion with the Minister for Natural Resources and Labour Hon. Dr. Kedrick Pickering and they have come up with a tentative solution to the problem that the Minister will be taking forward so that there can be some discussions on it among the vendors.

Hon. Fahie said he could not disclose the proposed solution since it is yet to be discussed with the vendors but it is hoped to bring an “amicable” solution to the long standing issue among them. He said such a discussion could be forthcoming in about two months and an announcement of the date will be forthcoming by the Ministry.

“We are going to be having the discussions very soon with all the parties as thus far, the Minister Dr. Pickering has been working closing with me on this matter and I see that we have a solution for it very soon, after the meetings we will take some of the views about the tentative solution that we have and their views into consideration.”

The district representative who said he has received numerous complaints regarding the infighting among vendors and the need for some regularity, said it is the hope that a system as well as physical structures will be put in place to overall “add value to Smugglers Cove and create a more tranquil business environment among the vendors so that our tourism product will not be negatively affected and our locals and residents will not be negatively affected either.”

He thanked Minister Pickering, the Permanent Secretary Mr. Ronald Berkley and staff within the ministry for working along with him and the people of the 1st district to have the matter resolved in the interest of the entire VI.

Virgin Islands News Online contacted PS Berkely on Saturday but was informed to speak with him on Monday on the issue. However, this news site is yet to receive a response on the matter even after following up on Monday February 7, 2012 for a response.

Vendors call for order

On Saturday afternoon following the altercation, Virgin Islands News Online visited Smugglers Cove and listened to the concern by vendors who were present. There were several tourists on the beach enjoying the afternoon.

While some were reluctant to have their names publish, one thing was clear, all the six vendors that this news site spoke seem to want the same thing – a system to guide and manage their operations on the beach.

This news agency was informed that the incident leading up to the altercation on the beach resulted from a situation where one apparent newcomer vendor was allegedly trying to occupy the selling spot of a long time vendor and taking his customers.

Concerns vendors are of the view that if there was a system in place to ensure that vendors have a designated spot and others could not just come and take any spot they wanted, that issue would have been resolved.

“This kind of thing will run the tourists off the beach,” one very upset vendor said of the situation. “There could have been shots fired.”

“I recommend that we need some kind of beach authority like St. Thomas’ Megan’s Bay Authority which will help to control the operations on the beach and keep it secured,” another vendor said.

One female vendor said she has been selling on the beach for some 10 years said the arguments need to stop and everyone needs to work together. She is also cautious that such actions among vendors should not be communicated or affects tourists.

The vendor suggested of Government’s intervention and for some kind of tents or structures to be used. She expressed satisfaction with the toilet facilities that were brought the beach this year.

Esther Mathews said she has been on the beach for 12 years and said first it was very quiet until recently when the fighting and quarrels began.“I think they (Government) can have a meeting with us and talk to everyone to behave ourselves. It was never like this and I think it will affect the tourists and our business.”

Another vendor had what can be described as extreme complaints where he alleged that other vendors had been cutting his chairs and throwing faeces on his equipment. The vendor said there was one instant when he left his barbeque grill and returned next morning it was covered with human faeces and also the surrounding.

The vendor, who hails from the first district, said all he wants is to make an “honest” living and do what he enjoys which is serving customers.

He is also in strong support of a proper authority to manage himself and other vendors and calls for “stiff fines” for those who are found guilty such offenses.

17 Responses to “Solution underway for long standing Smugglers Cove vendors’ saga ”

  • Yuck (08/02/2012, 07:40) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    People really eat from these places? Yuck!!!
  • yellow man (08/02/2012, 07:42) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    tis bout time something be done on this beach...some body going get kill or seriouly hurt if government aint step in fast fast fast
  • blame the main cause (08/02/2012, 09:03) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    honestly we i go down there and see how the jam down vendors have down there i stop going and i is a local. i think we should clean up the place get stalls builded and put some of the locals to produce some business plans and see how we can guide them so they can have there own small businesses and give back good customer service to our tourist industry. good job fahie but someone really needs to go down there and clean up that beach. and not giving fahie all the credit but ndp congrats for not ignoring this issue and showin that u care about the entire country
    • dominant (08/02/2012, 10:30) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
      to blame the cause, it is the same jam down that I believe that has rights in the territory. They have been there for a long time. What would be nice if they would kkep the area more better. Government don't have to do anyting about that.
    • talk show hosts (08/02/2012, 15:19) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
      yea yea me agree with you "blame the main casue" dem Jamcains tek over every where but under the NDP we can expect more tek over me sorry for the locals..I can get on me plane and go back to Nevis any day.
  • Crank Shaft (08/02/2012, 09:34) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    Totally embarassing to see black people treating eachother like this! White people would've co-existed there without a problem. We sit down complaining to government about unfair this and that. Now you got a lucrative opportunity, to have a business on one of our best beaches and probably for free or a small fee, but we must have a fight. Look how big the damn beach is, what the hell they could be fighting for? Schups!!
    • Jason (08/02/2012, 17:52) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
      Great call - this should be about race. Or instead, and probably much more helpful, it could be about the ongoing decline of one of the most beautiful beaches on the planet. The vendor’s behavior aside, take a short walk into the bushes at the top of the beach near the old bar and have a look at the huge pile of garbage - that is an embarrassment regardless of what color you are
  • cane garden bay (08/02/2012, 10:50) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    dem have been talking bout doing somthing bout this for years....trust me dem aint going do a damm ting..just more talk and spin
  • Man Power (08/02/2012, 11:07) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    The government also needs to pay close attention to Cane Garden Bay beach. When a cruise ship is in we locals can't enjoy the beach as it is full of beach chairs and might i say looks horrible. I find it quite degrading as vendors quarrel among each other and show no respect for tourists, as well as locals.
  • Clean them out (08/02/2012, 11:36) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    A definite vendor policy needs to be established and ENFORCED at Smuggler's and CGB (to start).Smugglers looks like a garbage dump, and Cane is very unfriendly to visitors and locals alike. "Chair Free Zones" also need to be established on the beach. Believe it or not, not everyone wants to sit in a chair. I don't understand how food handling (including mixing drinks) can be permitted when there is no running water (with PROPER drainage/disposal) or appropriate refrigeration. Lucky no one has become seriously ill from these conditions.
    • TiTi (08/02/2012, 14:11) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
      Get real people, Smugglers is not large enough for more than two vendors unless you want to turn it into the next CGB! I as well as the locals do not go to Smugglers to jostle for a place on the beach and to be harassed by vendors. That is why I, as have many, have crossed CGB off my list. As a tourist I am currently in the process of planning my 8th trip to Tortola but am now rethinking that decision. Spending $4000-6000 to haggle over a "slice" of beach is not my idea of a tropical vacation. (I can get that here in the States)! Your slogan "Natures little secret" fits perfectly now as I would have to guess you are ashamed of the way you have allowed your beautiful country and your people to get to this point. Trying to be like the other islands only diminishes your lands beauty and appeal and serves to create discord among your citizens and tourist alike.
  • dog fight (08/02/2012, 13:29) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    thanks for bringng this issue to the front burner vino...somebody needs to do somehting before they kill each other in front the tourist
  • Could be Worse (08/02/2012, 14:54) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    Wonder if one of the vendors involved in the altercation is the one who is up on charges for gun possession and uttering death threats.
  • Right Sed Fred (08/02/2012, 19:11) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    What a joke misson. Smugglers ain big enuf for people to lay out a towel and down islnd people dem gone and take up space selling Carib abd conch shells. We let Cane garden bay get ruin. Now Smugglers? Whoever wrote the garbage by tyhe old restairant ain telling lies. Is a joke how dutty parts of our islands dem is.


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