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Tourist attraction or an eye sore?

-Some businesses say the boats are bad for business, boat owners say they attract tourists.
Boats parked in a private lot at the corner of Chalwell Street and Waterfront Drive. Some business owners say the boats are a ‘eye sore’ to them and their customers while the boat owners see the boats as an attraction to tourists. Photo: VINO
 Boats being prepped for Poker Run, this weekend.
Boats being prepped for Poker Run, this weekend.
Other businesses say the boats don’t affect their business sales, Ms. Baly says the boast are the only thing in the area to look at.
Other businesses say the boats don’t affect their business sales, Ms. Baly says the boast are the only thing in the area to look at.
'The Block' boat owners say they aren't the typical gang of guys who hang on a block in Tortola.
'The Block' boat owners say they aren't the typical gang of guys who hang on a block in Tortola.
Boats being prepped for Poker Run, this weekend.
Boats being prepped for Poker Run, this weekend.
ROAD TOWN, Tortola, VI- Following concerns raised by some businesses and members of the public regarding a group of boats that are currently being parked in a lot on the corner of Chalwell Street and Waterfront Drive also commonly referred to as 'on the block', boat owners and their mechanics are defending their position, citing that the boats are more of a tourist attraction than an eye sore in the area.

Yesterday May 21, 2012, some businesses in the area expressed that the boats are an ‘eye sore’ to both them and their consumers alike.

One business owner expressed that the boats are not suppose to be there. She added that they are at “the top of the road and it’s the first thing that anybody sees when visiting the area”. She stated that as much as it pains her to see how the area where she is living and has her business is looking, there is nothing she can do about it, because the boats are on a private property and her voice is a little small voice compared to the boat owners.

Another business owner expressed that the boats being there, cause congestion on the roads. She said “when people want to visit the store they change their mind because there is no parking space in the area,” she added. “In the mornings when I come to open the store vehicles are sometimes parked in front, chasing away customers again.”

The two business owners believe that the boats prohibit consumers to the area because of how it makes the area look.

Some businesses support presence of the boats

Despite the complaints by both business owners, Adorya Baly of Panache and Jocast Ramirez and Mari-Luz Fadara of Good Fellas, both businesses in the area, stated that the presence of the boats is not hurting their businesses.

Ms. Baly stated that the boats are the only exciting thing to look at in the area.

Ms. Fedara and Ms. Ramirez said the boats are at no inconvenience to them. They added that the land is private property and has nothing to do with the businesses in the area.

“There are boats parked all around Tortola and those boats don’t be there all the time. The boats aren’t hurting the businesses, once you do proper promotions and get your stuff out there, you are sure of clients.”

Boat owners respond, say boats are an attraction

Meanwhile, boat owners and mechanics of the boats, said most of them that are now parked in the area are being prepared for the Annual Poker Run slated for this weekend, Saturday May 26 and apart from that, the boats are attracting tourists and bringing business to the area.

Speaking to Amos ‘Biggs’ Hodge and Bradley Vanterpool, both of whom are boat mechanics, they said there is no way the boats are a problem to the businesses in the area and their incapability to provide a good service.

Hodge expressed to this news site that the boats are getting ready for the poker run and before that, there were hardly any boats there for a while. He added that the boats are a joy to watch and locals and tourists alike stand to watch the boats all the time.

Hodge further stated, “when this land was vacant and bushy, the public made noise saying the Government need to do something with this area, now boats come and we are do something constructive they still making noise.” He said the “public is wasting their time commenting on the wrong thing, they need to comment on the actual problems that Road Town has, like the sewer problem.”

He added that without this hobby they would be forced to seek another hobby that may not be a good one.

Meanwhile, Vanterpool said the boats at that location attract tourists and the tourists in turn support businesses in the area. He said the boats in the yard act as a museum to the tourist “they come they take photos in and out of the boats and they have a real good time.”

Other than the tourists supporting the neighbouring businesses, he stated that the boat owners and mechanics also support the businesses in the area.

Speaking to boat owners and friends at the site, one of the owners who is also a businessman told this news site that some of the people in Virgin Islands (VI) are “a set of very jealous people”. He added that people he meet suspects him to be a drug dealer or drug user and he would like to assure the public that he is neither.

“I work and I save to buy the things I want in life. It’s too much big and expensive toys for young black people so the first thing they say is that we sell drugs… the typical statement that boat owners in the VI are drug dealers,” the boat owner firmly stated.

Another boat owner, who also has his own business, said there are even strict policies for anyone hanging out in the area where they have a “no drug” policy and no one can buy, sell or use drug in the area.

He also reiterated that the boats are not there for a long time and that they are only there to be prepped for the Poker Run weekend.

In addressing the parking problem made by a business owner, the boat owner stated that even if the boats were not there, no one would still be able to park on the site, because it is private property.

“The site is private property we are breaking no rules or laws. We are just enjoying ourselves, fixing our boats, playing domino and having fun, we are causing no harm.”

Collectively, the group of young men told this news site that the only reason the businesses in the area get the amount of business they get is because the boats attract people in the same vicinity and the tourists then visit the businesses.

One of the boat owners said being at the site, they actually save the surrounding businesses from being victims of burglary attempts.

In comparing their group to other gangs on the block, they said that they are so much different, because they all have jobs and they all have goals.

“Our group is different from other gangs who hang on blocks. Our group help people and gives positive advice to help persons. We have helped people who are under pressure, have been deported or going through a divorce and other life challenging stuff… Everyone who hangs out on the block has a job and this is just where we hang out, we are not interfering with anybody we are just hanging out and fixing and getting our boats ready,” one of the owners said.

He said they will be entering the poker run as a team with matching shirts which is a form of unity among "young brothers".

“Me as a boat owner, if I want to fix my boat I do it with another boat owner for guidance and support because we all try to help each other.”

He said some of the people of the Virgin Islands need to see what they promote, before judging them.

Attempts were made to contact Hon. Mark Vanterpool Minister of Communications and Works and Fourth District Representative along with At-Large Representative Archibald Christian who has spear-headed cleanup efforts throughout the territory, but both were unsuccessful.

31 Responses to “Tourist attraction or an eye sore?”

  • play penn (22/05/2012, 08:26) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    ayo leave we people dem on dey block alone deman
    • Janet Williams (22/05/2012, 16:34) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
      for ture
    • Talk dat (23/05/2012, 15:01) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
      Play Penn FYI the boys on the block does not own the plot that they are on so do not even attempt to defend, at this point the owners wats them to vacate so that they can develop. it is a damn eyesore and them arabs do not have a problem because is not on their property.
  • Lower Estate (22/05/2012, 08:39) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    Mark is afraid to touch this because the boys on the block have him held hostage!!!! It’s a big eye all should look behind the boats ,a pig pen.
    • Well Well (22/05/2012, 17:49) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    • huntumsghut (23/05/2012, 16:58) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
      lol lol lol you got to be joking where got more boat all in the road the LE ? from down by brewleys it got one on the dame side walk then comming up a set of trasports park on gov road up a little higher another set of boats , the people them boat on their god dame land so stfu and leave mark alone !!
  • john public (22/05/2012, 09:07) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    roadtown is coming like a cowboy town...people doing what they want, where they want....vendors, car washs, boat yards, mechanic shops, whore houses, gamble houses, strip clubs etc. etc.
  • Iron Lion (22/05/2012, 09:11) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    lmao @ attract tourists, wow.
  • Iron Lion (22/05/2012, 09:20) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    I drive that area almost everyday and the boats are not the problem as it relates to traffic. The problem is all those old cars jacked up in the middle of the road being fixed, that's the real nasty part about that area. The road is already small and you have people that park illegally which is another problem. Add to that mechanics fixing vehicles in the middle of the road and a car wash again in the middle of the road. I don't think people have a problem with the guys doing what they want to do but they need to be mindful of other people as well. The fixing of cars and car wash in the middle of the road needs to be moved to that property as well, it cannot be acceptable being in the middle of a busy public roadway.
  • John Crow (22/05/2012, 10:05) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    Mehson you'll leave the people them!!! Tortola sick, these men has talent and special skills and they are doing something constructive...This here aint even worth being a story...Poker run is weekend and people getting ready, whats the the real issue....
  • Plain Silly! (22/05/2012, 10:17) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    I know of many bigger eyesores in Road Town - 1. the tents around the cruise ship dock, 2. The open ghuts and stinking sewers, 3. the dirty, pothole ridden streets, 4. the open dumpsters everywhere 5. the abandoned construction site opposite the hospital, 6. the cleaning hole opposite fort Burt... How can boats parked on a private lot affect parking for business on the other side of the street? is it that the business owners want to use the block for their customer parking? The boats are beautifully decorated and the area visible to the public is free from clutter and garbage. What is the problem? The guys who hang out there do not hurt anyone. They can do better with the carwash on the street and sometimes cars on jacks parked along the road but that is the only thing you can accuse them of in terms of being an eyesore! Live and let live!!
    • home boy (22/05/2012, 13:11) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
      i agree so lets clean them all up deman
    • Why worry ? (22/05/2012, 13:19) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
      Why worry about the mess in Roadtown ? By the time them tourists reach town their ship already pass all them sunk ships in Baughers bay so they already know nobody care about the country.
    • BTW... (22/05/2012, 16:40) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
      And by the way, these same shop owners who are complaining, have big ugly rocks in the government's road in front of their stores to prevent people from parking there. Are the rocks in the road not an eyesore? What gives them the right to block the road and then demand parking on someobody else's private land? Nonsense!
  • critic (22/05/2012, 11:21) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    in tortola wrong is right and right is wrong
  • Leave dem alone (22/05/2012, 12:18) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    Road Town's problems with traffic and ugliness is not the fault of these boys. In fact, it's the fault of the smart dressed businessmen whose greedy land-grabs stopped any kind of town planning many years ago. Road Town is a traffic nightmare, it is a city without any kind of attraction or display of community and pride. And dese boys here been living there since year dot. When we was kids we used to fix bikes in that place right by their father house. Now they grow up and they got good skills and they positive people. Why all you want to blame the big problems on the little guys?
  • bank (22/05/2012, 13:06) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    Lord if that mess is a tourist attraction then why the hell we spending over $20 million dollars to market?? Just give it to the boys on the block.
  • school bell (22/05/2012, 16:24) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    where are the clean up crew???
  • LOL (22/05/2012, 17:25) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    Every boat and car stored on public premises needs to be ticketed and later confiscated. Everybody want car, dogs, boat and half of them have no place to keep them. Why should they have better use of our taxes to upkeep public places? Government want ways to collect more money well heck there is a way!
  • Native Son (22/05/2012, 18:02) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    Good story VINO I always wonder myself about that area an its contribution to the artistic of the town.
  • Big Me (22/05/2012, 18:58) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    Those boys on the block are cockroaches.
  • rat tail (22/05/2012, 20:02) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    Previous efforts to build toilets in the area failed to ensure actual
  • rat (23/05/2012, 09:34) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    This place just full of jealousy, if it was there own it would of never be a problem and the thing that gets me is these boats on on private property nobody would of been able to park there anyways so who's fault is it that ur business is not doing that good? market it better thats all.
  • run baby run (23/05/2012, 20:59) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    man deeds boat look hot me hope dem bring home something from dey poker run

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