Home » Hurricane Irma Update



Sixth update, published October 12, 12:30 pm, CST.

Dear Simpson Bay Resort Members,

As you may know, the Resort suffered a great deal of damage as a result of Hurricane Irma. The damage varied throughout the Resort: for example, the Caladium, Croton, and Dieffenbachia buildings lost the entire roof and most of the windows, while The Villas, Marina, and Flamboyant buildings suffered less roof damage and much less damage to the windows, sliding doors, and interiors. The other buildings at the resort fall somewhere in between as far as damage is concerned. We have also discovered damage to the Resort's systems — for example, the Marina, Flamboyant, and Alamanda buildings have no hot water, we will need to completely replace two of our generators. The island of St. Maarten also suffered greatly. The main airport was heavily damaged by flooding and wind. A red cross survey estimates that 90% of the buildings in St. Maarten were damaged, with over half of the buildings being damaged significantly. The French part of the island was even more heavily damaged, with entire towns decimated.

Finally, immediately after the hurricane the security situation on the island deteriorated, with widespread looting and crime. Dutch marines were sent to the island to restore order. Dutch police officers arrived shortly thereafter.

In the face of all of this negative news, there are a lot of positives. The people of the island are working tirelessly to clean up. Much of the debris that was blocking roads and bridges has been cleared, and hazardous trees and downed power lines have been removed. Princess Juliana Airport has just reopened on October 10, 2017, using temporary facilities. Repairs are already commencing in many areas, including Simpson Bay Resort. Some restaurants have reopened, including La Patrona.

At the resort, we are still assessing the full extent of the damage. While it is easy to visually inspect roofs and windows, it is much harder to make structural assessments, and to inspect plumbing and electrical systems that are harder to access. In addition, getting qualified personnel to the island to help make these assessments has been a real challenge until only very recently. Various systems at the resort need to be inspected and assessed to see if they can be repaired, or if they need to be replaced, and while we have already started that process we will need a lot of time to complete it. Rebuilding will take time as well. Because of the hurricanes that have hit the USA, Puerto Rico, and many other Caribbean islands, qualified workers, exports, and materials are spread quite thin.

The situation at the resort is the same for the entire island of St. Maarten - rebuilding is underway, but it will take time, and possibly longer than normal, because of the widespread damage throughout the Caribbean. Additionally, while the security situation on the island has been improved, we were just informed that the Dutch Marines are leaving, and so we will need to see if the situation changes after their departure.

Simpson Bay Resort is housing a large contingent of Marines, our own workers who have been displaced, Red Cross workers, and others who either live in St. Maarten or are visiting for relief / storm assessment purposes. A number of these individuals have been staying in rooms with nonfunctioning or inadequate air-conditioning, without hot water, and with intermittent electricity. We have a small number of rooms that have no damage or very little damage, electricity, power and running water, and we plan to rent some of those units to professionals who are visiting the island for business or relief purposes.

Some members have asked why, if the Resort is renting units, they cannot come to visit St. Maarten? There are a number of reasons. First, the resort is not safe for tourists. There are still electrical hazards, uncovered manholes, and dangerously leaning or damaged structures both on and off the resort property. There is still debris on the beach and in the water, and though we are working to clean things up, it will take time. Second, St. Maarten itself is not suitable for tourists. Despite the fact that some restaurants and the airport have reopened, the island is still very heavily damaged, and many of its systems (water and electricity, primarily) remain unreliable. The island is suitable for marines, aid workers, insurance adjusters, construction engineers, and others who are used to traveling in not-so-ideal conditions. It is not suitable at all for leisure travel. We opened La Patrona, Replay Sports Pub, and Cafe Britt (none of which were heavily damaged, with the exception of the outside seating area at La Patrona) to cater to these visitors who have a need, and to hopefully earn some income while the Resort and St. Maarten are largely shut down.

We will continue to update our Members with news from Simpson Bay Resort as things develop. Right now, due to the difficulty getting professionals to the island, we are at the very beginning of the assessment phase. We will have more news in the coming weeks. In the meantime, as we reported in a previous email blast, we have made arrangement for you to exchange your intervals at other resorts through Interval International.

If you have any questions, we have set up a special number to help. Please call Rose at 705-812-1513 with questions, or contact her via email at
rblackwell@simpsonbayresort.com

Sincerely,

The Management at Simpson Bay Resort & Marina.

We'd like to take this opportunity to once again thank all the incredible staff of Simpson Bay Resort & Marina that took care of the guests during this crisis. They performed at the highest level and are an amazing crew that we're honored to have. As you might have seen in videos, the storm devastated the island and many of them have lost everything, including their homes. We stand beside them at this time, helping them to reorganize. For those of you that wish to help these efforts of rebuilding for the employees, we've established a Simpson Bay Resort & Marina Hurricane Relief Fund that you may find here:
www.simpsonbayresort.com/hurricane-donations.html.

Please visit this page often as we will be updating the information.



Fifth update, published September 20, 12:40 pm, CST.

Dear Members,

As you are all now aware, St. Maarten suffered catastrophic damage as a result of Hurricane Irma. Practically every building on the island was damaged in some way, and power and water still only function sporadically. Other government functions have also been severely impacted by the storm. The military has taken over some police functions and a curfew has been imposed.

Even though we continue to assess the damage at Simpson Bay Resort and work to repair and reopen the resort, because of the extensive damage to the island's infrastructure, we do not believe that the island or the resort will be ready to receive tourists for at least six months. Therefore, members with fixed weeks during this period have the following choices:

First, a member may bank their week for use when the resort reopens for tourism. Members who choose to bank their week will be able to book after the resort reopens for any week except for the high season weeks of Week 51 - Week 16.

Second, our members or Royal Resorts Caribbean Club members who are also members of Interval International can exchange their weeks for vacations at other resorts in the Interval International network. Normally, an exchange requires that the member's home resort have a week to provide to Interval International in exchange for the week Interval International provides at another resort; however, we are happy to report that we have negotiated with Interval International to have this requirement waived at the present time. Our members will therefore have the ability to exchange despite the fact that it will be some time before our resort is able to reopen for tourism and provide weeks to Interval International in return for the exchanges our members receive. Exchanges and use of RRCC points at other resorts shall be subject to all terms and conditions of Interval International's exchange program.

Third, our members who are not members of Interval International and who have not previously been members of Interval International in the past can join for two years at a special rate of $89.00. This represents a substantial discount from the normal enrollment fee, and will allow the member to exchange as described above.

Note that members who wish to exchange must be up-to-date on all fees due to the resort prior to exchanging.

We are committed to doing our part to help restore our St. Maarten home. In the meantime, however, we want our members to be able to enjoy their scheduled vacations. If you have any questions or concerns please contact the Reservations Center at 1-888-721-4407.

Sincerely,

Simpson Bay Resort & Marina.

We'd like to take this opportunity to once again thank all the incredible staff of Simpson Bay Resort & Marina that took care of the guests during this crisis. They performed at the highest level and are an amazing crew that we're honored to have. As you might have seen in videos, the storm devastated the island and many of them have lost everything, including their homes. We stand beside them at this time, helping them to reorganize. For those of you that wish to help these efforts of rebuilding for the employees, we've established a Simpson Bay Resort & Marina Hurricane Relief Fund that you may find here:
www.simpsonbayresort.com/hurricane-donations.html.

Please visit this page often as we will be updating the information.



Fourth update, published September 12, 2:52 pm, CST.

Dear Members and Guests,

We are very happy to report that yesterday we were able to complete the evacuation of all of our Simpson Bay Resort guests off the island of St. Maarten. It gave us great joy to wish the last 8 foreigners "safe travels home".

Having finalized the first phase of getting everyone safely on their way home, we now put our focus on phase two, taking care of our beloved employees that are still on the island. We are also simultaneously working on cleaning the resort, making an assessment of the damages and forming a plan of action. We will keep you informed of the progress and let you know the details of that plan as it develops.

We'd like to take this opportunity to once again thank all the incredible staff of Simpson Bay Resort & Marina that took care of the guests during this crisis. They performed at the highest level and are an amazing crew that we're honored to have. As you might have seen in videos, the storm devastated the island and many of them have lost everything, including their homes. We stand beside them at this time, helping them to reorganize. For those of you that wish to help these efforts of rebuilding for the employees, we've established a Simpson Bay Resort & Marina Hurricane Relief Fund that you may find here:
www.simpsonbayresort.com/hurricane-donations.html.

It may be a month or longer until the island can accommodate visitors. Please check your reservation, and if you wish to reschedule please call 1-888-721-4407

Please visit this page often as we will be updating the information.



Third update, published September 10, 3:40 pm, CST.

Dear Members and Guests,

Yesterday, Saturday, Sept 9th, Simpson Bay Resort & Marina was able to evacuate the majority of our guests by American military transports to San Juan, Puerto Rico. We also assisted with several other tourists from various resorts, as we welcomed them through our doors and became a hub for information and coordination.

Today, our team is continuing to organize the logistics to assist in getting the remaining to safety. This has been an effort between our team in direct communication with the State Department of the US, Senator Marco Rubio's office, the Ministry of Defence of the Dutch Government, the Air Traffic Control tower in Curacao, the Minister of Tourism of St. Maarten, and countless others that helped coordinate this effort with us. We thank them all for their prompt response and execution of the plan.

Thanks for your continued thoughts, prayers, and support. They are very appreciated.

It may be a month or longer until the island can accommodate visitors. Please check your reservation, and if you wish to reschedule please call 1-888-721-4407

Please visit this page often as we will be updating the information.




Second update, published September 7, 3:40 pm, CST.

Dear Owners and Guests,

After the impact of hurricane Irma on Wednesday, September 06, 2017, Simpson Bay Resort & Marina and the island of St. Maarten are facing the following serious challenges:

There is no Electricity
There is no Water
The airport is closed
The Dutch military has arrived to assist with the restoration of the damaged infrastructure, but it is unknown how long it will take them to assess the damage and make the island safe for travelers.

Our professional team is taking action right now, working to assess the full extent of the damage at the resort so we can formulate a plan going forward. Right now, our top priority is ensuring everyone's safety. We will continue working tirelessly for our present and future members and guests, and will update you as we receive new information.

It may be a month or longer until the island can accommodate visitors. Please check your reservation, and if you wish to reschedule please call 1-888-721-4407

Please visit this page often as we will be updating the information.



First update, published September 6, 11:37 am, CST.

After the impact of Hurricane Irma early this Wednesday, Sep. 6, 2017. Simpson Bay Resort & Marina remains strong. All people, including guests and crew are safe and there were no reports of major injuries. Only material damage was caused.

Please visit this page often as we will be updating the information.

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