Maho announces final season
Published: October 22, 2012
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ST. THOMAS - Maho Bay Camps, the eco-resort on St. John, is preparing for its final season.
To date, the property is still up for sale, and the property owners have not offered the campground another lease extension or another long-term lease.
Founder Stanley Selengut owns the resort but not the 13.8 acres on which it sits. A collection of three families - the Giri Giri Corp. - owns the land and has been trying to sell it for several years.
Selengut entered into a long-term lease with the owners almost 40 years ago. That lease originally was set to expire in January 2012, but in 2010 it was extended to July 2012, and last year it was extended again to June 2013.
According to an Oct. 1 blog post on the Maho Bay Camps website, the landowners informed the camp that they have concluded discussions with a buyer.
Two people showed up in late September to walk the property, taking pictures and samples, asking questions and taking notes, the blog post said.
No other information about the pending sale was given to the camp staff, so the resort is preparing for one last season. The camp will close its doors on May 15 in order to vacate the premises by June 30, according to the website.
In 2009, an attempt was made by the Trust for Public Land to purchase the Maho Bay property - which is bordered on all sides by V.I. National Park land. The trust uses donations from individuals, foundations and businesses to purchase land for conservation and public use.
The land is zoned W-1, waterfront pleasure, which encompasses commercial and residential uses. It is beachfront property that would be ideal for a large resort or condominium complex, the type of development the Trust for Public Lands tries to prevent.
Negotiations for the acquisition of the property by the trust fell through several years ago.
The property originally was listed for sale at $32 million, but the price has since dropped to $19.5 million. It is listed with local broker Islandia Real Estate.
Selengut also operates Concordia Eco-Resort on St. John, but he owns that land and plans to continue investing in the property.
"Both properties are gearing up for one of the busiest season in years due to Maho closing. We anticipate being almost sold out for the majority of the high season," the blog post said.
- Contact reporter Aldeth Lewin at 714-9111 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.