Tourism solicits bids for study of St. Croix water park feasibility
Published: January 31, 2013
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The V.I. Tourism Department issued a request for proposals Wednesday for a St. Croix adventure and water park feasibility study.
The study is mandated by legislation, sponsored by Sen. Nereida Rivera-O'Reilly, that was passed last year.
Rivera-O'Reilly said the idea came from a 2003 V.I. Port Authority study that was forgotten after cruise ships stopped calling on St. Croix.
The law directs the V.I. Property and Procurement Department, the V.I. Economic Development Authority and the Tourism Department to solicit proposals for the park. It also requires the solicitation process to be completed within six months and suggests that it include "opportunities for private-public partnership," potentially including the issuance of private activity bonds through the Public Finance Authority.
Tourism Commissioner Beverly Nicholson-Doty said the government decided the first step should be updating the decade-old feasibility study.
"The law actually indicated that we needed to send out an RFP for an adventure park, but after sitting with Sen. Rivera-O'Reilly, we determined that a feasibility study was a better first step," Nicholson-Doty said.
The RFP issued Wednesday is seeking a company that will gather information on the feasibility of developing and constructing a water-adventure park on the island of St. Croix.
According to Tourism, the study should recommend a location for the adventure park that will be economically viable and sensitive to the needs of the environment and community. Ultimately, the park development should be a private-public partnership, and the feasibility study should include other side attractions in the park as well as potential economic benefits for the surrounding area. The Department of Property and Procurement will accept bids until 4 p.m. March 1.
"We certainly agree that activities and attractions are good for St. Croix. It certainly would serve our land-based and cruise passengers," Nicholson-Doty said. "But we need to do the leg work."
Gov. John deJongh Jr. mentioned the project in Monday's State of the Territory address.
"I was very pleased that the governor mentioned that was one of the projects that he was focusing on for St. Croix," Rivera-O'Reilly said.
She said she was thrilled that his administration is moving ahead with the project.
"It's fabulous news for St. Croix," she said.
For bid documents and more information, contact Lloyd Bough Jr. at 773-1561 ext. 5244.
- Contact reporter Aldeth Lewin at 714-9111 or email email@example.com.