Friday, May 04, 2007

Volatility of Island Business

Business Life Cycles can be short on the island. Restaurants, car rentals, excursion services, rental villa owners, basically all tourist service providers can quickly change ownership, or go out of service, or change focus. Therefore, when being a repeat guest on the island, always keep your eyes open, many things may have changed since last time. Apply your own judgement, and check whether additional verification is needed. Don't count on 'official' tourist boards, they don't follow these developments. At least half of the businesses, especially the smaller ones, are not even registered. Better Business Bureaus and similar organisations are unknown here. Here, you see the remaining assets of a jet ski business, 'parked' under a tree in French Quarter. Other more significant mysteries are the Radisson Hotel at Anse Marcel, which should have reopened in 2006, but still doesn't show a sign of life, or 'Da Livio' restaurant in Philipsburg, once a popular upscale place, now a defunct building. The positive side is that new businesses and services pop up every day, and some add interesting attractions to the island, see here. When you do your St. Maarten/Martin travel planning on the Internet, watch out, many directories are less than up-to-date, and may misguide you. Email for verification!


Tim said...

Nice blog! Will be visiting St. Maarten in a few months and something like this is just what I was looking for - a local's point of view.

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