The hospitality in the United States Virgin Islands ( USVI) is extraordinary. From the taxi drivers to the policeman, you get the idea that they understand the USVI Tourism Departments motto: “Tourism: It’s all of Us”.
Monitoring social media is nothing new to me. While on a recent vacation to the United States Virgin Islands, specifically St. Thomas and St John, I would regularly check twitter and Facebook pages of local businesses for news and deals. So this is not a blog about the travel experience, though that may come later. This is about a couple of events that occurred while on St Thomas, but indirectly related to my home state of New Jersey.
The first event which I deemed “bad”, involved a New Jersey woman who allegedly had a few to many at the Quiet Mon Pub on St John. The Quiet Mon Pub is one of the few places on St John that stays open to the wee hours of the morning. A lot of locals go there after their shifts as bartenders and waitresses.
From a tourism perspective I can picture it: Guest drinks too much gets belligerent, bartender tries to mediate, can’t, calls police. Police arrive, do every thing to appease the visitor to their island. Try to call a cab and get them back to the hotel etc. Not happening. Seems like a scene from the Jersey Shore television series only in the Caribbean. Some how this Jersey girl can’t behave and winds up in a barred cell instead of her resort hotel room. Guess I felt a bit of embarrassment for our state.
You can read between the lines and get the rest of the story here.
The ugly event that took place our final week there was the murder of a man from New Jersey. Living on St John as a computer consultant, Scotch Plains, New Jersey native Jimmy Malfetti was fatally stabbed in his apartment. The family feels that the USVI Police department has botched the initial investigation and moved very slowly in solving the case. While rumors an innuendo fly through the coconut telegraph on St John the family hired an independent investigator to look into the case. Even the locals whisper that the Virgin Island police are incompetent.
You can read the New Jersey version here along with the family reaching out to the FBI and Senator Menendez to help out with the investigation.
I don’t have any connection to the incidents other than I like the Tourism people, and the people in general from the Virgin Islands and hate seeing bad press. Hopefully the local authorities find a quick resolution to the case. The ironic thing is that the night before we left Cape May, I debated a man from North Jersey while sitting at the Mad Batter on my comfort level with visiting St Thomas. He was surprised that we often sit at night in the downtown area sometimes on the tailgate of locals pickup trucks watching the community soft-ball games. That hasn’t changed.