Is it really just saving Trellis Bay?

Trellis Bay, Beef Island

When we first visited the B.V.I. 4 years ago the cab driver was going on and on about how ridiculous the government hasn’t yet extended the Beef Island runway to accommodate larger passenger jets. I really didn’t give it too much thought afterward even though his rant lasted most of the ride out to Road Town.

Fast forward four years and we are sitting on the beach in Trellis Bay enjoying an amazing meal at the Trellis Bay Kitchen when the proprietor comes out and shows us pictures of the place dating back to the 60’s and offers us his guest book. After some pleasantries he goes on to state that the government is looking to fill in Trellis Bay to add 3000 more feet to the runway so larger passenger jets can land. While this would be devastating to business owners and the small artist community at Trellis Bay it has much larger implications to all the islands.

The BVI are known as “Nature’s Little Secrets” which isn’t necessarily entirely true especially in the sailing community where most folks cut their teeth in bareboating, but they are definitely a world away from the cruise ship terminals in the USVI and Puerto Rico. Most of the islands are sparsely populated and support mostly locally owned business that thrive off of the current tourist model, from what I can see things work well. . . though I’m sure many business owners will state they would love to have more customers, but what kind? The tourists coming out here aren’t your standard cruise ship, fanny pack wearing standard issue US or UK tourist; these folks try and do embrace the island culture and are here to experience it. This will change drastically when it is much easier to access these beautiful islands.

With an influx of standard issue tourists it wont be long until the government is petitioned to allow more outside owned and run businesses. It wont take long for the locally owned and operated restaurants, resorts and service companies to sell out to larger global interests. Do you know anyone that remembers Waikiki 50 years ago? Way before my time, but my understanding is that it was a much different place, now controlled by Marriott, Hilton, Hyatt etc. . . and Marriott has just recently completed it’s new luxury resort on Scrub Island here in the B.V.I.

The other concern is noise pollution, the flight path will go directly over Virgin Gorda and Gorda Sound which is quite the amazing place. Growing up with relatives that didn’t live far from SeaTac International I can say that it’s difficult to relax with jets flying overhead. Take away the premier activity of relaxing and what do you have?

If you agree you can sign the petition at

Oh and don’t be offended if you are a standard issue tourist. . . there’s still time to change 🙂