By Harald Linkels
ORANJESTAD- The news site binnenlandsbestuur.nl writes in a recent publication about an impending million-dollar loss for St. Eustatius that is indirectly or at least partly caused by stray goats on the island.
The article relates to the lawsuit and claim that the Orange Bay hotel brought against local Government due to the danger that the now unstable cliff on the island would pose to the hotel’s guests.
“Due to erosion due to the stray goats that devour the island, the Orange Bay Hotel at the bottom of Oranjestad’s cliff has been unable to open since the beginning of the Pandemic, as the safety of guests cannot be guaranteed due to possible falling boulders. The hotel is claiming damages, the counter of which is already at $ 1.4 million,” writes binnenlandsbestuur.nl
The Orange Bay hotel won an injunction against Local Government at the end of 2022. In a civil suit, the judge ordered the island’s Government to make the cliff safe with a penalty of $1,000 per day, up to $1 million they fail to do so. According to the binnenlandsbestuur.nl, the Court held the public entity St. Eustatius liable for the hotel’s trading losses, which the hotel itself calculates at USD 2,500 per day.
According to the news site, the Public Entity is now trying to reach an agreement with the hotel.
Eco Statia, which runs the hotel, would have presented the Statia’s Government with two options to get out of the impasse. The first is execution of the verdict, so make The Cliff safe and pay the trading loss. The second is to buy out the hotel for about $6 million. According to Eco Statia’s consultant Bas Roorda, this solution will be the most efficient for the island government.
Roorda is happy with a recent meeting that took place last week. “It is the first time that a serious solution has been sought,” says the consultant according to binnenlandsbestuur.nl.
On St. Eustatius itself, both approval and disapproval can be heard for the procedure initiated by Eco Statia. “This will teach Government not to hide things that are potentially disadvantageous to them,” says a person indirectly involved with the situation. Some also point, with some pleasure, to the fact that the claim against Government arose from a period where the island was directly managed by political The Hague.
There are also those who suspect that Eco Statia is trying to capitalize on the situation that has arisen for a hotel project that is by some regarded as a complete failure. Although the owners initially presented grand plans, the Orange Bay hotel eventually realized just four hotel rooms and a restaurant.
The full article on binnenlandsbestuur.nl can be read here.