News Bulletin #4, 3 PM September 9

Posted on

Dear Friends, concerned relatives of our guests, owners and other OBBR fans,

It is with profound relief that we can report that as of 2 PM today, all but two of our remaining guests boarded planes for several different airports and will eventually reach their homes safe and sound. We started out with 148 guests who weathered Irma. We are in the process of calling the families and loved ones to inform them of the conclusion of a very intense and difficult week. As there are many calls to make it may take some time before all of the families are notified. The story has a happy outcome because of the incredible persistence of Anne Marie Brooks Mientje Brown, Lorenzo Bryan and other staff who spent the last week working around the clock to get everyone out of St. Maarten without a thought of their own well-being or the condition of their homes. The obstacles to even get to the airport were daunting. They overcame every roadblock (some literally) as well as two overturned 50’ sailboats blocking our entrance road. They pushed through, and their unwillingness to take no for an answer and unfaltering persistence paid off for all of us. They are the heroes who brought 146 of our guests out of St. Maarten. They are now at the resort caring for our two special Canadian guests and intend to get them on the next plane out. Our other 25 staff who stayed for the week of the storm to care for our guests were also incredible. They did a great job, and we are grateful to all of them.

Hurricane Jose has been downgraded to a tropical storm event on St. Maarten as it turns North into the Atlantic. It is not forecast to threaten the Mainland US. It will add misery to the residents on St. Maarten but hopefully no further damage. Our next Bulletin will discuss the effect of Jose after it passes.

As for OBBR, it has been significantly damaged but still stands and will be rebuilt. We are already working on plans to get this done. We will be on the first flight down with our Architect, engineer and Interior Designer. It is a daunting task but one that we take on with enthusiasm. We have wonderful and dedicated timeshare owners who have already been reaching out to us in great numbers to ask how they can help. It is heart-warming to see the care and concern that our owners have for our staff and their “home away from home.” We look forward to our owners returning home as soon as possible. We won’t know the extent of the damage, the cost to rebuild or the time frame for its completion until we can get on the island and meet with our insurance adjusters and contractors. We will be providing regular updates as we progress in the process. Many owners and other lovers of OBBR have expressed a desire to donate money to help the employees and the Island. We are working on developing a plan for this effort and will provide more information in our next update.

We are also pleased that although the employees suffered much property damage from Irma, all are reported to be safe and unhurt. Communications are still difficult, and we don’t know when they will be restored so getting in touch with them directly may be difficult. We have confidence that the St. Maarten Government is already working to restore the vital infrastructure.

Thank you to all for bearing with us and for the gratifying comments many of you have posted on the internet. Hopefully, when your loved ones tell the story (which they will), they will have positive things to say about those employees who volunteered to stay with them all week. Special thanks go to Anne Marie Brooks, Mientje Brown and Lorenzo Bryan, three of the most dedicated and selfless people we know. We are proud to have them on our senior management team.

We are extremely relieved that all of our guests are off the Island and we weathered the worst storm in the history of the Western Hemisphere without any injuries to anyone in our extended family. Our real work to restore our resort can start now.

Watch this site for further news as we progress in our drive to reopen the Resort as soon as possible.

Our hearts and prayers are with the people of Florida and Georgia. We wish them the best and hope everyone is safe!!!

Mike Dolente
Joshua Gold
Managing Directors