National Parks To Operate Roof Top Restaurant, Headquarters From Toad Hall Estate
The National Parks Trust of the Virgin Islands (NPTVI) is to set up headquarters at Toad Hall Estate, a 5.5 acres of prime real estate, which was built in the 1970s and is located within The Greater Baths National Park on Virgin Gorda.
Cabinet recently approved the purchase of the property, but in a press release issued on Monday, November 11, there was no disclosure of what the deal would cost taxpayers. The property had been listed on the open market at $6M prior to the hurricanes of 2017.
Then came the hurricanes which reportedly severely damaged the property. It was then re-listed for sale at $5.5M
It was reported that the physical structures sustained heavy losses, but the real property and the unique pool remain in pristine condition.
"The estate will be rebuilt, offering guests an exclusive entrance to The Baths National Park, exclusive authentic Virgin Islands’ cultural and historical experiences, and will also serve as a platform for local artisans, entertainers, and craftsmen to showcase their craft," the Government disclosed.
Further, the Government indicated that the acquisition allows NPTVI to construct their Headquarters which includes a state-of-the-art visitor interpretation and environmental education centre, that will have a gift shop and a rooftop restaurant with panoramic views of the outer islands.
Premier and Minister of Finance, Hon. Andrew Fahie said, “The purchase of Toad Hall Estate is an investment that will see prosperous results in both the Environment and the Tourism product in the Virgin Islands. The Government of the Virgin Islands is working tirelessly to improve the quality of life of the people of the Virgin Islands as well as the tourism product."
Minister of Natural Resources, Labour and Immigration, Hon. Vincent Wheatley said, “Toad Hall will also be a unique rental space where social and special events can be held in the visitor’s centre, the rooftop restaurant, and lawn or luxury villa."
According to Wheatley, the project is estimated to create a minimum of 20 jobs in a variety of fields and is a significant investment by the Government for the people and will enhance the visitor experience at the baths.
Toad Hall will be the only villa rental, luxury or otherwise, within a National Park and Protected Area.
The Director of the National Parks Trust, Dr. Cassander Titley-O’Neal also expressed gratitude for the acquisition.
Dr. Titley-O’Neal said, “The National Parks Trust of the Virgin Islands is delighted to add Toad Hall Estate to The Greater Baths Park family. This addition ensures that the ecological, historical and cultural aspects are maintained, and in time, will surely enhance the Territory’s overall tourism product.”