As you know NBES is booked March 8-11, 2023 at the Westin Frenchman’s Reef Resort in St. Thomas in the U.S. Virgin Islands. The resort was badly damaged by a hurricane in the Fall of 2017 and was scheduled to reopen this year. We have been REPEATEDLY assured by management for over a year that the resort would be open and ready for our group in March. Yesterday we were contacted by them and informed that the resort will not be open in March. Naturally, we are furious about this and have turned the matter over to our general counsel and are considering legal action. This will be our 23rd annual meeting and while we have had a lot of challenges in those years (terror attacks, weather, management changes, road issues, on and on) we have never run into a situation like this one. If you have already booked your room, you do not need to do anything. The Reef will cancel your reservation and refund any deposit/payment you have made.
We were immediately on the phone and internet looking for a replacement resort for our dates. The only other resort on St. Thomas that would work for us was the Ritz Carlton, but the room rates were $1,500 a night. Fortunately, we were able to work a quick deal with the Hyatt Regency Resort in Rio Grande, Puerto Rico. Puerto Rico Resorts | Hyatt Regency Grand Reserve Puerto Rico https://www.hyatt.com/en-US/hotel/puerto-rico/hyatt-regency-grand-reserve-puerto-rico/sjurc
We have actually been looking at it as a possible venue for a future meeting. It is located about 20 miles east of San Juan and is about $30 Uber trip one way. We will also contract with a transport company and there also taxis available.
The Hyatt is a fabulous resort and meets all of our requirements (i.e., weather, ocean, meeting spaces, rates, etc.). The rates will be right around what we were paying in St. Thomas. The Hyatt is currently quoting over $400 and up per night for our dates, so we have negotiated a good deal. The San Juan Airport code is SJU. There is no passport required. We will get you the reservation link for the Hyatt ASAP.
Please accept our apology for the Reef’s malfeasance. We hope to see you all at the Hyatt, Rio Grande in March! Many of you have attended our conferences in the past and know that it is a great event!
NBES Officers and Board