Unprecedented storm forces iconic resort’s temporary closure; Plans for restoration are underway.
February 6th, 2018
Virgin Gorda, BVI (February 2, 2018) – The Bitter End Yacht Club in Virgin Gorda was devastated by Hurricane Irma in September 2017, leaving over 64 acres, one mile of shoreline and over 50 structures destroyed in its path. The task at hand for restoration of the iconic destination is extraordinary, but the Bitter End community is steadfast in its mission to restore Bitter End’s legacy. This week, Bitter End’s ownership family confirmed a temporary closure of the property with plans to announce a reopening date in the coming months.
Richard Hokin, Operating Owner, expressed, “Although Bitter End will be closed temporarily, there is no storm of any category that could extinguish our spirit. That spirit is a part of every one of us, past and present, who have experienced this special place. My family and I are committed to ensuring that Bitter End’s legacy continues on.”
BEYC’s ownership and team have been passionately involved in relief efforts to support their employees and the recovery of the territory. Their immediate focus has been on fundraising to support the recovery, with $800,000 raised to date. This effort has been overwhelmingly supported by individual donations from Bitter End’s impassioned guests and a community of kindred spirits across the maritime and travel sectors. The fund also received two major gifts; one gift most generously donated from an anonymous long-standing Bitter End guest in addition to a gift from the David Hokin Foundation. 100% of the funds are being directed to the Virgin Gorda community focused on healthcare and education in addition to direct aid to Bitter End’s 178 employees who were employed at the time of the storm. Richard Hokin noted, “We are able to do this because of the remarkable bond, sense of community and love of place that exists between Bitter End’s team and its guests and friends who have demonstrated their commitment to the future. Our efforts to raise funds for the team and for the community will continue as an integral part of planning for Bitter End’s revival.”
BEYC now undertakes the task of restoring Bitter End to the iconic Caribbean destination it has been for the past fifty years and is excited to announce it has engaged world-renowned architectural firm Simplemente Madera, led by Matthew Falkiner, to assist in developing the resort’s next chapter. Simplemente Madera brings world class design to create beautiful spaces that enhance guest’s interaction with the natural environment, combining both simplicity and sophistication. Recent notable Simplemente Madera projects include Morgan’s Rock Hacienda, Jicaro Island Eco-Lodge, and Calala Island, all in Nicaragua. Simplemente Madera’s mission is a natural complement to Bitter End’s ecological philosophy with respect for the environment at the forefront of their work. “Bitter End’s new design will honor its legacy, allowing the natural beauty of the environment and bespoke experiences to capture center stage, enhanced by simplicity and responsibility in design and style,” said Richard Hokin. “It is important to us that North Sound continues to be the visually inviting destination it has been for generations, both for travelers and visiting mariners,” he added.
Bitter End is focused on having shorefront operations in full swing as soon as feasible followed by continuous development across the 64-acre property. Hokin added, “The Bitter End community’s spirit and support never has been stronger. That, especially, has strengthened our resolve to turn our challenge into the exciting opportunity of bending on new sails and continuing with the remarkable voyage that has been and will continue to be Bitter End.”