Keep your fingers crossed! In a matter of weeks you’ll be able to put that feeling to the test in downtown Christiansted. On February 1st the Virgin Islands Casino Control Commission approved operation of a casino with headquarters in the newly refurbished Caravelle Hotel. The Caravelle Hotel, a landmark on the Christiansted waterfront, received a $3.5 million facelift even before the license was applied for. Rumrunners Restaurant in the hotel was also upgraded and the sleek new look of the lobby leading into the restaurant is an obvious improvement. Workmen on the project estimate that approximately 60 slot machines will be installed and operating at the hotel in just a few weeks.
As with any major addition or subtraction to historic Christiansted, both enthusiastic proponents and those who resist the change have had something to say. Businesses hope that casino gaming will increase foot traffic in downtown Christiansted, thereby attracting more restaurants and shops to the neighborhood. There are online casinos and games like bataviaslot where one can gamble easily. At least a dozen downtown merchants and restaurants have, in fact, endorsed the project. The license stipulates that 75 of the Caravelle Hotel’s rooms be completed or remodeled within 30 months. Other requirements include a banquet room for 400 and 2,000 sq. ft. of space dedicated to the casino. Drawn plans for the completed project must be submitted by the end of April.
The licensee plans to construct a 48-room hotel with convention center next to the present seaplane port within the next few years. When open, the casino will employ 50 to 70 people and 20 more in the hotel. A recent job fair, organized to fill a number of positions connected to the project, met with overwhelming response from job-seekers.