Countdown to the return of Bitter End
Published on June 5th, 2019
Along with boating enthusiasts worldwide, the Scuttlebutt team was huge fans of the Bitter End Yacht Club resort and the community of Virgin Gorda in the BVI. Our association with their Pro Am Regatta and Scuttlebutt Club Championship made for an annual pilgrimage each fall, but that all came to an end in 2017 when Hurricane Irma demonstrated the massive power of Mother Nature.
However, now after more than 20 months of demolition and cleanup from storm related damage, including the removal of over 100 structures and remediation of more than 64 acres, the process of rebuilding Bitter End is now underway.
Launched in 1969 as a remote island outpost that catered to visiting yachtsman, Bitter End will soon revisit its origins as a rollicking nautical village while the owners plan to Bring Back Bitter End better than ever.
“We have a unique opportunity to return to our roots by welcoming back the sailing, yachting and watersports communities first,” said Richard Hokin, Managing Owner of Bitter End Yacht Club.
“Bitter End launched in the 1960s as a hangout for adventurous sailors and has evolved over the last 50 years to become the world’s favorite playground for those who have a passion for playing in, on and around the water.”
Given Bitter End’s legacy it is fitting that the marina village, the heart and soul of Bitter End, will be the first element of the property to be redeveloped following the devastation wrought by Hurricane Irma.
During the 2019-2020 season, Bitter End will debut all new world-class marina facilities to include a two-story, open-air marina complex featuring a lounge with expansive views of the North Sound and setting sun, enhanced amenities such as marina-wide WIFI, upgraded bathing facilities and hospitality offerings that will make even the most sea-worn sailor feel right at home.
Venturing north from the marina along Bitter End’s new and greatly enhanced beach, watersports enthusiasts will find Bitter End’s legendary watersports center featuring an all new Club Fleet available to visiting boaters, Virgin Gorda villa guests, day visitors and locals.
“Our tried & true fleets of Hobie Waves, Lasers, 420s, Sunfish, kayaks and stand-up paddleboards will be enhanced by new, cutting edge watersports toys that are sure to excite our community,” said Hokin.
Snorkel trips to nearby reefs, sailing, kiting and diving lessons, and a myriad of guided adventures led by Bitter End’s beloved watersports crew will continue to be part of Bitter End’s robust activities program.
Over the coming months, Bitter End will be offering a preview of what’s to come as they introduce enhancements to the village including yacht management programs, a casual beachfront restaurant and bar, private event space and an epicurean market offering everything you will need to provision for your adventure.
Bitter End’s retail shop will feature their own collection of seaworthy goods, gear and apparel alongside products from select partners in the resort, fashion and watersports space.
Following on the heels of the marina and waterfront rebuild, the resort redevelopment will include a variety of unique accommodations and hospitality amenities.
While Bitter End has been closed since September of 2017, the owners and their crew have been focused on supporting the local community through numerous philanthropic projects. The Bitter End Foundation launched in September 2017 as the Bitter End Irma Relief Fund, responding to the catastrophic impact of Hurricanes Irma and Maria.
With an outpouring of generosity from the Bitter End community, the foundation has raised over $1 million dollars to support the unique needs and wellbeing of seaside communities. The Hokin family and the Bitter End team are keenly focused on continuing these efforts well beyond the reopening of the yacht club, reinforcing their commitment to the local community and the stewardship of our oceans.
“What we promise as we embark on this new chapter in Bitter End’s history is that the spirit of the place will remain; we will honor our legacy and continue to focus our efforts on what is truly important to our community – the spirit of adventure, exploration and stewardship of our seas.” said Lauren Hokin, founding family member. “Bitter End 2.0 will feel incredibly fresh and exciting, yet sweetly familiar at the same time.”
UPDATE (April 20, 2020): The timeline has seen massive delays and shifts off the original projections. With 64 acres completely destroyed down to matchsticks in the middle of the Caribbean, with access only by water, everything had to be burned or barged off, and then full infrastructure built. All the roads, water filtration systems, electricity, plumbing systems took much longer than initially projected, and now the site has been completely shut down for the last two weeks due to COVID-19 which will result in further delays. See the latest… click here.