Celebrates Grand Opening of Captain Morgan Visitor
Posted by Julia
Watthey on April 24, 2012 at 5:30 PM AST
Earlier today, Governor de
Jongh celebrated the grand opening of St. Croix's newest attraction, the Captain Morgan rum distillery's visitor center, with dignitaries from the Virgin Islands government and Diageo Brands.
The state-of-the-art visitor center offers a truly unique experience to tourists, and signifies the continued revitalization of St. Croix’s economy. The community's support for the project sends a powerful message to the local and international business community, according to
the governor, solidifying that the Virgin Islands is “open for business.”
John P. de Jongh, Jr. and guests at the ribbon-cutting for Diageo's new, state of the art visitor center on St.
Croix, April 24, 2012.
The partnership formed between the Virgin Islands government and Diageo Brands “required us to be competitive, to believe in ourselves, and to have faith in the largest spirit company in the world. It says a lot about St. Croix that this island embraced the journey almost four years ago,”
He was joined at Tuesday's ceremony by David Gosnell, Diageo's President of Global Supply; David Cutter, Chairman of the Board of Diageo USVI; Lt. Governor Gregory R. Francis; Senate President Ronald E. Russell; and other members of the 29th Legislature.
John P. de Jongh, Jr. delivers remarks at the Grand Opening of Diageo's new visitor center on St.
Croix, April 24, 2012. Diageo President of Global Supply David Gosnell is seated to the right of the governor.
The visitor center offers an entertaining one-hour tour that immerses guests in the history of rum production in the Caribbean and the general history of the Virgin Islands.
“I cannot compliment Diageo enough on conceiving and developing this center as an authentic learning and cultural experience for its guests, with its centerpiece as a 200-seat movie theater,” the governor said.
The visitor center opens a few months after the distillery kicked off full production of one and a half million proof gallons a month.
During the ceremony, the governor thanked Diageo executives for their personal commitment to the Virgin Islands, for their goal to create a truly special attraction on St. Croix, and for advancing “a partnership that continues to meet the high expectations with which it was conceived and already has begun to provide tremendous benefits to this island, this territory and all the people of the Virgin Islands.”
The governor said that now, more than ever, St. Croix needs a corporate citizen like Diageo.
“With Diageo we have a partnership with a company that is vested in the success of our Territory's economy and this community. Especially right now, this type of commitment to St. Croix and the Virgin Islands is tremendously important,”
“This island is facing unprecedented economic challenges. But today's event is another indicator that we are on the road to recovery and to the revitalization of the St. Croix economy,” he said.
The Captain Morgan visitor center gives St. Croix an attraction equal in stature to such famed places around the world as the Johnnie Walker House in Shanghai, the Guinness Storehouse in Dublin, and the Scotch Whiskey Heritage Center in Edinburgh,
the governor noted, adding “As Captain Morgan ever expands market share and builds even greater brand loyalty and awareness, the Virgin Islands will continue to be a beneficiary of the product's success.”