H.R. 714: To authorize the Secretary of the Interior to lease certain lands in Virgin Islands National Park, and for other purposes

H.R. 714

To authorize the Secretary of the Interior to lease certain lands in Virgin Islands National Park, and for other purposes

Sponsor
Sen. Bernard Sanders

Date
February 23, 2009 (111th Congress, 1st Session)

Staff Contact
Communications

Floor Situation

H.R. 714 is being considered on the floor under suspension of the rules, requiring a two-thirds majority vote for passage. This legislation was introduced by Representative Donna Christensen (D-VI) on January 27, 2009.

Bill Summary

H.R. 714 authorizes the Secretary of the Interior to enter into a lease with the owner of the Caneel Bay resort for the operation and management of the resort, if the Secretary determines that the long-term benefit to the Virgin Islands National Park would be greater by entering into a lease than by authorizing a concession contract upon the termination of the retained use estate.

The bill states that the lease cannot exceed 40 years, and may not be extended or renewed. Rental amounts paid to the United States under a lease will be available to the Secretary for visitor services and resource protection within the Park.

 

Background

The House passed similar legislation to this bill (H.R. 1143) in the 110th Congress by a vote of 378-0.  The Senate never acted on that bill. 

5,000 acres in size, the Virgin Islands National Park is located on the island of Saint John. The Caneel Bay Resort is composed of over 170 acres, and it is situated within the Virgin Islands National Park. The Resort was founded by Laurence Rockefeller and managed by Rosewood Hotels & Resorts since 1993.  CBI Acquisitions LLC is composed of several investing parties, including Rosewood Hotels & Resorts, and Equis Financial Group, and it acquired the Caneel Bay Resort property in 2004.

 

Cost

There is no Congressional Budget Office (CBO) score available for this bill, but CBO estimated that an identical version of the legislation considered in the 110th Congress would have had no significant budgetary effect.