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Each year, there are plenty of signs of the impending slow season.
Several restaurants and hotels shutter their doors, while hand written signs are posted in windows letting customers know they will re-open in October.
Each July, the Puerto Rican Navy—a name that boaters from the United States territory affectionately call themselves—stage beach parties, revel at random bars and restaurants, and shop at local supermarkets giving the BVI a much needed economic injection.
The almost weeklong gathering in the BVI is known as Christmas in July.
According to Lopez, there are other events like the August Emancipation Festival, Music Fest in Cane Garden Bay and Easter Festival on Virgin Gorda that are quickly becoming popular activities for the Puerto Rican Navy to frequent.
“There has to be this acceptance that the Puerto Ricans are different than the average visitor,” Ms. “They are very family oriented and activity driven.” In July, several Virgin Gorda businesses catered to the visitors by offering something they could relate to.The BVITB previously had an office there but it is no longer operational.Currently, the BVITB does not maintain specific records of Puerto Rican visitors because they are tallied as US visitors.On the water, charter boat companies move their fleet to dry dock or to safer anchorages as a precaution for potential hurricane impact, while cruise ship arrivals are few and far between.As dire as this scenario is, there is some relief and it hails from only 90 miles west of the BVI.