Buyer Has Plans to Turn Jeffrey Epstein’s Islands Into a Luxury Resort

Will its history discourage prospective guests?

Finger pointing at a photo of Jeffrey Epstein
Acting US Attorney for the Southern District of New York announces charges against Ghislaine Maxwell during a press conference in New York City.

It’s not hard to see the appeal of a luxury resort in the Caribbean. What if, however, the luxury resort in question previously belonged to a convicted sex offender and pedophile who did terrible things to other people on the premises? Would you still book a trip there, or would you opt for a space nearby that wasn’t the site of horrific and unspeakable events?

Unfortunately, these are not rhetorical questions. Curbed real estate reporter Kim Velsey reports that an investor purchased Jeffrey Epstein’s private islands and plans to repurpose them as a luxury resort. All told, the islands — Great St. James and Little St. James — were purchased for $60 million.

Writing at Forbes, Richard J. Chang was the first to break the news. The islands’ buyer is Black Diamond Capital Management founder Stephen Deckoff, who told Chang that he hopes to have the resort open in 2025. Deckoff himself has lived in the U.S. Virgin Islands for more than a decade, having moved there in 2011.

As per a press release, the planned facility will be a “state-of-the-art, five-star, world-class luxury 25-room resort.” In his interview with Forbes, Deckoff spoke of wanting to bring “a world-class destination benefitting its natural grace and beauty” to the region.

Around half of the proceeds from the sale of the islands are destined for a fund operated by the U.S. Virgin Islands to benefit the victims of sexual assault. As for how the resort itself will develop — or whether prospective guests will be alienated by the islands’ history — it’ll bear keeping an eye on.

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