History of Point Pleasant

circa 1970 - View from future site of Point Pleasant Resort

circa 1970 - View from future site of Point Pleasant Resort


In 1969, Gunther Pfanner, from Long Island, NY, was looking for a change in his career as an Aerospace Engineer. During a visit that year to St. Thomas, he spotted a “For Sale” sign on Smith Bay Road. Over a period of 3 years he and his wife Ruth purchased 15 acres of land of which 4 acres were determined unbuildable.  

They said it couldn’t be done! However, the steep grade didn’t bother Gunther. He and his wife, Ruth, had already developed vacation properties in Vermont. Slopes in Vermont are even steeper than what he encountered at Point Pleasant. In fact, the incline would actually work to the Pfanner’s advantage. Every unit would have a clear view of Thatch Cay, Tortola, Grass Cay, Jost Van Dyke and St. John. The Pfanners’ goal was to design a resort that would be environmentally friendly while providing a tranquil natural environment to restore and renew the human spirit.

Circa 1973 - Gunther at the site clearingIn February 1973, the dream started to become a reality as ground breaking started. The first phase of  Point Pleasant Resort consisted of 18 units in the main building (now called the A-building) and was opened to guests in February 1974. The six shoreline buildings were added in 1977. The upper restaurant, Mirador (formerly The Agave), was built in 1978 followed by two buildings known as the “lower and upper high rise” in 1979. The Hilltop units were constructed between 1980-82 and the last major addition to the resort was the conference center (now the fitness center) built on the hilltop in 1985. Point Pleasant grew from 18 units in 1974 to 124 units in 1983, which is what is here today.

Point Pleasant Construction Timeline

  • 1969-70 Entrance Road clearing and construction.
  • 1971-73 Construction of A Bldg, Middle Pool, and Gazebo
  • Point Pleasant Resort Opens Feb 1974
  • 1975 Lobby Building and Tennis Court
  • 1975-76 Shoreline and Hillside units, Mutiny Restaurant Opens
  • 1976-77 Upper and Lower High Rise Bldgs, Lower Pool, Sea Deck
  • 1978 Second Lobby Bldg, EPA Award 
  • 1980-82 3 Hilltop Bldgs complete, Upper Pool, Maintenance/RO bldg
  • 1984 Conference Center(now Gym) Bldg, Water sports Deck at lower Pool, Bayside cafe, Restaurant Bar Addition 
  • 1985 Hilltop Hex Bldg, Condo Nast Traveler Gold award

Because there was no public water utility, drinking water has always come from a deep well on the property which is slightly brackish, and converted to drinking water at our reverse osmosis plant operated and maintained by the association. Gray water which has been collected from sinks and showers, our waste water treatment plant and rain catchment system is used to irrigate the plantings on the property.

The resort’s picturesque hillside setting features a unique tropical nature trail that winds through 2 ½ acres on the property, ingeniously carved by hand to follow the curve of the land.  

Circa 1973 - Main building under constructionDuring the development of Point Pleasant, the Pfanners received two Environmental Awards from the VI government for preserving the natural beauty of the property and for designing the buildings to fit the land. One year after opening, the Pfanners were given the Environmental Protection Law award by the Virgin Islands Conservation District. 

Tragically, in February 1981 during the hilltop construction, Gunther Pfanner passed away, before the entire resort was completed. The family was able to continue and fulfilled Gunther’s dream. They continued to manage Point Pleasant until 1985.

See More Pictures of the History of Point Pleasant


Gunther Pfanner (1922-1981) Point Pleasant Resort Founder & Visionary

The Virgin Islands Which He Loves So Much,
Lie Before You Serene And Untouched,
His Dream Was For Future Generations
To Be Renewed In Spirit By The
Beauty And Peace Of The Sea And Sky,
And These Emerald Islands.
His Vision For Point Pleasant Was For
Man And Nature To Live In Harmony,
And He Achieved This, Along With His Wife Ruth
And Family From Concept To Completion
With A Gentle And Loving Hand.
Point Pleasant, A Sanctuary Of Beauty,
Is A Fitting Memorial To The Perception,
Creativity And Love Of Nature.


Ruth Pfanner - founder of Point Pleasant Resort

Ruth Pfanner

Ruth Olson Pfanner, passed away peacefully at age 95 in New London, New Hampshire on December 7, 2018. Ruth and Gunther worked hand in hand to plan and build the units and resort amenities. Their vision for the property was for man and nature to live in harmony and for future generations to be renewed in spirit by the beauty of the Virgin Islands.

Ruth loved Point Pleasant with all her heart and often asked about it. She shared that love with many employees and owners throughout the years. Ruth was a woman of faith and was an inspiration to many throughout her life. She was an active and dedicated member of the St. Thomas Assembly of God Church. A vibrant woman with an infectious smile, Ruth will be greatly missed by her many friends, family and Island community.
Point Pleasant owners and community are extremely thankful to Ruth and Gunther Pfanner for the legacy they have left behind. Their vision and dreams left us all with an amazing property, wonderful views, and a great community.

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6600 Estate Smith Bay
Saint Thomas, Saint Thomas - 00802

340-775-7200 Contact Us