Brian Ballard
Brian Ballard

CBI Acquisitions has hired Trump-connected Ballard Partners to intervene in its squabble with the National Park Services over the Caneel Bay Resort eco-lodge located within the Virgin Islands National Park.

Once the biggest employer on St. John, CBR has been closed since 2017 after it was smashed by two Category Five Hurricanes. Its shutdown has rocked VI's tourism-tied economy.

CBI took over the CBR in 2004. It owns the structures but not the land. The Norwalk, CT-based entity has refused to rehab the facility until NPS extends its lease on the land, which is to expire in 2023.

Established by Laurance Spelman Rockefeller, grandson of industrialist John D. Rockefeller, CBR has hosted luminaries such as Mitch McConnell, Meryl Streep and John Steinbeck.

The Rockefeller family donated the real estate to the NPS.

Brian Ballard, who chaired the Trump Victory organization in Florida during the 2016 presidential campaign, is working the CBI business.

He’s joined by Daniel McFaul, legislative director for ex-GOP Congressman Joe Scarborough and chief of staff to staunch Trump supporter Rep. Matt Gaetz, and Justin Sayfie, ex-commissioner of the Commission of White House Fellows.