The CEO of Star Island Corporation announced on Monday that it will not open for summer conferences this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Star Island is the second-largest of the nine islands known as the Isles of Shoals located about 10 miles off the coast of New Hampshire and Maine.
“We are deeply saddened and disappointed, but our assessment that Star Island cannot safely open this season is based on the best information we have at this time. We cannot envision a scenario in which it would be possible to safely convene large groups of people on the island at any point this summer,” CEO Joe Watts said in a statement.
The island will also be closed to boaters who typically make the trip out to picnic and tour the grounds.
The 46-acre island has attracted families for generations. The Star Island Corporation typically welcomes more than 18,000 people from all over the world each year as conference guests, student groups and day visitors.
People who attend conferences stay on the island and eat together family-style in a large dining room three times a day. Themes range from international affairs to creative arts.
“We realize this is difficult news to deliver at a time of great challenge for the world, and for many of us personally. We have been looking forward to our time on Star Island this summer as a source of hope and rejuvenation; knowing this won’t happen is incredibly disappointing,” Watts said.
There are plans for virtual programming this year, according to a news release.
Director of Development Peter Squires said they are focused on the long-term future of the nonprofit organization which runs activities on Star Island.
People who want to donate can visit starisland.org, Squires said.