Progress Report 2013
The Jekyll Island Authority Progress Report 2013 has been published to share the great news that Jekyll Island is moving forward. The report spotlights a variety of recent accomplishments and shares positive comments received via social media. It is a snapshot of the past 18 months. The financial information contained in the report is unaudited and presented in a budget basis format which is used for operational management and oversight (depreciation and capital expenses not included). Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) basis financial reports are available by request.
The Jekyll Island Master Plan is a critical tool for managing the balance of limited commercial and residential development, the conservation of the Island’s pristine and delicate ecosystem, and preservation of the Island’s natural and cultural resources. The new Jekyll Island Master Plan was adopted by the Jekyll Island Authority Board of Directors on December 16, 2013 at its regular board meeting.
HOLIDAY INN RESORT (Under Construction)
Transformation can be seen throughout Jekyll Island and possibly the best example of this can be found traveling north on Beachview Drive. The old Oceanside Inn & Suites is being gutted and from its original foundations will emerge the new, 155-room LEED certified Holiday Inn Resort. Set to open in September 2014, the $16 million project is being funded by private investments from Georgia Coast Holdings, LLC, at no cost to the Jekyll Island Authority. To learn more about the Holiday Inn Resort, please access the media kit here.
“This is a serious investment and commitment to Jekyll Island.” Ray Lewis, Principal with Georgia Coast Holdings, LLC
WESTIN JEKYLL ISLAND (Under Construction)
Adjacent to the Jekyll Island Convention Center will sit the new Westin Jekyll Island hotel. The $41 million, full-service facility will be a 200-room, resort style, beachfront venue featuring both meeting and banquet facilities while incorporating a full suite of the Westin’s signature amenities and services. Scheduled to open in December 2014, the Westin is the second of three phases, including the JI Convention Center and forthcoming JI Beach Village that will anchor the island’s commerce activity. To learn more about the Westin, please access its media kit here.
JEKYLL ISLAND YOUTH AND LEARNING CENTER
The 60-year old complex, that has long housed the 4-H Center on Jekyll Island, will receive a $16 million makeover and become the new Jekyll Island Youth and Learning Center.
The Jekyll Island Authority (JIA) announced a new partnership with the University of Georgia Cooperative Extension Service allowing the JIA to assume responsibility for the complex. Facilities will be significantly improved and updated with the construction of a new education building and auditorium, replacement of the 1950s-era dormitories, and improvements for grounds and roadways. The complex, which annually hosts about 13,000 youth, will continue to host Georgia 4-H Club programs.
“This area will always be used for children and youth,” said JIA Chairman, Richard Royal, “and under this arrangement with the Cooperative Extension Service, the State 4-H Club will continue to be able to plan and conduct their programs at the site.”
State 4-H Club Director Arch Smith said this arrangement helped “make some dreams come true concerning significant updating and a virtual new camp to serve Georgia’s children and youth coming to Jekyll Island for camp and to study environmental education.
By the end of Summer 2014, civil engineering work had commenced on the site.
BIKE AND WALKING PATHWAYS
In June 2013, Jekyll Island added a new segment of 1.4 miles to its bike and walking pathways. With five bike trails, the new addition creates a continual 21.4 mile loop connecting the south end of the island with the Historic District while keeping bikers and walkers off the roadway.
“We are thrilled with the new bike paths,” said Janice Hall of Nashville, Ga. “They make riding so much easier.”
The new path extends nearly 1,000 feet over the marsh and will contain educational signs for its visitors. These additional sections mean Jekyll Island will be even more connected with the Coastal Georgia Greenway, a 450-mile trail linking six coastal Georgia counties. Other planned projects include making improvements to bike paths near the Jekyll Island Airport, and a path leading to the island along the Downing Musgrove Causeway. For more information about the new bike path extensions, click here.
Jekyll Island guests will also note the island entryway has been given a facelift recently. New landscaping and roadway designs have been implemented along Ben Fortson Parkway. New lighting has also been added to this portion of the parkway, to highlight landscaping and signage at night. We believe these improvements provide a more aesthetically pleasing and streamlined experience for travelers both coming on and leaving the island. The number of compliments received regarding these improvements has been most gratifying. In the past few months, it has been exciting to see a number of private residential homes being renovated and remodeled. Obviously, revitalization of Jekyll Island is beyond a few major new facilities; it is an island-wide movement! For more information about Jekyll Island recreation and amenities, click here, or read the below resources. All About Jekyll Island: The Nearest Faraway Place All About Jekyll Island Golf All About the Georgia Sea Turtle Center All About Jekyll Island Beaches All About the Jekyll Island Campground
Jekyll Island Convention Center
Achievements in revitalization come on the heels of the successful opening of the Jekyll Island Convention Center last spring. During the first year, 158 events were held at the facility, with more than 126,000 total attendees. In May of 2013, the center held 18 events. These 18 events represented 52 event days, as multiple events were booked on single days. Of the events held in the month of May, three were corporate meetings using the facility. The center likewise welcomed Leadership Georgia for its final day on Jekyll Island; hosted the Turtle Crawl Triathlon’s pasta dinner; and accommodated graduations for the College of Coastal Georgia, Brunswick High School and Glynn Academy. All totaled, these events brought more than 22,700 individuals into our facility in that one month alone. Total revenue generated by events in May 2013 was the highest for any previous month. Jekyll Island’s hotel revenue was up 8 percent over May 2012. News of the venue’s busy May comes as the center marks its one-year anniversary. For the coming year, the center has already issued 85 contracts for events, with 61 fully committed. Of those, two are Rotary groups returning after a four and five year absence; and six new conventions, which had previously held conferences elsewhere, are now committed to Jekyll Island. Couples saying “I Do” also are utilizing the center and its oceanfront pavilion space, with 18 weddings taking place in the first year and 16 weddings booked for the coming year. Jekyll Island Meetings and Convention Sales saw a spike in interest from event planners since the May 20, 2013, groundbreaking of the new 200-room, full-service Westin Jekyll Island. In a three week period after the hotel’s groundbreaking, 18 meeting and convention planners requested contract proposals, for a potential economic impact of more than $3 million. The Center, too, has earned Silver LEED Certification, which can be credited back to its environmentally-sound details and thoughtful design. Throughout the 128,000-square foot space, details that reflect the distinct charm and character of Jekyll Island can be found. From the green and brown hues on the Center’s west side which represent the Island’s marshes, to the blue and sand undertones of the East Side which echo the nearby ocean, the Center is a true work or art, as well as efficient meeting space. Four years in the making, the Jekyll Island Convention Center has replaced the former Aquarama convention center, which was built in 1961. The Center is owned by the Jekyll Island Authority, which operates Jekyll Island State Park, and is managed by SMG, through the Jekyll Island-SMG Worldwide partnership. For more information about the Jekyll Island Convention Center, visit www.jekyllislandconventioncenter.com. As well, browse the below recent resources related to the Center. Jekyll Island Convention Center Fact Sheet Jekyll Island Convention Center Earns LEED Certification Jekyll Island Convention Center Proves Stylish and Sensible Jekyll Island Convention Center Ready for Any Occasion Jekyll Island Convention Center Earns Prestigious Award Jekyll Island Convention Center Wins Praise Jekyll Island Convention Center to Have Major Economic Impact to State