ON THE RISE
“It is our goal to breathe new life into Jekyll Island, while also maintaining the unique spirit which has made Jekyll Island a treasure for the state of Georgia.”
- Jones Hooks, Executive Director, Jekyll Island Authority
Phase Two Construction Begins
On New Retail Shops in Jekyll Island Beach Village
From Country Music to Book Festivals
The Jekyll Island Convention is nimble enough to host an event of any kind and the talented staff to make your group meeting sing.
Jekyll Island Groundbreaking:
May 21, 2013
A joint venture comprised of Leon N. Weiner & Associates, Inc., a nationally recognized real estate development company, New Castle Hotels & Resorts, an award winning, independent third-party hotel manager, broke ground May 21 on the $41 million Westin Jekyll Island, a 200-room, convention-class, beachfront hotel.
Flash Foods gas and convenience store with a Dairy Queen “Grill & Chill” quick-serve restaurant features an architectural design that incorporates Jekyll Island’s newest design guidelines, and the exterior will integrate seamlessly into Jekyll Island’s welcome corridor.
Revitalization - Private Money
Room Nights in 2013
Group Meetings in 2013
The environment and its care has been a key element during the construction phase and will continue throughout the operation of the Jekyll Island Holiday Inn Resort. “Using the footprint of the old Oceanside Inn & Suites was critical to this project. It allowed us a base to work from, while at the same time continuing to be respectful of the unique natural environment of Jekyll Island.” – Ray Lewis, Principal with Georgia Coast Holdings, LLC
Careful attention has been made to blend the resort into Jekyll Island’s natural surroundings and habitat while also realizing the demonstrable economic benefits from sustainable initiatives. The Holiday Inn Resort at Jekyll Island will fully employ the resources of the IHG Green Engage Program, which will serve to assist the resort in its efforts to reuse, reduce and recycle.
For more information about plans for and renderings of the Holiday Inn Resort, click here.
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, 157-room Holiday Inn Resort. The new Holiday Inn Resort will offer its guests a superior beachside experience. The two-story, 157 room facility will feature first-class contemporary rooms, oceanfront fitness center, high-energy themed swimming pool with an outdoor deck and multiple water-based and beachfront activities, new and enhanced food and beverage outlets, entertainment areas and updated meeting facilities.
The resort will be operated by NorthPointe Hospitality Management, LLC, and it’s highly experienced management team. General Manager, Jason Smith, has logged nearly 10 years on Jekyll Island and 30 years in the hospitality industry, and is dedicated to Jekyll’s revitalization effort. NorthPointe strongly believes that their staff members are its most important resource and their success depends upon creating, retaining and inspiring a staff capable of delivering exceptional accommodations and dining experiences to every guest, every time.
“Whether guests are attending a meeting or looking for a beach experience or a relaxing getaway, the hotel will offer exceptional experiences, amenities and caring customer service designed to cater to the wishes and needs of each guest.” – Jason Smith, General Manager, Holiday Inn Resort
New beginnings often take place on familiar ground. Such is the case with the new Holiday Inn Resort. The footprint and infrastructure from the old Oceanside Inn & Suites will serve as the base for this part of Jekyll Island’s new beginning. The existing structures are being gutted and divided into four connected buildings via “pass through” passages that will enable guests to enter the beach area from multiple locations. Interior and exterior décor, as well as all infrastructure including air conditioning, electrical, plumbing and roofing, will be renewed and renovated on the existing building footprint. A new three story lobby with dramatic views of the Atlantic and a poolside bar will be added.
The structure will be completely updated with 21st century building products that are compatible with today’s needs, but it must first be stripped down to its bare walls and concrete floors. New balconies will be added, hallways extended and buildings separated. A new roof and salt air resistant paint will be applied to all walls and exterior facilities. Other new additions will include exterior railings, expanded second story walkways, and stairwells. The entire structure and campus will be fully handicap accessible with elevators, stairways, hallways, rooms, pool, fitness and restroom facilities.
A Distinct Feeling: There is nothing like Jekyll Island’s unspoiled vistas of the beautiful Atlantic Ocean and the Holiday Inn Resort is perfectly positioned to offer its guests a memorable experience. That will begin from the moment of arrival as they encounter the tropical landscaping, signature welcome experience and beach-toned color schemes. Whether in business attire or decked out in shorts and a t-shirt, guests will immediately feel the island atmosphere.
“Everything our guests will find and experience is focused on our proximity to the beach and oceanfront backdrop. This is definitely a beach resort.” – Jason Smith, GM, NorthPointe Hospitality Management, LLC
The completely renovated grounds will be landscaped with eco-friendly indigenous plants and vegetation. Amenities and family-friendly activities/entertainment options will abound. The hotel will feature a new oceanfront fitness center with state-of-the-art equipment, and adjacent coffee bar with outdoor terrace, kids activity room, high-energy themed swimming pool, sun-shades, over 8,000 square-feet of meeting space, and event lawn space to accommodate groups over 500.
The new restaurant, Beach House (this will be a clickable link to Beach House site), will serve fresh local seafood and a wide selection of craft brews to both local residents and tourists alike. The Holiday Inn Resort will offer unique guestrooms, over-sized oceanfront guestrooms and 1,300 square-foot oceanfront suites.
Each will feature a stylish-contemporary décor, new bedding, furniture, fixtures, and updated amenities that include flat screen TVs. First floor rooms in the center core will feature rooms with expanded terrace areas. All second story rooms will have their own private oceanfront balcony. The 21 suites will all connect and have a full, unobstructed view of more than 1,200 linear-feet of oceanfront.
“There are few places on the East Coast that offer 1,300 square-foot suites and there is nothing like this on Jekyll Island.” – Jason Smith, GM, NorthPointe Hospitality Management, LLC
(Under Construction) On May 20, 2013, ground was broken and construciton commenced on the new Westin Jekyll Island hotel. Located adjacent to the Jekyll Island Convention Center in the Beach Village campus, the new $41 million, full-service hotel will be a 200-room, convention-class, beachfront venue, slated to open in September 2014. With breathtaking ocean views and direct beach access, the Westin Jekyll Island will feature both meeting and banquet facilities alongside a full suite of Westin’s signature amenities and services. It will include a full-service restaurant and the brand’s signature WestinWORKOUT® program, all designed to promote overall wellbeing. LEED design elements, coupled with the brand’s room designs, will ensure that the hotel has minimal impact on the environmentally sensitive barrier island, and will meet guests’ desires for a more healthful hotel experience. Close to the island’s National Historic Landmark District, the Westin Jekyll Island also will be convenient to the island’s four golf courses, 10 miles of barrier island beaches and a variety of outdoor recreation, including marsh eco-tours, the Georgia Sea Turtle Center, more than 21 miles of bike paths and kayaking. Upon completion in September 2014, the hotel will be operated by New Castle Hotels and Resorts. For news about the Westin, click here.
We’re also thrilled to reveal the 4-H Center on Jekyll Island will be getting a $12 million make-over in coming months. Just last week, The Jekyll Island Authority announced a new partnership with the University of Georgia Cooperative Extension Service, under which the Jekyll Island Authority will assume responsibility for the 60-year-old center.
As part of the partnership, the center will be significantly improved by the construction of a new education building, replacement of the 1950s-era dormitories, a new auditorium, and other essential buildings, grounds and roadway improvements. Additionally, the island opened an expanded biking and walking path in June, 2013. Since December 2012, crews steadily worked to add about 1.4 miles of path to the island’s existing bike and walking pathways.
With the new trails now open, Jekyll Island has five bike trails, creating a continual 21.4 mile loop connecting the south end of the island with the Historic District. By adding these sections of bike path, Jekyll Island will be even more connected with the Coastal Georgia Greenway, a 450-mile trail linking six coastal Georgia counties. In coming months, other bike path projects will get underway, including making improvements to paths near the Jekyll Island Airport, as well as creating a bike 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.
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