Leading Meeting Professionals

Professional Convention Management Association

April 14 2015

Sponsor Spotlight: The Jekyll Island Authority

David Keller

Since undergoing an Island-wide revitalization effort that began in 2009, Jekyll Island has already invested over $150 million dollars in both public and private construction projects to improve the guest experience for our Jekyll Island customers.
The first project completed was Great Dunes Park which took a dilapidated beach front parking lot and transformed it into a beautiful picnic area with a  covered pavilion, changing rooms, showers and lawn space for everyone to enjoy. This project has been a huge success and greatly appreciated by both visitors and our convention groups as a perfect outdoor beach front venue space for meals, music and fun.
Our new 128,000 square foot oceanfront, Silver LEED Certified convention center with 78,000 square feet of flexible meeting space, featuring a 45,000 square foot ballroom and exhibit hall opened in May, 2012. This Green building overlooks the ocean and offers our convention guests an amazing experience and ability to connect with our Island environment just steps from their meetings and meals. We host over 60 annual conventions and over 220 total events each year. The building offers Green features, such as collecting rainwater in 85,000 gallon cisterns for irrigation and restroom gray water.
In 2010, the 138-room Hampton Inn & Suites opened as the first new hotel in over 40 years on Jekyll Island and has become an outstanding partner and success story on the Island. In March 2015, the new 157-room Holiday Inn Resort opened with a 1/4 mile of perfect beachfront property to showcase this $22 million dollar hotel.
On April 19, the new 200-room Oceanfront Westin is scheduled to open. With this new property, Jekyll Island will now offer a new market segment to our convention and transient guests. This same month our new 38,000 square foot Beach Village also opens, with a variety of shops, dining and bars for your attendees to enjoy. The Beach Village is located between the Westin and convention center.
There is well over another $100 million dollars for new hotels in the works, all located on the sites of previous hotels that were demolished. We hope to get back to our previous hotel inventory numbers that we had before we began our revitalization efforts. Of special note, all new hotels are simply being built on the footprint of previous hotels, so no new part of Jekyll Island is being constructed, but instead upgraded with new energy efficient hotels and buildings.