JEKYLL ISLAND, Ga., Nov. 19, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- The Westin Jekyll Island will now move forward, thanks in part to the Jekyll Island Tourism Development Fund. The development of the highly anticipated, beachfront, convention-class hotel is a vital component of the Jekyll Island Beach Village project, which includes the new Jekyll Island Convention Center and Great Dunes Park, as well as retail shops and new restaurants.
The Jekyll Island Authority board voted on Monday to approve the several enabling agreements, including tapping for the first time the new Jekyll Island Tourism Development Fund. The fund was established in September to promote tourism product development on the island. The commitment of funds to The Westin Jekyll Island enabled the developer to secure final bank financing for the $40 million hotel.
"Today, we are pleased to announce that Jekyll Island's revitalization is on track," said Bob Krueger, chairman of the Jekyll Island Authority. "The beachfront Westin will play a significant role in attracting businesses and leisure guests from across the country to Jekyll Island and the coast of Georgia."
Construction of new hotel space is essential to the Jekyll Island revitalization project known as Beach Village. The mixed-use, public Beach Village plan includes the new, 128,000-square-foot Jekyll Island Convention Center, which opened spring 2012, along with adjacent hotels, a variety of retail shops, restaurants and park space along a beachfront promenade.
The Westin project is viewed as critical to the success of the world-class, oceanfront convention center, as well as the proposed Beach Village shopping and restaurant businesses. Some future bookings of the convention complex already are contingent on the availability of full-service, convention-class accommodations, for which Westin hotels are renowned.
"Around the world, the Westin brand is a standard and solid anchor in destinations with a vibrant convention business. We expect The Westin Jekyll Island to be the catalyst that enables Jekyll Island revitalization to achieve its full potential," said C. Jones Hooks, Executive Director of the Jekyll Island Authority. "Westin Hotels & Resorts also are marketed as havens of wellness and rejuvenation, which is a perfect fit for Jekyll Island's brand of relaxation and renewal."
Construction of The Westin Jekyll Island will generate a one-time economic benefit estimated at $47 million for the State of Georgia, with $37 million of that benefit going to the local Glynn County economy. Once complete, ongoing operations of the new hotel will generate $40 million annually to the state, with $33 million annually accruing to Glynn County.
With breathtaking ocean views and direct beach access, the 200-room 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® gym 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 20 miles of bike paths and kayaking.
About Jekyll Island
On Jekyll Island, you'll be close to nature and close to home, and experience a place you will hold close to your heart. Located in the Golden Isles, Jekyll Island is rich in history, but celebrated as a place of retreat, sanctuary and balance that has attracted guests for more than 125 years. Owned by the State of Georgia and governed by the Jekyll Island Authority, development is limited to just 35 percent of available land, to preserve the critical barrier island ecosystem. Within the limited development, guests on Jekyll Island can enjoy 10 miles of beach, 25 miles of bicycle trails, four golf courses, a history museum, tennis center, Summer Waves water park, wildlife viewing platforms and many other cultural and eco-tourism tourism opportunities. In 2012, the island celebrated the completion of the only oceanfront convention center in the Southeast, with more than 78,000 square feet of meeting space in a beautifully designed facility that makes full use of sustainable conservation and alternate energy technologies. Please visit www.jekyllisland.com for more information or call 877.4.JEKYLL.
SOURCE Jekyll Island Authority