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     Public Opinion on Jekyll's Redevelopment                             
The 200+ pages that follow shed some light on how Jekyll’s visitors feel about the island and its redevelopment. We’ve shared this information with JIA’s Board of Directors and the members of the Jekyll Oversight Committee so that the views of the park’s visitors can be sampled and taken into full account by those charged with responsibility of administering to the needs of JI State Park.
There are four sections within this body of information: letters sent directly to the JIA’s Board of Directors; a selection of comments provided by survey respondents from Georgia (beginning on page 12); public opinion on the Jekyll affordability issue (beginning on page 145); and a selection of comments offered by survey respondents from beyond Georgia (beginning on page 173).

I am writing regarding the RFP that has been issued for the "redevelopment" of Jekyll Island.  My understanding of the plan is that it fails to take into account the fact that "affordability" is a legally-mandated consideration for anything to do with Jekyll.
I have been going to Jekyll Island almost every summer since the 1980s.  Jekyll is one of the few beaches around that is still affordable for people of modest means and/or families with children.  The undisturbed beaches and the natural beauty of the area are a blessing for those of us who just want a place to relax and avoid the development that has swallowed up so many other beach towns along the Atlantic coast.  Most Georgians (and most Americans, for that matter) cannot afford hotel rooms at $200-250 per night, or million dollar condominiums. 
The idea of a town square from the convention center to Blackbeard's is a bad one. It would be a tragedy to see Jekyll crowded with "fashionable" stores, trendy restaurants and overpriced hotels. It is not a crime against humanity to preserve Jekyll in its present state, and to provide an affordable vacation retreat for those of us who are not millionaires, or do not wish to go into debt to take a summer vacation.  The well-to-do have many choices available to them if they want an upscale vacation.  The rest of us have Jekyll Island, one of the few places remaining that is still affordable.  Leave it alone!
Mary Sullivan, Atlanta, GA

As long time visitors to Jekyll Island, we are greatly disturbed by what is happening at this time!  In no way are the average people being considered when I read about the proposed happenings. 
We regularly stayed at the Buccaneer Resort and were very delighted to be able to afford the old Georgia feeling and care that we received from both staff and surroundings.  We were planning on returning next year and went to make a reservation when we were informed it was being torn down for a new resort.  I can expect more homogenization of the property given what Trammell Crow has done elsewhere.  Uniqueness is not part of the bottom line anymore.
We discovered Jekyll years ago because my husband, as a senior officer, was instrumental in building a manufacturing facility in Georgia for his company - headquartered in Michigan.  I still have the souvenir of the red Georgia soil encased in plastic that he was given at the opening of the plant. We got to see Georgia and meet many people because of that work.  As a result, we have come to feel that Georgia represents a great more genuine Southern hospitality than some other places. 
In addition, our son went to school there and we visited him as well.  Georgia has so many different kinds of things to offer.  We loved exploring after our visits with our son.
We are very disappointed in the bottom-line greed that has pervaded the actions surrounding Jekyll.  We have seen this kind of behavior and decision making elsewhere and have grieved over the lack of vision and destruction of special places just like Jekyll.  I believe it has long been a true jewel - kept bright and shining while St. Simons has become over run with people, buildings and too many touristy shops.  Why have Jekyll become another place that is just like all the rest in the Southeast?  There is plenty of open land for development and to sell out to the developers who only care about their own incomes and profits is purely stupid and shortsighted! 
In conclusion, please reconsider what is about to happen.  In taking away the ambiance that Jekyll currently has, you destroy something that can never be regained.  The breathtaking beauty and the peace of this natural resource are priceless.  You hold the future of it in your hands and need to see what that future will turn into - a nightmare!  The infrastructure cannot possible support what has been presented without a serious problem or problems resulting.  More people mean more problems - big ones usually.
Thank you very much for taking the time to read this.  I feel very strongly about Jekyll as you can tell.  I do love it deeply and treasure the memories of the times spent there.  I hope to spend many more winters there, but will not be able to if your developers go ahead with their plans as stated.  PLEASE take care.
    Julie Simmons

Regarding the recent e-mail on Jekyll affordability, I think some hotels with rooms starting at $250, or higher, is a great and necessary way to bring the island managed development. It is the only way to have better and more restaurants, shopping and profitable development.  If the mid-range hotels come which I think $250 is, then at some point the less expensive level motel will also build. All of the same price range level does not serve all of the citizens of Georgia in any way.
I enjoy Jekyll Island tremendously and hope the undeveloped part of the island stays as it is. I don't believe affordable means the same to all and compared to most beach front hotel costs, $225 to $250 will be a rate welcomed by many.
Mary Jane Coleman, St. Simon’s, GA

I am a fourth generation Georgian, and I have been going to Jekyll Island yearly or more often since 1975. Before that, I went to St. Simons and Jekyll with my parents and my grandmother, my aunt and uncle and cousins. My grandchildren are the fourth generation in our family to enjoy Jekyll Island.
Even when my husband was in graduate school at UGA, we could afford to vacation at Jekyll Island with our daughter and my parents, who were in declining health and modest circumstances.
I understand that the RFP that has been issued for the "redevelopment" of Jekyll Island does not even consider the legally mandated affordability issue for the "average" Georgian.
On my latest visit there June 9-16, I observed cars from counties all over Georgia --- people with their children, enjoying the natural beauty, the walking and biking trails, the lovely beach. This is as it should be.
The average Georgian can not afford million dollar condos or $200 a night hotel rooms. They don't want to be squeezed out by rising costs and building on the beaches. A so-called "town square" from the convention center to Blackbeard's is not desirable. We do not need trendy boutiques, Hard Rock Cafes or Tommy Bahamas. We need affordable accommodations. Refurbishing the existing hotels is a good idea, as long as they do not become beyond the reach of Georgians of average income.
There are already expensive islands for those who can afford and who desire them. There is only one Jekyll Island.
Please reply and let me know what steps you are taking to fulfill the will of the legislature that established the parameters for Jekyll Island and for observing the spirit of the law.
Theresa Miller Matt, Athens, GA

Jekyll remains one of Georgia's treasures as a habitat for nesting sea turtles and migrating birds as well as for its unique salt marshes, sand dunes, and unrestricted beaches.  As a resort, it is one of the few remaining coastal havens accessible to those of us who are not affluent.
To allow the construction of big-ticket homes and high-rise condominiums would benefit no one but a few avaricious developers and a handful of their wealthy clients, who often feel entitled to gates, security guards, and exclusive rights to Georgia's natural beauty.   Most importantly, such development would put excessive pressure on the island's wildlife, roads, beaches, and infrastructure and discourage visitation by the common Georgians for whom the island was intended when it became a state park.
When considering the redevelopment of Jekyll, please keep the protection of our natural    resources in mind as well as the affordability of accommodations for ordinary Georgians, who will be priced out of a beach vacation on the island if developers are allowed to proceed with their plans for the south end of the island.
Does the world really need another St. Simons Island or Hilton Head where the beach and marsh are no longer visible to the public, where traffic is in a constant snarl, and where once vibrant natural habitats for wildlife have disappeared?
Brenda Deily Constan

Please do consider the factor of affordability in room rates. There is no way in the world I would ever come to Jekyll Island and pay $250 a night for a room. I'd drive an extra hour or so and just make a one day visit before I'd pay that much. I also think you should consider the fact that the majority of Georgians aren't making stratospheric sums of money and can't afford to spend that much for a hotel room. I personally try not to spend more than $60 to $80 on a hotel room and when I do I make sure I have a microwave and refrigerator. If all the hotel options are way, way out of my price range, I wouldn’t even consider coming at all. If it is only slightly out of my price range I can go, hmm, and see what I can juggle (like cutting the trip shorter).
[Regarding the statement]"There are other stakeholders in Jekyll Island besides those of average income whose needs must be taken into account."  Actually, if you look at the population of Georgia there are more "average" income citizens than there are citizens who make large sums of money. And if I remember rightly, Jekyll Island is owned BY the citizens of Georgia, neither the Development Authority nor the hotels. Since there are more average income citizens (stakeholders) in Georgia than above average, shouldn't the redevelopment of Jekyll Island have a large proportion of rooms that cater to them? There is a much more limited number of above average incomes out there and if the majority of what is built caters to them and nothing is built/redeveloped for us average joe/joettes is that fair?
Are you trying to create an elitist environment? And aren't you also creating a potential problem when you find you've got too many rooms built for the high end and not enough high end customers booking nights and you have low occupancy rates which leads to low cash flow?
If you wanted to make 25% to 30% be high end that would make sense. But to make it all be high end.... nope.
           Sincerely, an average Joe(ette) citizen of Georgia i.e. stakeholder
           Vicki Williams, Marietta, GA

"Georgia's Jewel" needs your help in protecting and maintaining the island as a valuable environmental resource that has provided memories for visitors, students, and other "plain" Georgians who were to be its principal beneficiaries when the state purchased the property in 1947. The Jekyll Island Authority shouldn't be in the business of doling out welfare to wealthy developers at the tune of $10 million.  The proposed room rate
of $250 is not affordable to the average Georgian.  An email has been sent to the Governor requesting he help preserve Jekyll's affordability.
Professor Brillhart taught a coastal Biology Course for twenty years at Emory University doing the lab portion for three weeks each year during the summer on the Georgia coast.  He stressed to the students as they visited Jekyll that it is one of the few barrier islands accessible by land that had been preserved for Georgians. Jekyll has a large natural area of preserved dune structure, marsh, a beach with many shells washing onto the beach, with a wonderful bird sanctuary that.  Jekyll in addition to its ecological value has great historical interest. It's most important that the historical and ecological features remain for the coming generations and not be destroyed or impacted by development for the rich. Developments should have a controlled, limited impact on the ecology and history of this wonderful treasure.
Georgia Law prohibits the development of 65% which is to benefit all Georgians not just those who could afford $250 night. Board Member Ed Boshears "I just don't think that the rent abatement they proposed to give these people is justified.  It doesn't make any sense to me."  We agree with him.                               
          Connie and Bill Brillhart, St. Simons Island, GA  31522

I am writing to let you know my feelings on the new developments on Jekyll Island.  While I am not from Georgia, I have vacationed on the Island since 1975.  I enjoy the island as it is.  I could never afford to stay on St. Simons or Sea Island, but I can afford to stay on Jekyll.  I feel that any attempts to develop Jekyll Island to be more in the line with the other two islands which are just a short distance away would benefit the same people who already are benefiting from what is offered on the other two islands.  I visited St. Simons Island this year and it was a traffic nightmare.  I returned to Jekyll and find peace and solitude.  Jekyll is where the person of average income can vacation.  If the wealthy want to vacation there I am sure that they could stay at the Millionaire's club or Crane cottage.  That is if they required lodging that only they can afford.
It is also my opinion that since St. Simons and Sea Island are running out of room for development this new plan is being pushed through to benefit the wealthy, bankers, and developers.  How many members of the JIA board are from Jekyll?  How many are from St. Simons?  How many are from Brunswick?  How many make under $50,000 a year?  I think when you answer these questions you will see what I am talking about, and get the point I am trying to make.  It is a land grab, because the other land is already taken.  Please continue to make Jekyll Island a vacation paradise that all can afford.  If some people because of there financial situation need fancier "digs" let them go elsewhere.  If you over develop the island and make part of it only available to the very wealthy, then eventually that is all that there will be on Jekyll.  It will become a millionaires club again: and the people who can afford to vacation there now may be able to get jobs waiting tables, or as cleaning ladies, or hotel clerks.  Just like they did when it was a private club.

I recently spent a weekend getaway with two children at Georgia's best beachfront state park, Jekyll Island. We had a wonderful time along with other families of average means enjoying the beach and the natural beauty of this state park. We stayed at a comfortable but modest and affordable hotel across the street from the beach. At $125 a night, this hotel was in reach of average middle class Georgia families, as the island's charter calls for.
I was dismayed to learn of the plans that are being entertained to "revitalize" Jekyll Island by replacing the present modest and affordable hotels that cater to average citizens with luxury hotels and condominiums that only wealthy persons will be able to afford to visit. Adding insult to injury is the proposal to relocate "budget" hotels inland so that only the wealthy will have direct access to the beach. Jekyll Island is a state park
that belongs to all the people of this state, not a private playground for the rich like Sea Island and Hilton Head. The wealthy have plenty of fancy places to go to if they find the current motor lodges too modest for their taste.
In keeping with the island's status as a state park, instead of replacing the existing convention center with an expanded facility together with additional shops, boutiques, condominiums, and whatnot, why not tear it down and build a public beachfront park with picnic tables and walk-in tent camping. The current northern campground could continue to be used primarily by persons using recreational vehicles, while the new southern campground could offer a more natural alternative to campers in tents who don't want to listen to the noise of RV motors running all night long. Perhaps a park headquarters and ranger station with a wildlife exhibit could be installed as well as is the case at other state parks. Or a small amphitheater for nighttime ranger presentations about the island's history and natural life. This would promote ecotourism and encourage conservation rather than allowing Jekyll Island to be developed into another St. Simon's Island, with overdevelopment spoiling the natural beauty.
In short, please keep Jekyll Island affordable and remember that it is a state park, not a plum to be handed over to wealthy developers eager to pave over nature for their own profit.
Jeffrey Sokolow, Atlanta, GA

Last week I spent a great, relaxing week at Jekyll Island with my mother and her sister. I've been coming to Jekyll since the early 70s when I was a preteen. I've been to other beaches: Panama City, Destin, but I always come back to Jekyll. Why? Because it is a BEACH!! It is the ocean lapping up against your ankles. It is the sound of the waves and tide coming in through your motel room window late at night. It is darkness and looking for sea turtles. It is peaceful, calm, and quiet. When sitting on the beach at Jekyll it is very easy to imagine what the beach looked like before Oglethorpe, before the Spanish explorers, when it was just the Native Americans and the animals and God.
I agree that the motels need to be refurbished and renovated. I would even go so far as to say that the little shopping area needs a fresh coat of paint or facade but other than that I would say LEAVE IT ALONE!! It was originally intended as a STATE PARK FOR THE CITIZENS OF GEORGIA. Well, this citizen doesn't need shopping malls, movie theaters when she goes to the beach; just some good seafood at Zachary's or Blackbeard’s, a round of putt-putt and a picnic on the clean, calm peaceful beaches of my state park!!
That's what I consider Jekyll Island MY BEACH...I don't live there but I'm a native of this great state and I say leave it alone
Deborah Autry, Calhoun, GA

When I was much younger, Jekyll was one of the few places that I could take my family for a short vacation because it was affordable. I still love going to Jekyll even though I could afford more expensive places. I realize that greed, profit, and a total lack of appreciation of beauty will usually win. I am making a request, however, to keep Jekyll a place for all people. We have enough exclusivity as it is.
John Bishop

I visit Jekyll Island at least three times a year and have for years.  I can
not continue to do that if the new development that is proposed goes through.  I can't stay if the price goes to $140 per night or higher.  I don't know many people who can.  Jekyll has been our vacation spot.  I suppose I could take my business to South Carolina if Hunter Island beach is still affordable.
I don't care for the Florida beaches as they are overpriced and "fakey."
That is how I see the development at places like San Marco Island and Sea
Island.  They are ugly monuments to the nouveau riche; we called this style of
development as nouveau riche tacky.  Worse, they will never be returned to
their normal natural beautiful state.
I implore you to reconsider your plans for Jekyll development to include
those of us who truly love this island.
Janie Hopwood, GA

           Hello, my name is Ashley Chasteen, and I am a recent graduate of UGA. My family has been visiting Jekyll for over forty-five years. Besides its tranquility, natural beauty, and wonderful seafood, one of the main reasons we spend our time there is its affordability of its hotels and attractions. The prices that the Trammel Crow Company plans to tag onto its refurbished Buccaneer Resort hotel rooms (where my family has stayed for years) would push families like mine out of our favorite spot. Originally, the island was intended to be an affordable destination for people of "ordinary means;" charging over $200 a night for a hotel room clashes with the island's affordability mandate originally set forth in Jekyll's founding legislation. Has the JIA even mentioned this affordability mandate to the Trammel Crow Co.?
     I must ask you,  why push the loyal Jekyll-goers out of their oceanside accommodations when refurbishing the already affordable hotels will accomplish the feat of bringing in money for the island. Those belonging to a more affluent class already have their rich destinations - please help us and countless other families preserve our little - affordable - slice of heaven.
Ashley Chasteen, Marietta, GA
I am writing to you as a concerned citizen regarding the future of Jekyll Island. It appears we are at a crossroads for what Jekyll Island is today and what it can or should be in the future. There is no question a solution must evolve which provides for the long term economic needs of Jekyll. In some shape form or fashion, Jekyll Island must generate sufficient funds to support the scale and scope of amenities on the island. Some sort of economic self sufficiency must be realized.                                                        What is most disturbing to me is the potential for destruction of Jekyll Island's primary redeeming value,  natural beauty, while people take a one sided approach to solving Jekyll's financial predicaments. I continue to read and hear reports the state wants to develop the few remaining natural parcels with high end luxury features commonly found on Amelia, Fripp, Skidaway, St. Simons, with developments in the hundreds of millions of dollars targeted to the top 10% of wage earners. It sounds like the developers and consultants have convinced everyone Jekyll Island can only survive if we destroy part of it to save all that remains to create another seaside playground for the well to do. Is the true purpose of JIA to orchestrate and develop another exclusive playground for the top 10% income families? Or is the purpose of JIA to protect the natural beauty and provide for future generations?  New development should not be allowed until existing developments are self sustaining. Once they are self sustaining, new development is not required! If that requires demolition and rebuild on existing areas, so be it.Let me make myself very clear. Jekyll Island belongs to all Georgians. Not the wealthy. Not the top 10%, 20% or 70%. Jekyll Island belongs to ALL Georgians. Any development which limits accessibility and affordability of Jekyll Island to average citizens (taxpayers) of Georgia is morally, ethically, and legally wrong. Just so you know, I am in the top 5% of taxpayers, I just try to keep things in perspective about how fortunate I am and how others deserve access to public amenities. The state park system cannot create economic exclusivity on Jekyll. If 50% of citizens earn less than $50,000, then 50% of the features offered on the island must be affordable to those $50,000 citizens. Logically, then 10% of features and amenities can carry a richer price tag for those earning in the top 10% wage brackets. It is my understanding the charter which created the JIA is very specific in regards to providing affordable features to "average" citizens.Since it is clear an exclusive high end development cannot be the primary solution, what can help create the revenue streams needed to support and protect Jekyll Island for generations to come? Have you looked at eco-tourism as a foundation for economic growth?  Have you looked at partnering with Bernie Marcus and Georgia Aquarium to create learning and education programs for youth and families? Are you making the best use of the 4H facility, or have you neglected it the same as Rock Eagle? Are the athletic fields used for training camps, tournaments, etc on a regular basis with high schools, colleges, etc?  Have you really put forth the mental energy needed to develop creative solutions, or have you just relied on the special interest groups to guide you to the answer that will enrich them at taxpayers’ expense? Can you even tell me what the current break even point is for Jekyll?  How many more visitors and what revenue is needed to move Jekyll closer to a breakeven point for maintaining the island's current state supported amenities?  I am passionate about this topic because it is my island, my family's island, and belongs to my family's future generations as well. I will not stand by and allow special interest groups to take over my island and limit my accessibility based on economics. Instead of taking the easy way out, work harder and develop a creative solution which meets the needs of the island plus the majority of Georgia's citizens at the same time consistent with JIA charter. That is your job isn't it?    Mike Powers, Hiram, Georgia, 
In your deliberations regarding changes being considered for the Island, please keep in mind the Georgia Code of Law which has mandated that Jekyll Island be affordable to the average person. Putting in hotels with the prices I have been shown would certainly eliminate many people from coming back to Jekyll Island.   Also, I believe having condos build where the Buccaneer Hotel was located would be a mistake.   This would inhibit access to the beaches and block the ocean view for others.Please don't let money grabbing land developers come in and ruin this paradise.   My family and I have been coming there since the 80's and is always our first preference when we decide where to vacation. Take a look at St. Simon and Hilton Head; developers and money have set them aside for only people of wealth.Please give this great consideration before destroying this paradise for the average people                                                                                                                          Nancy Hopkins, GA
I love to visit Jekyll because it has been kept in a more natural state.  My interest is in the wild life and natural environment, not swank accommodations. Please do not allow greedy developers to over develop this special place.My second concern is keeping hotel rooms affordable on the island.  What to me is affordable would be $80.00 to $90.00 a night for two double beds. Thank you for your stewardship of what is a natural treasure belonging to all Georgians.                                                                     Jo Hamby, Pine Lake, GA
         We have been staying at Jekyll for nearly 10 years now, since we first moved to Georgia. We were first attracted by the State Musical Theater of Georgia, where our son spent two summers.  We were devastated when the theater lost it's funding, as we enjoyed so many happy evenings there over the years.  One of the main reasons we continue to come, is the fact that we can afford to stay for an entire week, usually by renting one of the houses or duplexes available on the island. 
We love to visit, and would love to spend additional long weekends on Jekyll.  We used to do so, staying at the Holiday Inn.  It began to decline, and of course is now gone.  If there were attractive, affordable hotels available, we would be able to return every few months.  For us, that hotel needs to be $100 per night or less.  Something along the lines of a Hampton Inn, Holiday Inn Express, etc.  We would want these hotels to be located where the present and recent hotels have been, not tucked into some obscure corner of the island.
We appreciate the fact that Jekyll is a simple, peaceful place to enjoy the ocean.  Without the noise and distraction of lots of clubs, theme parks, etc.  Surely people looking for that type vacation have more than enough places from which to choose.  Please save our island from becoming "just another Hilton Head", or God forbid, Panama City Beach.
We ask that you remember the Georgia code, designating Jekyll as a place for "the plain people of Georgia".  The wealthy clientele you are trying to attract is the very thing we "plain people" try to avoid while on vacation.  They can go to Sea Island, or St. Simons, or any of a number of other Georgia places.  Jekyll Island is a state park.  The law was written to keep it that way.
You can be sure that we, along with thousands of other Jekyll Island lovers, will be watching your actions.
Rich and Sharon Selzer, Snellville, GA

       My family has been coming to Jekyll Island from Canada annually for more than 15 years for the absolutely unique living experience we enjoy there.  The openness to the ocean from almost any point on the island, the long beautiful and quiet beaches, miles of flat and quiet bike paths , the beautiful and welcoming tennis club and features such as  the continuing development of the Historic District and most important of all, the feeling  of peace and tranquility that is the hallmark of Jekyll Island .
       We understand development options are being considered for the Island. We believe the atmosphere of Jekyll is a very delicate one and are concerned that major developments could destroy the very thing that makes Jekyll so very special to so many people.
       Coming from Ontario, Canada we have seen devastating effects of major development on what we now realize should have been conserved as treasures. The shores of our beautiful Muskoka lakes are ringed with huge private cottage/condominium estates making it virtually impossible to access or even view the lakes except from a few small public areas. And dining is either hot dogs or expensive high-end cuisine. Similarly the Ontario shores of Lake Ontario are now given over almost completely too expensive homes and high rise condominiums giving the affluent wonderful lake views but prohibiting same for others. And in Toronto, our provincial capital, the city is fighting the uphill battle of trying to “reclaim” its waterfront for its citizens.
       You and the Jekyll Island Authority have made Jekyll Island unique! If it is carrying its own weight financially it would be a great shame to change its environment. It is serving a wonderful purpose for   so many   people of average and less means.  Brush it up, sure, but please don't change its nature. There are so many places that cater to the affluent   in our world. Please do not spoil this blessed place for the others.
       For people who would like higher end facilities, and can afford them, there is, of course, the Jekyll Island Club and its Grand Dining Room. And for more variety there is St Simon's and Sea Island, both within minutes of Jekyll Island. As you well know, they together with Brunswick itself, boast some of the finest high end dining in the South.      
       We hope that plans for the future of Jekyll Island will benefit from the mistakes made in dealing with other treasures and will simply enhance the features that make the Island so appealing and unique.
       Thank you and the Jekyll Island Authority for your past achievements in creating such a marvelous place of peace and enjoyment as Jekyll Island.
Marjorie and Robin Banks, Ontario, Canada 
      My family and I have vacationed on Jekyll Island since 1995; it is a very unique and special place to us.  We have followed the plans for redevelopment of the islands facilities very closely and are concerned about the direction they seem to be taking.  Jekyll's mandate as I understand it is to be affordable and accessible to all Georgians and it should remain so.  I believe it should also remain affordable for those such as our family who come from outside Georgia to visit Jekyll.  I would agree that the islands facilities are in need of some renewal and upgrading, I disagree with relying to heavily on a public/private partnership to achieve this.  The State obligation is to the people, the private obligation is solely to profit.  A rush to utilize a state resource in this way would inevitably lead to the loss of accessibility of that resource for a large segment of Georgians and visiting out of state tourist alike.  Jekyll is currently affordable to everyone; there are accommodations that appeal to all regardless of income.  Replacing value and moderately priced lodging with strictly upscale hotels and condominiums only serves to create an air of exclusivity about the place and would effectively price families of moderate incomes out of the market.  Closing even a small portion of the island attractions such as the golf course to the public would be a detriment as well.  Jekyll was once an exclusive enclave of the wealthy, I fear that implementation of the proposed redevelopment plan would make it that again.  We receive the Jekyll Island Beachscape newsletter each month. Every issue touts Jekyll as a family vacation destination; a place to enjoy nature, family and to get away for the everyday hustle and bustle. We hope that it remains such a place, one that from our experience is like no other.  Please keep it that way.    
       Paul, Ginger and Jordan Patterson, Gurley, Alabama
      I have been going to Jekyll Island for twenty five years. I go with twenty five or thirty friends from all over the eastern part of the U.S. We can do this because it is affordable. We come here to play golf and enjoy the ocean. We are blue collar workers who have families and work hard for our money. Because Jekyll Island is affordable we can save enough to make this trip each year. If a two bed room rate was more than $150.00 per night it would be unaffordable to my friends and I. People with lots of money have lots of places to go. Please leave this wonderful place for the average working families of Georgia and the other states who go there. Thank you,   James Archibald, Aiken, SC
We urge you to take into consideration affordability when making decisions about Jekyll's revitalization in general and hotel redevelopment in particular.  Take a look at the median income of the residents of Georgia and let that be your guide.
Keep in mind that Jekyll's affordability is part of the Georgia Code of Laws
and as such should figure significantly in your deliberations.
Margaret and William Medeiros, Nantucket, MA 
My family and I have been coming to Jekyll Island for 20 years and we were just there last week.  I was shocked to hear what is going on.  We have all these years praised Jekyll to all we know as affordable and restful.  Our haven from gross commerciality and overpricing throughout this country for beach areas.  To me a vacation is not a vacation without beach (peaceful beach that is).  On Jekyll we can afford to rent a house and walk across the street to the beach.  We can afford to invite family and friends and not ask them to contribute (either because they can't afford it or because it is repayment for like treatment at other locations).  We fix our own meals which helps with affordability.  The golf is also affordable.  We played three times on Jekyll where we wouldn't be able to afford to play even once over on St Simons.  When we first started coming to Jekyll Island we started out renting a house.  We have been renting the same house each time.  When we first came it was $300 and is now a little over $1000 but still affordable.  If hotel room rates go to $250 I would hate to think what houses will go to!!!!!!  One thing is for sure is that a family tradition will no longer be possible.  My first grandchild will be born this year, will I be able to give my grandchild the same memories his mother has?   Don't allow Jekyll to become another oasis for only the rich.  How many hearts will you break?
           Sue Gay, Louisville, KY                      

Georgians Speak on Jekyll’s Redevelopment

Georgia has an opportunity to preserve a unique natural resource or to plunder it and fill the pockets of developers and merchants.  I hope we will have the wisdom to serve as a model of conservation and preservation rather than an emblem of greed.  To sell Jekyll Island's unspoiled natural beauty to commercial interests determined to wring dollars out of every inch of the island would be to declare before the world that we are soul-less, avaricious drones.  Don't sell out the wildlife; don't sell out the people of Georgia.  
Lindsie Tucker, Marietta, GA 30062

I feel there needs to be some upgrading of the facilities , more shops and restaurants etc .However, I don't want anything to hinder the good job they have done replacing the dunes .I remember when the beach area was one big parking lot , and they have improved on that tremendously .We have spent the night at The Club Hotel , but we saved for a special occasion to do that -and its rates shoud be the highest on the island. NO RITZ CARLTON , NO Mercer Reynolds - Reynolds Plantation - PLEASE.
Maurice & Martha Mixson,

Jekyll Island should remain a place for the citizens of Georgia (as well as other visitors) to visit without the commercialism that is seen at other places.  I enjoy the natural atmosphere where we can enjoy the beaches and safe bike rides.  Jekyll Island has changed very little in the over 30 years I have been coming.  The relaxing atmosphere is what keeps bringing me back.  Don't let the developers ruin the Island!  Once it is gone, it will be gone forever
David Powell, Acworth, GA

We are losing so many of Georgia's treasures to development, I don't want to see Jekyll lost forever to the "plain Georgians," too.  The almighty dollar speaks louder than the historical significance or the fragile beauty of our great state to some people.  Power run amuck, like greed, is an ugly thing.  I do hope Jekyll can be secured for all time for true "plain Georgians."
Karen LeCroy, Acworth, GA

Jekyll Island is Georgia's treasure for the average citizen - the less development the better. 
Roy & Carole Williams, Darien GA

I spent my honeymoon at the San Sousci at the Jekyll Island Club and visited there annually until my husband passed in 2001.  Every year we would go ahead and reserve "our room".  I have many happy memories of the visits and tours of the island.  Since my first knowledge of Jekyll Island, my sister and her husband have fallen in love with it too.  They used to go to Mexico annually but Jekyll has replaced that trip.  In fact they are on Jekyll this weekend.  Keep it as it is.  I live on Tybee Island and the developers have played havoc with this island.  Remember....they are only lying when their lips are moving!!  Protect that lovely island!!
Charlene B Barrett, Tybee Island, Ga. 31328

My spouse and I come to Jekyll Island, because we want to forego the costs and "airs" of St. Simons.  We were married in Faith Chapel and rented Cherokee for the weekend.  Additionally, we love the nature offerings of Jekyll.  My parents brought us to Jekyll as children to feed the squirrels.  I do not want it to be unaffordable for families like we were, when I was a kid.
Lorelei Odom Shipp, Carrollton, GA 30116

As a native of Glynn County, Granddaughter of an early resident (1935) of Glynn Haven, I have seen the natural beauty of St. Simons overwhelmed by rampant development.  My husband refuses to set foot on St. Simons. Now the developers have set their sights on Jekyll, probably the last frontier of coastal beauty. We are all recharged and released of everyday stress by visiting a quiet, peaceful, natural setting.  We do not need another place for non-stop doing. Let those who wish to pursue expensive hobbies and fabulous meals go to Miami Beach, Hilton Head, Mytle Beach with their overcrowded roads.  A majority of average Georgians need an affordable place for family reunions, 4-H camps, school outings.  We also need a place for educators to teach about the importance of our coastal eco-system. In a few years all the condos will need new roofs, new appliances, etc. and the absentee owners will not be willing to invest the time or money on the upkeep.  Any one who was in Atlanta during the great condo bust can attest to what happens. My idea of Heaven is a walk on the beach or along a sandy trail in a maritime forest followed by perfectly fried local shrimp, hush puppies, coleslaw, and a big glass of ice cold tea. then off to watch the stars until bedtime. Hopefully, these simple pursuits will still be possible on Jekyll for at least the rest of my children's lifetimes.
Barbara Diemmer, Monroe, Georgia

There is no question that the deteriorating hotels and convention center on Jekyll need help, and I do not believe the State of Georgia is up to doing the job in the most efficient and effective manner.
I do not have a problem with redevelopment on the island as long as: 1. It stays at 35% and only in current developed areas;  2. There is a height restriction of no more than 3 stories (2 is preferable on the beach front);  3.  Public beach access and facilities are maintained in the plan; 4. Protection of the ecosystems on the island during and after construction is closely monitored; 5. The number of hotel rooms or condos is not increased substantially; 6. The density stays low (ie mandatory green space surrounding any proposed redevelopment or development with preservation of current vegetation as well as additional plantings with mandatory eco-friendly construction practices); 7.  The number of affordable rooms on beach-front properties are, at a minimum, equal to, but preferably greater than, the number of upscale rooms.
Laurie Middleton, Marietta, GA

When will the voice of the people be hear as opposed to that of people we elect?  More and more of Georgia is being given away to private groups after the taxpayers of Georgia paid for that same item in the beginning (Stone Mountain Park).  We are simply being told that these things are money losers while big busy continues to profit from the sweat of the honest people who have worked hard to pay taxes and tolls for items that are given away once a person is elected to office.  I pray that the Island remains a place that is still affordable in the near future or we all will regret the profit motive in the very near future.
Davis Cooper, Waycross, Georgia

Jekyll needs to be affordable to the masses.  It needs to be a place for education and environmental efforts.  The rich & famous have other places, but the average person needs Jekyll to remain available.  Students need top quality 4H & educational facilities unblighted by development. 
Bette & Charles Baldwin, Tifton, GA

Jekyll is a jewel in that so many islands become exclusive clubs for those who are wealthy. Jekyll has been the everyday person's island. It indeed needs to be protected so that it is not prostituted like its neighbor St. Simons to line the wallets of the developers and become a rich person's playground or relegated only to those with well-heeled pockets like Sea Island. The environmental issues from too much or from uncontrolled development are far too great since a barrier island is naturally moving over time. Artificial methods of maintaining the beaches are costly and infringe on the natural beauty of the beaches. Enhancing the island is one thing, but tearing down places like the Buccaneer to replace with a much higher end hotel ends up limiting who can come and enjoy the island. No private beaches either unless it is to protect the turtles or other animal or plant species living on the island.
Barbara King, Griffin, GA 30224


As for a referendum, I say no because you have to make everyone understand what you are trying to do and you have a lot of people who go vote that do not have a clue as to what they are voting on and the way things are worded on some ballots some might think that if Jekyll was more developed then it might be somewhere they would be more likely to go.  If something could be done to get voters to understand what developing would do to Jekyll then maybe put it to a vote. 
Jekyll Island is like my second home.  I am as comfortable at Jekyll as I am in my own community.  I love Jekyll with all of my heart and soul and would be sickened to see it become another Panama City.  I loathe that place and have not been in 13 years.  I'd rather come to Jekyll in a heart beat.  I first visited Jekyll with my parents when I was in 9th grade. We not make a trip to Jekyll every Thanksgiving and I also bring my youth group to Super Wow each summer.  Any chance I get in between those trips I am at Jekyll.  I just love it.  But one of the reasons I come is because you can find all kinds of nature to enjoy where it be a walk on the beach where you find shells, crabs, or other creatures; or the maritime forest where you can see interesting birds and insects.  At night, during Thanksgiving, we will get in to at least two different vehicles and look at the deer.  Whoever has seen the most deer wins.  We don't win anything, just the satisfaction that we saw the most deer.  It is always fun.  If Jekyll was more developed, these animals would be moved from Jekyll and that is one of the most enjoyed things we do each and every night.  We also see other animals when go on our drives.  I love Jekyll it is.    
Karmen Mesch, Carrollton, GA 30117
For forty five years, Jekyll Island has been a refuge for me and my family.  Year after year,  its solitude and undeveloped beauty, especially in the winter months, has restored my eqanimity and peace of mind.  I abhor the development along most of the SE coast, yet I understand that many folks find that appealing.  I do not.  But as long as Jekyll remains much as it it, I have an affordable place to go to meet my needs. 
Of course, the aging motels need redevelopment.  That needs to be done in a way that maintains the low key and financially accessible ocean front accomodations that are Jekyll's legacy.
Who is really to determine how Jekyll is developed?  While it needs to be those who treasure and use Jekyll Island, my fear, which is already coming to pass, is that it will be the developers and promoters whose only interest in Jekyll is profit.
That the JIA is giving my tax money to these developers as "incentive" is a further outrage. 
Michele McNichols, Atlanta, GA 30327

Renovate existing facilities and retain the natural areas. If vacationers - wealthy or otherwise - want boutiques, expensive restaurants and "entertainment," they are available at a large number of beach locations. But, there are few ocean-side areas left where average citizens can enjoy relatively unspoiled vistas and a degree of ocean-side serenity.
Jerry & Sylvia Flowers,  Macon, GA 31217

We live on the Georgia Coast and have watched the rampant development of all of the barrier islands over the past several years.  Currently there are many options for those seeking luxury accommodations and shopping.  Jekyll is unique in its affordable access to wildlife and history.  We must capitalize on these assets and not create just another St. Simons, Sea Island or Little Cumberland.  Let us keep one island for the people, as Jekyll's founders intended.
Cynthia & Michael Robinson, Savannah, GA

The coastline of Georgia and the whole east coast has enough development to satisfy all citizens need for comfortable access.  Will we ever realize that once it is developed there is no turning back?  It can be maintained for a much longer period of time if is preserved in its natural state.  If we run out of space and need to make some modifications to made it easier to get to we will always have that choice available.
Let's leave that choice open for future generations.  I'm sure they will be very grateful.
John P. Walsh, Decatur, GA  30030

Jekyll Island has been our vacation choice since our children were 3 and 6. They are now 36 and 40 and there are now 4 grandchildren between 6 years and 10 months.  The tradition has been continued with them.  We recently spent a week in a 5 bedroom, 3 bath rental, all ten of us.  It was a very special week, as have all of them been over the years.  In the early years the affordability was very important and still is. We also attended Beach Music for about 12 years.
The history, the ecosystem, the specialness of the Island must be preserved. My children and I have had our chance to love the Island and it is my hope that our grandchildren will be given the same opportunity.
Sandy Lumpkin, Ashburn GA 

Jekyll Island is a great place to visit.  We love to fish, bike, swim and sail. We miss the public artesian well pool that was there long ago. Jekyll is a great destination because of its natural beauty.  Why would anyone want to make it just like every other island destination on the coast? The only motivation is profit.  Further development would only server to take it off my list of vacation destinations.   Leaving only Cumberland Island and the Canaveral Seashore, FL as 'eco-destinations'.  Please do all you can to stop development on Jekyll.  I'd be glad to donate to the cause.
Allen Leggett, Lilburn, GA

Jekyll Island is beautiful as it is and development should be limited. If people are looking for 'upscale' developed beach resorts there are way too many to choose from now - we don’t need to turn Jekyll into yet another over priced, over developed island.
Captain Bill Rountree, Tucker GA

I think the Georgia coast & surrounding areas should offer a variety of options.  Jekyll is a popular "economical" destination for visitors who choose not to say in other "luxury" destinations such as St Simons and Hilton Head.  Jekyll should offer a variety of lodging options to meet the needs of budget minded as well as luxury minded visitors. 
A mixed use development plan could provide a broad range of options to a variety of demographic visitors and residents but control, regulation and income sharing should be in the hands of a balanced representation of elected, appointed and hired management professionals that could ensure a balance of income vs preservation agendas.
Dave Crumbley, Lilburn, GA

Save Jekyll Island for ALL the people of Georgia and our visitors as originally intended.
Bert O. Richmond, Athens, GA 30606

I have been vacationing on Jekyll Island since I was 2 years old. I love the island the way it is. It is not crowded and does not have large highways with lots of traffic. It is a place to vacation peacefully and escape the hustle and bustle of daily life. I love riding the bike trails and visiting the current shopping center. I feel safe walking on the beach or sidewalks alone or even at night. My husband, father and brother love the golf course the way it is. We are not a wealthy family, but we can afford to vacation at Jekyll and let the men play golf. I would hate to see the golf course change and become more expensive. If the island becomes a more expensive place to stay or more crowded we might as well go to Tybee or Hilton Head. The ocean water at Hilton Head is a lot less muddy. But we do not like Hilton Head because it is so expensive and crowded. I know that we would not vacation at Jekyll if it were to become so commercial as the other places listed above are. Please do not change the Jekyll Island! When I think of being there I think of such happy times and of a great little island. Please let me know if there is anything I can do to help the island stay un-commercialized and remain state owned and controlled.
Kasey Gonya, Sylvania GA 30467

I grew up in Jekyll. It has changed slightly over the years, but it still feels like Jekyll every time I visit. If it's over developed it would completely change the feeling I get when I visit. I love the little restaurants and beaches, drift wood beach is my favorite! If there is going to be any development it should something so small it would be hard to notice. Unless it's an add on to the historical buildings that are there now. I can only think of one place that I love to visit the most and that is Jekyll Island! If it changed too much, I probably wouldn’t visit anymore. I want to bring my kids there and tell them all the adventures I have been through as a child to an adult.  If there is a drastic change and then another one comes a long, then, I believe the essence of this island will disappear and it will be just some old resort park thing that nobody cares about anymore!
From the Heart, Hillary Johnson, Lawrenceville GA 30045

I don't stay at hotels now because the current rates of $100 + seem completely out of proportion for the value returned.  I usually just want to sleep so that I can enjoy the outdoors later.  Thus, I camp. 
Myra Hundley, Putney, GA 31782

GA has few accessible beaches.  Jekyll has already been severely degraded by development.  The pressure for development is purely $$$.  Stop development on the island.  Put it on the mainland.
Phil Mengel,  Carrollton, GA 30116

I have been going to Jekyll since childhood. Not much has changed, and that is so
phenomenal in today’s ever changing society. I was just there for 2 days yesterday.
So uniquely quiet and peaceful. Lots of families there that I am sure could not
go to many places for such affordability and amenities. It would be a shame to take this away from the middle class. Aren't we the people who are the backbone of this country? I hate to see this special place on the coast taken away from the ordinary public to be handed over once again to the wealthy.
Delores Coy, Savannah, GA
I am more concerned about development's impact on the environment rather than the affordability for all to visit.  Development should be strictly limited as it creates isolation within populations of animals.  If only patches of land are left for the animals, then they cannot vary the gene pool, which will result in inbreeding and/or extinction of a species.  It takes 30 years for a sea turtle to mature.  If we destroy their nesting ground or add lights near the beach areas, we will certainly be dooming Loggerhead Sea Turtles to extinction.  Please consider emphasizing more on the environment rather than expensive development.  It will pay off because an increase in development increases pollution.  If you aim to protect the environment, you restrict the amount of development possible because you restrict the amount of pollution allowed.
Jennifer Yates, Powder Springs, GA

The fact that there is a limit on the development of the land, the commitment to nature and natural habitat experiences, and the quiet and comfort of Jekyll Island is what draws us there time and again.  We need to preserve this island and, for once, say that development is NOT progress.  Further commercialization and development on Jekyll Island will detract from the beauty and the intrigue of the island.
Julie Strickland,  Portal, GA


As a parent and teacher, I have brought my family and students to Jekyll Island.  The most endearing trait of Jekyll is the low key atmosphere.  It is wonderful to have a place to find and observe nature.  A trip to the beach does not have to include being entertained by purchasing a ticket but to enjoy the sights and sounds on your own schedule.  Bird watching, bicycling, strolling the beach or observing an alligator promote what we could loose if we develop without perimeters.  Myrtle Beach, Hilton Head, Tybee or St. Simons can attribute to the overdevelopment issues.
Tricia Kerr, Conyers, GA  30013

I am so glad to see a group interested in preserving Jekyll.  Let me know if I can help.  Last year I wrote and webformed Gov. Perdue, all GA politicians, and the JIA.  I am very concerned that Jekyll not be turned into a St. Simon.  I did not get any good response and feel helpless in the matter.  The whole selling out of Jekyll is not being done in a transparent matter but hidden from the public.  The Gov. and the JIA have no accountability to the people of GA but they decide the fate of the island. I think your comment pages expressed this very well.
My last point is if Jekyll is a state park why does it have to be a big money maker.   Is nothing in the state done because of preservation and to earn a small profit?  Nobody I contacted has answered this question.  Feel free to e-mail me with suggestions about how to help.
Robin Revennaugh and family, Kennesaw, GA  30152

The actions taken by the Jekyll Island Authority regarding Trammell Crow are not in the interest of the citizens of Georgia.  It is outrageous that this jewel of an island owned by the people of Georgia is being used to enrich the few at taxpayers expense and to the detriment of the environment.
Carol Emmons, Atlanta, GA  30342

Jekyll Island should remain a place that the common person can afford to enjoy.  That does not mean no more renovations or changes, but it should not be altered for another place for the rich to come - Sea Island, The Cloister, St. Simons should be enough for the higher economic group.
        A new, more modern, convention center is a good idea.  It would be nice to see the ocean as you drive onto the island.  If the convention center could be built where the parking lot is now on the left of it; create parking on the right side; a nice walking park with ocean view where the current building is located.
      The biking trails have been improved and are wonderful.  The area near the fishing pier on the north end makes a nice difference.  Having the Millionaires' Village updated and enhanced has made a big improvement.  But, keeping it affordable for the 'working people' is a goal that I hope does not escape the board because they see $$$$$$$$$.
Becky Crosby, Valdosta, GA  31605

The island has its own peculiar character. I have the resources and could go other places but I find myself coming back to Jekyll because there are fewer numbers and more wide open spaces.  The 'way it is' is the main reason I keep coming back.  Expansion would have a negative impact on its environment and ecology and damage the peculiar character of the island.  Not every land resource has to be developed to the max.  Jekyll has remained largely unchanged since I first visited the island.  This is a good thing.  I prefer to preserve the unique character of Jekyll Island as it is. 
Charles Cary Grubbs, Griffin, GA

Thank you for the great work you are doing to maintain Jekyll Island as an affordable location for visitors in the middle income bracket. Please let us know if we can help further.
Joe & Theresa Barefoot, Lula, GA 30554

The last time we were at Jekyll, the room was very rundown. I hope there have been renovations done to the present motels on the island. We love going there, but we did not come this year because of the conditions of this motel. We enjoy staying here because it has a complete kitchen, but the beds were awful and the couch was all sunk in on the sides and high in the middle. We love going to the island because it is so peaceful. Thank you for trying to keep it affordable for people like us. We like the fact that it is so quiet and does not have all of the hustle and bustle of everyday life. Thanks again.
Keith and Patricia Vanderwarker, Byron, Georgia 31008

I would like to come every year. My husband is from Pennsylvania and visited for the first time last year. His comment was "Why didn't you tell me this was so nice".  Jekyll is one of the few places a family can enjoy the beach without loud music, parties, and a crowded beach. I love it there. It is beautiful. My family loves it there. We were coming this year but are taking a Disney trip this fall and could not afford both.
We stayed at the Beachview by accident. We had a room booked at the Days Inn and our card reader on the door broke and they didn't have another room for us. The Beachview did and we were glad. We drove into Brunswick to eat a couple of times and didn't mind at all.    If you read comments about the hotels/motels there a lot of them are not good.  Maybe some new affordable lodging and/or restaurants would be ok. But nothing so major that the ambience of the island would be disturbed. We sat and looked over at St. Simons....didn't even want to go there. We don"t need another St. Simons! If Jekyll is disturbed or drastically changed I'm not sure I would go there. Right now it is the only beach for us! 
Mike , Beverly Tost, Demorest,Ga  30535

Please remember that Jekyll Island is a unique place. If the proposed development goes forward, the very things that make Jekyll unique will be lost. This is state land, intended to be preserved for the people of the state. As noted by many others, if vacationers of means desire more upscale accommodations, they are welcome to find those at Hilton Head or other resorts. Why give up Jekyll as well? Aren't there enough upscale places to visit, without depriving working people (I'm a school teacher) of this wonderful place? Please, please, don't sell out to private development.
Theresa  Pinilla, Georgia
This is a critical fight for the future of Jekyll and we applaud your efforts to maintain a maximum of access for Georgia citizens and to protect the Island's critical ecological resources. 
Rafe and Ilze Henderson, Decatur, GA 30033-3402


As we crossed to bridge to Jekyll Island this past June I breathed a sigh of relief.  It had been two years since we had been there last and I had the worst dread that things would have changed.  But it hadn’t!  What we love to call “Our Island” was the same that we left two years ago.  Not too long into our visit did we learn that this may not be true on our next visit.
Articles in the newspaper, posters, and a survey gave us information to say that our next visit may never be able to happen.  It is so hard to find places as special as Jekyll.  We travel all over the country, usually not to return to the same place twice because we feel there is so much to see.  But Jekyll Island is different to us.  It is the one place we plant to return to over and over.  We also have told many others about this special place.
A little background that relates so well to the “affordability” issue:  We are avid campers.  We have been west, east and south, and we were looking for a campground on the coast.  I requested south so the water would be warm. And we found Jekyll Island.  After doing our research we realized that we found the beach, but not right at the campground, so we started looking for hotels. We were pleasantly surprised to find many places in our price range. We stayed at the Days Inn and had an unforgettable week in the summer of 2005.  We knew we wanted to return.
We had already planned our trip for the summer of 2006, but our thoughts kept returning to Jekyll. My husband started counting the days in January for our trip this year. The prices had gone up at the Days Inn, but we still could afford it.  We did look into alternatives for a trip next year, such as renting a house, because of the costs from this year’s trip.  But we know we want to return to Jekyll.  How much longer this will be possible is a worry to us.
We worry so much about development of Jekyll. We worry that this wonderful place will no longer be in our price range in a few years. It was a place that we went and were with families that lived like us. We love to say to friends, “this place is no Hilton Head”.  It is an island get-away for the average family. We ride bikes, visit the Turtle Center, Golf, shop, eat, and enjoy the beautiful, uncrowded beaches every day.
It is difficult to be an outsider on this issue, because we don’t feel like outsiders.
We know the affordability issue is a state issue, but it is also an issue for all who are concerned about preserving what is indeed a rare phenomenon these days - a barrier island set aside for the benefit of everyday citizens.
Jekyll is surly a natural wonder, a scenic treasure, but it’s not just the serene nature of the island that draws us to its shores. We also love it because we can afford a week’s vacation there without having to say “no” to our children when they want to do something there. It is because we can afford the island that we are able to return. 

Please consider our opinions on this issue. We are quite sure they are shared by many of Jekyll’s visitors who, like us, do not want to see this wonderful island become just another upscale resort.
Michael and Teri Hehn, Chicago, Il

Please preserve Jekyll Island as natural habitat for birds and other wildlife and as an affordable vacation spot for all Americans as it currently is.  If current outdated buildings were replaced with condos that would accommodate growth but not interfere with the island's current functions.  Thank you for taking my desires into consideration. 
Myra Hundley, Putney, GA 31782

Jekyll has gone up in prices yes, but I have visited there since I was a child, I love the fact that it is affordable to most all families to carry their children and grandchildren. I am willing to pay a fair price I just want the quite restful Beach I have had most of my life at Jekyll. - Anonymous

I have been visiting Jekyll every since the bridge was built to connect it to the mainland.  We carried our daughter there as a child.   
Jekyll is a valuable spot for ALL Georgians.  It should remain affordable for the average Georgian to enjoy.  Most important though, is that the area not become over populated.  It is important that the area remain as spot where all animal life, turtles, birds, etc. and plant life can flourish and provide opportunities for ALL people to enjoy them.
St. Simons and Sea Island provide spots for those who have plenty of money and want luxury.  Don't let Jekyll become like those islands. Improve the motels,  provide a few new reasonably sized motels if necessary,  but don't build luxury hotels for the elderly and rich.  ( I am 70 and can afford what I want to enjoy)  I believe  keeping Jekyll affordable and the population reasonable is crucial for ALL the people in Georgia and this region.
Barbara Wommack

I have visited Jekyll yearly since the early '80's. Now that I am retired and on a fixed income, it has become even more precious to me, due to it's unique beauty, and the fact that I can afford to visit for days at a time and fully savor it's delights.  I am quite certain that I could not visit regularly if the rate was $250 per night, or even $150 per night.
While reading the JIA proposal which noted a recent decline in visitors, I was struck by the fact that I did not see mentioned that two of its major, large, hotels have not been functioning for several years (because they were demolished in anticipation of new hotels being built on their sites); therefore it is only logical that the number of visitors has declined during those years. There have simply been fewer places available for visitors to stay. The fact that such a statement could be made in the proposal without further explanation seems to indicate a disquieting subtext to all of this talk about "improvements" "capturing visitors" and "revenue generation" which seem to figure as paramount considerations to the current JIA.
One can only hope and pray that Georgia's tradition of enlightened public leadership in the care of it's coastal assets is not mutating into some sort of desperate free-for-all feeding frenzy by developers and their lobbyists to pander to the moneyed interests at the expense of all of the rest of us--and gobble up all the glorious land and beachfront that has been so wonderfully preserved.  Jekyll does not need huge mega resort/condo/shopping center development. There is plenty of that already right next door at St. Simons and all along the Atlantic (and Pacific) coasts. Jekyll needs enlightened and far-sighted leaders to recognize its uniqueness and to protect it intact for all the generations to come.
Which other states possess such a wondrous, undeveloped jewel?  What other state leadership has proven itself to be such enlightened guardians of its barrier island?  We have bragging rights that few other entities in the world have.  Georgia has been lucky in having generations of caring and decent leaders who recognized the unique value of  Jekyll.  People from all over the country and Canada who seek beauty and serenity come to Jekyll. They come not for glitzy and faux "attractions", but for the peace and tranquility that in itself is a transcendent value and "attraction;" sublime and superior in all ways to practically anything else available to working-class people.
Joan Lardin , Atlanta

"Affordability" should be defined for Jekyll in terms of Georgia's general public because Jekyll belongs to the state, whose duty is to serve all of its citizens.
The average citizen of Georgia probably cannot afford vacation accommodations for more than around $100 a night.  Therefore while it is alright to have some upscale rooms on Jekyll (and there already are), it necessary also to have a large proportion of rooms affordable for the large portion of the Georgia populace.
Lew Gulick 

Jekyll Island is a place where I can remember growing up, my parents took me there almost every summer, as it wasn't too far from our hometown, and it had the beach. Now that I'm a mom, I'd like to be able to take my kids to Jekyll to enjoy the beach, but with the way the prices of the rooms on the island are going, that won't be a possibility for much longer. Please, don't make this an "A Club" place, as people like myself would still like a place to enjoy the beach with family.
My wife & I have been staying on Jekyll Island for the month of March for the past 8 years and intend to do so as long as we can afford it. We find the reasonable cost at the Quality Inn and Suites to be within our budget and the accommodations satisfactory. We also make use of the golf facilities on a regular basis. The character of Jekyll with its abundant natural areas, bike trials, affordable restaurants, low traffic, historic and cultural activities are just what we like. We fear that further development will both erode this character and push Jekyll out of reach of our budgets as retirees. It should be noted that while we are not residents of Jekyll we typically spend approximately $5000 on Jekyll and in Glynn County during our stay. If we had to spend twice what we now spend just for housing, we might not go there at all. While we enjoy some of the facilities on St. Simons during our stay, it is not the type of place we would like to see Jekyll Island become.
L. Patrick & Judith A. Caveney, Ithaca, NY 14850       

Jekyll Island remaining affordable for the majority of people is important.  The affordability confers an added benefit.  The price does not exclude people in the blatant way that Hilton Head and other destination Islands shut most people out.  The openness ensures a certain honesty and "realness" that is not present in the "hoity toity" islands. 
The "65% undeveloped" rule allows the natural areas and the wildlife to be part of this wonderful place. 

I am concerned as well as my husband the affordability of jekyll island where it looks like the hotels are starting to go up because of condos going up.  We stayed at days inn and even though there were some kids there for a prom our visit was overall nice.  Now we are hearing that developers are trying again to ruin jekyll island.  Please hotels, don't raise your rates!  My husband and I are low income and we can't afford a lot of places on the beach!  The Days Inn raised your rates from $91.50 to $100 for next May! We were thinking of possibly coming back, but we can't afford it you keep on raising your rates.
Leslie Marsh

Since 1977, when I first came to the island to golf, I have fallen in love with the place JUST AS IT IS! No McDonalds, No Pizza Huts, No Roller Coasters, No Shopping Malls, etc..etc..etc. Just a VERY LAYED BACK place to visit for a week - 10 days [I wish "WE" could afford longer!].  My wife and I are NOT related to the Roosevelt's or Hemmingway's, but we get by [70-90 K per year]. First the WANDERER INN ...COMFORT INN ...COMFORT SUITES, each year we rent two rooms for our family of four and her sister's family of four.  ALL we need is in the photo (a photo of a Jekyll sunrise which could not be reproduced here - DE) I have inserted. WE NEED NOTHING MORE. To wake up and see THIS adds 5 years to our lives each time we visit. I could eat peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for a week if I had to, JUST to see THIS every morning.
I am ALL for improvement. We ALL NEED improvement. But this will NEVER be a HILTON HEAD - MIAMI BEACH, no matter WHAT YOU BUILD!  People who travel to HILTON HEAD - MIAMI BEACH want 20 DOLLAR DRINKS & CAVIAR NOT TURTLE WALKS & ZACH'S EATS & TREATS! If this island is built up like THOSE BEACHES are, you BETTER sell ALL THE HOMES on the island to put in places for those "RICH FOLK" to go. THOSE people DO NOT just enjoy setting and DOING NOTHING! You WON'T SEE those people play PUTT PUTT and get eaten by the BUGS! THOSE people WON'T BE SEEN riding bikes in THAT LOVELY HEAT at 2 in the afternoon.
I HOPE TO GOD that this island is left AS IS as far as WE are concerned. I "THINK" there IS room on this island to satisfy BOTH PARTIES SOMEWHAT....BUT...WE MUST BE CAREFUL in doing so. I believe that for a ROOM such as we get each year at the COMFORT in 2 beds...roll away...small kitchenette..that 100 to 150 A NIGHT is FAIR in SEASON, LESS of course OFF SEASON. They have started to make over the rooms at the COMFORT SUITES, and I can live with what they are doing. We had even thought perhaps to rent one of the homes down the road in the future. Let's wait and see what the brain trust comes up with first though.                                       
     Yours Truly, Ken Fowler

Has the JIA gone mad, one of the reasons I have been coming to Jekyll Island for 53 years is cost where can you go on the East Coast and rent a 3 bedroom villa for $1,300.00 a week and have privacy, peace and quiet and the beauty of Jekyll Island.  I guess the JIA is trying to turn Jekyll into a Sea Island Resort for the rich only.  Jekyll Island is a state Park not a tourist trap.
Myra, Karrie and Patrick Sheehan, Winston-Salem, NC

As a retired American Citizen, if Jekyll Island changes to accommodate the Wealthy, I will never be able to return.  I live on a budget of which I plan for my stay on Jekyll for a couple of Winter Months.  Please do not take this wonderful time of the year away from us who live on modest incomes. -- Anonymous

It bothers me very much to hear comments about a couple of "off beach" motels which can handle those who cannot afford the "higher" prices which will be charged by the new hotels to be built beachside to attract our more affluent citizens of Georgia.  I would hope that some accommodations would be included to attract that group but the citizens with average income need to be afforded the opportunity to stay on the beach also since the Island was intended for their pleasure primarily.  I am a Glynn County native, raised on a farm in North Glynn County.  We had little resources and could afford little for entertainment.  I was fortunate enough to be able to ride to Jekyll as a teenager and listen to the Governor in his speech dedicate Jekyll Island as a place for average Georgians to come and enjoy.  I heard him say it and was able many time later to bring my small children over - free - and let them play in the sand and the ocean.  It was one thing I could afford to do.
I now live on Jekyll, have a beautiful home one house from the beach, and feel very priviledged to do so.  I have children and grandchildren and relatives who fall in the group of average citizens, who work hard, earn average income, and sometimes would like to come to Jekyll and stay in a motel for several nights and enjoy the beach.  When they do that they would like to be on the beach.  Even now the rates are getting too high for them.  With the new development, forget it. 
This should not be happening to Georgians with average income.  I think our Board members are thinking and acting/reacting from the mentality of the upper class into which I think most of them would fall, income-wise.  They have no idea what it means to have to budget your funds.  They have no idea what it means to plan for a year for a vacation trip and save all year to be able to make the trip.  If they want to go somewhere, they go.  Average Georgians cannot do that.  I don't think our Board members can really get to that level of thinking.  How to get them to look realistically at the issue, I wish I knew..........A very concerned Jekyll Citizen

I think it is very important to keep a majority of rooms at Jekyll affordable for people of average to limited (including fixed) incomes. It is by far the most accessible island to learn to appreciate the native flora and fauna of our coast. My 87 year old mother can not camp but can still enjoy Jekyll. She likes to contribute to our stays there but would be daunted if only $250/night rooms were available. I would think families with children would find it difficult to enjoy what should be a public resource.
This is a very important issue and should be decided with a very public and open debate. All parties should be very honest about their interests.
Ellen Corrie

Since I was a little girl my family has always come to Jekyll Island for summer vacation.  We consider it our home away from home.  Every year we rent 2 houses for 2 weeks and come together as a huge family and make memories that will last a lifetime.  We are a very large family with a small budget, but we've always been able to come to Jekyll Island.  I pray that this never changes.  I'm now 24, married, and have a 9 month old daughter who I hope will grow up the same way I did, spending summers with her aunts, uncles, grandparents and cousins on the beach of Jekyll Island. - Anonymous

As a recently moved to the Brunswick area democrat, I am concerned about how county officials seem to have total disregard for issues raised by members of various communities; including the Protect Jekyll Island Initiative.  Perhaps, we can find a way to inflame the passions of county residents and let these officials know we do not like how >
Rather surprised to hear that $175 and up is the price our developer "partners" have recommended.  The legal counsel agreement on this is a smokescreen to lend a veneer of propriety about a clear and explicit effort to set up another elite playground.  One island in Georgia ought to truly be about the people.  That means what the majority can afford and make use of.  The base rate of $175 is not the number.
The argument that the market should dictate the price is another smoke screen.  This was set up at the people's island.  So let that market dictate.  A fair rate, affordable to the majority of Georgian's.
Anything less -- or more in terms of price -- is a gold rush land grab by the folks who have versus the majority of us. -- Anonymous

We come to Jekyll Island every chance we have. We come every New Years to meet with friends who have moved to Florida. It is our halfway escape. We love this island. We love it the way it is. Our children love this Island. It has so much to offer. The security and simplicity serve to allow families to gather and truly have family time. There is the beach, the bike trails, the pool and your room. You spend time together. My daughter is 10 and every time she hears us talk of the changes planned for the island she looks as if she will cry. We strongly feel that the changes planned have the capabilities to ruin what most people go to Jekyll Island for. It is a family place where all can afford and enjoy. Sea Island, St. Simons, Hilton Head are great but they cater to the wealthy.
There aren’t many places left like Jekyll, with its rich history and simple motels it recalls a simpler time.
We want an affordable lovely place that now exists. We hope that the people will speak and hope we are heard. We are appalled by what we hear being said by the JIA. Aren't they supposed to be working in the best interests of the Island?
Kathie and Kevin Curtin, Suwanee GA

The decision to protect as much of Jekyll Island has been is what people what. It is understood that a number of structures need to be rebuilt, but not at the expense of the special natural quality and environmental quality of the Island. It isn't right to invite developers to decide the future as our GA Governor seems to think is the way to go. We need to protect as much as possible, which is the national trend. We should be learning from what has happened to the New Orleans area. It took then about 80 years to destroy that area, changing the land to kill everything that was there to protect the area and absorb water from storm surge and natural erosion. Beach erosion is natural, so it is wrong to develop close to the beach and then spend a fortune trying to rebuild it.
Beth Roth, Member of GA Ornitholigical Society

I have been visiting Jekyll for over 30 years. Part of the reason was for the peace Jekyll offers and the other for reasonable cost for hotels. My daughter is now 11 and I have continued the tradition of bringing my child to the island. If not for the reasonable cost on the island we would not be able to come twice each year. Please consider the average income when you think of the new prices. I would hate to be able to come each year.
Cindy Wilson

Jekyll is a public treasure and needs to remain affordable for all families. While I know developers are salivating over an opportunity to remake the island into a clone of Hilton or Sea Islands, this flies in the face of the idea of a State Park available to all. I am appalled that the Island has granted a $10 million dollar tax break to encourage development to Trammel Crowe. I have a very hard time believe there is any developer who would need any such encouragement to defile this beautiful island. What has actually been done is a wholesale sweetheart deal at the expense of the public and the upkeep funds necessary for the island's maintenance.
Karyn Hudson

Just because Jekyll was formerly a reserve for the rich, it needn't still be.  It should retain its natural, historic feel while allowing people of all income levels to visit.  But these visits should be within the context of the island's history.  It needs to avoid shutting out all but the wealthy.  At the same time, it needs to avoid developing any kind of honky-tonk  aspects. -- Anonymous

Jekyll Island is owned by the citizen tax-payers of the state of Georgia.  There should be no question about private investors taking over the island for profit and building yet more expensive resorts and hotels that the ordinary people of Georgia can not afford to patronize.  Many of the current hotels need upgrading, but there has to be another way to do this than let them be torn down and swallowed up by wealthy investors from out of state.  How about tax abatements and other incentives?
John and Betty Cleveland,  Townsend, GA 31331

It seems to me the only thing that ever talks is money. Hopefully in this case sensibility will prevail. The island is fine the way it and poor are welcome there, if the changes happen; only the rich will be welcome. Take an example from St. Simons Island, people that visit Jekyll most of the time won’t even go over there because of what has happened due to greed. Things can be made nicer on Jekyll; remodels and such. The bottom line is the proposed changes will ruin the only nice ocean island left. They will not get my 250.00 per night and many others like me.
Steve Jesseman, Dahlonega, GA

Many of Jekyll’s hotels NOW are very expensive for the average income people.  To make this a "Millionaire's Retreat" would be going backwards in history!  We love it just as it is!
Becky & Larry Guinn, Union City, IN 47390

I believe that retreating from the original goal of making Jekyll Island available to the average Georgian is deplorable and most likely illegal.  This once plantation and enclave of the very wealthiest in the country could once again return to that, making a home or vacation impossible for the mean wage earner in Georgia. 
I am not opposed to paying a higher usage fee for the maintenance of the island.  However, as a taxpayer providing and maintaining the state parks are essential parts of the budget in my opinion.  Parks like Jekyll Island provide tourisim dollars, attract industry, and enhance our lifestyle. 
The ecology of the largest marsh system in the country is a big price to pay for "progress." If we chose to do that we will put an exclamation point on what has been dubbed the "Me Generation" for the last twenty years.  I am referring to those individuals who can see past there own selfish immediate interest.  I have worked for developers and understand their motivation quite well, and it is not to preserve history and ecology for future generations.
Cecil Glenn, Darien, GA

The draw and allure of Jekyll Island is at the heart of this issue. It is the reason why those of us who have gotten the sand of Jekyll Island in our blood continue to come back year after year.  My entire family packs up the RVs and we migrate hundreds of miles for one amazing week at Thanksgiving.  We come to Jekyll to renew our souls and to get back in touch with nature. I am looking forward to introducing my children to the things that made me fall in love with Jekyll when I was younger: Taking their first marsh walk, seeing dolphins sailing thru the water, bird-watching at the fresh-water ponds and secretly hoping to see an alligator, picking up trash on the beach to help keep the beach clean, teaching them why it is so important to STAY OFF THE DUNES, and watching their eyes as they see their first turtle hatchling emerge from a nest and make its slow crawl to the life-giving waters of the ocean.
Jekyll Island is one of the few places along the Georgia coast that is so easily accessible for families to be able to experience and learn about NATURE.  It's not hugely commercial like St. Simon's, and that is a plus.  I think first and foremost JIA should be more concerned with preserving what is left of the natural side of Jekyll and keeping what is developed affordable for the AVERAGE GEORGIA FAMILY to be able to visit and learn about the importance of the island.  One of the best assets Jekyll Island has is the 4-H center where hundreds of young future voters are educated year-round about marine science and Jekyll Island's role in protecting Georgia's wetlands.
I am not an exceptionally eloquent person, I am much better with paint and a brush, but even I was moved to write a poem about Jekyll and i's importance to me (copy at the end).  I can not image what it would be like if I were not able to afford to visit this glorious place.
Amanda Daughtrey, Valley, AL

“On the Breeze”

  I feel it on the breeze.
As the wind whips strands of long, brown hair across my face.
The light touch of salt and spray awakens my soul and arouses my senses.
I am compelled to breathe ever so deeply the heavenly scents and aromas of the sea.
I fall to my knees in the soft sand and thank God for this blessed gift.
The gift of allowing me to return yet again to this place I love.
A place my heart longs for endlessly.
I raise one hand to the nape of my neck and grasp a lock of long, brown hair.
Pausing only for a moment and then swiftly and deliberately I snip it free from my head.
Gently, as the breeze threatens to steal it from my grasp, I separate the lock of hair into four pieces.
I hold them tight as I lift my hands toward heaven and my words begin to carry on the breeze. 
"To the north, I face thee, and I thank God for your bright star that guides me here.
I offer this, for it is all that I have."
I loosen my grip on a bit of hair and it is lifted by the breeze, sails through the air, and then gently falls to the sand.
“To the west, I face thee, and I thank God for your steady winds that hasten my return.
I offer this, for it is all that I have."
The next bit of hair is released.
"To the south, I face thee, and I thank God for your warmth that fills my heart and comforts my soul while I am away. I offer this, for it is all that I have."
Another bit of hair is swept from my hand.
"To the east, I face thee, and I thank God for your welcoming shores that embrace me.
I offer this, for it is all that I have."
The last strands of hair are released and float down to the waves that wash the sandy beach.
I slowly rise as my returning ritual is now complete.
As quietly as I came, I turn and leave the beach to the few gulls that are winging to and fro on the breeze.
Amanda Daughtrey

Jekyll Island was purchased by the people for the people using the people's monies.  It is criminal to allow developers to take Jekyll away by pricing the people out of the market.
I have visited and enjoyed Jekyll since I was a little girl; my children and now grandchildren enjoy this beautiful State Park.   Jekyll belongs to the People not the developers!
Jan Casey, Brunswick, GA

Does the past ever teach us anything? When the millionaires owned Jekyll Island as their playgroud, they got tired of it in a very short time, and went of to Europe to play. We got lucky then, and we got a beautiful place that we could spend an afternoon, or a week, or a summer, and not go broke doing it. Now, a few more millionaire's want in, not to play, but to make more millions. The problem is, when they are gone this time, Jekyll Island will never be the same as it was. You will never be able to put back what is gone, and I know for a fact that you won't be able to afford what is coming. I have a first hand example.
I left the south once and live in Maggie Valley, NC for 18 years. It was already a tourist area, but was kept pretty natural for a long time. Then developers, started building for the summer residents, and there was no turning back. They took down the trees, carved out the mountains, and built high end homes that the average person can't afford. I recently sold my home of 20 years, for three times what we paid for it. That was good for me, but the fact is, the price is at the low end of the spectrum for that area now. Most are far more expensive. Not to mention that cutting down the trees and mountains has caused landslides and a change in the natural balance that was there.
The point of this is to show that once the greed landslide starts, you can't stop it, and you can't go back and put things where they were. The developers will take their money and be gone, but the average Georgian will never again be able to afford what is left for them. And we will have lost one of the few natural treasures we have left. Don't let this happen. You DO have a voice, and united voices are almost impossible to ignore.  Jane Odum, Jesup, GA

Jekyll Island is one of the few remaining places along the Georgia and Florida coast line, that a family can take their children and experience the beaches and nature, without all of the distraction and continuous development. It's somewhere you can take your children and even your aged parents and know that everyone will enjoy it. I enjoyed Jekyll Island as a child, teen and now as an adult. My older children loved the island as small children, and now as young adults, continue to love and hold fond memories for this step back into the past.  A place when you vacation, you actually feel rested upon your return home. I would not be opposed to paying a higher daily fee to drive onto the island if that would eliminate the need for these changes. I'm sure most people that cherish the island would feel the same, if given the choice. I think it would be a great loss to the people of the State of Georgia as well as visitors from other states to lose yet another of our nation’s most beautiful places to restore your well being. It would be lost if these developers are allowed to come in and do what they are proposing. We have all seen it, time and time again. They all say it's so your stay will be much more enjoyable but what they don't tell you is how much more your stay will cost and how much of the shoreline and precious wildlife will be altered if not destroyed.  The rich and famous have enough playgrounds.............if you don't like Jekyll the way it is, Delta is ready when you are.
Diana Fulford, Pooler, Georgia

Preserving affordable access to the Georgia Coast is critical for quality of life in this state.  People of means have access to many venues but middle class citizens will benefit from preservation of affordable accommodations at the coast and the entire state will benefit from that.  Preservation of natural habitat has benefits far beyond the short term economic yields that we seem focused on.  Let’s take the high road while we have the chance.
Elizabeth F Dean, Albany, GA

Be very careful about trying to "reach for the rich" tourists. If you are not, you will end up another Sea Island at St. Simons where common folks are even being denied entrance to their roads. Georgia's beaches should be open to everyone. You will be able to deny them by privatization, condo associations and restricting access. Next, they will want to eliminate the marshes which will destroy the shrimp industry. There is a rumor that the old steel mill on the mainland next to the Brunswick bridge is promising its new tenants "a private beach on Jekyll" for those that purchase. Is this the intent of the commissioners?
It is a shame that politicians always look out for the rich rather than those for whom Jekyll was originally intended - to commoners who don't have millions. However, you have to remember that "one" rich vote is not more meaningful than "twenty" commoners’ votes
Stephen Matt, Athens, GA
We are shocked to hear of the rebuilding of the Buccaneer Hotel and the future plans for the Oceanside Inn. We missed last Jan and have now been told the Holiday Inn has been demolished. The comments by Ben Porter that the people who cannot afford 250.00 a night need to stay at facilities inland were rude and ridiculous. Jekyll Island is a park for the average Georgia Citizen and should remain that way. We do not need it to be turned into a resort area of the wealthy and elite. What a shame the greed of some at the cost of many. I am also very disappointed in our Governor who supposedly was unbiased in what the future of the island would be.
Kathleen and Kevin Curtin, Suwanee, GA

Thank you so much for your efforts! I am a 9th generation Georgian (on both sides of my family!) and we have always loved Jekyll and feel that it is "our island!" It has been my dream for many years to own a home on Jekyll. Our entire family, sometimes 15 or 16 of us, has been visiting Jekyll every year for our "family vacation" since 1986. The natural beauty of the island, the wildlife, the peaceful atmosphere, the historic element, and the warm family-type setting are the qualities that make Jekyll so special! It disturbs me greatly to think that all of this might change! I do not object to new hotels being built on sites of existing ones, provided the new ones are not any taller than the old ones. Renovation of the Convention Center is okay, as long as it does not take up additional space. Thank goodness the Soccer Complex and the 4-H Center have been spared! What has happened to the integrity of the Jekyll Island Authority? They should be trying to protect Jekyll rather than promoting developers; we do not want another Panama City or Myrtle Beach!!
Janet Whirrs, Stockbridge, GA

The developers who are coming into this island do not need a state / park funded $10million incentive to improve things on the island.  Let them run a profitable business, and be directed on how to develop it in a fashion similar to what was there.  The current conditions of the motels / hotels on the island are terrible for the most part.  The island authority (or whomever oversaw those properties for the State) never forced the hotel owners to perform the needed maintenance to upkeep properties by the ocean.  You cannot let them go, or the routine maintenance becomes major renovations.  The nicer places became run down and then people started going elsewhere.  Fill the rooms already there by making them nicer.  Don't add more rooms, just because they will be new.
If people want to own condos and stay at luxury hotels, they are free to go to St. Simon's, Sea Island, or Amelia Island, (or heavens forbid, stay at the Millionaire's Village!!)  They are all in the same area.  There is no need for ANY type of hi-rise, condo's etc on the island, especially when the majority of the time, those buildings will be mostly unoccupied.
The north end beaches need the work that the $10 million incentive provides.  Just because one can build something, doesn't mean it needs to be allowed.  There are all kinds of "developed" beach towns; Jekyll doesn't need to be one of them.
I would happily pay a fair price for a clean room at the beach.  The current price for what you get is not really worth it, but it's the sacrifice we make to while away the days on Jekyll.
Dennis & Felicia McCoy, Marietta, GA

My grandparents began spending time at Jekyll when I was a child and it has changed very little since then - this is the charm and beauty of Jekyll Island.  Private development of the Island may lead to it becoming like Myrtle Beach - commercial and expensive, definitely not charming.  Jekyll has historical and environmental importance that should be capitalized upon to draw visitors to make more money to spend on island conservation, as opposed to privatization that would put money in the pockets of rich companies outside of the community who care nothing for the character of the island.  However, an updating of the "town center" by the people who live there, or in their consultation, would be welcome by me. 
Diane Kelley

As we crossed to bridge to Jekyll Island this past June I breathed a sigh of relief.  It had been two years since we had been there last and I had the worst dread that things would have changed.  But it hadn’t!  What we love to call “Our Island” was the same that we left two years ago.  Not too long into our visit did we learn that this may not be true on our next visit.
Articles in the newspaper, posters, and a survey gave us information to say that our next visit may never be able to happen.  It is so hard to find places as special as Jekyll.  We travel all over the country, usually not to return to the same place twice because we feel there is so much to see.  But Jekyll Island is different to us. It is the one place we plan to return to over and over.  We also have told many others about this special place.
A little background that relates so well to the “affordability” issue:  We are avid campers.  We have been west, east and south, and we were looking for a campground on the coast.  I requested south so the water would be warm. And we found Jekyll Island.  After doing our research we realized that we found the beach, but not right at the campground, so we started looking for hotels. We were pleasantly surprised to find many places in our price range. We stayed at the Days Inn and had an unforgettable week in the summer of 2005.  We knew we wanted to return.
We had already planned our trip for the summer of 2006, but our thoughts kept returning to Jekyll. My husband started counting the days in January for our trip this year. The prices had gone up at the Days Inn, but we still could afford it.  We did look into alternatives for a trip next year, such as renting a house, because of the costs from this year’s trip.  But we know we want to return to Jekyll.  How much longer this will be possible is a worry to us.
We worry so much about development of Jekyll. We worry that this wonderful place will no longer be in our price range in a few years. It was a place that we went and were with families that lived like us. We love to say to friends, “this place is no Hilton Head”.  It is an island get-away for the average family. We ride bikes, visit the Turtle Center, Golf, shop, eat, and enjoy the beautiful, uncrowded beaches every day.
It is difficult to be an outsider on this issue, because we don’t feel like outsiders.
We know the affordability issue is a state issue, but it is also an issue for all who are concerned about preserving what is indeed a rare phenomenon these days - a barrier island set aside for the benefit of everyday citizens.
Jekyll is surly a natural wonder, a scenic treasure, but it’s not just the serene nature of the island that draws us to its shores. We also love it because we can afford a week’s vacation there without having to say “no” to our children when they want to do something there. It is because we can afford the island that we are able to return. 
Please consider our opinions on this issue. We are quite sure they are shared by many of Jekyll’s visitors who, like us, do not want to see this wonderful island become just another upscale resort.
Michael and Teri Hehn, Chicago, Il

Please preserve Jekyll Island as natural habitat for birds and other wildlife and as an affordable vacation spot for all Americans as it currently is.  If current outdated buildings were replaced with condo's that would accommodate growth but not interfere with the island's current functions.  Thank you for taking my desires into consideration. 
Myra Hundley, Putney, GA

I have been visiting Jekyll every since the bridge was built to connect it to the mainland.  We carried our daughter there as a child.  This summer my husband and I visited in July and took part in one of the evening turtle walks. 
This is a valuable spot for ALL Georgians.  It should remain affordable for the average Georgian to enjoy.  Most important though, is that the area not become over populated.  It is important that the area remain as spot where all animal life, turtles, birds,  etc. and plant life can flourish and provide opportunities for ALL people to enjoy them.
St. Simons and Sea Island provide spots for those who have plenty of money and want luxury.  Don't let Jekyll become like those islands. Improve the motels, provide a few new reasonably sized motels if necessary, but don't build luxury hotels for the rich.  (I am 70 and can afford what I want to enjoy)  I believe keeping Jekyll affordable and the population reasonable is crucial for ALL the people in Georgia and this region.
Barbara Wommack

I have visited Jekyll yearly since the early '80's. Now that I am retired and on a fixed income, it has become even more precious to me, due to its unique beauty, and the fact that I can afford to visit for days at a time and fully savor it's delights.  I am quite certain that I could not visit regularly if the rate was $250 per night, or even $150 per night.
While reading the JIA proposal which noted a recent decline in visitors, I was struck by the fact that I did not see mentioned that two of  its major, large, hotels have not been functioning for several years (because they were demolished in anticipation of new hotels being built on their sites;) therefore it is only logical that the number of visitors has declined during those years. There have simply been fewer places available for visitors to stay. The fact that such a statement could be made in the proposal without further explanation seems to indicate a disquieting subtext to all of this talk about "improvements" "capturing visitors" and "revenue generation" which seem to figure as paramount considerations to the current JIA.
One can only hope and pray that Georgia's tradition of enlightened public leadership in the care of its coastal assets is not mutating into some sort of desperate free-for-all feeding frenzy by developers and their lobbyists to pander to the moneyed interests at the expense of all of the rest of us--and gobble up all the glorious land and beachfront that has been so wonderfully preserved.  Jekyll does not need huge mega resort/condo/shopping center development. There is plenty of that already right next door at St. Simons and all along the Atlantic (and Pacific) coasts. Jekyll needs enlightened and far-sighted leaders to recognize its uniqueness and to protect it intact for all the generations to come.
Which other states possess such a wondrous, undeveloped jewel?  What other state leadership has proven itself to be such enlightened guardians of its barrier island?  We have bragging rights that few other entities in the world have.  Georgia has been lucky in having generations of caring and decent leaders who recognized the unique value of Jekyll.  People from all over the country and Canada who seek beauty and serenity come to Jekyll. They come not for glitzy and faux "attractions", but for the peace and tranquility that in itself is a transcendent value and "attraction;" sublime and superior in all ways to practically anything else available to working-class people.
Joan Lardin, Atlanta

"Affordability" should be defined for Jekyll in terms of Georgia's general public because Jekyll belongs to the state, whose duty is to serve all of its citizens.
The average citizen of Georgia probably cannot afford vacation accommodations for more than around $100 a night.  Therefore while it is alright to have some upscale rooms on Jekyll (and there already are), it necessary also to have a large proportion of rooms affordable for the large portion of the Georgia populace.
Lew Gulick 

My wife & I have been staying on Jekyll Island for the month of March for the past 8 years and intend to do so as long as we can afford it. We find the reasonable cost at the Quality Inn and Suites to be within our budget and the accommodations satisfactory. We also make use of the golf facilities on a regular basis. The character of Jekyll with its abundant natural areas, bike trials, affordable restaurants, low traffic, historic and cultural activities is just what we like. We fear that further development will both erode this character and push Jekyll out of reach of our budgets as retirees. It should be noted that while we are not residents of Jekyll we typically spend approximately $5000 on Jekyll and in Glynn County during our stay. If we had to spend twice what we now spend just for housing, we might not go there at all.
L. Patrick & Judith A. Caveney, Ithaca, NY   

Jekyll Island remaining affordable for the majority of people is important.  The affordability confers an added benefit.  The price does not exclude people in the blatant way that Hilton Head and other destination Islands shut most people out.  The openness ensures a certain honesty and "realness" that is not present in the "hoity toity" islands. 
The "65% undeveloped" rule allows the natural areas and the wildlife to be part of this wonderful place. 

Since 1977, when I first came to Jekyll Island to golf, I have fallen in love with the place JUST AS IT IS! No McDonalds, No Pizza Huts, No Roller Coasters, No Shopping Malls, etc., etc., etc. Just a VERY LAYED BACK place to visit for a week - 10 days [I wish "WE" could afford longer!].  My wife and I are NOT related to the Roosevelt's or Hemmingway's, but we get by [70-90 K per year]. First the WANDERER INN ....COMFORT INN ...COMFORT SUITES, each year we rent two rooms for our family of four and her sister's family of four.  ALL we need is in the photo (a photo of a Jekyll sunrise which could not be reproduced here - DE) I have inserted. WE NEED NOTHING MORE. JUST To wake up and see THIS adds 5 years to our lives each time we visit. I could eat peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for a week if I had to, JUST to see THIS every morning.
I am ALL for improvement. We ALL NEED improvement.I HOPE TO GOD that this island is left AS IS as far as WE are concerned. I "THINK" there IS room on this island to satisfy BOTH PARTIES SOMEWHAT....BUT...WE MUST BE CAREFUL in doing so. I believe that for a ROOM such as we get each year at the COMFORT in 2 beds...roll away...small kitchenette..that 100 to 150 A NIGHT is FAIR in SEASON, LESS of course OFF SEASON. They have started to make over the rooms at the COMFORT SUITES, and I can live with what they are doing. We had even thought perhaps to rent one of the homes down the road in the future. Let's wait and see what the brain trust comes up with first though.
Ken Fowler

Has the JIA gone mad? One of the reasons I have been coming to Jekyll Island for 53 years is cost. Where can you go on the East Coast and rent a 3 bedroom villa for $1,300.00 a week and have privacy, peace and quiet and the beauty of Jekyll Island.  I guess the JIA is trying to turn Jekyll into a Sea Island Resort for the rich only.  Jekyll Island is a state Park not a tourist trap.
Myra, Karrie and Patrick Sheehan, Winston-Salem, NC

It bothers me very much to hear comments about a couple of "off beach" motels which can handle those who cannot afford the "higher" prices which will be charged by the new hotels to be built beachside to attract our more affluent citizens of Georgia.  I would hope that some accommodations would be included to attract that group but the citizens with average income need to be afforded the opportunity to stay on the beach also since the Island was intended for their pleasure primarily.  I am a Glynn County native, raised on a farm in North Glynn County.  We had little resources and could afford little for entertainment.  I was fortunate enough to be able to ride to Jekyll as a teenager and listen to the Governor in his speech dedicating Jekyll Island as a place for average Georgians to come and enjoy.  I heard him say it and was able many time later to bring my small children over - free - and let them play in the sand and the ocean.  It was one thing I could afford to do.  I now live on Jekyll, have a beautiful home one house from the beach, and feel very privileged to do so.  I have children and grandchildren and relatives who fall in the group of average citizens, who work hard, earn average income, and sometimes would like to come to Jekyll and stay in a motel for several nights and enjoy the beach.  When they do that they would like to be on the beach.  Even now the rates are getting too high for them.  With the new development, forget it.  This should not be happening to Georgians with average income.  I think our Board members are thinking and acting/reacting from the mentality of the upper class which I think most of them fall, income wise.  They have no idea what it means to have to budget your funds.  They have no idea what it means to plan for a year for a vacation trip and save all year to be able to make the trip.  If they want to go somewhere, they go.  Average Georgians cannot do that.  I don't think our Board members can really get to that level of thinking.  How to get them to look realistically at the issue, I wish I knew..........
A very concerned Jekyll Citizen

I think it is very important to keep a majority of rooms at Jekyll affordable for people of average to limited (including fixed) incomes. It is by far the most accessible island to learn to appreciate the native flora and fauna of our coast. My 87 year old mother cannot camp but can still enjoy Jekyll. She likes to contribute to our stays there but would be daunted if only $250/night rooms were available. I would think families with children would find it difficult to enjoy what should be a public resource.
This is a very important issue and should be decided with a very public and open debate. All parties should be very honest about their interests.
Ellen Corrie

Since I was a little girl my family has always come to Jekyll Island for summer vacation.  We consider it our home away from home.  Every year we rent 2 houses for 2 weeks and come together as a huge family and make memories that will last a lifetime.  We are a very large family with a small budget, but we've always been able to come to Jekyll Island.  I pray that this never changes.  I'm now 24, married, and have a 9 month old daughter who I hope will grow up the same way I did, spending summers with her aunts, uncles, grandparents and cousins on the beach of Jekyll Island
Rather surprised to hear that $175 and up is the price our developer "partners" have recommended.  The legal counsel agreement on this is a smokescreen to lend a veneer of propriety about a clear and explicit effort to set up another elite playground.  One island in Georgia ought to truly be about the people.  That means what the majority can afford and make use of. 
The argument that the market should dictate the price is another smoke screen.  This was set up at the people's island.  So let that market dictate a fair rate, affordable to the majority of Georgian's.
Anything less -- or more in terms of price -- is a gold rush land grab by the folks who have versus the majority of us.
- Anonymous

We come to Jekyll Island every chance we have. We come every New Years to meet with friends who have moved to Florida. It is our halfway escape. We love this island. We love it the way it is. Our children love this island. It has so much to offer. The security and simplicity serve to allow families to gather and truly have family time. There is the beach, the bike trails, the pool and your room. You spend time together. My daughter is 10 and every time she hears us talk of the changes planned for the island she looks as if she will cry. We strongly feel that the changes planned have the capabilities to ruin what most people go to Jekyll Island for. It is a family place where all can afford and enjoy. Sea Island, St. Simons, Hilton Head are great but they cater to the wealthy.
There aren't many places left like Jekyll, with its rich history and simple motels it recalls a simpler time.
Greedy developers need to be kept out. We want an affordable lovely place that now exists. We hope that the people will speak and hope we are heard.
We are appalled by what we hear being said by the JIA. Aren't they supposed to be working in the best interests of the Island?
Kathie and Kevin Curtin, Suwanee GA

The decision to protect as much of Jekyll Island has been is what people what. It is understood that a number of structures need to be rebuilt, but not at the expense of the special natural quality and environmental quality of the Island. It isn't right to invite developers to decide the future as our GA Governor seems to think is the way to go. We need to protect as much as possible, which is the national trend. We should be learning from what has happened to the New Orleans area. It took then about 80 years to destroy that area, changing the land to kill everything that was there to protect the area and absorb water from storm surge and natural erosion. Beach erosion is natural, so it is wrong to develop close to the beach and then spend a fortune trying to rebuild it.
Beth Roth, Member of GA Ornithological Society

I have been visiting Jekyll for over 30 years. Part of the reason was for the peace Jekyll offers and the other for reasonable cost for hotels. My daughter is now 11 and I have continued the tradition of bringing my child to the island. If not for the reasonable cost on the island we would not be able to come twice each year. Please consider the average income when you think of the new prices. I would hate to be able to come each year.
Cindy Wilson

Jekyll is a public treasure and needs to remain affordable for all families. While I know developers are salivating over an opportunity to remake the island into a clone of Hilton or Sea Islands, this flies in the face of the idea of a State Park available to all. I am appalled that the Island has granted a $10 million dollar tax break to encourage development to Trammel Crowe. I have a very hard time believing that there is any developer who would need any such encouragement to defile this beautiful island. What has actually been done is a wholesale sweetheart deal at the expense of the public and the upkeep funds necessary for the island's maintenance
Karyn Hudson

I don't want a town center that just provides more shopping. One of the delights of Jekyll is that it is a more simple place, with less commercial pressure, less gasoline burned (more bicycles) and lots of time to wander about.
South Carolina's "developed" parks along the Savannah River show that public parks can be "resorts". None of the materials appears to address such development.
I differ from the IPJI on the LEED/Green standards because they do not include wood lumber as a renewable resource, which is science fiction!!! When LEED gets its act together, I may support it.
$400 per week, $75 per night, is about my comfort zone but I would not be averse to an additional "membership" annual fee.
I love Jekyll Island in the "off" season and now that we are going to year round schools, our (pre-school) children were delighted with the playground and the put-put golf course. Please do not let these go away with the development of a "town" center.
Sara Baldwin, Carlton GA

For 40 years, we have enjoyed the tranquility of Jekyll Island for picnics, beach walks, retreats, meals, etc.   On recent visits, it has been a delight to see families with children and people of modest means enjoying this beautiful, uncrowded island.  With high end hotels and condos, the character of the island will change and the very people who should be able to enjoy a state park may be unable to afford a stay there.  We hope that the powers that be will recognize that this island is different - not St. Simons nor Hilton Head and whatever improvements are made in the future, we pray that it will retain its uniqueness and peacefulness and affordability for ordinary people.
Dan and Doris Thomas, Brunswick, GA

Jekyll must remain as it was set up!  It is one of the most undisturbed places left on the East Coast. It is one of the few places on the East Coast that is affordable for the average person and families.  The beauty is its natural setting that has not yet been ruined by overdevelopment.  The bike paths are fabulous.  I ride them at least once a month.  I also eat on the Island after my bike ride. You have my support to keep the Island as close to natural as possible with reasonable development to complement the natural and affordable setting.
Sara Taylor, St. Simons Island, GA

Jekyll Island belongs to ALL of Georgia's citizens and limited development should take place in a manner that enables all Georgians who want to enjoy the island. Jekyll should not become a haven for the rich who is exactly what will happen unless the voices of the masses are heard and heeded.
Jackie Echols, Atlanta, GA

As we crossed to bridge to Jekyll Island this past June I breathed a sigh of relief. It had been two years since we had been there last and I had the worst dread that things would have changed.  But it hadn’t!  What we love to call “Our Island” was the same that we left two years ago.  Not too long into our visit did we learn that this may not be true on our next visit.
Articles in the newspaper, posters, and a survey gave us information to say that our next visit may never be able to happen.  It is so hard to find places as special as Jekyll.  We travel all over the country, usually not to return to the same place twice because we feel there is so much to see.  But Jekyll Island is different to us.  It is the one place we plant to return to over and over.  We also have told many others about this special place.
A little background that relates so well the “affordability” issue:  We are avid campers.  We have been west, east and south, and we were looking for a campground on the coast.  I requested south so the water would be warm. And we found Jekyll Island.  After doing our research we realized that we found the beach, but not right at the campground, so we started looking for hotels. We were pleasantly surprised to find many places in our price range. We stayed at the Days Inn and had an unforgettable week in the summer of 2005.  We knew we wanted to return.
We had already planned our trip for the summer of 2006, but our thoughts kept returning to Jekyll. My husband started counting the days in January for our trip this year. The prices had gone up at the Days Inn, but we still could afford it.  We did look into alternatives for a trip next year, such as renting a house, because of the costs from this year’s trip.  But we know we want to return to Jekyll.  How much longer this will be possible is a worry to us.
We worry so much about development of Jekyll. We worry that this wonderful place will no longer be in our price range in a few years. It was a place that we went and were with families that lived like us. We love to say to friends, “this place is no Hilton Head”.  It is an island get-away for the average family. We ride bikes, visit the Turtle Center, Golf, shop, eat, and enjoy the beautiful, uncrowded beaches every day.
It is difficult to be an outsider on this issue, because we don’t feel like outsiders.
We know the affordability issue is a state issue, but the Jekyll Island area is somewhere we seriously consider as a place to retire.  We love the island because it’s not Hilton Head-like. Nor as crowded as we even find St. Simons.  We also love it because we can afford a week’s vacation there without having to say “no” to our children when they want to do something there. It is because we can afford the island that we are able to return.  Please consider our opinions on this issue.
Michael and Teri Hehn, Chicago, Il

I lived and worked on Jekyll for nearly 5 years in the early 1990s.  It was wonderful then, and has only gotten better since.  However, I am very concerned that the state is considering allowing more and upscale development.  Jekyll was originally taken by the state to provide access to the coast to average Georgians.  If it were open for new development it would quickly out price average folks.
This would be in no small part to the improvements made to the island by the state and taxpayers St. Simons already provides upscale dining, shopping and lodging.  Home sites are still available, as are tear-downs.  Unless and until this nearby island is completely developed, I see no reason other than greed to allow extensive development on Jekyll. I am by no means against any development; I just think it should be well-planned.  In 99% of the cases where it is planned by the development community, this does not happen.  Whatever happens there, Jekyll must remain available to the average
Paul Forgey, Thomasville Georgia

Jekyll Island is one of our favorite vacation spots because it is so affordable.  We can hardly afford to go to any beaches anymore - they are too crowded and too expensive.  I would love to see Jekyll kept like it is - we love going to the 4-h center and taking the kayak marsh tours, and 2 years ago I chaperoned my daughters trip to the 4-h learning center for 3 days - it was incredible how much they learned and what a great experience that was - what a shame that we are willing to sacrifice the ability for the average income American to take a vacation without loading up on debt so that we can fill the pockets with money for those who already have more than they can spend!  Shame on our politicians.
  Marion Barrack, Lilburn, GA

I believe that the Island needs some limited development, but it should be in infrastructure and replacing the hotels torn down over the past three years. It should not adversely affect those of us within the median income of the statewide population. I am currently the State President of the Georgia Jaycees who have been holding a state convention on the Island for as long as anyone around now can remember. The Island holds a special place in most of our hearts and should remain as it is now, with the possible exception of a rebuilt Ramada and Holiday Inn.  Speaking of that, the pool at the Ramada was in the shape of the State of Georgia. This was allegedly one of only two in the state. With the current state of affairs, maybe it is a good thing it is gone now, although it should have been preserved
Sandy A. Fordham, Dublin, GA

Back in the 50s and 60s, visitors to Jekyll could expect to have a sticker on their car when they returned from the beach if they parked in the public lot. It proclaimed Jekyll Island "The Poor Man's Playground." If the state is going to own an island it needs to be accessible to all citizens; not just the well to do. Those with plenty of money already have lots of places they can vacation.
If there is a statewide referendum on further development, the developers are going to pour millions into a propaganda campaign exposing "corruption", "mismanagement", "underutilization" or whatever seems to work to their advantage. They are likely to carry the day.
Chris Sullivan, Atlanta, GA

I have been coming to Jekyll Island as a Georgia Jaycee for many years.  We have our annual convention there and have been for over 40 years.  This is a GREAT and affordable vacation for the entire Jaycee Organization.  If Jekyll Island is "redeveloped" our future will be jeopardized as Jaycees visiting annually.  Jekyll Island is the only natural place to take children to see wildlife in their habitat.  Not to mention drift wood beach.  I have never seen a more beautiful sunrise.
Luce Moore, Marietta, GA

Jekyll is a unique community, friendly to people who want to enjoy a state park, the outdoors, biking, the environment, the history of the island, etc.  We have plenty of places that offer high-rise hotels and condominiums that are not friendly in this way. I would like to see Jekyll remain true to its original concept and stay a place where average people can afford to come and enjoy this natural amenities in a friendly community.
While I agree that some upgrading would be good, it should remain as free of impact on the environment as possible.  I would stop coming to Jekyll Island if it becomes another high-end beachfront community filled with condos and T-shirt shops.  I go to Jekyll and the surrounding area for renewal and an escape from such revenue-based commercial enterprises
Amy Howton, Acworth, GA

Jekyll Island is a truly glorious jewel of God and His nature, a gift from His heart.  The loss of it to the greedy developers in this world would make the mess of it that St. Simons has become.  When I came here first as a young child, and for all the years that followed, a real high spot for our trip to the beach was to drive to Jekyll at night and slowly drive around and watch the deer as they roamed, unbothered by humankind.  Although we typically stayed at a very old hotel on St. Simons, we always made the pristine beauty of Jekyll a very important part of each visit from Atlanta
At this age, and for the past 34 years since I moved to Glynn County, I have continued to drive to Jekyll and walk the incomparable Driftwood Beach, watching the birds, looking at the amazing root formation of trees that NATURAL forces pulled out and sent on their ecologically brilliant way.
Please, realize that we are so guilty of fouling our own nest here and DO NOT allow the same greedy developers to wreck our ecologic system any further.  God gave us beauty, and we are paving it.  STOP, STOP, STOP!!!
Susan McDaniel, St. Simons Island, GA 

Jekyll Island has been a family tradition for us for as long as I can remember.  My Grandmother goes there every year with her sister, and my Great Grandmother before her went as well.   One of the things I love about this Island is that it doesn't feel like a glitzy vacation spot.  It is a small, peaceful ocean spot where my children can collect shells and explore large quiet gardens without the constant barrage of tourist attractions.  I don't have to race around to get from event to event; we can just enjoy the beach for what it is.
Christine Carpenter, Jefferson, GA

I live in Athens GA, and my daughter and I come down to Jekyll every year. I love the solitude, and the uncommercial feel to this lovely island. I am currently in school, and am a single mother. I would hate for Jekyll to become one of those unaffordable, crowded with tourists, and plastic kind of places. We have enough commercial crap in the world. Let’s leave this island alone!
Elizabeth Fields, Athens, GA

Jekyll Island is appealing to me as a visitor precisely because of its lack of development. I recently visited St. George Island in Fl because friends recommended it as "not developed".  I was so disappointed, all I could see were houses stuck in the sand dunes...each trying to vie for their own view.  All I could think is that Jekyll Island is so much better, only to find out developers are trying make a buck yet again with no thought of the long term impact.  The 4-H center is a wonderful experience for school kids who may never get to see ecosystems of a barrier island.  Many of these students would not understand beaches, marshes, maritime forest, or the importance of dunes unless they visited a place like Jekyll.  The only beaches most of these kids see are ones like Daytona or Panama City.  Is development and money really what we want to emphasize to our
Meg, Marietta GA

My turn to speak out. Jekyll Island's Future is My Future-and- I really don't like for anyone to mess with my future, but me, myself and I.
First I am just going to ask- why would the JIA want to be so selfish that they would want to exclude visitors of modest means of enjoying our beautiful Island. See it is our Island, a State Park, where I pay taxes.
The rich can go anyplace they want to at any time, no matter how large their family might be. But the average family usually has a budget they must follow and by doing a lot of penny-pinching they can afford a wonderful stay on Jekyll.
I am now 72 years old and have been a single parent for the last 30 years. I have been bringing my youngest Daughter, along with my oldest daughter, who just passed, down to the Island for the last 16 years, ever since she was 5 1/2 months old. At times we have even given up our Christmas in order to come down twice a year. It is our home away from home. We live on Social Security and this is our only pleasure.
Why would you want to destroy God's gift. Are you just trying to compete with St. Simons or the horrible Hilton Head or the overly crowed Myrtle Beach? Lord wake up.
We were so distraught when you demolished the Ramada Inn, you took a piece of history. The pool there that was shaped like the State of Georgia was a learning tool for our children. They could swim from Atlanta to Augusta. They knew every inch of the pool and where they were. You could have at least salvaged that. We stood on the grounds just last week and cried our hearts out.
If you are so hep on building big Motels and Condo's, don't you think it would be wise to repair the Fishing Pier first. What makes you think the high and mighty would want to hob nob with the lowly Campers at Driftwood Beach. What makes you think that they would care to shop in our lovely little shopping center. To them that would be low class. So I suppose the next thing would be to tear it down and built high class stores for the elite to shop in. Well if you are going that far, then just abolish all the eating places, like Black Beard's and Sea Jays or Latitude 31.
Who ever it is the head of all these grand thoughts, evidently is not working with a full deck, it is for sure his or her elevator doesn't go to the top.
You know most of the rich just buy a place to stay for a month or so out of the year while a family will come as often as possible, and they will spend their money and max their credit cards, just to enjoy the beauty before them. Rich people are stingy.
I just bought my late daughter a brick for the Turtle/Hospital Center. I suppose you will be taking those up too. If you touch hers, you will hear from me.
I will continue to come to my Island, even if I have to sleep on the Beach, let’s see how your high class snobs would like to look out their window and view that.
Leave our Island alone, just take care of it, keep it up, and since you have already torn down some of the motels and intend to take down another. Then build back affordable ones in their place. They will be filled up, I promise you.
Trust me, if you have any business sense at all, you will fare out in the long run. Think like this, if you had a store and sold one dress for $300.00 and not another dress for a month. But if you had a store and sold ten dresses at $39.95, two or three times a week. What scenario would make more money. Just a pure and simple Math problem. Did you get the right answer?
I am so disappointed in you all that are involved in this mess. I am also disgusted, angry, mad and hurt, that you don't care enough about the "Little People".
By the way, are you going to mess with the Jekyll Club and all of the historical homes? I think you might have a big mess on your hands. That little piece of heaven has money. Or are you basing your ideas on "Money Talks". What fools we are, when we don't give our fellowman a place to breath and call his own. And remember my friends, I'll be back.
Please let the Islanders know how I and many others feel. Please tell me if there is anything I can do. Do you have a "Soap Box?" I will stand and shout for hours to save my Island, your Island, the people of this State’s Island and "State Park".
Barbara Driggers, Harlem, GA

I have come to the Island from the first year I was born my father and mother before that, we have all came for our family reunion ever year. My husband and I, Blue and Roze have come to Jekyll 7 to 11 times a year for all kind of events. We helped build the turtle center; you can find our recipes benefiting the turtle project in the Jekyll Island's Treasured Recipes Cooking for Caretta Caretta under Blue & Roze Hunt. We come ever year for the Hospice of the Golden Isles lunch fashion show that the Jill's put on. I wouldn't miss it. We just got back from seeing Golden Boy going back into the sea where he belongs.
We have our hearts on Jekyll Island If we are there or not, one day when we stop working, we hope to find a place, that's been there for years that we have to fix because of age, we do not want a condo, if we did we would go to many places that already have that we want this Island saved from the “$$$$$$$ wanting noting to do with helping the Island people to go away,” let the Island be. My father said it best, let them go on down, and build on top of each other down in the sunshine state and let us be. For our baby's and their babies to see what freedom means. To go have a good time with the family without a drug dealer trying to sell them something on the beach, we don't have that at Jekyll Island and we don't want it. If we let them do what there wanting to do that's what we will have. Don't let them take away the last place that you can go with your baby's and there baby's away. Let us be, go find somewhere out of the U.S.A to build your crap. Whether you respond to life or react to life determines how far you're gonna go in life. Thank you for trying to save our beloved Island you will be in our prayers, God Bless y’all. If you need us, you know where to find us, and I know a lot on those so called people trying to do this, I might have to put it in print.
Bruce A. Shari Rozell Hunt, GA

Jekyll Island is a treasure chest of natural, oceanic, and marine beauty that has touched my soul in too many ways to count. I have visited this island every year of my life since the year of my birth (thanks to my family for the origin of this tradition). I cannot think of any other place in the southeastern United States that remains as natural and prestige as Jekyll Island. I strongly oppose any further development of Jekyll for any purpose, especially commercial development. If this is to take place, I for one will stand tall to defend this land with everything I have at my disposal. Please don't take this from us
Jason Hill, Columbus, GA

My husband and I enjoy taking our two year old to Jekyll because of the lack of tourist spots!  The island is a great spot for people who want the beach without the crazy teenager or just a TON of people around.  It is quiet, peaceful, and there is plenty to do without having to add to the island and remove its tranquil setting.  If there need to be any improvements, I think that renovating the existing sites would be enough.  I guarantee that the majority, if not all of the people who visit or live on Jekyll do so because they don't want to deal with the craziness of Super Tourism (i.e. Panama City).  The island is fine the way it is, and you may lose more of the people who frequent the island if development occurs. Please leave the island the way it is.
Melinda, Prayok and Joshua Vongkunthong, Bethlehem, GA
I first visited Jekyll with two of my children on a school field trip when they were in 5th grade.  It was the most relaxed, safe, natural beach I have ever seen!!!!  I grew up in New Orleans and went to the Gulf Coast every chance I had.  The Gulf Coast is known for its beautiful beaches, and I agree they are beautiful.  BUT, not a single one of them can compare to the natural beauty of Jekyll!  I have never been a person who was very interested in history, but the things I learned in a couple of hours from ONE volunteer about Jekyll's history and that time in America, made me want more!!!  I think developing Jekyll any further would result in the loss of an important part of our American history that parents can bring their children to learn about that they wouldn't learn from a history book.  People NEED a place to bring their children that let them slow down and just enjoy their family without all the bells and whistles that come with all of the other beaches on the face of this fast-paced world
Holley and Frank A. Marino, III, Grayson, GA

I don't so much go to Jekyll because it remains affordable for me and my retired teacher friends. I go because it's beautiful, serene, uncrowded in the spring. The bike trails are fabulous, the beaches surrounding the island unspoiled, the marshes glorious, and the pace neighborly, not stuffy. The Club provides elegance if that's what one wants. What has happened in the Panhandle of Florida could easily happen on Jekyll: construction now obscures views of the Gulf, wars range over the beach as the private property of extravagant condo and mini-palace owners, the right to walk by the Gulf questioned. Some of us who love Jekyll will be able to afford to return whether development takes place and dollars are made or not. The question is will we want to! Haven't politics and financial gain for a few damaged enough of our planet already? When do we say STOP!
Edith Covington, Decatur, GA

We go to Jekyll because it is not crowded or over developed. It does need hotel improvements but keep the hotels small.  The average person cannot afford the upscale resort. We go to Jekyll for the beach, the history and the wildlife. Do not destroy the beach with a shopping mall. I do not go to the beach to shop. Leave that on the mainland. The turtles will not have a place to nest if you build large upscale resorts with lots of lights. There is no other place like Jekyll. We don't need any more Panama Cities. If that’s what people want, let them go there. We love Jekyll the way it is.
Mary Leatherwood, Emerson, GA

I am a birdwatcher and travel to Jekyll nearly every year to relax and watch birds, especially at the south end and at the amphitheater pond.  What I like about Jekyll is the wildness of it, that it is less developed than other areas, like St. Simons. Also, when I stay at the hotels, I like the fact that average, middle income people are staying there with their kids and with elder folks. Unfortunately, the people I see in those hotels are those who are probably unaware that the island is in jeopardy of being further developed, potentially shutting them out of affordable beachfront accommodations
I like that there is no Starbucks on the island. I am not at all inconvenienced by any perceived lack of amenities or types of stores. The stores and restaurants on Jekyll are fine like they are.  Please do not privatize and/or let developers overrun this island. Development is not inevitable; it is not a given; it can and must be restrained. My neighborhood in Decatur has successfully fought off condo developers twice. I can be done with a group of committed citizens.
Wendy West, Decatur, GA

I live in Athens GA, and my daughter and I come down to Jekyll every year. I love the solitude, and the uncommercial feel to this lovely island. I am currently in school, and am a single mother. I would hate for Jekyll to become one of those unaffordable, crowded with tourists, and plastic kind of places. We have enough commercial crap in the world. Let’s leave this island alone!
Elizabeth Fields, Athens, GA

As a state-owned island, I do not believe that the majority of the island should become accessible to only those with significant amounts of disposable income. As an essential barrier island in Georgia's unique coastal nursery for a large part of the west-central Atlantic, it is also important to maintain and even improve the island's role as a part of the complex ecosystem.  The "green" spaces on the island, whether sandy, green or covered in sawgrass, should remain so, and additional space should be allowed to revert to green space as it becomes available.
By the way -- my wife and I had our honeymoon at the Buccaneer and are sad to hear it is being demolished.
E. Wynne Eden, Americus, GA

Though our children are grown, we love to bring our grandchildren to Jekyll because of the safe family environment, affordability, bike paths, and most importantly, its natural beauty. Jekyll Island has been a popular place for our family reunions since I was a child. I would hate to see it ruined by over-development.
Karen & Paul Blakey, Marietta, GA

My family and I visit Jekyll Island for several reasons including the nature appeal, the unspoiled beauty, the wildlife, and the "uncrowded" beaches and roads on the island. Basically, we visit the island BECAUSE it's not like the crowded tourist beaches in Florida and other locations. We love the fact that we can walk along the beach and not worry about over crowding. We love the fact that there are miles of unspoiled beach views not blocked by tower after tower of hotels, shops, and tourist attractions. I love taking my son to the island to view the deer, the dolphins, the sharks, the raccoons, the birds, etc.
If developers are allowed to take charge and build up the island our family feels that the very reasons that we visit the island will be destroyed. The island doesn't need condos, or vast amounts of shops, or huge sprawling resort hotels. The beauty of the island is that it DOESN'T have all of these things. Those of us who love the island would gladly pay higher "daily fees" to visit rather than see the island destroyed by over development and greedy politicians PLEASE LEAVE JEKYLL ISLAND ALONE!!!!
Tracy Highton, Lawrenceville, GA

I have stayed at Epworth due to reasonable and retreat center setting.  However, it had been a number of years since I ventured over to Jekyll.  But on trip in June, a group of us along with my 15 yr. old out of town visitor did a day trip to Jekyll and I was reminded of its pristine beauty and natural state.  I was reminded that it is a destination much more in tune with what I desire from a beach visit -- natural beauty without so much development.  I will be making it my future destination more regularly again.  Thank you for your work to protect our natural resources here in Georgia.
Carol Calvert, Clarkston, GA

Public policies are constantly forcing middle class families out of areas similar to Jekyll. If the past is a prelude to the future the wealthy 5% will pay to get what they want - and they will get what they want - evidence national and state politics. Combating the constant drain on the environment and lifestyle of Jekyll is a worthy fight to allow middle class and working citizens the simple joy of a relatively undeveloped place like Jekyll. 
Dan & Nancy Lucas, Manchester, GA

Jekyll Island is a beautiful place to rest & relax.  Rather than create yet another high-end vacation spot for the wealthy this needs to be kept for those of more moderate means.  The wealthy have lots of beaches, etc. they can go to while those of more moderate means do not. The historic area is wonderful and the whole island could be enhanced with more ecologically centered areas to create eco-tourist areas.  The camping area is great and yet another way that people can enjoy this beautiful part of Georgia without having to spend large amounts of money.  Please keep at least one thing just simple & beautiful and leave Jekyll Island alone.  We do not need yet another exclusive enclave for the wealthy.
Lynn Samples, Acworth, GA

PLEASE don't ruin yet another beach in the south. There are plenty of them that have been. If you could have seen Panama City in 1967, you would cringe at what it's become today. If land is designated "state park" that should mean something! Build it and they will come; that's just a line in a movie, it doesn't mean it will happen. Most people are going to Savannah. I understand economic concerns, but maybe you could attract more people by showing that Jekyll is not over developed. Have more primitive campsites; that's something there's not a lot of left in Georgia. You can fish off the old bridge; you can't do that many places anymore. You have a day park and there are so few left. Who's to say that we could have attracted more tourist dollars by NOT letting developers have their way years ago. Beware the bulldozers...once they start, they won't be stopped. BEWARE
Charles Mark Walker, Jasper Ga.

  We have been coming to Jekyll for almost 30 years. For a majority of that time we stayed in a motel. Since 2003, we have purchased a camper and now stay at the campground. Our children have grown up coming to Jekyll and our daughter is doing her college internship at the Jekyll Is. Club Hotel this summer. Yes, there needs to be some improvements to the island i.e.: rebuild or remodel existing hotels/motels, rebuild the convention center with a two or three story hotel (right where the existing one is)and continue to refurbish and protect the historic district along with beach revitalization. I play golf and enjoy all of the courses and the freedom to play on them without being restricted by money or status. The beauty of the undeveloped portions of the island should not be disturbed. You have my support and I will do my best to spread the word.  Robert Brackett,  East Point, GA 

Our family enjoys Jekyll Island as it is now, with limited development; a casual, affordable and comfortable beachside family vacation get away. We enjoy the historical aspects and the marine life educational opportunities.  We know that many schools in Atlanta and the area send students on field trips to Jekyll because of the educational offerings and affordability and we want to see this continue. 
We do not want to see Jekyll become an over developed "Myrtle Beach" or "Destin", leading to over crowding, unbearable traffic and condos blocking the beach view.  Controlled, limited and managed development with the laws to protect the environment, and maintaining the distinct quiet, peaceful unhurried natural state of the area is what our family wants to support.
Brian and Robin Anzaldua, Sandy Springs, GA 30328

The wealthy have enough playgrounds. We need to ensure, in perpetuity, that those of more modest means also have a share in the state's natural resources.
Lila Ralston, Athens GA 30606

We have been vacationing on Jekyll Island for numerous years for the simple fact of the islands simplicity. The history, the wildlife and the peacefulness is what makes the island enjoyable & unique. If you change that setting with big business & crowds we might as well go to Panama City.(which in my opinion is the worst place to go)
From the Millionaires Jekyll Club (intriguing, mystical & haunted with past memories) to glances of deer running on the beach, unique trees formed from the coastal winds, dolphins dancing as the sun sets in the water, manta rays jumping up eye level on the north end of the beach in the water that you felt like you could grab them, glances of sea turtles laying their eggs, searching for shells on clean beaches at dawn, the solitude of building sandcastles and not being stepped over by dozens of sunbathers are just some of the things that have brought special memories of Jekyll to our family over the years.
If you want to improve the island, forget commercialization & write another brochure of the attributes the island has already. When someone goes to the beach, not including broke teeny boppers looking for a hot time, they dream of natural beaches undisturbed by commercialism where they can kick back, relax & feel the ocean breezes with all their senses, hear the seagulls, and feel like they are alone with God intended. If this was not the case...then ask a million people if they won the lottery, would they want to buy a private island, would they? 
Kathy and Mike Metzger, Tunnel Hill, GA.\

Keep Jekyll as something special. There is no question that the hotels certainly need some revamping and rebuilding.  That would be a good thing.  But no exclusive condos or exclusive golf courses etc.  Why copy something that is not as nice when you have such a jewel as Jekyll?  I know that these developers are salivating for the money they will get, but can't we say no to them once in a while?
If we let all the good that is Jekyll go, we never get it back.  Never.   
Anne Dupre, Athens, GA 30606

The purpose of government is certainly not to add and abet commercial development at the expense of the public interest especially when this development will further reduce the scarce amount of natural lands on our barrier islands and/or act to discriminate against those who do not rank among the wealthy.
Government acting on behalf certain business interests also creates an impression that not everything going on is above board and that special interests are getting their payback for campaign contributions or other shady financial arrangements.  Government must not only be honest but avoid even the appearance of impropriety.
We've seen government turn one of our most valued monuments, Stone Mountain, from a memorial to our fallen men and inspiration leaders to an amusement park.  Let's not let that happen at Jekyll Island.
Gregory K. Gilbert, Dahlonega GA 30533

All you folks with money have St. Simons and Little St. Simons and Sea Island. Don't be so grabby. Let the rest of us share the sea and coast and the pretty Georgia coastal islands too, and not just what the Developers decide they can spare from their high-end developing.
Linda and Ralph Kirkland, Decatur, GA 30030

I first visited Jekyll Island in 1989. My initial response was the realization this was one of the most peaceful and relaxing surroundings I had ever visited! I'll never forget my impression of "coming home" although I had never visited Jekyll Island previously. Never have I visited such a lovely place, wherein the state law aids in protecting the overall status of the island -- no more than 35% development with the remaining 65% of the Island designated as a setting where various animals such as deer, raccoons, squirrels and other animals seem to feel relatively safe. I'll never forget the excitement of observing a sea turtle nest, the first I had ever seen! I observed other tourists who were delighted that this is a place which emphasizes nature in every sense of the word. There are no overly developed, noisy, traffic-infested areas such as that seen on Tybee Island, Hilton Head, and even St. Simons Island.
My wife and I visited Jekyll Island this past May. We stayed at the renovated Jekyll Estates Inn now called the Beachview Club. The transition is amazing! It is beautifully landscaped with an awesome swimming pool! The live oaks are so beautiful. It is my hope that this pristine, calm environment will not be disrupted by money-hungry developers who will destroy this peaceful "slice of heaven!" Many of my friends are greatly concerned about the future of Jekyll Island! Like me, they are following the status of this excellent place which has been developed as a refuge for the general public.
Howard Graves, Milledgeville, GA 31061

We have lived on Jekyll for 9 1/2 years. We sold our home and moved everything we own to the island because it was a quiet and beautiful place. There are many friends and relatives who come, spend time and money here only because of the place that it is.
We are not opposed to some upgrading of hotels, convention center and shopping plaza, however keep them in the confines of where they are now. The development does not have to be "high class" but needs to be totally affordable to the average citizen, especially those living in GA.
Dave & Shirley Palmer, Jekyll Island, GA 31527

(Upon signing the Wilderness Act 1964), "If future generations are to remember us with gratitude rather than with contempt, we must leave them more than the miracles of technology. We must leave them a glimpse of the world as it was in the beginning, not just after we got through with it." - President Lyndon B. Johnson
Richard Grove, Cumming, Ga. 30040

We own property at Villas by the Sea and hope all this new development will not be too over built (or too many floors high)...Am very disturbed by today's article (7-23-07) that the new Buccaneer owners will get a $10 million lease break -- they should be thrilled that they are able to build at all and be willing to pay the JIA the maximum to get this choice property.
You two are doing a great job.   Let us know how we can help...we did already fill out two of the previous surveys, but some of these questions are different (maximum nightly rate willing to pay, for instance.  We actually don't anticipate having to stay anywhere but our Villa, but if we had to, I think under $100 would be the max.  As far as condos at town square, if they rent only, then maybe 12 or so, but we don't want any more residences for full timers.   What do you know about the condos planned at the Buccaneer property?  Prices, etc, and can owner live there full time?  (Just checking out the competition, as you CAN live at Villas, though we only have a couple of owners who do that.)
We do need one or two upscale hotels to bring in some nice conventions, but most should be in the current price range for the average income so families can continue to enjoy their affordable hotels there.   We certainly don't want another St. Simons or Sea Island that has gotten so trafficky and very pricey...and we LOVE it that there is NO TRAFFIC LIGHT on Jekyll.
Robyn Keiley, Atlanta, GA 30339

One of our biggest concerns is the loss of beach.  We starting coming to Jekyll in 1991 and came for several years.  I can't remember the last year we came but the beach was eroding and there was black tar-like hard surface near where we usually stayed.  Our son-in-law and granddaughter came this spring and said that the beach was gone.  So, we are going to another beach in South Carolina this year.  We loved Jekyll and the simplicity of life there and are disappointed that we can no longer come there.  This fact was not mentioned in your survey but I'm interested in seeing it addressed. 
Danny & Marci Hobbs, Lavonia, GA 30553

You know that the middle income citizens of Ga. make up the majority of the population. Why would you want to create yet another place for only the high income citizens to go? One thing about Jekyll Island is that a lot of the hotels have view of the beach from the hotel room. There is not another place like that in Georgia. My husband works for the state and I am a retired school teacher. We like to go to the beach and take our grandchildren with us. Jekyll offers the best opportunity to do that and be able to stay for more that one night. Please don’t take this away from us. Let's preserve this Island for future generations, the same way our parents did for us.
Polly Porte, 479 W. Vertia St.

  This one Island on the Atlantic Ocean needs to remain for the everyday people. Reasonable motel rates are essential for this to happen. Several motels are 40 or 50 years old and need to be replaced. Keep the low rise architectural model, 3 or 4 stories, and moderate yet appealing designs. Build so as not to encroach on sand dunes or beach. Design them so many or all rooms have an ocean view and balcony.
The exceptionally long expanse of unobstructed beach is one of Jekyll's distinctive features. The motels don't have to create a lot of landscaping features to envelop the building, rather let the natural ocean view and beach be the focus.
From Maine to Miami there are high end facilities, private enclaves, developers’ specialty venues, amusement parks, where folks can enjoy manmade entertainment at oceanside. We in Georgia have a nature made environment in which to be delighted by the beach itself, the sea and sky and birds.
Ellen McCoy, 438 Woodstone West Drive

Having traveled extensively through the eastern US, I am very tired of every governing body seeming to have the same "vision" of what the water front should be.  We need marshes, beaches and living barrier islands.  We need no high end hotels, we need no more convention center space, and we sure don't need more water-wasting golf courses on a barrier island.
As every state from Maine to (especially) Florida develops their coastline ad nauseum, Georgia should have the presence of mind, the foresight, the honesty and the fortitude to eschew the rat race, do what is right and preserve some of what we have got left.
Charlie Muise, Barnesville, GA 30204

We will have to be vigilant if we want to preserve Jekyll Island for the purpose it was purchased. I have been coming to Jekyll for years and spent my honeymoon here 48 years -- I do not want to see Jekyll turned into another St. Simons.
I just read in the Wheeler County paper that a Mr. J. D. Dell says that modestly priced hotels do not belong along the beach. Who is this man? Where does he get off saying such a thing? This is the kind of thinking that will ruin Jekyll.
Sandi and Bill Elton, Decatur, GA

Jekyll Island should be preserved at all costs by the citizens of Georgia. It does not need to be turned into a Mecca of quick money for any developer or group of developers. There needs to be a state wide referendum with NO CAVEATS or STIPULATIONS that would give the citizens of Georgia the ability to stop any and all further development and remove the politicians from any and all boards or committees that would have any possibility of approving further development against the will of the people.
Walt & Becky Wood,  Kathleen, GA 31047

GA Residents need to decide if this and other GA State Parks are to be turned over to Developers so they can cater to the Rich and Famous or are GA State Parks going to remain a place that normal GA residents can visit.
Several Non-Profit organizations I belong to try to use State Parks for our annual meetings. Will we be able to go to Jekyll Island?  With the changes about to happen there it appears none of our members will be able to afford to visit this state park.
Sam Booher,  Augusta, GA 30907

This property is not only of historical significance it is unique in the amount of unspoiled beaches, wildlife and marine life. We need to preserve this treasure for the citizens of Georgia--all the citizens--and maintain for future generations. Not one trip to Jekyll has been made that a van from UGA would not be seen involved in research along the marsh or the beaches. This past June the project involved rebedding of oysters at Clam Creek .The new Sea Turtle "hospital" is a wonderful resource for our children and families as well as for the benefit of these creatures. Jekyll Island needs to remain for ALL the citizens of this state and for future generations. 
Claudia Adams, Marietta, Ga. 30064

I think Jekyll should be kept open to the public as a fun historical place to visit as a family. I enjoy going with my family and just spending the day. It is inviting and relaxing. If you start building more hotels and residential areas there will be no where for families to go and enjoy the beach. They have already taken over all the beach accesses at St. Simons, that is why we enjoy Jekyll so much. It doesn't seem so overgrown and overpopulated. But I guess we just spoke too soon. I just wish my children could grow up and enjoy the beach like I did when I was a child.
Anne Davis, Brunswick, GA 31523

Like a lot of people, we visit Jekyll because the rates are affordable and atmosphere is relaxed.  If development is allowed, it will be like Panama City and similar places where the traffic is bumper to bumper and cannot be enjoyed due to so many people.  At this time, Jekyll is affordable but is developed the average family with children will not be able to afford it.  Jekyll is an ideal vacation spot for families with children and we would like to see it stay this way.  As it is, there are very few places for the average family to enjoy a vacation that they can afford. We have personally brought our children to Jekyll since 1982, and now that they are grown and out of the house, we enjoy going as a couple.  If developed and rates raised, I can honestly say we won't be back, and this is the case with a lot of people I have discussed this with. If people want to be in the hustle and bustle, let them go to St. Simons or Panama City.  Yes, there is a need for the existing hotels to be renovated and improved, but let's stop the development of a "resort area".
Warren and Cheryl Talton, 2601 Hwy. 127

I like Jekyll just the way it is- wild and unspoiled. It is the most beautiful beach and island in Georgia, largely because it is so natural. Don't turn it into just another Jacksonville Beach. Also, we can't afford fancy vacations, so Jekyll is wonderful for us and other people without lots of money to throw away. Please don't take that away from the people of Georgia.
Wendy Wilmoth, Griffin GA 30224

We enjoy the natural beauty of the island. We appreciate the desire to upgrade and increase the number of lodging facilities on Jekyll Island. Certainly, a new convention center is needed. An attached hotel would be convenient for conventions. However, we do not support construction that would transform Jekyll Island into an exclusive resort.
Bill & Sue Davis, Macon GA 31204

We are retired and on a fixed income.  Jekyll is a lovely, quiet place to visit that is within our budget. It would be against nature to turn it into another St Simons that is overcrowded and over commercialized.  This is the last ocean side resort affordable to the average public.
Developers are only after the money as evidenced by their proposal to put a "less expensive" hotel on the land side of the island for people without unlimited resources.  How typical of the privileged rich. 
Please continue to work to keep Jekyll affordable to retirees who appreciate the beauty of an unspoiled island that is within their means.
Mr & Mrs. A. F. Layfield, Byron, GA 31008-0956

I have not been to the convention center in a long time (1990s) but believe that it needs expansion and updating by now.  I was there several times at the Georgia Recreation and Parks Association (GRPA) annual meeting and I know of other meetings that have been held there (e.g., People First Georgia, a disability rights group).  The GRPA should be on board in support of saving Jekyll and you should contact them.
Jekyll Island must be preserved as an affordable vacation spot for Georgia's residents.  I'm from North Florida originally, and have seen what high end development does to pristine Gulf areas.  It is completely disgusting what it does to long
term area residents in terms of taxes and often drives them out, making more room for development.  Some areas along the ocean must be saved for "regular" citizens and should not be owned by those with extreme wealth.
John and Gail Hoge, Athens, GA  30605

Thank you for your efforts to save our island.  We started coming several years ago when our son was an actor at the State Musical Theater of Georgia.  The first inkling of trouble was when the state pulled the funding from that wonderful program.  Since then, things have gone downhill.  While we usually rent a house to stay for a week at a time, it would be nice to have decent, inexpensive hotels for shorter visits.  We used to stay at the Holiday Inn, but it really went downhill.  Perhaps a Holiday Inn Express or Hampton Inn type facility would be nice.  Or some kind of all suite, moderately priced hotel.  I've not been in the convention center, but if it needs improvement, it should be only on the site where it is now located.  I personally think the island could use a little better shopping area, with perhaps a bakery / coffee shop, updated grocery and drug stores, and maybe a couple more restaurants.  But frankly, that's enough.  Leave the rest alone!  As for the south end of the island - hands off!  That is the most unspoiled piece of shoreline I have ever seen, and should remain that way.  As so many others have said - We have plenty of Myrtle Beach, St. Simon’s type places for people to go.  Jekyll stands alone as a tranquil bit of nature for EVERYONE to enjoy.
Sharon Selzer, Snellville, GA  30039

Georgians Speak on Jekyll’s Redevelopment

Jekyll Island is one of the most beautiful areas to visit and enjoy the beach and wildlife.  It would be a shame to turn it into another exclusive area where most people wouldn't be able to afford it.  Let's keep it the way it is and keep it clean.
Bonnie Boccio, Midway GA

I have vacationed at Jekyll since I can remember.  The great thing about it is I can remember everything always being the same.  I understand the need for some improvements but I also think that if Jekyll changes too much it will lose many families who have faithfully visited Jekyll for many, many years with their children and grandchildren.  Sometimes the government needs to understand that some things should just be left alone.  Jekyll could do things in a much more low key manner to make improvements on their own without a complete government overhaul. Please allow me to be able to bring my own grandchildren to a place that I can say was the same when I was a child.
Rebecca Hause, Hampton Ga

I love JI just the way it is! I hate Hilton Head Island because it is overdeveloped and too busy. I've been to Hilton Head Island only once and don't plan to go back. I love Jekyll Island and go there whenever I can; mainly conferences. Please keep JI simple. Just fix up the hotels and convention centers it already has; be creative. You can open up a Blackbeard's Restaurant in an existing location. It is wise to conserve our resources and there should not be a referendum to vote on preserving a part of our ecosystem. Natural habitats and wetlands help us more than we know. It is imperative that we don't let greed and commercial pursuits spoil Georgia. Thank you for your time and efforts in preserving beautiful Jekyll Island.
Wanda Grandberry, Savannah, GA  31404

We have been coming to Jekyll Island every year since 1981.  It is close to home and has always been very affordable.  We like the quiet, laid-back atmosphere.  After all, it is a state park.  Now they are talking about $250 per day at the new Buccaneer!  If the remaining hotels do the same thing for oceanfront property, it will be out of reach for us and we are people of average means, probably like most of the people who come to Jekyll.  We will have to go somewhere else then, probably Northern Fla beaches where the rates are more reasonable, and it's not that much farther to drive. 
W. & Maureen Reynolds, Mount Vernon GA 30445

The island needs to be improved on but not at the cost of the sea turtles and the natural state. There are so few places that the average person can gain access to the sea shore due to development. We don’t need to turn Jekyll into another St. Simons. The proposed development would be the fist step to that.   SAVE JEKYLL ISLAND for the public.
Kathleen Weeks, Mt. Vernon, Ga.  30445

My family and I visit Jekyll Island year round. During the off seasons we are there about once a month, and during the summer we are there on an almost weekly basis. The reason we go to Jekyll is entirely due to the fact that it is largely undeveloped. The smaller crowds and national park feel keep us coming back again and again. Beaches like Tybee that are so developed are highly unenjoyable as the large crowds, constant traffic, and so forth make relaxing impossible! I can honestly say that if Jekyll Island were to become more developed like some of these other beaches that my family will NOT be returning.
Krystal Mehalko,  Midway, GA. 31320

I fully support the mission to protect and promote Jekyll Island as "a model of restrained development and as place where people of average means can afford to come." Any further development must be restrained and conservation-friendly, including hotels, restaurants, shops, or housing.
Anne Page Mosby, Marietta, GA  30064

Georgia has the opportunity to keep something that is becoming rarer by the year -- a stretch of relatively undeveloped coastline. Anyone who has traveled the South Carolina coast in the last few years, for instance, knows what can happen when developers are given a free hand. (Those familiar with the rural areas that once surrounded Atlanta also know what can happen: in the last few years, the green woods and countryside of my county have been scraped flat and buried under an avalanche of chain stores, hotels, gas stations and residential construction.) The beauty of Jekyll is its undeveloped state; to cover it in condos, restaurants, neon-fronted shops, and to burden it with the accompanying increase in noise, pollution, traffic, crime, and general gaudiness that has become cliché in coastline construction is to kill the very thing that tourists seek on the island: tranquility in a uniquely natural setting. Leave it the way it is. Do not give it over to developers. Do not give in to commercialism and fast-money promises. I'd rather see hotel and residence prices skyrocket beyond my means than to see Jekyll developed further. Because once it is started, it will not stop; once that inch is given, that stretch of land will be lost.
D. C.  Hodgens, Conyers, GA 30094

Jekyll Island is a public state park for the citizens of GA and not to be developed for the profit of special interest groups and to be another upper income beach colony.  We have plenty of those in FLA and SC, and don't need another in Jekyll Island.
Robert Gotsch, Roswell, GA 30075
The development of Jekyll in order to cater to the more affluent of our society
does not bring enhancement or appeal; in fact, just the opposite--it would take the
pleasure of one of Georgia's few beach areas away from the "ordinary" people who are
now able to enjoy it as well as driving many away from seeing the offerings of history
the island offers.  Visitors to our household always enjoy what Jekyll has to offer
and to commercialize it further would detract greatly.  Also, the thinking of the
developers leaves most of us out in the cold and smacks of a superior attitude toward
those who may not be able to afford their provisions. Why can't everyone open their
eyes on the beachside?!
Any developments, in my opinion, should be made with everyone in mind, not just a select few.  Those days of Jekyll should remain history.
Kate McLeod, Darien, Ga. 31305

I very much hope that we can begin to plan for the larger community and not simply the good of a few.  Policy making agents and agencies must recognize that places like Jekyll are already rare.  They must be protected which means left as they are, a place to escape to, a place for all the citizens not just the few.  And of course, a place for some of the rest of animal species to have something like a place to survive as well.
Michael E. Cooley, Mt. Berry, Ga 30149

I would like to see the accommodations at Jekyll upgraded and modernized, but not made exclusive.  We have that on other barrier islands; so need a place that people can come and not want to spend a fortune.  Would also like to see more good intermediate and inexpensive restaurants, preferably locally owned and operated instead of adding all franchises so that Jekyll will continue to have its own sense of place and not try to copy others.  Jekyll is ideal for a quick inexpensive long weekend getaway when one needs down time. 
The convention center needs to be expanded and improved.  The history of the island can definitely be played up and is not emphasized enough.  It has great potential as an eco and heritage tourism destination.
Laura W. Carter, Winterville, GA 30683

Jekyll is a wonderful island, however the hotel (Buccaneer) has pretty much run down - I understand it is being torn down to build a new hotel with 300 rooms - drastically needed -the citizens of Georgia and the people who love this island need a nice place to stay as well as keeping the affordable hotels (Days Inn) -back in the day, the Holiday Inn was a great hotel - the golf courses need to stay exactly as they are - also Summer Waves - I LOVE THIS ISLAND and have been coming here, bringing my children, my grandchild for 35 years - I love the beach and would stay at the Jekyll club if it had a beach - I need to wake up and look out at the ocean when I'm there - Summer Waves, Sea Jays. Latitude 31, Rah Bar, The Jekyll Island Club, the village,  the golf courses, etc. do not need to be bowled over by a developer - the Sea Turtle Center is great and will only get better as time goes by - DO NOT LET DEVELOPERS GET INTO THIS ISLAND AS THEY WILL DESTROY IT!
Merrie Coolick, Roswell, GA  30075

Jekyll must be kept affordable. There are plenty of high end places for those with the means, but it takes effort to find nice places for the average person and family. Middle class America is and has been losing ground with out-sourcing, salaries, health insurance, pensions, and now the threat of losing our affordable recreation and vacation spot .Do not develop the shore line unless everyone has access to it. A gathering place, like the pier and playground on ssi, contributes to a sense of community.
Barbara Kasak, St. Simon’s  Island, GA 31522

I understand the need for more hotels but my family and I have enjoyed staying on the island since our two children were 5/1 yrs old. Because the accommodations were affordable we could stay for the whole week of the 4th of July. Our son has since grown up and started his own family and we bring them down to see the ocean and natural habitat. Our daughter and her boyfriend have been with us and we were able to stay in the villa @ Jekyll Oceanfront Resort affordably. My husband/I always come in October to celebrate our anniversary and we have a favorite room we try to reserve if possible because of it's location to the beach. Unfortunately, it is becoming more affordable to stay in Brunswick. The rooms are nice and rates are reasonable. The history of Jekyll was "The Island for Millionaires" well those days are GONE & should never return because the average hardworking family needs a place of culture, history, fun and education at an affordable rate. Because after all they are the TRUE supporters of Jekyll Island. The only change I would like to see if possible is a cleaner ocean.
Dreben & Carol Cox & family, Vidalia GA  30474

We love Jekyll Island so much, and we would hate to see it changed! We say no to developing the south end of the island, as it is one of our favorite spots!!  It would be nice to make small changes such as a small town square (with only a few shops), where the convention center is, and update the shopping center.  We wouldn't mind seeing the hotels and restaurants updated as well.  We live in the Atlanta area (with all its hustle and bustle) and we love the beauty and peace that we find on Jekyll to be such a pleasure for outside daily life.  Our children even love the fact that Jekyll is so beautiful and peaceful!! Changing the island into more of a commercial zone would take from its peace, as well as endangering the wildlife that inhabit it. There need to be some spots left that are dedicated to the preservation of the wildlife and environment- commercializing Jekyll would be horrible.
James and Cynthia Jones, Dacula, GA  30019

I think that a general plan for the future of the island is not a bad thing.  If I lived in podunk, I might go on vacation to go shopping, but I wouldn't go to Jekyll Island for that in any case.  If I were an avid golfer, I would probably not go to Jekyll Island.   There are other places that cater to those folks who want to spend all their spare time on a golf course.  There are an awful lot of golf courses and stores in the world.  Most people do not have to go on vacation to find them.  The unique thing that Jekyll has is the natural environment that is there.  I think that it will be hard to improve upon it.  The unique thing that has been preserved from the civilization side of things is that in a family environment, and a very safe one at that, you can take your children and grand children to a place where they can get on a beach with dunes in the background. They can see sharks, alligators, dolphins, sea turtles, otters, owls, ospreys, all in the wild, but they can also go to the water park.   The musicals that were at the old amphitheater were also popular with our children and their friends.  The old Jekyll Island club area is also popular with adults and children.  We have kayaked and fished around the island as well. 
I think that not being able to see a high rise is a great thing.  If I felt the need to see a high rise from the beach, I probably wouldn't go to Jekyll Island.  Two or three high rises is not going to do it.  I'll go to Florida, and see lots of high rise buildings. 
I don't know how many people are like me.  A know a lot of people like to lay around a pool for a week and drink.  I never understood why they needed to catch a plane to do that, but that's okay.  I'm happy for them, but I don't want to go on vacation with them. 
I hope that the JIA, or whoever wants to be in charge will continue to cater to me.  I think that if Jekyll tries to turn huge profits that there will be a lot of money spent, a lot of changes will be made, and, ultimately, the pool folks will go somewhere else, and the whole thing will go bust.  Then, it will be sold to the real estate folks, who will convert it into St. Simons South.  I hope that a general plan will keep this in mind. 
I am politically conservative, and generally don't like government intrusion.  However, I know that private enterprise has no other reason for being than making money, and that's a good thing.  One size, however, does not fit all.  I love Wal-Mart, but I don't need to have one at the beach.  I know that this is tough on the residents, but if you live in a resort, there are well known tradeoffs that you make.  One, is, or should be, driving a long way to Wal-Mart.
Anyway, from what I have seen of most politicians, Florida is the model they love.  However, Florida is already there.  Creating a small Florida on the Georgia coast is going to be a loser.  A lot of infrastructure money will have to be spent to make the barrier islands and marshes like Florida.  When you get done, it still won't be Florida, and it will no longer be the Georgia coast that we have now either.  It will be the place that nobody wants to go.
Unfortunately, government seems to be obsessed with these kinds of projects.  Maybe you can gene splice a duck and a camel, but I don't want that animal for a pet.  Well, that is becoming the average government project, especially when dealing with private enterprise. They decide to cross a duck with a camel, and go out for bids.  Ten years, and $40,000,000,000 later it is determined that the project benefits no one, and it is cancelled.
The Georgia Coast is uniquely positioned for what is now called eco-tourism.  It can be marketed that way, but it still needs to be understood that most folks aren't going to show up for this.  I get in the great outdoors every chance I get.  There aren't many people who want to come with me, even though I don't do extreme things.  If there is going to be sustainable revenues from this type of recreation, the marketing will have to be focused on the people who really love this, and it will have to be marketed nationally.  The light weight infrastructure that will have to be provided to support these activities will have to be put in place.  If it is not, these people will be disappointed, and won't come back.  It is not easy to make money doing this.
In short, I am reconciled to the fact that my activity will have to be supported by user fees, and I am of the belief that this is one area where it is in the purview of government to provide services.  However, I think that other than land, access points, staffing, etc., I don't think that a lot of money is required especially when compared what has been spent, say, on New York City.
Okay, I am rambling.  I like Jekyll more like it is.  Maintain it, and come up with a plan to make it financially viable as possible within the framework of what it is now.  I'll support this with my vote and my money, and my time, as I have been doing.  Lately, I have been coming down there more than once a year. :>)
Mike and Madelyn Crumpler, Carrollton, GA 

I think by developing the island would jeopardize the wildlife that is on the island now including the sea turtles and their young! Even now with it being like it is we have some not many that do not respect the dunes! I see it time and time again where people are walking all over the dunes which endangers our sea turtles!! When I see them I let them know right away to get off there and why! We have vacationers that will walk up and down the beach picking up what little trash that is strewn about. If others come in they will trash the island like in Florida!!!!!!!!  The only thing I see that could be done is to give the already established shopping strip a face lift. But don't modernize it just spruce her up a bit. That is what makes Jekyll Island a Jewel its uniqueness. Also if we further the development to the Island just think about the marine life like the sand dollar. They are abundant at low tide but people there now respect the limited catch rule, where if we have more vacationers there the limit would be significantly limited due to over catch!!!!!! We find very small sand dollars at low tide all the time but do not take them so they can grow to larger ones and produce more. I have not witnessed very many taking advantage of the abundance of sand dollars only taking a few!! PLEASE LEAVE GEORGIA'S JEWEL ALONE!!!!!!!!!!!!!! WE LIKE IT THE WAY IT IS. My first reaction to the beach was oh because I had always been to Florida where there are white sandy beaches. But after one day there I fell in love with Jekyll Island and would not go anywhere else! I want to bring my grandkids to Jekyll to experience what I have. The beauty that The Island offers and Her wonderful wild life. I love driving around to see the deer, rabbits, birds and more. Thank you for letting me voice my opinion. Cindy Gaines
Cindy Gaines, Marietta, GA

We thank that Jekyll Island is a great place to go and take a family to enjoy the beach in a family environment. Most beach areas you go to are Party spots and not family oriented. At Jekyll we fill safe and crime free. We love Jekyll because you don't have all the big crowds that most beaches have. Every time we go to Jekyll we always ride at night to see all the wildlife that calls the island home.
Cecil M & Connie Rykard, Cairo, GA

I feel that we should have a town square, but I do not feel it should be on the beach side.  I feel that the beach side should be as open as it can be and the town square should be on the other side of the road as well as the convention center.
Bonnie Newell, Jekyll Island, GA

I think the Island would benefit from a little more commercial development along the lines of that mentioned in question #1.  However, any new development should be as far from the beach as possible.  In any scenario, absolutely no new development should occur between the road and the beach.  Existing structures should modify their indoor and outdoor lighting so as to minimize problems for the sea turtles.  LED lighting could be used so as to direct light downward and outdoor light fixtures should be lowered.  There are many places where visitors can go to stay in a resort-like atmosphere.  There is only one place like Jekyll where there are wide-open spaces without commercial clutter.
Michael Petelle,  Marietta, GA  

My family has been visiting Jekyll for family vacation since I was a baby.  The very reasons that I disliked coming to Jekyll as a teen are now the reasons that I return as an adult.  I enjoy the lazy and quiet atmosphere.  I now take my children on vacation to Jekyll.  They love to ride their bikes on the trails and see the wildlife in the undeveloped areas.  Jekyll holds very special memories for my family.
I do agree that many of the current facilities on Jekyll need to be restored and renovated.  However, I do not agree that they need to be torn down and replaced with high end condos and shops.  Jekyll was set aside as a retreat for average income families, and that's the way it needs to stay.  If the "high enders" want to vacation in that area, then they can take their "high end" rear-ends to St. Simons, which is only a short drive from Jekyll.
I realize that in today's society the temptation of the money that could be made from the undeveloped land on Jekyll is just too much for some individuals to resist.  But my hope and wish is that they will turn their money-hungry sites somewhere else and leave Jekyll alone.  When I am in my 70's, I want to return to Jekyll each year with my grandchildren and great grandchildren, just as my grandmother does, and I want it to be the same lazy and quiet retreat that it is today.
Restore Jekyll!  Do not develop it!
Ashley, Cassidy, and Cally Cook, Jackson, GA 

Our family truly enjoys coming to Jekyll Island for our vacations.  We have gone to Daytona Beach, Orlando, and other similar places, but we completely enjoy Jekyll Island.  It would be a complete and total disaster to let "the market" alienate all the families, like ours, from being able to enjoy the beauty and history of Jekyll Island by making it unaffordable.  There have to be alternative ways to generate revenue for the island besides high dollar condos and homes.  Our most favorite memories of family vacations have been on Jekyll Island.  We look forward to being able to continue to spend time on Jekyll Island.
Mark & Glynda Burpee, Jackson, GA 

It has been a long time since I visited or stayed on Jekyll, so I hesitate to speak for those who visit the island on a regular basis.  However, the last time I visited Jekyll, the motels were pretty run-down and there were no really good places to eat. 
Accommodations should be affordable, but not "seedy."  I see no problem with upgrading the deteriorating motels or replacing them with slightly higher-quality motels or suites on the order of the Hampton Inn or Fairfield Inn & Suites.  I would consider the rates of these types of facilities generally affordable.
Theressa Vincent, Atlanta, GA

My husband and I were married on the Island in April 1998. The beauty and peacefulness of the Island is why we chose to continue our lives there. I can not imagine what this island would look like if developers were allowed to "RAPE" this pristine land! If people want to be constantly entertained and big condos there are plenty of options; i.e.: St.Simons, Myrtle Beach, or anywhere in Fl. We enjoy taking our grandchildren to Jekyll because it is layed back and safe. Just driving around the island and seeing wild life is educational in itself.
I hope to keep this island the way the Governor that bought it intended: a place for average families to go to the beach! Jekyll is Georgia's best kept secret; or I thought until I learned of developers plans to develop our island! I would like to see this on a ballot for the people of GA to vote and also would like to see our GA representatives push to make this a National Park!!! This would keep developers OFF!!!!
Peggy & Calvin Brown, Macon, GA

I always support keeping natural areas and affordable housing for visitors.
Nancy S. Jafar, Alamo, GA 

A well designed town square of limited size is OK, but not on that beautiful section of beach. NO SPRAWL!!!
G & D Wood, Fayette County, GA

We do not need to make affordable to only the "rich and famous". It is a good wholesome environment that is also affordable. By building all the condos and Ritz Carlton's, the average beachgoer will travel to Amelia Island or further. Jekyll is part of Georgia's history. Let's not destroy it by building homes on the golf courses, adding more shops, and restaurants. Let's preserve the island the way it is. My family visits there throughout the summer and always has. Please don't turn Jekyll into “just another way to make money". If anything, increase the entry fee. $3.00 could be increased to $10.00 and that would still be a bargain for the price of saving the Island.
Pat Cannon, Alamo, GA

Jekyll is a small island and a wonderful relaxing place. When you are on the island there is minimal traffic, unlike St. Simons. I enjoy the history and natural setting Jekyll offers. I do think the current businesses need to remodel but there is no need for further development. Our government needs to stop worrying about building and focus on preserving what is left. I enjoy the current restaurants and shops and feel if new restaurants were open it would hurt current business owners. There are plenty of other places for people to build condos like Florida. This is a special place and one of a kind and was designated to stay that way for a reason. Let’s not change that.
Wilson Evans, Quitman, GA

We love Jekyll just the way it is. I hope they do not put up condos and destroy the natural beauty of the island. We were sad to see trash on the beaches by tourists. Our last trip was a business trip. It is a great place to come for the family to play and for Daddy to work.
Lisa and John Ruffin, Jr.

Jekyll Island belongs to average Georgians like me. It is my favorite place in this world and holds such a special place in my heart. I don’t want to see it changed into another St. Simons. Jekyll Island is priceless to me. I love its leisurely pace, its woodlands, its undeveloped beaches…all the things that would be ruined if we let developers come in and take control of its future.
I think a plan should be made to remodel or upgrade the structures that are already here. This could be done during the off-season over a period of several years. Owners of these structures should be forced to keep up these properties by state regulations so that the properties are clean and affordable for the average Georgian to be able to afford and enjoy.
Please let me know how I can help IPJI to accomplish our mission to save Jekyll Island.
Susan Evans, Ocilla, GA

I love the island the way it is! I would hate to see it become an over run tourist trap. I like staying there because I can relax without all the noisy traffic and people.
Lynda, Robert and Taylor Brown, Cusseta, GA

This is a special and unique place, due, in large to the undeveloped island. Hopefully the greed of the Georgia political leaders will not succeed in developing this beautiful barrier island. It would be a shame to turn this special place into another Hilton Head or St. Simons which is over developed. The beauty of Jekyll is that all people, regardless of socio-economic status can enjoy the island. Pertaining to question number 13, I am not sure that the general public would grasp the beauty of the undeveloped island. I am amazed at the number of native Georgians who have never bee to Jekyll.
Larry Abernathy, Augusta, GA Jekyll does not need high rise hotels with $50 per night rooms. The days Inn is plenty nice and comfortable. Let’s keep Jekyll pretty much the way it is…we do need new motels, but in the Days Inn range.
R. H. (Bob) Davis, Eatonton, GA

Jekyll Island is a peaceful, beautiful place, with small town charm and ever friendly to the earth around it. Development has scarred our country, making each community identical to the next with shopping malls and crap tourist attractions and eventually more cars, crowding, pollution, empty buildings and crime. Don’t let this false pretense of “improvement” destroy Jekyll. The wealthy can go anywhere. Keep Jekyll for those who seek her peace.
Karen Kunkle

Please don’t turn Jekyll Island into a St. Simons. I love Jekyll the way it is. It is clean, quiet, and so relaxing. You build and it will never be the same again, and I won’t come back. What is going to happen to the wildlife? Don’t take their homes away. Look at California, the wildlife is in people’s yards because their homes are gone because they keep building. Knock it off Mr. and Mrs. Board of Directors!
Nancy Peterson, Soperton, GA

I have made many trips to the islands, Jekyll and St. Simons since 1962. Jekyll Island is still an island where a person can relax, drive around and enjoy the sights and nature at a reasonable cost. Today go to St. Simons and try to relax, drive and see the sights (what’s left of them) and enjoy nature…Good Luck!! Jekyll Island needs to be left in its natural state for public enjoyment, not so much for us but for future generations. Also, remember in the state of Georgia the average persons vote does count.
William Peterson, Soperton, GA

This is a special and unique place, due, in large to the undeveloped island. Hopefully the greed of the Georgia political leaders will not succeed in developing this beautiful barrier island. It would be a shame to turn this special place into another Hilton Head or St. Simons which is over developed. The beauty of Jekyll is that all people, regardless of socio-economic status can enjoy the island. Pertaining to question number 13, I am not sure that the general public would grasp the beauty of the undeveloped island. I am amazed at the number of native Georgians who have never bee to Jekyll.
Larry Abernathy, Augusta, GA

We would stress updating and remodeling rather than expansion. Also keep room rates affordable. We think a new convention center should be a LEED certified building and set a good example for responsible and environmentally sound coastal development. We think the goals of redevelopment should be to attract visitors not more permanent residents.
Karen and Philip Graine, Savannah, GA

There is no doubt that the hotels and rental villas need to be updated and the restaurant selection expanded. But this can be done within limits that preserve the quiet, family friendly atmosphere and “old-fashioned” feeling that draw so many new and repeat visitors each year. We have a Hilton Head, a St. Simons and a Myrtle Beach. We don’t have another Jekyll. Hotel rebuilds should be limited in height and to current lot sizes. Tear down and rebuilds can be done beautifully and to include spas and dining that compete with other destination but fit into the vibe of Jekyll. There is a way to make everyone happy—but it will take strength of those committed to Jekyll and compromise on the part of developers.
Adrianne Homes, Atlanta, GA

Thank you for your information on possible development ideas on Jekyll Island.  This is a jewel for our state and I am opposed to additional development with new homes, condos and shops on the island since we need to protect its beautiful wilderness.  I am in favor, however, of replacing the existing worn-out convention center with a new one and remodeling and updating the existing hotels, restaurants and shops. 
I have vacationed in the Jekyll area for 30 years and am vehemently OPPOSED to adding condos, luxury homes and doing anything to reduce the nesting area for loggerhead turtles.
Debra K. Glidden, Atlanta, GA

I am a birder. I have been coming to Jekyll Island since the late 1960s, mainly to pursue this hobby. Jekyll Island is the most valuable asset the birding community has in Georgia. It should not be altered or “improved” to accommodate those who have no regard for the natural world. Condominiums and bigger and better motels/hotels will obviously be detrimental to the parts of Jekyll that are necessary to the breeding birds of the area and the parts used by migrating birds, particularly in autumn.
Doris Cohrs (former principal bander, Jekyll Island Banding Station), Darien, GA

We spend much time on Jekyll Island. Its unspoiled beauty is a treasure even updating will interfere and bring more tromping, uncaring feet to the island’s ecosystem. The word upscale is offensive with unbridled development. Jekyll Island will cease to be that which it was designed to be! Stop the Greed. Find another $500 a night hotel or stay at the Jekyll Club Hotel. Leave Jekyll for the birds and turtles. Too many places like it have already been lost. Please do not destroy this haven, no turtle will thank you. No birds will nest in your yard as thanks. Those of  us who value nature rather than the dollar will thank you and continue to visit Jekyll Island—not for the Ritz Carlton Jekyll I saw but Jekyll Island as it is and should be—LEFT ALONE.
Fraidell Fenster, Brunswick, GA

If we wanted glitz and glitter along with million dollar condos... we would go to Hilton Head or Daytona Beach. Please leave Jekyll alone!
L.S. Westbrook, Commerce, GA

I appreciate your initiative.  The following are some deep felt desires and sympathies;
We need a better convention center, better houses, and better hotels, but they do not need to be bigger or more numerous. 
It would be a shame, however, to seek temporal wealth on Jekyll, when Jekyll itself could just as easily vanish in future hurricanes.  Truly, truly, truly, "the foolish man built his house upon the sand".  We have to take care of the least for those in our world, including the turtles and the underprivileged in our race, because they are weak and need our support in many of the opposite ways that we are weak and need their support.
Also, Jekyll is too remote and wild to be competing with St. Simons Island.  If anything, we ought to be working towards making Jekyll more productive in terms of the ecosystem and not chasing after entertainments.  Let the people on St. Simons chase entertainment, for they practice it without restriction already.  They may monopolize the entertainment in this corner of the state, but the ecosystem on Jekyll Island is in a giant balance weighted upon a dradle by the melting pot practices of the many visitors to Jekyll Island from all over the world.
Mason Parker, Jekyll Island, GA

Jekyll Island is a wonderful public-accessible place on the Georgia coast that is historic and attractive. Having meetings and social and golf outings there has been attractive to many business, government, and private groups over the years. To destroy this ambience with hundreds of condominiums, along with threats to the island and beaches, should be unthinkable. Hopefully, greed will not win out on this occasion, there is more to life than tax bases, developers, greased political palms, and all the security and safety headaches brought on by increases in population density in areas that are this fragile.
Richard M. Bramblett, Ph. D., Augusta, GA

The lawmakers in Atlanta should not be deciding what is best for Jekyll Island. They should be coming to Jekyll Island to ask to the people who come here what is best for Jekyll and what they want for the island.
Alfred and Rose DeFranco, Jekyll Island, GA

Realizing that the “old Jekyll Island” cannot be sustained, at least do not allow complete revitalization by money-hungry developers. Keep the essential peace and tranquility of Jekyll---no million dollar homes. No high-rise monstrosities on the beach, etc.
James Prebble, Jekyll Island winter resident, GA

I recognize that some development of the currently platted areas has not been built out, and development of those areas may be inevitable. My greatest concern is that modernization of the island will create an expensive environment that lower- and middle- class families will no longer be able to enjoy. I also hope public beaches and woodland paths will always exist; it is a rare pleasure to wander miles of beach and woodland without worrying about trespassing on someone’s property. Please be considerate in your planning; Jekyll is a jewel of the Georgia coast.
Kristen Jagger, Dahlonega, GA

Jekyll is a place one can go and have a sense of safety, enjoy people, as well as the environment. I do think some of the existing hotels need remodeling. Additionally, I support building new hotels in the spaces where old ones have been demolished. I have just returned from a conference that was held at Jekyll’s convention center. I support a renovation or new convention center on the same site.
Karen Ruff, Cartersville, GA

Jekyll needs to be “buffed” and refined, especially the hotels on the ocean, yet maintaining the integrity of the island and preserving the environment should be utmost in importance. A well-conceived long-range plan with quality should be highlighted.
Jeanette Hoopes, Albany, GA

It was in 1985 that my husband and I retired from New York and bought our house on Old Plantation Rd. We had visited Jekyll a few times and decided we would retire there. It was the most unique place we had looked at all along the East Coast, nothing could compare to its natural beauty and charm. We lived there owning houses and renting for the next 15 years. It is still that unique place, please don’t change it.   Remodel--upgrade with taste--but that’s all. Keep Jekyll mostly a state park for Georgians and other Americans to enjoy--the world as well, but keep it “unique”--keep its charm and beauty.
Helen Robinson, Jekyll Island, GA

While I realize that existing hotels need updating in order to appeal to tourists. I object to condos and additional housing. My experience living in an area designated as a “resort” area (Sarasota, FL) is that once “upscale” development is allowed public access is reduced as the owners of the more expensive properties do not want to be disturbed by the public. Please allow Jekyll Island to remain an area available to all and not just a few.
Shari N. Clifton, Brunswick, GA

It is OK to rebuild where something already exists. But to tear up tree and grass and natural beauty. What is the point? So somebody can make money? That’s GREED! We have enough of that on St. Simons. I have been a life long resident and I know what the Golden Isles looked like before all that took place.
Michelle Marchman, Brunswick, GA

The proposals listed above will make Jekyll homogenous with the developers’ paradises. We suffer the '”limousine coastline” all the way from Key West to Acadia. The average person can barely see the Atlantic Ocean, much less use it. Develop this island and the millionaires will be the only ones ever to feel a salt spray or see a shorebird.
Richard A. Watson, Brunswick, GA

What I hope you can demonstrate to decision makers is there are people NOT living on Jekyll who share the same beliefs about what is best for Jekyll and what is best for all Georgians. It is important to explain why yes or no is the right answer for all Georgians. As you read some of my notes, you will see I am against “wealthy” development. I am certainly not against wealth, I just believe Jekyll Island belongs to all of Georgia and making it more exclusive and more unaffordable is not what the state should be doing. There are plenty of locations and outlets for Georgia’s wealthy to go invest or spend their money.  So no one gets the wrong idea, I am white as snow and earned over $100,000 a year in my last job. It is not about me, it is about stewardship of a beautiful island and protecting it so as many Georgians as possible can have access and afford to visit and enjoy it without destroying it in the process.
Update Existing Retail locations and hotels…..absolutely. A key element in the beauty of Jekyll Island is the low impact developments already in place. What is the point of building out new developments and adding capacity when existing traffic barely supports current facilities? Some will argue there is no return on investment for an upgrade. Seems ludicrous to state a new development can pay for itself, while a repair or remodel cannot pay for itself. Which costs more?  If the “owners” complain about low visitation, then what is needed is good old fashioned marketing and promotions. People take a vacation based on cost and condition of amenities and overall atmosphere more than the outside look. Some people want a Redneck Riviera setting, some want peaceful serenity. No one will stay in an overpriced dump which is dirty with worn carpet with overpriced cafeteria style food served in a room that feels like a school cafeteria. Those are INTERNAL issues related to ownership. A new development will soon evolve to the same status. Nothing will have really changed because ownership has not changed their behaviors.
Build a modern convention center with adjacent Hotel – NO, I will give a tentative maybe, only if existing properties cannot be refurbished or adapted to meet similar needs. I am not convinced Jekyll Island needs to become THE business meeting destination of choice for metro Atlanta, or the rest of the Atlantic Coast. Go ahead and let Myrtle, Charleston, Savannah, and Jacksonville share that status. We don’t need more convention centers; we need more simple and natural beauty for Georgia FAMILIES to enjoy. If we want glitz and glamour, we will go to other locations, if we want serenity and peace, we will go to Jekyll.  Should Georgia’s PTA’s, Teachers, Parks and Recreation, Sheriff Assoc, Police Chiefs, Legislators etc seek Jekyll for their meetings, Absolutely.  I am sure Stone Mountain Conference Center and Lake Lanier Islands have similar goals. There are literally hundreds of business / convention sites competing for those dollars. Keep properties in good condition and make it affordable so those living on modest salaries can afford to visit and people will enjoy it and return and recommend it to friends and neighbors.
Create a “town square” commercial area to replace existing on same land – YES, keywords are replace and existing I am all for redevelopment of existing entities. If owners/investors believe the property needs renovation, go ahead and modernize and update. Maybe a “town square” feeling will add to the ambience of the area. Seagrove, FL manages to attract large numbers of visitors with low impact retail commercial outlets. Watercolors adjacent to Seagrove have done similar town square development ideas. St. Georgia Island has not….SGI has two gas/convenience stores, three restaurants, and one market grocery store about ¼ the size of a Walgreen’s. Everybody loves the ambiance. If I recall, SGI has about 600 homes available for rent and no more than 120 condos (low rise apartment style), and NOTHING over three stories by zoning requirement. About 1/3 of SGI is designated as State Park with barely a picnic pavilion on site. NO RECREATION other than biking and fishing. Yet it has more than double or tripled its visitation by Georgia families. Peace and quiet are the reason.
In the town square, build how many condos? Certainly not thousands, a few dozen may not be enough to generate traffic to support new investments. A building with ten condos per level would be ten stories tall and have only one hundred units. At most, build two of these structures if CAPACITY is what is needed. I sense the problem is not capacity, the problem is the need to attract more visitors and make better use of existing properties and amenities. Am I supposed to believe Jekyll Island can be saved economically adding 300 new rooms bringing in 600 people a day peak season? That sounds unrealistic.
I am confident one of the arguments is Jekyll needs new developments to attract more guests which will stimulate the local economy and improve the visitation of the island. It is a shame people are watching Myrtle Beach, Charleston, Jacksonville etc and parts of the Gulf area saturate themselves with vacation oriented developments and believe that is the best use of Jekyll Island for all of Georgia. The first reality is only those investors fortunate enough to buy in will gain. The rest of Georgia will not. Just as vacations have become more unaffordable along the Gulf Coast, new development will probably put Jekyll Island out of reach of 80% of Georgian’s for cost reasons.While personal egos want the glitz and glamour of new development, the reality is, the green space and the low impact amenities already on Jekyll are the real attraction of Jekyll. It is a shame more Georgian’s don’t make use of it.
So in the end, what do WE the people of Georgia want Jekyll Island to become? Do we want it to be a Redneck Riviera like the panhandle of Florida, a play land for the wealthy, or do we want to be stewards of a treasure and find ways to make it accessible and affordable for more Georgians? Do we want to create learning and educational programs for children, teachers, administrators and other state or civic employees who will be attracted to Jekyll and return there many times in the future? Maybe partnership with Georgia Aquarium founder Bernie Marcus can lead to better solutions than over development.
Lastly, I do not want to hear one person talk about the people already living on the island being selfish or protective of their little paradise. If they are or were fortunate enough to be on Jekyll already, so be it. This is about what will we do in the future. We cannot readily change the status of existing developments; we can decide if more development is what is good for Jekyll and good for the citizens of Georgia. I say only on a limited and very controlled basis with a close eye on saturation, overcrowding, and destruction of natural habitats.
Mike Powers, Hiram, GA

Remodel and update the existing hotels, restaurants and shops.
No.  I know my concept of the word "update" is in direct contrast with the word that's been thrown around at the meetings.  Update to me means to take something that's old and modernize it or make it better.  According to the developers and politicians, "update" means to tear it down and put something else in its place.  I'm against that.  I'm not against remodeling, but razing and replacing should not be done.  Two hotels have already been torn down and two more are slated to be torn down.  The politicians want the shopping center torn down and some little conglomeration of shops put in its place.  NO!  (By the way, this is not a new idea...they've been talking about it for years.)
Build a modern convention center with an adjacent hotel, perhaps near the island's entry way.
NO!  Refurbish the current convention center if it needs it (I'm sure it does).  No hotel needs to be connected to the convention center.  The center is there for the use of all hotel guests, as well as visitors staying in cottages and residents and off-island residents.  It should not be construed as belonging to or being connected with one hotel.  NOTHING should be put near the entrance to the island.  Do you know what a traffic nightmare that would be?  It's close enough where it is.

Create a "town square" setting of shops, and restaurants--perhaps including condominiums--on the site where the convention and shopping centers currently are located.
NO!  I believe I've already addressed this above.  There is absolutely nothing wrong with the current staging of shops and restaurants.  To tear down what's there and build something new, with current building costs, would make the cost prohibitive for the current occupants of the shopping center.  They would lose their businesses.  What they're really trying to do with this is force the old retailers out and bring in new people.  Consequently, the prices of merchandise in the shops would have to go way up, making the cost prohibitive for the people who now use those shops.  The people who currently
5) Reduce the number of golf holes on the existing courses to make way for luxury homes, and perhaps designate one of the remaining courses for exclusive use by condo/homeowners and/or upscale hotel. 
This island, among other things, is a golf resort.  There are no private courses on Jekyll.  There are not supposed to be any private courses on Jekyll.  Golf is the second biggest draw of visitors to Jekyll. It's why people come to Jekyll Island from the Northeast, Midwest and Canada, and in the winter there are more of them than there are of us.  No golf holes should be destroyed to make room for development, nor should any golf holes be made private.  If they want a private, "upscale" course, let them join the Sea Island Club.
I can't help but think about how this island was acquired by the state from the millionaires and now it looks like it's going back to the millionaires.  Somewhere in between, something wonderful happened.  Someone had the insane idea that this island should be set aside to be enjoyed by average people.  That it should be a place where families can come and just be families...enjoy spending time together as families.  Without diversions, without corruptions, without the stress and complications of their normal, daily lives.  It worked.  The island is magical and has been enjoyed by countless people over the decades.  Everyone gets out of Jekyll Island what they put into it.  When I read in the paper that someone on the JIA board said, "There's nothing to do there," it makes me want to scream.  Anyone who thinks there's nothing to do here has completely missed the point of Jekyll Island.  This is where you come when you want to recharge your batteries and regain your sanity.   Jekyll Island is not the excitement capital of the world.  Thankfully, it's not supposed to be.  What's wrong with these people?!?!?
I love this island.  It's the only place I've ever wanted to live.  What's being proposed is the beginning of the end of Jekyll Island.  Greed will take over and within a few years, there won't be a hotel room that can be afforded by the average citizen and no average people will be able to live here.  The make-up of Jekyll Island has always been diverse.  This diversity is what gives Jekyll its character.  Where else in the world can you have a superior court judge, a retired military officer, a bartender and store clerk all sitting at the same table and actually carrying on a conversation and laughing?  There are no classes here.  Financial, maybe, but not social classes.  We're all just neighbors.  Jekyll is an anomaly.  We can't let them destroy that.
Lynda Buckingham, Jekyll Island, GA

Thank you for doing this.  It really shows that the ‘people’ do not want Jekyll Island to be destroyed and turned into another of hundreds of look-alike places.  It is Jekyll’s nature beauty that attracts people there.  I also think that the state has a fiduciary responsibility to be steward and protect this island for all of us.  There are many people who can now go there to appreciate the qualities that make it special that if it were developed could not afford it.  But, they wouldn’t want to go there, just another resort, anyway.
I love bike riding or walking there. Seeing the birds and the sunsets over the marshes.    Enjoying the tranquility.  And the old Jekyll Island Inn, what a treasure from a by-gone era.  A truly unique piece of architecture. I have stayed there three times, all for conferences or seminars and it worked great.
Janet Sheldon, Moultrie, GA.

I love Jekyll Island and look forward to my visits. Riding my bike on the trails, running on the beach, and photographing the unspoiled natural wonders of the island are activities which I would be very sad to lose.  I'm sure the beauty will remain whatever the developers do, but I won't be able to be a part of the "exclusive" Jekyll Island.
I've stayed at almost all the Jekyll hotels at one time or another, and I don't think demolition is necessary. Sure, some refurbishing would be good, but the draw of Jekyll is in itself, not the room service. If people want to sit in a hotel room and admire the expensive wallpaper, maybe they should check in to an Atlanta hotel.
Laura K. Robinson, Marietta, GA

We have visited the island several times over the past 30+ years and are among the many "average citizens" who could not have done so if it were more expensive.  The older hotels definitely need refurbishing/replacing but not by luxury hotels. The beauty of Jekyll is its natural state!  Please do not destroy that by making it another St. Simons or Hilton Head - there are enough of those.  Our children learned so much there biking through the marsh, playing on the beach, checking out tabby ruins, etc. and we want our grandchildren to have that opportunity also.
Jacqueline Ball, Marietta, GA

Jekyll Island is a very unique and valuable treasury that we Georgians must protect from any further expansion or development. Look how they destroyed Baldhead Island with development of the Outer Banks of North Carolina. I have had many of years of trying to stop the needless destruction of many of our valuable resources on both the Atlantic and Gulf Coasts as a Fish and Wildlife Biologist with the U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS). I retired as an Assistant Regional Director, Southeast Region of the FWS where I was responsible for the overview of environmental coastal and wetland problems with regard to private and public development proposals either requiring a Federal Permit or under a federally Congressionally authorized water development project.
Let us preserve Jekyll Island in its present state of development. Eliminate all future expansion!
Richard and Sylvia Huber, Powder Springs, Georgia

Jekyll Island is unique and rich in history. Let’s protect that and not create yet another island which becomes a profit center for developers who don’t appreciate what currently exists!
Victoria Stenberg, Atlanta, GA

Let's do the environment a favor and not overbuild and destroy natural resources, barrier islands, wetlands, etc.  We do not need another Gold or Platinum coast playground for the privileged.  Keep the island as close to natural as humanly possible and affordable to the working class. The developers and politically connected have enough places to get rich at the expense of the earth and mankind.
Kenneth Simone, Marietta, GA

My wife and I are recently retired school teachers who spent the past 15 years vacationing on Jekyll during Master’s week in April. We love the island and the lack of frenzied, hectic development which is found on St. Simon’s, Hilton head and Myrtle Beach. Our family love for Jekyll led to our daughter choosing to be married on the island at Crane Cottage in 2003.
We don’t favor any changes to the 65%/35% rule on development. However, we do realize that for the island to remain vital and financially sound that certain upgrades or modernizations are necessary. We favor the development of condos, apartments, etc. at the site of the old Georgia Coast Inn which was torn down. That development project would use land that was once occupied by a commercial building. It would not eliminate any previously undeveloped land. We also favor a building project that would replace the old Holiday Inn property. Either of these projects could be used to add condo type residences or new hotels so long as they adhere to the guidelines and established codes that would keep them in good taste. 
We understand that the convention center needs work or might actually need to be replaced in order to increase the attractiveness of the island for convention business. The current souvenir shops might better be replaced, if they become financially successful, with tasteful restaurants which would accommodate new convention and tourist business, as well as be attractive to permanent island residents.

We completely oppose the development of the south end of the island, or any project which would displace the 4-H Center, the few permanent residents on that end of the island, or the soccer complex. As a state park, Jekyll has a responsibility and a function as a tool for educating our future generations concerning the island’s natural beauty and the role of the island as a nature sanctuary. The Georgia Sea Turtle Center will be an ideal addition to Jekyll Island’s role as a protector of the environment.
Jekyll Island is completely unique as a state park which actually has permanent residents as well as attractions for families, tourists and convention visitor. It has been carefully kept and wisely managed. An ideal example of that is the wonderful restoration of the History Village and the Jekyll Island Club facility and surrounding buildings. The island does need modernizing in several areas like hotels, restaurants and convention facilities. However, we seem to have enough over-developed, crowded, tasteless tourist traps along the Atlantic coast and parts of Georgia. It makes not sense to us to take a truly special place like Jekyll Island and allow it to become a run-of-the-mill tourist trap for the sake of additional tax revenue for Glynn County and the state of Georgia. If that were come to pass, what price and difficulty would we all encounter if we decided to reverse an overly developed island, and restore it to its natural or previous state.
There are no simple solutions to a complex solution. We do hope fervently that Jekyll Island’s natural, undeveloped beauty, and its availability to the average Georgian, or for that matter, the average American, will not be destroyed in the process of finding a solution to the island’s needs. Real estate of the island is already out of the reach of the average citizen. Our three bedroom house in Waynesboro would sell for around $100,000. To buy on e of equal since on Jekyll would cost 3 to 4 times that price. Let’s modernize, update, and expand reasonably without pricing those who seem to most enjoy Jekyll Island out of the picture.
We are former Peace Corps volunteers who have been in the position to travel to Europe and the Middle East in the 1970s after our service ended. We have seen so many unique and well-known places in our travels, yet our feet always long for the beauty, tranquility, serenity and peace of Jekyll Island. We hope and pray that the island’s modernizing and development won’t destroy its soul and history.
Thank you for the opportunity to be heard and for the hard work that you are putting in to preserve Jekyll Island’s true identity and purpose.
Richard G. Umpleby, Waynesboro, GA

There are many reasons I support protection of Jekyll Island. Probably the primary one is that it is largely there to give access to the coast to residents of the State of Georgia. The more we privatize it, build expensive homes and condos, etc., the less the average resident will feel comfortable visiting Jekyll. I believe taxpayers should question this "conversion" of State property to private profit sector use.
Gerald Merwin, St. Simons Island, GA

Although some of the facilities on the island do need to updated, great care must be exercised to not diminish the existing flavor of the island.  Updating and remodeling are constant with any structures but not wholesale revamping that will only allow the developers to profit and residence and visitors to loose out.
Bob Clinger, Augusta, GA

I have lived in the Golden Isles area for 6 years. In that time I have seen this area swell with tourism that remains longer than the traditional summer. I moved here because it was not crowded like Savannah, Hilton Head or Jacksonville beaches. People with a lot of money should not be the only people that get to enjoy this area. The major attraction of Jekyll Island is that it is small and undeveloped. That gives Jekyll Island a unique quality that is becoming rarer and is vanishing rapidly on the east coast. The turtles and other wild life that require less intrusion from humans will certainly suffer from increased development. Repair existing structures, yes, but do not add to the burden of one of the few remaining spots that can boast of high quality natural and cultural resources because they have not been decimated by overuse.
I thank you and the turtles thank you.
Jean Morris, Brunswick,GA

This island should be kept for the people of Georgia.  There are enough places for the well to do, who by the way are usually not Georgians.
Charles & Joyce Baugh, Watkinsville, GA

Jekyll Island is a last remaining affordable vacation option for Georgia families who cannot afford to stay in high-end condos and resorts. This Island is government-owned property to be enjoyed by all the people of Georgia, not just those who have the income to afford expensive condominiums and homes. It must remain affordable. Existing motels can be refurbished to bring them up to standard. The convention center can be rebuilt to be more attractive to conferences and meetings. The golf courses are wonderful. Leave them as they are - available to all.
      Jekyll Island is a natural habitat for thousands of birds, turtles, and a natural treasure. It must not be "sold out" to rich developers whose only goal is to make more money and replace the beautiful undeveloped land with high-end condos, which most of us cannot afford. Please do not give in to this greed in the name of "progress".  Despoiling this natural island treasure would be an unpardonable crime and an injustice to all Georgians, to our children and grandchildren, for whom this should be a legacy.
James M.Gaudin, Athens, GA

If the developers have their way, Jekyll Island like Saint Simons and Sea Island, will be accessible only to the very wealthy.  There are plenty of exclusive places for rich people to play and live.  There are increasingly few areas where regular people can enjoy the beach, especially one that still has the natural beauty of Jekyll.  There are even fewer areas for the seabirds, sea turtles and other wildlife that rely on the South End.  Our family has visited and dearly loved Jekyll Island just as it is for many years.
The convention center property seems fair game for modernizing and for maybe a few locally owned shops. On the other hand, the little strip mall seems perfect just like it is. Also, what do you mean by updated?  I'd hate to return to Jekyll to find Whittle's replaced by some national chain or the pharmacy replaced by Eckerd’s or CVS.  The privately owned shops and restaurants on Jekyll are part of its treasure.  We can eat and shop at chain stores here at home.
There is a need for additional affordable accommodations on Jekyll.  I think it would be a good idea to use the footprints of the hotels that have been demolished to build clean, not leaky, not moldy hotels of just a few stories tall in their places.
Mary A. Mayes, Athens, GA

Whatever is done, please do not allow condos to be built.  One of the beautiful features about Jekyll Island is the fact that there are no high rise facilities along the beaches and you can view the beach easily as you drive along the road. Also, one of the pleasures is that it is very seldom real crowded on the beaches.
Patricia Winston, Athens, GA

I love Jekyll Island just the way it is.  It is true that the hotels could use a little updating, but please limit their development to both the same location and same footprint.  Also, please try to remember that not all of us a wealthy, so please consider that those of us of moderate means will not be able to afford lavish hotels. Please strive to keep Jekyll Island accessible to all of us and not the wealthy few. 
As for the proposed Town Square, please keep this small.  People come to Jekyll to seek quiet and solitude, not to shop. 
Regarding the Convention Center - I have been a presenter at conferences in the Convention Center and the lack of an internet connection is a major hindrance.  Otherwise, the space isn't too bad.
Carla Wilson Buss, Watkinsville, GA

Jekyll must be for ALL Georgians not just the wealthy and we need conservation not exploitation.
Michael Richmond, Athens, GA

Jekyll Island is one of the last areas along the Atlantic seaboard that are truly quiet and relaxing. It is a jewel now, rich in history. My family and I vacation there because it is such. Jekyll is special, I ask not to commercialize it and destroy such a beautiful place with commercial and residential development.
Hayden and Beth Hodges, Colbert, GA

Almost all other East Coast beaches are crowded residential and commercial high rise over-development that ruin the view, the breeze and the entire beauty of beaches.  We on the Georgia coast don't need another overcrowded overdeveloped area.  What would be great to bring needed funds to Jekyll is to develop the eco-tourism venue.  This is a unique way to preserve, teach and show just how wonderful nature can be.  This also can be a way to help others see the need to preserve our planet and not overdevelop it.
Sara Taylor, St. Simon’s Island, GA

This island has always been a sanctuary for those of us who do not have six figure incomes, was founded as such, and should be preserved as such.  The natural beauty of this island would be ruined forever and could not be regained if development is allowed.  Please protect Jekyll Island.
Douglas M. Ivey, Vidalia, GA

There are very few places left like Jekyll. The hotels and motels all need a face lift. I have noticed over the years that the ocean water quality and the beaches have improved. The last trip I made to the golf course they were rotating closure of one eighteen due to lack of demand for play. Possibly one nine could be closed and then combine the remaining 27 into a choice of 3 nine hole combinations that could be played in various combinations. This has been successful with RTJ Trail in Alabama. Select one 18 course as a select play course and make it available for a surcharge. The island could definitely use several more choices for eating but the number of shops appears to be adequate for the number of visitors the island can accommodate. A larger grocery store would probably be welcomed. The fact that you can ride to the south end and see nature has to be a plus for the charm of the island setting. People willing to spend 500,000 -1 mil for a residence can drive over to St. Simons and spend at will. My wife and have visited numerous times and will continue to visit as many times as our financial situation allows.
Michael R. Chastain, Calhoun, GA

We have been coming to Jekyll Island since the late 1970s. Don’t let the elites steal it from us,
Ramon and Phila Autrey, Marietta, GA

We do not need any more playgrounds and exclusive compounds for the rich. Once they get a toe-hold, they will want to make Jekyll a gated community a la Sea Island and Amelia Island. We need to keep Jekyll as close to its natural state s possible. We need to maintain its quiet, laid-back atmosphere, where the average Joe can get away from it all at a reasonable price. Jekyll does not have to be flashy and expensive to thrive.
Peggy Patrick,

I spent several summers at the 4H camp. They do great educational work and I love the undeveloped south end of the island. It is a good retreat and I look forward to sending my kids to camp down there. One thing, in particular, tht I remember learning at 4H camp was sea turtles and how they lay their eggs. We went out on the beach one night to look for them (it was the quietest group of 7th graders you could ever imagine). I wonder if the aquarium might be a good partner on this.
Jekyll is the island for all Georgia’s people and our visitors who want a beautiful, quaint, no frills, family-oriented beach community that is not overdeveloped, dirty, or too touristy. Leave the island open - - -don’t make private gated communities - -- we have Sea Island, and Hilton Head for that. Freshen it up a bit, but leave the natural beauty.
Laura Rogers Reece, Decatur, GA

I have lived in Glynn County for over 50 years, and enjoyed it very much until the past 20-25 years, when the almighty $$ seems to be more important than a way of life. I worked for 2 years as assistant manager for the Carriage Inn, so I got to know “first hand” what the island had to offer. I have retired from the Cloister after 20 years of service; this was about 20 years ago. What is interesting is the amount of support from “outsiders,” and not the local people. Sometimes it takes that type of support, to make us realize what “Gems” we have in the Golden Isles.
Richard Law, Brunswick, GA

I support renovation and refurbishing of existing structures, and may be open to a new convention center, but am hesitant to support a new hotel adjacent to the center. There should be no structure on the beach taller than two or three stories.  Why take away the traits that make this island special?
To encourage a dramatic increase in the seasonal population of the island risks destroying its simple, quiet, unique character.  For over three decades, my family has enjoyed the island.  It is family-friendly.  Jekyll Island should remain inclusive, not become exclusive.  Governor Thompson's original intent must be remembered and respected.
Greg Lowery, Rentz, GA

My family owned a home on Jekyll since 1973 and I have vacationed on Jekyll all my life. Everyone agrees that most of the structures on the island are in need of refurbishing or redevelopment, and I am glad that the state is beginning to address that need. However, I do not believe that any more development should be allowed on the beachfront, since one good hurricane could cause the beach front to be on Beachview Dr. or further inland. Right now, in front of our home on the north end, the waves breach the rock embankment with only the slightly higher tide caused by a full moon. As such, the idea that the convention center be relocated to the other side of Beachview Dr. just makes good sense. I would like to see a height limit on any redeveloped beach front hotels of 2 stories, but up to 5 or 6 stories I could live with, like on a golf course. Restricting access to one of the golf courses, or any other part of the island is repugnant to me.
I believe the most important aspect is to preserve the habitats and natural beauty of the island while also keeping density low so as to prevent Jekyll from becoming just like every other beach community on the East Coast. In the early 1970s my father was involved in developing what is now Villas by the Sea, I believe the most recent major development on the island. The overriding vision was to protect the dunes and as many trees as possible to preserve the ambience that Jekyll still retains. It is of the utmost importance that any major redevelopment be performed by developers and builders who are committed to “green” building practices and to carrying out the vision the state has for Jekyll.
The people of Georgia, through our elected officials, have a chance to recreate a destination that is truly unique. Let’s not blow it.
Laurie Middleton, Marietta, GA.

Developers have ruined too much of the rest of Georgia. They have no regard for anything but their own pockets. Wildlife deserves a place to live and people who care about more than profit, deserve a place to go to that is quiet, ‘undeveloped’, and peaceful. The existing hotels need to be rebuilt or upgraded and/or than enough rooms for visitors. We’ve been vacationing on Jekyll since the ‘90’s and go there to get away from the crowds. We definitely want to be counted among those opposed to develop plans and want to protect Jekyll Island.
J. Miller, Evans, GA

I attended the Colonial Coast Birding Festival on Jekyll in October 2006. It had been many years since I had been there. I was appalled at the run down condition of some of the hotels and the lack of variety in eating facilities. However, it ws a great place for the festival due to its many undeveloped or lightly developed areas. The south end of the island where the bird banding station was is especially a treasure. I don’t see the need for a soccer complex on the island. Perhaps this area could be developed into a permanent educational and ecotourist site for school groups and the general public. I would not want to see large areas of the island to be off limits to the average Georgian. If some residential areas need revitalizing, perhaps these homeowners can be bought out and low rise condos or more expensive housing put in its place. A uniform code of housing and businesses (similar to Hilton Head) would make the area more appealing.
Mary Beth Fennell, Mapleton, GA

We are committed to protect Jekyll Island.  The island's fragile existence depends on us.  We have written countless numbers of letters to the Jekyll Island Authority, the Governor, our legislators and newspapers and no one is listening. Too many of our dear politicians only look forward to their financial gains and not the wishes of Georgians who love their precious island. Hopefully this survey will get the attention we deserve. Count us in for any help needed. We can do it.  
Richard and Martha Lang, Brunswick, GA

Jekyll is unique and should be kept in the same manner that it has always done so well.  Please do not price it out of the market for the people who dearly love it. The phase "Build it and we will not come" is already being said about Saint Simons.  The people need a place of peace and open spaces to visit.  Saint Simons is so crowded that it is hard for the people to exit their developments to even go to the store.  Please do not let the greedy developers get a foothold in Jekyll.  They are already millionaires - their greed is awesome.
J. B. Rice, St. Simons Island, GA

I like the "retro" feeling of the current Convention Center.  However, if it needs to be replaced then I would like it to remain at its present location and that the entire east side pen to the ocean with glass, windows, doors and patios.  This is such a unique location and it should be treated as such.  The town square concept could be incorporated into the convention center so that it is always used and not just when a convention is in town. I am adamantly opposed to any new residential development on Jekyll.  It goes against the whole concept of a vacation island available for the residents of Georgia. 
Why would anyone want to eliminate golf holes that are open to be enjoyed by the public?  Only a developer or authority interested in making immediate money would destroy and sell (or lease) that which the charter's intent is for the public to enjoy.
I am completely opposed to any privatization or residential development within the golf courses.  Again, these facilities are so very unique and they need to stay available and open to the public!  There are plenty of private home developments with golf courses being built everywhere in our area so I believe that people can buy there if that is what they want.  It is outstanding and unique that you can play so much golf on Jekyll at such a reasonable price.  As an example, Sea Palms on St. Simons Island took golf acreage and moved the practice range to build new homes within the golf course much to the dismay of the residents and members of Sea Palms.
I saw your front page article in the Brunswick News (Saturday, March 10, 2007) and support your cause.  Please keep up your work to inform the public and give ideas to the government and JIA so that Jekyll Island remains available for all to enjoy.
Chris Johnson, St. Simons Island, GA

Jekyll Island is a unique treasure.  What the developers want, more golf courses, gated communities and upscale businesses, are already in great supply on our beautiful coast.  The affordability and quietness of Jekyll Island is appreciated by many Georgians and should not be changed.  Please respect this unique island!
Terry Adams, Decatur, GA

Jekyll Island needs to stay exactly as it exists now, with the only exception being the new and upgraded hotel and restaurant facilities on the property where the old and outdated ones existed.  No new hotels on new property, such as next to the convention center, should be built.  A new and modern convention center should replace the old one on the same site, but there is ample hotel space on the island with the existing and soon to be constructed new hotels.  There is no need for a "town square setting."  The current shopping center has serviced the island well for many years, and will continue to do so.  The golf should be left alone entirely.  Jekyll now offers 4 courses that are unique and comparable to any in the area, but affordable for the average income earner.  There are plenty of high end country clubs on St. Simons and Sea Island for the millionaire golfers who demand exclusivity.
Jekyll Island is popular now for the charm and natural, undeveloped beauty.  No such place exists anywhere in the United States, so why ruin it with development and force out the people with moderate incomes, who have supported it for so many years?  Jekyll is the one thing in Georgia so far that the politicians have not tainted with their demand to solicit favors from millionaire businessmen and developers.  Let’s hold them to the fire on this, or soon you will be seeing bridges, roads, and structures plastered with the names of the slimy politicians who are aching to push this development through. 
Charles Jones and Janice Jones, St. Simons Island, GA

The appeal of Jekyll Island is due to its lack of commercial tourism.  There are very few beach vacations that are affordable for the working family that is not covered in tourist attractions.
Rachel McNeese, Calhoun, GA

I have been bringing my boys to Jekyll Island since they were 3 and 5, they are now 9 and 11. We love Jekyll Island and are so grateful for what you are trying to do. My boys had the choice of Jekyll or Disney this upcoming summer and they chose Jekyll. We love the laid back atmosphere and the uncrowded beaches. It would be great to update the existing hotels and the convention center, but it just wouldn't be the same if they build a bunch of condos. I am telling everyone I know to send in the survey to help save the island. Once again thanks.
Jill Jordan and Sons Jacob and Ethan, St. Simons Island, GA

Jekyll Island offers families a vacation spot that is unique. The serenity and untouched beauty is part of the reason families, including mine, feel secure in vacationing at Jekyll. Building condos, trendy shops, and restaurants would increase traffic that would interfere with the reasons people go there in the first place! My biggest concerns are the effects this so-called "progress" would have on our sea turtles and the rest of the wildlife on the island. Look what's happened to St. Simons (they only have one sea turtle nest left). If people enjoy crowds, traffic, and clutter, they can just stay home.
Shelley Chasteen, Marietta, GA

I believe that Jekyll Island should be preserved for all current and future generations of Georgia residents (as well as all others who wish to visit) to enjoy in its current natural scenic state.  It should also be preserved for it' intrinsic qualities of wildlife habitat, ecosystem services, and spiritual value that it provides.  Significant and increasing development of a place like Jekyll Island, while would bring financial gain, would cause loss in the long term, and our future generations would probably be the ones to suffer.
Stacey Vigil, Jefferson, GA

Jekyll Island is a state park, not a private development.  The number of residential houses or condos should not be expanded.  The emphasis on changes in Development is to improve or redevelop existing facilities.  The conference center and the big box hotels need redevelopment to more appropriate size and facilities to support the conference center and vacationers.
The south end, particularly, the 4-H center should be further improved for public natural parks or educational use, not for private development.
Mac Rawson, Athens, GA

I do not believe any additional condominiums or homes should be built on the island.  I agree that the existing hotels, convention center and even the shopping center should be updated and/or replaced but I do not believe the overall "essence" of the island should be changed.  My husband and I and other family members have been vacationing on Jekyll for 25 years and we understand that some revitalization is needed; however, the island's appeal has always been the quietness and slow paced atmosphere.  We have nieces who participate in soccer tournaments every year at the soccer complex and those weekends are opportunities for the soccer families to spend quality time not only at the tournament but at the beach and exploring the many treasures that Jekyll has to offer.
My husband and I are in our mid forties and love the area so much that we are planning for retirement in the Golden Isles area.  In anticipation of that we have been fortunate enough to purchase real estate in nearby Camden County (Sanctuary Cove) and in Glynn County (Liberty Harbor) for current investment purposes but also in preparation for retirement.  These two developments alone, not to mention the apparent building boom on St. Simons, show that they are plenty of opportunities and options for anyone wanting to own real estate in the area without destroying the ultimate "jewel" of the Isles for high dollar development. 
We come to Jekyll every couple of months as a weekend "getaway" and also to check on progress at the two developments in which we have invested.    As we are heading west over the causeway starting our journey home we are already looking at our calendar to determine the next weekend we can escape back to Jekyll.  We have come to know many of the folks in the hotels, restaurants and shops on the island and are recognized by them as well.  That is such a refreshing change from life in the Atlanta area.  I fear the "hometown" feeling will be lost if some of the proposed changes are made.
Jenny Stevens, Loganville, GA

Jekyll Island is a precious GA asset for all the people.  I object to selling it to the developers, and then on to private citizens.  This process will reduce the "public space" for GA citizens. 
Jarrett Clinton, Atlanta, GA

Jekyll Island is so beautiful and has so many beautiful nature areas. Developing the island would be potentially devastating to the island's ecology. Also, not everyone wants to go to a crowded, commercialized island for vacation. Jekyll was always one of my favorite places to go because it is so natural and untainted. When I was a kid I stayed at the 4H center and it was one of the best and most educational experiences of my life. Developing the island would take away its sense of individuality and pure, natural beauty. If I want to go to a place with golf courses and condos, I will go to Panama City or some other dirty, smelly crowded beach. Please reconsider the overdevelopment of Jekyll Island.
Kylee E. Smith, Atlanta, GA

Please keep Jekyll Island free of luxury housing and hotels that would destroy the environment and the opportunity to enjoy nature. There are places the world over to take care of the wealthy while there are fewer and fewer places for people with average incomes.
Shirley Owens, Rome, GA

We have observed that the hotels/restaurants/shops are deteriorating.  This may be intentionally allowed in order to make a stronger case for "development".  At any rate, there is room for improvement in this area.
We have upscale seaside/golf communities such as Hilton Head, Amelia Island, St Simons Island, and many more along the South Atlantic coast.  We have fully developed vacation cities such as Daytona Beach, Myrtle Beach, Tybee Island, Jacksonville Beach, and more.  We have wild beaches, fortunately, such as Cumberland Island and several government owned wildlife/research areas with varying degrees accessibility.
THERE IS ONLY ONE JEKYL ISLAND.  No where else is found this balance of nature nautical beauty combined with the comforts of "civilization".  AND it is affordable for the middle class. Let's not squander this priceless state asset for a (lot of) quick buck(s).  Don't give it back to a few of the elite. 
Of course something this unique and beautiful doesn't come cheap.  Georgia citizens and visitors realize this and are willing to pay a fair and reasonable price to keep this East Coast treasure.  We don't want to sell out.
Mr. & Mrs. George Wood, Fayetteville, GA

As more and more natural habitat is destroyed in our state and nation, more and more people will be drawn to areas like Jekyll Island to experience the beauty and solitude of nature.  If we keep Jekyll as a place for more environmentally oriented pursuits, it will become more of a tourist draw in the future.  Only improvements need to be made to already existing structures for the most part in order to accomplish this.
Sandra Gilkey Miller, Atlanta, GA

Keep Jekyll Island for the people not the developers and the wealthy who would try to keep the common folk off the beaches.
Ronald E. Shook, Norcross, GA

Let's keep Jekyll as a place for all Georgians to learn about and enjoy Georgia's barrier islands.  The world has plenty of Hilton Heads. 
Lisa Patrick, Atlanta, GA

Jekyll Island is a jewel. Yes, it needs some updating, but only some done in context with the history of the island.  Please do not allow big development.
Dan Magee, Decatur GA

Jekyll Island was set up for all the residents of the state, not just the rich.  It is important to remember this intent when planning these outrageous projects.  There is no need to go the Hilton Head route where the developers don't rest until every square inch of the island is destroyed.
Georgia is the last remaining state to have a significant amount of marshes.  It is incumbent upon the citizens to preserve this natural resource which is the nursery for shrimp, mussels, fish, etc.  Developers are not happy until there is a dock for every waterfront property.
It is justly unfair for a few to make lots of money and destroy the island.

It will be appalling to have the authority allow the destruction of trees and then plant tiny no native trees, which destroy a major migratory destination.  Tidy up, but leave the island alone.  We do not need an island taken over by multi-million dollar homes.
As they say.  Just say no.  This island is for the people not the few.  There is no need to re-create the island for the benefit of the rich alone.
Carolina Lane, GA

If only the sites already developed on Jekyll are updated, the citizens of Georgia, who own Jekyll, would lose little as far as the beauty and natural environment. Some wildlife species, including sea turtles, will be impacted by increased human activity which is going to occur on the island anyway. What really worries me about the Jekyll issue is that once development begins is that it will not stop with the currently developed portion. How long will it be before pressures begin to develop new areas? We cannot allow Jekyll allow to have the same fate as St. Simons.
Ronald Simpson, Albany, GA

I will always, and probably my entire elementary school as well, think of Jekyll Island as one of the most beautiful places in the world that I was allowed to visit when I was in 5th grade. It was like a real, undisturbed island as opposed to all the other islands that have so many high rise hotels that you can't attract wildlife if you tried. You'd be taking this experience away from all those kids in elementary school that plan their 5th grade year around this trip. It's nice to know that there is one spot left in Georgia that cares more about people than money.
Katie Banks, Kennesaw, GA

I have been going to Jekyll Island for many years and have always enjoyed the quaint, small town feel. The whole beauty of the island revolves around the fact that most of it is preserved and uninhabited. Building high dollar condos or expensive hotels will exploit that beauty and destroy the wildlife system.
Jenna Onken, Lawrenceville, GA

Jekyll Island should remain as State Park under State regulations. We should capitalize on the nature aspects of the Island and develop more trails and nature study sites.
Katherine Godfrey, Smyrna, GA

Tell those idiots in Atlanta to leave Jekyll alone.  For years they have been itching to get onto the island with a big money person, build it up for the rich, and keep the average working person off.
Raymond Mangham, Lizella, GA

Many hotels on Jekyll have LONG needed upgrading or demolishing.  There are very few choices when staying there.  Unlike many others who are conservation-minded, I would like to see more upscale choices in hotels and more restaurants.  But more homes and especially condos will change Jekyll's density for the worse.  We've all seen what's happened with Destin and other places.
Vicki DeLoach, Woodstock, GA

Jekyll needs redevelopment of existing facilities rather than the sacrifice of precious natural habitat to build additional buildings. Having spent 26 years in the business of commercial real estate investment, I acknowledge that the terms of Jekyll's ground leases are now growing too short for owners of existing buildings to financially justify major expenditures for modernization. Such leases need to be extended to those owners whose plans for complete modernization will adhere to a high standard of redevelopment.
There are plenty of littoral playgrounds for the rich and famous. Jekyll doesn't need the $25 cheeseburgers of another Sea Island. Although Jekyll needs to be modernized, it should remain a place in which the average citizen of our state can enjoy the solace that nature affords.
Lest I be dismissed as an egg-headed liberal, allow me to confess that I have nearly always given my vote and support to Republican candidates. Whether that will remain the case in future remains to be seen.
Leonard Borg, Jr., Marietta, GA

Jekyll Island has been neglected for too long, and the current condition of Island facilities is the direct result of an ineffective Authority without sufficient long-range planning.  The General Assembly and the governor now seek to take advantage of this situation in order to change the focus of the Island from “the People’s Island” to a “profit center” (as Speaker Richardson was quoted as saying) for developers and the state.
Jekyll Island is a park – owned by the people and for their benefit.  The current development plans would prevent most middle class Georgians from being able to vacation or live on the Island.  A State Trooper who currently provides law enforcement protection for the Island could not afford to live on Jekyll in his retirement if the current plans are approved.  A Georgia teacher, social worker or librarian would lack the financial resources to vacation on the Island or bring a class to explore the natural wonders available if Reynold’s Plantation-style development plans are approved.  Million dollar homes, with granite countertop and sub-zero freezers, and luxury hotels are not necessary to appreciate the beauty and uniqueness of the Island.
Jekyll Island State Park (for that is its official name) should remain as it was intended, an island available to all.  The Jekyll Island State Park Authority (for that is also its official name) should recognize its responsibility to maintain the Island as an asset for all Georgians.
I have been a visitor to the Island since shortly after I was born in 1957 in the Glynn-Brunswick Hospital.  My grandmother would pack up her four grandchildren, picnic baskets, coolers, beach chairs and assorted buckets and shovels in her huge Oldsmobile and take us to the old North Beach picnic area for the day.  We would build sand castles, play in (what we thought at the time were) huge waves, and eat under the live oaks.  We would return home with shells and sand, sunburned faces to be cooled with Noxzema, and would beg to return the next day.  When I became engaged to a young man who was born in Atlanta and had never experienced the beach, I took him to Jekyll.  When our daughter was born, we would spend the day at the beach as I had when I was a child.  Soon, I hope to share the same experiences with my grandchildren.  The Jekyll Island I love is the one that every Georgia child deserves to see and experience.
Miriam D. Lancaster, Smyrna, GA

I think that the Island could be updated but still preserve its present atmosphere - one of uncluttered serenity. If you build more homes and more condos and more businesses, it will be just another St. Simons. Jekyll has always been set apart, and should remain so - not just for the ultra-rich, but for ordinary families that want to be able to afford to rent a house and walk to the beach. This is why my family loves Jekyll.
Margo E.L.Byrne, Thomasville, GA

While I believe that some convention traffic should be encouraged here, this island is a jewel as it is and should not be developed to bring in substantially more convention traffic. Birders and others who appreciate nature have plenty of disposable income to bring to the area. People like us prefer smaller hotels, smaller restaurants, and recreation that includes plenty of areas untouched by humans. If you gear the island to non-polluting sources of transportation, such as walking, bicycling, etc., then you will keep the pristine nature of the island. Existing facilities should be upgraded, but DO NOT increase the impervious surfaces on the island and create an environment that can only be enjoyed by those who appreciate luxury instead of nature. Georgia is fortunate to have such an incredible resource--don't screw it up!
Connie Head, Commerce, GA

I wish we could just leave Jekyll Island the way that it is. I love going there to visit because it is one of the very few places left that has not been very developed. When my family and I go there on vacation we love the beautiful scenery and how quiet it is. Last time we were there, my brother and I actually swam with some dolphins...where else can that happen??? It won't anymore if they develop the island. That's for sure. Many teachers I know love how their students can come to Jekyll and see live sea turtles in their natural habitat. I would hate to see all of these wonderful things disappear all because builders want to move a bunch of condos onto the island. PLEASE leave this one island alone!!!!
Sara M. Wilson, Kennesaw, GA

Unique areas that are limited in extent even if they exist in a quasi-natural state should be protected at all costs.  We only have to lose the battle once.  Barrier islands should not be developed:  They are dynamic.  Why don't the "economically privileged" understand this?  I suspect they do, but their decisions are based on short-term economic gains, and the bailouts will eventually come at the expense of the general public.
William S. Birkhead, Hamilton, GA

I love to go to Jekyll for its innate unspoiled beauty and the various birds and wildlife that live and/or breed there.  In fact, out of the three trips I took to Jekyll this year, all three were to the south end of the island and around the 4H/soccer field to see birds.  I eat in the restaurants which are small and homey, I stay in the hotel rooms which are stinky and could do with a major upgrade.  The reason I can go 3 times in one year is that it is an affordable place.  Upgrading will surely raise rates somewhat, but not nearly as much as adding expensive houses and condos.  There are places in GA that have these facilities available and I avoid those because they are too crowded with people, leaving little room for wildlife. Jekyll was supposed to stay the way it is, that is why the state owns it and why so much is undeveloped.  Building up Jekyll is a political move--one that will assure my votes go persons who vote against development.
Amy E. Barbe, Athens, GA

I visit Jekyll at least once each year for the birds and turtles. I also have enjoyed several golf vacations on the island. The attraction for me is that much of the pristine barrier island environment has been preserved. The affordable cost is another very important factor.
The south end of the island MUST be protected - this area is critical to many birds including the endangered Piping Plover. I have seen four species of plover on the south beach. In addition, the absence of lights makes this part of the island favorable to sea turtle nesting.
Frankly, the rest of the barrier islands on the Atlantic coasts of Florida, Georgia and the Carolinas have been screwed up by developers like those proposing to wreck Jekyll. There are plenty of golf resorts and condos on those islands; there is nothing like Jekyll left and it should be protected.
Clearly, it's important to upgrade what exists - it has gotten shabby over the years. But it is critical to limit the development to protect what is there and cannot be replaced.
One more comment - the 65/35 limitation was put in place to preserve something special. It is the law. Developers and politicians must get their heads out of the money and look at what can be done within the spirit of the law to make something special better, not worse.
Tom Striker, Blue Ridge, GA

I have been to Jekyll Island many times during the last 20 years for a variety of conventions as well as personal vacations. The beauty of Jekyll is the serenity of the island. The beautiful beach and ability to ride bikes without the traffic to deal with. While the hotels need very badly to be updated and more restaurants available the island as a whole is a great place. What we don't need is another exclusive Sea Island, where the average family cannot afford a hotel room or enjoy a quiet public beach.  Kathy Griggs, City Marietta, GA

My wife and I have been going to Jekyll Island for a week every year for the last 25. She was born and raised in Brunswick GA. While we recognize the need for refurbishment of the blighted areas, it would be a crime to develop more of the island than is already done. The island is one of the last coastal areas where ecologically minded, simple folk such as ourselves can afford a vacation without a lot of people. It truly is a beautiful, natural area that should, no, MUST be protected! Please don't create another area for the privileged few. They have plenty already. Money needs not drive EVERY decision! What a shame it would be to damage and affect Glory Beach with development. It is as close as most people will ever get to seeing a pristine, barrier island environment like Cumberland. Not to mention the enormous damage it would surely do to the Loggerheads that nest down there!
Lewis and Betsy Baker, Lawrenceville, GA

This is a family vacation retreat. We choose this place to have a quiet and relaxing vacation away from congested areas. Let's leave this one island that belongs to the people of Georgia as it stands without excessive changes. We realize that certain updates need to be made to improve the convention center and some hotels. The wildlife on the island needs a place of refuge more than we need development on the island. We have been visiting the island for the last thirty six years and if major developments come to the island the reason for visiting will be destroyed. Let's strive to keep Jekyll natural and relaxing without overcrowding.
John & Doris Wright, Rockmart, GA

Jekyll should be kept as a pristine environmentally kept island. The island should be kept for the little person not the rich and for the convention trade. Do not make it another St. Simons that is no longer enjoyable because of the growth and how crowded it has become not to mention expensive. The legislature should keep this is a state island for the people to use and enjoy.
Pat Tyson, Athens, GA

We have been going to Jekyll since I was a child, it is still much like it was 30 years ago.  I love that the kids and I can bike around the island and that there is a family feel to the island and that it is still AFFORDABLE!  Don't make it into the nasty commercialized mess that Hilton Head Island and others are.  Keep Georgia's Jewel.  Last year our school went to the camp and did all sorts of wonderful activities with the kids.  If you allow all sorts of development you will ruin the island for people that don't have huge amounts of cash.  There will just be mansions and mcmansions and "regular" people can't afford to rent those.  I would love to see a few different and better restaurants on the island.  But it is just great the way it is now.  Don't ruin it.
Marion Barrack, Lilburn, GA

I hate the thought that Jekyll will become like the rest of the Georgia coast--over-crowded, over-developed, and inaccessible financially to the "common" people of Georgia (just look at St. Simons--it has become an absolute nightmare!).  Jekyll's natural setting IS its charm.  I do think the old hotels, etc. need to be refurbished, renovated, or rebuilt.  
My BIGGEST complaint (and fear) is for the Jekyll Campground, which we and many of our friends use quite frequently.  With the long-term lease policies it now allows, which are booked up for 3 years in advance by "snowbirds", the residents of Georgia (who pay the taxes!) can hardly get a site there--we may not be able to stay there for months, but we sure ought to be able to use our own state campground for a few days or weeks with a reasonable advance request.  Why don't you develop the campground?  Some modern campgrounds have wonderful facilities--paved level parking pads, etc.  Campers aren't the "vagabonds" you may imagine!  Trailers and motor homes cost in the thousands to even millions of dollars.  These people have $ to spend while vacationing, and it could easily provide revenue for the area.
Thank you for listening.  PLEASE take care of Jekyll--development doesn't always (or often) equate with improvement. 
Ruth and Jimmy Sapp, Grovetown, GA

Georgia is blessed with largely undeveloped coastline and barrier islands.  We need only look north and south to our neighbors to see the effect of development on the pristine Atlantic coastline and marshes.  The State of Georgia has always preserved Jekyll Island's natural beauty for everyone to enjoy.  You want exclusive, visit the Jekyll Island Club and overnight in the lap of luxury.  You want rustic and reasonable, stay at the Jekyll Island Campground.  Is there room for improvement?  Yes, but make improvements on existing, dilapidated sites.  The mistake of underdeveloping the island can be corrected at any time, but the mistake of overdeveloping cannot be undone.  The Georgia coast should not have to pay the ultimate price for the sin of overdevelopment in the Metro Atlanta Area.
David and Lori Morley, Decatur, GA

Keep Jekyll Island an affordable, natural and beautiful Georgia vacation spot.  Developers have ravaged St. Simon's and Sea Island.  Can’t we common folk have Jekyll? We love the quiet, natural, unspoiled beauty of the Island.  Don't let money hungry developers destroy the jewel that is Jekyll Island. 
Curt and LaTonya Paschal, Stockbridge, GA

I have been going to Jekyll Island almost every summer for almost 22 years know, and I have enjoyed it and keep coming back because it allows me to get away from everything. There is very little development on the island. When I go there it is not to go shopping or to stay in a fancy hotel. I go to Jekyll for the peace and quit. I enjoy how at one with nature it is, deer walking around in day light, sea turtles on the beach at night and all other kinds of wild life. I believe by promoting all of these new building plans you will be irreversibly damaging the ecosystem and destroying a good bit of the wild life that most people have come to known Jekyll Island for. I believe by developing Jekyll further you will not be helping it only hurting it. You will hurt its ecosystems and natural wild life, you will also deter the many vacationing peoples who have come to Jekyll for years for the reasons you are trying to destroy.
Josh Eckerle, Lawrenceville, GA

Most of the islands on the Georgia, Florida, and Carolina coast lines are developed. Jekyll is a tiny island, and already has quite a bit of development considering its size. A lot of what is special about Jekyll is due to the natural areas of the island, which should remain protected. Renovating existing development is acceptable as long as these renovations do nut further encroach on the natural public areas of Jekyll Island. A precedent should not be set that leads to further and further development of what is a very special but also very vulnerable state park. Jekyll should continue to belong to all of us.
Marya K. Haag, Athens, GA

Jekyll Island is one of Georgia's true treasures. Great care should be taken to insure that its natural character and environmental integrity are preserved. It should also remain accessible to people of all backgrounds and incomes. I wouldn't mind seeing a face lift or updating of the current facilities and convention center. But the last thing we need is another highly developed Island catering primarily to the wealthy with expensive homes, condos and exclusive golf courses. I believe that additional residential and commercial development should continue to be severely restricted.
Brad Webb, Statham, GA

Jekyll Island is the gem of Georgia's coast.  Its tranquility, affordability, and history make it truly special.  We don't need another over developed resort get away--preserve Jekyll Island as it is.  The Ocean Side Nine golf course is the last remaining nine holes of the original course--it is unlike any other golf course I have ever played.  It is my favorite; it is unique; it has history; it should not be destroyed.
Thomas Way, Kingsland, GA

Changing an islands eco-structure is really one of the most dangerous things to do! So much on that small piece of land depends on the structure of the land itself. Animal behavior and erosion can change so drastically from small changes, I can't imagine what the result would be if to much was changed. Furthermore, the changes will affect so much more than just Jekyll Island. I live very close and I don't want any changes to happen to where I reside from careless overdevelopment. Jekyll not only provides a WONDERFUL chance for people, children in particular, to get in touch with nature and learn about Georgia's rich history, it also provides the rest of Georgia with protection from natural disasters. I really wish people would consider more than just money when making plans to build. It's quite absurd to me that people are so careless with such valuable resources. The people who believe this development is a good idea should really go back to Geology class and try again!
Paige Craven, White Oak, GA

Jekyll Island has been the vacation spot of choice for my family for over 35 years, because it is family-oriented.  Other places I have visited gave me an uneasy feeling with all the tourists; so much so that my teenage children would not be safe without my ever-present supervision.  It's not that way at Jekyll.  I always experience a safe, protected, and relaxing feeling immediately after crossing the bridge that brings me onto the island.  It's a feeling that I loved as a little girl, and a feeling that my children have grown to love as well.  It would be an egregious shame to allow someone to turn this beautiful island into a commercialized resort area.  I'm afraid Jekyll would definitely lose its joy.....
Krista Hogan, Rentz, GA

I worked for a summer at the 4-H Center on Jekyll Island and I was appalled to hear that it, as well as the rest of the island, may be developed. Isn't that was St. Simon's Island is for? If tourists want to visit cute little shops or eat good southern food, direct them to the Torres Causeway. Jekyll Island is for people who want to get away from town and enjoy the ocean the way it was meant to be enjoyed. On no other beach have I ever been able to see or experience the amazing things I have on Jekyll Island -- from turtle walks at night to being pinched by a one-clawed blue crab that apparently didn't need saving! I encourage everyone who wants to protect the wildlife and serenity of Jekyll Island to write to our congressmen and other officials involved with this.
Lissa Kay, Athens, GA

PLEASE do not allow excessive development--especially the kind that favors the rich over moderate income people--to ruin Jekyll Island. It is a special place, and should be left accessible to "average" Georgians, as it was intended. Replacing the soccer fields and 4-H Clubs with luxury condominiums would be unconscionable. There are enough Sea Islands and Hilton Heads along the Atlantic coastline. Let Jekyll remain as natural as possible; it is truly a treasure.
Jonathan Krell, Watkinsville, GA

My husband and I have been annual visitors to Jekyll for over 12 years. As natural resource professionals, we understand the irreversible ecological damage that will be done by unwise development. Sea turtles and coastal vegetation cannot speak on their own behalf -- we must do so for them. To provide adequate facilities for Jekyll's visitors, update the existing hotels and commercial area, but no more residential development should be allowed. To provide economic security, consult with experts on eco-tourism. Preserve Jekyll's unique environment and use it as a draw for more visitors. Enough of wealthy developers getting rich on the backs of our natural heritage!
Babs McDonald, Athens, GA

Jekyll Island is a precious jewel in our state.  Throughout the southeast, other states are destroying the natural beauty of the ocean.  For once, let Georgia be first, and not last in preserving our barrier island for people of all backgrounds to enjoy.
Rosemary Padilla, Athens, GA

Protect the wetlands. Keep Jekyll Island affordable for everyone. It’s a STATE park, not a playground for the wealthy.
Cynthia Patterson and Peter Schrand, Marietta, GA

We have just returned from Jekyll Island and it is beautiful. What makes Jekyll so beautiful is that it is so unspoiled! Adding expensive houses and goof course will only ruin the natural beauty of the island. How many animals would be negatively impacted by more development? The hotels that are there need to be updated or replaced. We went on a tour of the historic Jekyll Island Club and had a great guide. It was informative and fun. Is more money going to be put into the restoration, stabilization of the houses?
Jekyll does not need further development - as houses, more hotels, businesses. Keep it simple!
Judith Harris, Rome, GA

I feel that the hotels and perhaps some of the residences need to be upgraded.  I also feel the Convention Center could have a face lift.  I am totally against high rises and any other type of structure that would distract from the quiet, peaceful atmosphere we so enjoy on the Jekyll.  It is true that Jekyll is a "jewel" that just needs a little polishing.  We certainly do not need to replace her with some cheap imitation!  I am willing to do whatever it takes to see that this doesn't happen
Rennie M. Fulford, Comer, GA

Jekyll is known as the people's island.  Please let it remain so.  The people with money have plenty of other choices for their playground.  Don't take Jekyll away from us.  Carolyn Arnold, Athens, GA

I love Jekyll, which means that I ALSO want to see it grow.  Anything we can do tastefully to increase the tourism to Jekyll and bring in more $ is great by me, as long as we protect its natural beauty at the same time.  I've seen the development plans for Jekyll, and they look wonderful - as a frequent (at least weekly, if not more) visitor, I'm excited to see it completed.
Shannon & Cyle Lewis, Brunswick, GA

I grew up in Atlanta, and Jekyll Island has always been a family vacation spot.  My elementary school took the 5th grade class there (for many years) for a week to learn about ecology and other natural science topics!  I can honestly say that this trip was one of the best trips I have ever taken.  It was so wonderful to get away from modern developments and enjoy the natural beauty of the island.
Building condos/high end houses and further developing the area will detract from the family aspect of the island.  This place has been a wonderful, local family getaway for so many years.  Please do not deny this island to those who are less well off!And last, but not least, extensive development of the island would severely hurt the ecosystem of the island.  During my trip in elementary school, I learned about the delicate balance that the wildlife and plant life maintain on the island.  Development would upset this balance, driving many animals away, which would harm the varied plant life on the island.
Laura Christian, Atlanta, GA

I have been coming to Jekyll Island for 35 years. I haven't been to Panama City in 30 years. We once visited Hilton Head Island on a 2-night special and asked to leave after the first day because we wanted to come back to Jekyll instead. The high-end development in Hilton Head and other places restricts access for regular people like us. At Hilton Head we had to walk through an alley between 2 beachfront hotels to reach the beach, where we were greeted with signs stating "No bikes. No kites. No strollers." and so on....  Is that what anyone wants for Jekyll Island? Renovations are fine (see the Days Inn, improved bike trails, and the new restrooms at the fishing pier). They are definitely needed at some properties. But when you finish, don't raise the rates $40 per night as the Days Inn did. Please don't price us out of being able to visit Jekyll.
The Campers, Flowery Branch, GA

Jekyll is currently an affordable getaway.  If people can afford $1,000,000 homes, they should go to Hilton Head.  I NEVER want to see Walmart and McDonald’s on Jekyll Island!  I am a 17 year old who enjoys the beauty and nature of the island.
Lara Arnold-Smith, Athens, GA

Jekyll Island is a wonderful place to vacation.  Our family has enjoyed going there thru the years.  So many places have been priced out of the average income family.  Jekyll has been a haven to families like this.  There are enough other beach resorts that people who want to spend $500,000 and up on housing can choose to live.  PLEASE leave Jekyll Island as is with so much natural area.  If this sounds repetitive, it is only because I really want to get my message across. 
Angela Ivey, Vidalia, GA

To change this island and make it hard for the common people to come and enjoy would be a great shame. The magic of Jekyll is that it has just enough for families to enjoy yet you still can have the peace that is so needed from all the hustle and bustle we experience daily.
Kay Lowery, Rentz, GA

I think a variety of accommodations and homes should be offered – but size of building envelope and square footage strictly limited. Cluster housing units should be encouraged. Long barracks like facades absolutely avoided. Good architects and designers could be encouraged to submit plans for low profile, economic buildings, and not so economic, if there was a competitive process – awards and recognition. It’s done all the time and the state of Georgia could be a model for others of savvy, good looking buildings. Get the developers out and the designers in. For goodness sake, don’t allow developers to decide on the appearance of beautiful Jekyll. They generally want the most and biggest buildings on smallest amount of space and greatest return – beauty and environmental issues out the window.
Sorry for rambling, but Jekyll is at such an important crossroad with potential for so much opportunity or such disaster. Actually, the Villas, with their cluster units and big trees are a good example of an unobtrusive condo resort. Not flashy and certainly affordable. A little outdated here or there, but essentially constructed with the right concepts for an island and environment of this size.
Cynthia and Charles Robinson, Mendham, GA

This is a state owned area. Its facilities and resources should be available to all citizens, not just a select few.
Daphne Griffin, Kennesaw, GA.

WHOA – Let’s not sell out Jekyll Island for a quick buck. We have a unique coastal treasure in Jekyll Island. Nowhere on the East Coast is there another place where the public can enjoy a balance of amenities and natural beauty.
Yes repairs, improvements, and some upgrades are needed. Some of the facilities are run down, maybe to make a case for “development. In any case, improvements and expansion must be carefully planned and appropriately limited so that the public interest is protected and this treasure is not lost.
Dona and George Wood, Fayetteville, GA.

I would like to see improvements made to existing facilities, understanding that it is necessary to totally replace some facilities. I am not in favor of expanding the developed areas into undeveloped areas. I want to maintain natural areas and the island as a place for citizens of moderate means to enjoy.
Brock Hutchins, Peachtree City, GA

I have seen what “development” has done to totally wall-off and restrict the beach at Saint Simons Island, Ga., over the years. We started coming to St. Simons 45 years ago, and it is so disappointing to see the ruination of a family type beach to a money making machine. I hope Jekyll does not go down the “development” road built by money and profit orientated people who profit at the expenses of a few. Does money trump the good of the common people?
D.S.W. Landre, Darien, GA.

Jekyll Island has always been special because it a place that families of ALL incomes can enjoy! Sea Island is already closed off to the select few, don’t make Jekyll (even if it is just a golf course) this way. The GA coast belongs to all Georgians, not just the ones that can afford it!!!
I completely support the updating and renovating of the EXISTING hotels. They do need updating. I think that is a great way to attract more tourists without compromising the natural beauty of the island.
Please do not allow more than a few dozen condos to be built on the island! It makes the island so much more intimate and beautiful when you aren’t sandwiched in like sardines and can hardly enjoy the beach because there are so many people. Don’t become what practically every other beach in America is; Let the natural beauty be the selling point...with just a few condos on the side.
Replacing the Convention Center is a good idea. More conventions and groups would be attracted to Jekyll Island. Just don’t take over the majority of the public beach.
The south end of the island should never be developed. Once again, updating the current facilities would be nice, but don’t build new ones. There needs to be at least this part of the island that people can escape to, to get away from the condos and people. Don’t compromise the ecology of this part of the island. After all, the animals were there first. At least give them that much.
Lauren Elizabeth Hendry, Blackshear, GA

Developing the east side of Jekyll Island on properties once covered with sand dunes (nature’s protection against erosion) seems like a great temptation for Mother Nature. We have been extremely fortunate in the past but we need to be better stewards of this precious jewel when considering increasing development. Existing building sites mandated by the JIA could be replaced to accommodate today’s tourism. Having to make reservations in advance only enhances the charm of this unique island. Making it too accessible to too many at one time will make it ordinary. At this point, Jekyll Island is not ordinary or overcrowded. Saying no to more development will enhance and entice more visitors to a State Park that resisted the urge to become the next Hilton Head or Tybee Island.
Sheila A. Parker, Darien, GA

I have been coming to Jekyll Island since I was born. I am now 21 and I am a senior at UGA. We have started a group on that currently has 741 members. The group is called “Save Jekyll Island.” There is so much opposition to the development of Jekyll Island that needs to be heard. I published an article in UGA’s school paper under the opinions page at if you want to take a look.
The reason I adore Jekyll is its natural setting, especially on the south end of the island. We’ve been staying at the Buccaneer Hotel because of its natural surroundings. I love having space on the beach free of trash due to less frequent foot traffic (like that on St. Simons or in Panama City). The beach is beautiful the way it is with its protective dunes and driftwood trees. If developers add high-rise condos, it’s going to push “ordinary” people out of their vacation spot who can’t afford expensive condos and who appreciate Jekyll’s natural appeal. An increase in population will also push sea turtles out of their homes because more foot traffic and lights will scare them off (just as it has done on St. Simons). My family, the facebook group, and I are asking the legislators to let us keep our island as its beautiful, serene, nature-rich family getaway. Updating existing hotels would be ideal as it would bring in more profit for the island (without pushing people out of their homes, kids out of the 4H center, and sea turtles out of their nests).
Ashley Chasteen, Marietta, GA

I am a resident of Brunswick and I grew up here always with family and friends visiting Jekyll! I remember the swimming pool that was at the convention center, the aquarama was nice and for those who wanted to swim somewhere else other than the ocean (good)! Most of the people that live on Jekyll are not from here, so you seem to benefit the island for them, not cool! I realize that you can only strive when you get money. All well and good however, as I see it, you have made it difficult for the average person to come over and enjoy the beaches! More development will not only take away the natural beauty of the island, but eventually you will go for – more money to maintain, to park cars! Etc.! We could use another picnic area for families – with bathrooms (stall) showers for after swim.
Anonymous, Brunswick, GA

I am opposed to any and all changes to Jekyll Island that will detract from nature and wildness, or from biological diversity or ecological integrity, in any way. Jekyll’s original mandate must be obeyed. Prohibit any more development.
I am a frequent visitor to Jekyll. I am a birdwatcher, hiker, wildflower enthusiast, and naturalist. A developed (or over-developed) Jekyll holds no interest for me and would ensure that I take my tourist dollars elsewhere.
Janisse Ray, Baxley, GA.

It seems to me that the goal of the authority and possibly the citizens association is to cater to the owners of the property on the Island and completely eliminate the daily visits by other Georgians. Georgian visitors, adults and children, have enjoyed coming to the Island for the day or weekend. I feel you must have something for the children and young adults to do on the Island or the parents will not come and visit.
I remember the carnival that was located on the parking lot next to the convention center, which was loved and enjoyed by the children. It was privately owned. When the owner’s contract was to be renewed, the authority said “no thanks” and he was gone. The picnic area on the north end of Jekyll was very popular with the people who came to enjoy the beach for the day. Well, you know what happened to it. It was bulldozed so that it could no longer be used. The picnic area on the South end has never been as popular. The picnic area, which was on the end of the Island by the T.V. antenna, was so well liked by the people that came for a day or so to net a few shrimp. People enjoyed being able to drive close to the water and the picnic tables were very nice. Most of the visitors were Georgians, which is what the Island was supposed to be for.
Next, the Millionaire’s Village was always a pleasure to drive through. This allowed native Georgians to view and learn the history of the rich and famous which once inhabited the Island. Now, you cannot drive anywhere because of all the barriers which have been placed to block the old pedestrian drives. It is confusing to the visitors who find themselves lost while attempting to drive through this historical part of Jekyll Island. It has been ruined for all practical purposes for the average tourist.
You probably remember at one time we were fortunate enough to have an Olympic size, heated, enclosed pool and bowling alley in the convention center complex. This was enjoyed by young people that came for a short visit and also by those that owned or lived on the Island with children. Not everyone enjoys swimming in the ocean or likes the beach, but do enjoy having access to a pool. My children, at that time, wanted to “go to the pool” every day while we were on the Island. When it was decided to destroy the pool and the bowling alley, I feel a great asset was lost which was needed and was used by all who visited Jekyll Island.
Finally, I would like to suggest that all of the bushes be cut down along the highway across the marshes to Jekyll, except for a few pine and palm trees that are large enough to see underneath the canopy. This is a beautiful view of the marsh and it should be exploited to the fullest as the “Marshes of Glynn Scenic Highway”. I do not know of

anywhere that has a 7-mile view of the Marsh. So, why not use it for advertisement for
the Island? Most of us like to look at the marsh because of its expanse and beauty. At the
present, you can only see the bushes except for a very few openings along the highway. The entrance to the highway is beautiful, but it does not go far enough. The beauty should extend the entire 7 miles.
I do apologize for the long letter, but I have been concerned for a long time about the direction Jekyll is going. We need to return to the Jekyll I remember 45-years ago. I am certainly not in favor of building more condos on Jekyll. This will only price the average Georgian off of the Island and be used by the wealthy, which can afford the condos or homes on the Island. If you wish to have more people use and enjoy the Island, then it has to be something they can afford and is attractive.
Hiram Tanner, Douglas, GA

Do not let Jekyll be sold out. Back room deals that benefit politicians, developers and good 'ol boy networks need to be eliminated. There is a special place in hell for corrupt officials. The ordinary people of Georgia deserve a place to enjoy the beach...Jekyll is the last thing we have. Make it better, but forget the idea of condos along the beach. It's just not right. Think about the right thing.
Michael E. Jones, Brunswick, GA

To our legislators: Please protect Jekyll. We are regular visitors - we choose Jekyll each time because we value what the island represents and the others don't - it's inclusiveness, affordability, its laid back-character/pace and incredibly beautiful surroundings. We love the aesthetics, the commitment to low rise, emphasis on conservation, no traffic lights, no fast food chains. We are committed to keeping Jekyll a haven that it is - a place where we go to forget our urban sprawl, our mind-numbing commutes, our frenetic lives!
Chris Joseph & Andy Kavoori, Athens, GA

If the legislature comes up with any plan to change Jekyll Island, said plan SHOULD be put to the owners, (Georgia voters) for approval.  We own this island and it should not be altered in any extreme manner without the approval of the owners.
Janie Hopwood, Tifton, GA

As a frequent visitor to Jekyll Island, I was devastated when I read about the proposed development of Jekyll Island. Having brought my grandchildren there since they were tiny, to enjoy the pristine beaches, wildlife, dolphin, I would hate to see any change to the island itself except perhaps for the updating of the hotels, convention center & shopping center. I generally rent a duplex when we come to stay.  I do know just from the visual aspect, the hotels need updated and modernized.  I found that having stayed at one of the hotels years ago that it was old, musty and not very well maintained. Although it is rather quaint to go to the shopping center and feel like you are going back in time. When shopping at the grocery store, I was astounded the first time a young man carried my groceries to my car. Good grief! I cannot remember the last time I was offered that pleasure!  I love Jekyll Island and would hope sometime soon I will be able to retire and move there, should it remain that same peaceful, relaxing, pristine island that it is today. Thank you for allowing me to express my concerns about Jekyll.                               Nancy Ashton, Smyrna, GA 

The reason I go to Jekyll Island, and love the island is because it is not developed and full of shops, and stores and condos and high rise hotels.  I go to Jekyll Island to enjoy the beach and the island and the beauty and calm.  If I wanted all the other distractions, I could visit any of the many cookie cutter resorts across the coastal south. I have lived in Georgia all my life and loved Jekyll Island for its simplicity and beauty, and because there are not high-rise hotels and condos.  Let the developers go somewhere else and destroy the environment, and natural beauty of the coast. Leave Jekyll alone.
I do agree that some of the hotels need to be updated, as I have stayed in a few places on the island that were in need of improvement.  There should be strict guidelines for the hotels upgrades so that no new structure is taller than existing structures.  It is wonderful to go to the beach and actually see the beach, and not have to peer through the beach access walkways to the beach beyond.
I have no problem with improvements to the convention center if this would be a way for more conventions to be scheduled on the island and thus provide continued funding for Jekyll.
I love to bike throughout the island and enjoy the natural environment and beauty of the island, as I discover new places and animals each time I visit there.  I watched as a nest of logger head turtles hatched and the babies made their way to the ocean.  I biked through St. Andrews picnic and beach area and discovered the wonderful rope swing on which my whole family took a spin.  I visit Driftwood Beach and bike through the marsh each time I visit.  I am very concerned as to what effect a great deal of construction will have on the island.  How will this affect the environment, and how can a group of people believe that to destroy the natural beauty of the island with over development be an improvement.
The island was set aside as a place for all Georgians; therefore, all Georgians should have access to all its beauty, not a select group of individuals who can probably afford to go elsewhere.  I vehemently disagree that a specific golf course should be set aside for an exclusive group of individuals.  Someone wants Jekyll to go back to the days of the millionaires club.
I go to Jekyll Island to get away from the rat race and all the noise and interference from the over developed world we live in.  It should not be open season on Jekyll Island for developers and special interest groups.  Clearly defined and regulated improvements could be made to the existing hotels, shops and restaurants to upgrade them.  Otherwise, please don't allow Jekyll to become another cookie cutter beach resort.
Please let me know who to write to in the legislature about this.  I really don't want Jekyll to be destroyed and if the developers had there way, that's what would happen.
Deborah A. Swinford, Athens, GA

Repair, modernize (if necessary for safety), but do not expand what is there.  Keep the Island pristine as possible and keep the current character.  Do not try to be just like other areas.  What you have is great.
Val Dodson, Dawsonville, GA

Update, remodel or rebuild exiting structures. No new disturbed land or destruction of exiting green space. Leave the south end for the enjoyment, education and recreation of Georgian or any school age children. Preserve Jekyll as a natural, affordable under developed seaside park for people to enjoy without increased traffic and commercial distractions. Save this island for future generations to enjoy as it is. It only needs refurbishing. A natural history museum would be nice and appropriate.  
I have enjoyed all Georgia's barrier islands for 50 years having spent my summers at Sea Island and St. Simons as a child  and  Jekyll is by far my favorite with its laidback, unhurried atmosphere and beautiful unspoiled beaches .
Carroll Smith Walraven, Roswell, GA

Jekyll Island should be protected and maintained for the citizens of Georgia and not the privileged few. The current hotels need to be update and possibly rebuilt, but no more raw land needs to be developed. If people want condos and more luxury, then "hop" over to St. Simons Island. It has everything they need, including massive traffic and overdevelopment.
Bill Walters, Acworth, GA

It takes vision to see that the quality of the environment can be protected for all on Jekyll and still provide for needed development in the areas that are already covered in parking lots.  I'm very much in favor of density created around a town square that would give Jekyll a sense of place (for the built environment) and leave the south end as untouched as possible.  Jekyll could be a shining example of environmental preservation and intelligent development for a state run coastal island.  But with the interest of developers at the top of the list, we'll get characterless enclaves that will blight the landscape forever creating more of that "empty" feeling that Jekyll already possesses in abundance.
Where else in this state can you go to an uncluttered natural public beach and be alone with your own thoughts without the overbearing intrusion of humans (rich ones and poor ones)?
I'm a native Georgian and grew up going to Jekyll at a young age and later in life appreciated its connection with our incredible environment on the coast.  After much education, traveling the world, and living in various places around the world I've returned to discover that our state is determined to confirm to the rest of the country and the world that we are just as ignorant as they think we are.  Prove me wrong please.
Jason Jones, Athens, GA

The Island is wonderful.  I am a frequent visitor and do not want to see it turned into a St. Simons.  Jekyll Island is beautiful and tranquil.  This coast has enough places with condos and hotels to go to, this island will always have a faithful population of supporters that want to keep it the way it is.
Jacquelyn Collins and Roy E. Vollmer, Ludowici, GA

I feel that Jekyll's charm is based highly on nature and unspoiled beauty. I like the way Jekyll is and I've been visiting for over eight years now. One of the best parts is everything is unchanged, which is one of the best parts of Jekyll. I've always enjoyed the peace and I think this new proposal is just a way of copying Sea Island. We really don't need another Sea Island; I honestly think changing Jekyll Island is going to spoil it for a lot of the people who love to nature walk and various other outdoor activities.
Sam Hambright, Brunswick, GA

Jekyll Islands natural Beauty is exactly the reason I enjoy the island period.  Would it be better for the people who reside here or vacation here??  Probably not.  I thought maybe Global warming would possibly have an affect on the way people think.  We go to Saint Simons Island, for work and get stuck in traffic from tourists and its making everything worse.  If you need to do anything maybe ecotourism is the way to go from a nature loving girl and the people who care about the future at all.
Cassandra Hunt, Brunswick, GA

Jekyll is a beautiful island, created for the people of Georgia.  It should be kept that way, nourished and protected, for all the people.  When you go to high income homes and; condos, you take away the beauty of the island, and spoil it for the animals, and plants, and people who care for them.
Ann Meilander, Jekyll Island, GA

Jekyll Island is such a beautiful island with a lot of natural habitat. I believe this is one of the biggest draws for tourists. It would be such a lost to make this unique, wonderful island just like most of the other "touristy" spots along the Georgia and Florida coast. Please don't let money and big developers influence this change. It is great that Jekyll Island has been preserved so carefully in the past and I really hope that continues. 
Tamara Arrington, Richmond Hill, GA

My husband and I like to camp. For the last several years we have been unable to reserve a site of our choice.  We have tried to make our reservation at least six months to year in advance only to be told they were book.  Most of the choice sites are taking by long time reservation (those people making reservation 3 to 5 months.  I would like to see this policy change.  You should only make reservation a year in advance. Limit long term reservation.  A lot of people from Georgia like to camp for one to two weeks in the winter months.  They don't stand a chance. 
Linda D. Roberts, Grovetown, GA

My family and I travel to Jekyll a handful of times a year SPECIFICALLY to enjoy the pristine nature, to teach our children by actually showing them the wildlife and beauty.  If I wanted over-developed, traffic torture, encroachment on nature vacations, I would go to Hilton Head or St. Simons!  The local wealthy families already have Amelia Island.  Regular families also deserve to be able to afford to take their families to this very special and unique park.
Cara D. Brown, Atlanta, GA

Thank you for your efforts.  I was on the island all last week and saw the trend beginning toward MORE, MORE and MORE.  My party agreed the island was losing its appeal to the "mainstream" populace.
Terrell Dyes, Dawsonville, GA 30534

My family moved to Brunswick (from Jesup) when I was three years old.  I have lived here for 39 years.  Some of my favorite memories from my childhood involve Jekyll Island.  It's where I learned to build sandcastles, where I hunted Easter eggs, I can even remember spending a few Christmases on Jekyll.  I learned about Coastal Georgia wildlife by going to Jekyll.  I remember the awestruck feeling of watching the Turtles come ashore to nest and later of watching the hatchling emerge for their first swim.  I remember when sand dollars "littered" the beach and there were sea shells galore. Finding starfish was also easily done.  Marsh walks were taken every year by local schoolchildren, as well as schoolchildren from further away, in order to teach us how the ecosystem within the marshes helps sustain ALL life along the coast.
In order for future generations, for instance my one month old grandson, to enjoy Georgia's Jewel the way we did we must be ever vigilant and fight against those who seek only profit under whatever guise they employ.  Jekyll is for ALL the people of Georgia to enjoy; it is not just for those who can afford it.  I remember as a child Jekyll was considered 'the poor persons beach'.  Why go there when St. Simon's was so close at hand?  Now that the money-grubbers have almost ruined St. Simons, we are supposed to sit idly by while they and their cronies in the state capitol destroy our children's heritage?  No, we cannot.  Those of us who have always enjoyed the peaceful, NATURAL serenity of Jekyll have an obligation to do all within our power to preserve Jekyll Island, as it was intended to be, for our future generations. 
Lourena Hipchen, Brunswick, GA

Georgia has a limited stretch of pristine coastline. It has a tremendous intangible value as a place of refuge, a place of natural habitats, and a place for ALL Georgians to visit and enjoy. Sadly, it is under pressure from many fronts which would place a greater priority on short term business gains over the hard-to-price value of "natural". Please do not become the next Tybee Island, which is a monument to short-sighted sell-outs.
Alison Huff, Bogart, GA

Developing land that is currently utilized for environmental education and conservation/preservation would be an injustice to all citizens of the State of Georgia, the United States, and the world.  People from across the globe have had enriching experiences on Jekyll Island while coming to learn, conduct research, or just enjoy quiet time in a marine sanctuary.  Currently, I work in the field of disaster recovery in Gulfport, Mississippi.  Much of the destruction wrought by Hurricane Katrina was worsened due to wetland degradation caused by development.  When development occurs in a coastal ecosystem, natural drainage and storm surge absorption capabilities of wetland systems are compromised leading to increased risks for devastation in the event of a natural disaster.  Please continue to advocate protecting our natural treasures on Jekyll Island so that the generations to come will be able to enjoy this marine sanctuary.
Monica Owens, Warner Robins, GA

I visited Jekyll Island When I was 11 with my Kaleidoscope class. We were there for 5 days and we stayed at the 4H center. It was the most amazing trip I've ever taken, and one that is clear in my memory. I loved the island that it was, and I want it to remain that way so that I can take my children and grandchildren there and they can experience the same rustic beauty that I beheld when I was young. This is an entire ecosystem we are talking about, not just something that is found everywhere, and if we allow it to be destroyed then who's to say we will let them stop at one? The future of Jekyll and of the world are in our hands and I say we stand up and fight against development in fragile environments. I say we stand up for our history and our heritage and not allow it to be destroyed by over-development, and hotel chains that hurt the eyes.
Ciara Mealer, Rome, Ga

Seven years ago we fell in love with the Island and have told numerous people about our experiences and have recommended it to several families as well. At that point we had young children. Just this past week we were there with our 17, 15 and 12 year old children. They all can't wait to get there. They ask us to book our house for next year before we leave each year. We could go to Hilton Head or Amelia Island or Myrtle Beach, we choose not to. WE LOVE Jekyll and the fact that it offers a non commercial escape from the daily rat race we live the other 51 weeks of our lives.
Your historic roots are strong and need to stay preserved and I hope that these developers realize that bigger is not better. We are bombarded with a world of Super Wal-Marts and Super K's and Super Targets.
The concept that I thought about this past week was in the past 7 years how many businesses have come and gone on the Island. If you build a new town square setting, the same current business people will remain and other than a larger space what will change about the way they currently do business????? Nothing!
The businesses that have failed there have failed due to poor management of the facility or the concept. It's funny, Denny's is still a strong business in the NY market, Huddle House is still a very visible restaurant down south, Bennigan’s is still open in numerous states along the East Coast. That said it tells me that we need to look at businesses currently running successfully on the Island and see what they are doing right!
I do not choose to vacation where I am conflicted with over kill commercialism. You have had good exposure in magazines like Family Fun and I think your web page does a good job at selling Jekyll Island as well.
I want to ride my bike and enjoy the beauty of the ocean. I have been to Virginia Beach and Myrtle Beach and you can keep them! Jekyll gives you  a sense of inner peace with it's natural beauty, spotting Dolphins, watching the deer, checking on the alligators,  walking on the sand bar at low tide, biking on the beach, buying a sweatshirt at Maxwells and creating a memory that will be passed on to my children's children.
Thanks for letting our voice be counted as a supporter. I truly hope that we can vacation at Jekyll for years to come.
Anonymous, GA

I spent many happy hours on Jekyll Island as a child and would hate to see it turned into a vacation/home spot for wealthy people. This island belongs to all the people of Georgia, and needs to stay accessible to everyone regardless of economics.
Dianne Belch, Athens, GA

The Jekyll 4-H center is my home during the summer months. I am a counselor there for 4-H camp. We teach children how to be environmentally friendly and take care of themselves and our earth, while maintaining healthy lifestyles and having fun. What kind of example would it set to these children, when we teach them about global warming, and saving our planet, when we essentially destroy the earth on which they are enjoying their week of camp. The developers should maybe come stay with us for a week. They should have to learn about the wild life on the island and in the ocean, and learn the definition of barrier island. The barrier islands protect the coast from dangerous hurricanes, and if the island falls apart, eventually so will the coast.
Molly Locklear, Hampton, GA

I've often enjoyed going to Jekyll for the 4-H camp, and for the annual TSA (Technology Student Association) Fall Leadership Conference.  I agree that some buildings on the island could use improvement, but the rustic feel that the island has, doesn't need to change.  It seems like it is one of the few islands that is open to everyone to visit, so just giving it over to the elite would cause it to lose a lot. 
Thomas Ayers, Blue Ridge, GA

It is my opinion as a resident of Georgia, taxpayer of Georgia and long time annual visitor of Jekyll Island, GA that the island should be left for the residents of Georgia, as well as visitors from other states, to enjoy in its natural state!  I do feel that the hotels, convention center and shopping center are in need of updating, however, I do not agree with the fact that the island needs any further development.  Have we become so arrogant as to think that we need to own every square inch of coastal properties in order to make us feel important and successful?!  It seems that is exactly the case from the discussions that have been taking place.
Who do we think we are, that we can take the land that we have been blessed with, and destroy it just for our personal gain and pleasure.  The Lord gave us a beautiful world to stand in awe of, but we would rather think that we are much wiser than HE, and instead replace it with wonderful concrete!  Give me a break!!!  Unless you have visited the island and truly enjoyed the peace and solitude that it has to offer, you can never understand what we are fighting so hard to save. 
How many more Myrtle Beaches and Panama City's do we actually need?  If that is what you like, just go there instead. I, on the other hand, enjoy a quieter, slow-paced vacation with my family and that is what Jekyll Island has to offer!  I do not need to be entertained; I find entertainment just spending time with my family in a beautiful location.  It draws us much closer together as a family, (bike riding, fishing, swimming, horseback riding) rather than driving up and down a busy strip with airbrush shops, tattoo parlors and souvenir shops on each side of the road. 
It is my belief, in this fast paced world, that we need to take more time to pause and enjoy the beauty around us! Jekyll Island offers a tremendous amount of beauty...for now! Leave it for the people of GA as well as the poor Sea Turtles, who by the way, are quickly running out of areas to lay their eggs.  I have been privileged enough to witness this miraculous event, and it is a memory that I will always cherish.  It is also something that I hope my children and grandchildren can someday witness for themselves, but only if the island is saved.
Jekyll Island is a very small island, and needs to be left alone for all people to enjoy, not just the privileged and wealthy!  Do not allow deep pockets to become the downfall of this charming little island.  We have something that other states are not as fortunate to claim.  Let's show our compassion and character as Georgians and protect what we have! It would be a wonderful legacy to leave for future generations and would prove our unselfishness.  You can't do any better than that!  PLEASE SAVE JEKYLL ISLAND!!!
Laura Sparling, Sylvester, GA

Jekyll Island is a state park.  Since that is the case, I am strongly opposed to the island becoming EXCLUSIVE to those of privileged means!  As long as MY money is being used to maintain the island, then I refuse to be shut out! To say that a golf course will be closed for "Members Only" is unheard of. If the island was private, then that would be understandable, however, it is not and has not been private since the days of the Rockefellers. Is that what we're going back to? Not on MY dollar!!!  Jekyll Island has been a favorite vacation spot for my family and I for over 15 years! We have held several family reunions there. It has become my home away from home...the place I look forward to getting away from the every day stresses of life.  Why on earth would we want to bring those stresses to the island?! 
Legislators, get the wealthy people out of your back pockets and remember the people who put you in office!!!  There are far more "little people" than "fat cats" in this state! Don't forget  that!!!
Andrew A. Sparling, Sylvester, GA

As is evident with surrounding islands such as St. Simons, Tybee, and Hilton Head, mass development is beneficial from a financial standpoint. Sadly, what is often overlooked is preserving the beauty and protecting the species that inhabit the environment.
The natural seclusion of Jekyll Island is what has drawn so many visitors to the calming shores and retraced their steps by so many others. There are not many places where late at night, lit only by the warm glow of a full moon, one can watch silently as a mother sea turtle lays her eggs in the comforting dunes.
For the past twenty-six years I have grown up with these fond memories and more of Jekyll Island. The peace I find in Jekyll Island is what has brought me to call this place "home." Once only a vacation home, I now look forward to escaping the crowed Atlanta streets and returning to the gentle waves of the Atlantic.
As I mentioned before, there are monetary benefits from developing Jekyll Island but in addition to the condominiums and homes, roads will need to be built, more trees will need to be cut down, more lights will go up which will affect the Sea Turtles, and the other animals living on Jekyll Island. Over-crowding will become an issue as it is on St. Simons Island.
In addition to destroying the natural aspect of Jekyll Island, there is also a cultural and historical coercion that joins not only the residents but the visitors of the Island.

I hope and long for the day that I can bring my children to Jekyll Island in its natural state; protected by the people who care for the Island the most and truly love and respect the Island for all its beauty and untouched splendor.
Mary Fairlie Sweeney, Atlanta, GA

Jekyll Island is a State Park, open to anyone.  It is a place where the average person can get away from the hubbub of everyday life and relax.  The beauty of the island is the fact that it is so undeveloped.  Children can learn about coastal habitats by actually being in one.  The soccer complex, bicycle rental and golf areas provide both recreation and exercise, particularly important for today's sedentary youth.
People who don't like Jekyll's rustic charm should go to Hilton Head, Myrtle Beach, St. Simons Island or one of the many other overdeveloped vacation areas.  Let Jekyll stay as it is.  If we let the developers win, we will never be able to regain what was lost.
Angela Davis, Brunswick, GA

We are doing a great thing on Jekyll Island right now, a wonderful recreation center for the kids.  We are in the crowd of parents and friends who see the youngsters perform each week. It's a terrific way to spend time with them.
But, a real threat is about to weasel itself into Jekyll Island's future. This must not happen! Whatever we have to do, we must preserve this part of the island for our children, our visitors, and friends.
Whatever we need to do, let's do it! Those of you who care need to get busy! Let's get together and organize and fight. If we don't, it's a foregone conclusion that the rich and their condos will be occupying the very land that your children are using for recreation and sports.
Dorman L. McDonald, GA                                           

Jekyll Island should remain a park in the true sense of the word. If one wants a place of extensive development there is St. Simons just to the north of Jekyll Island and Amelia Island to the south.  Here one can have all the luxury anyone could possibly want.
Jekyll should remain a place where all Georgians can go to have a real beach experience.
Thomas Black, Louisville, GA

I agree that the current hotels and the convention center need some renovation, but I do not agree with adding all the other things. Granted, adding all those things will bring in more money, but it will cause the island to lose its serenity and beauty. People can travel 20 minutes to Saint Simons if they want the business and crowded streets.
Amy Wallace, City Acworth, GA

As a landscape architecture student at UGA and a lifelong resident of Georgia, I know the importance of preserving Jekyll from greedy developers for the enjoyment of Georgians and our future generations.  I fully support the initiative to protect Jekyll Island, and I will do everything in my power to keep Jekyll Island a place to be proud of; we should be celebrating the pristine coastline of Jekyll, not clamoring to keep up with 40 years of detrimental and poorly planned development.
If there is anything more that I can do, please let me know.
J. Kenneth Thompson, Athens, GA

Jekyll Island is not 'a dump' as said. I visit this beautiful island 3-4 times per year, it needs a little up dating here and there, like it looked in the 50's-60's, and the hotels that have been torn down certainly need replaced with similar ones, but leave the rest alone.
Todd Shultz, Sugar Hill, GA

There are very few treasures found here in the state of Georgia. Jekyll Island is one of the most important. It has the charm of the old south which inspires the imagination to remember what the "good old days" used to be like. If we want to see modern developments, we can drive a few miles to St. Simon's Island. I think it's important to preserve the past because it helps remind us of how forward we've come; it helps us share with our children memories we had with our families growing-up; and, how much fun making new memories can be.
If the proposed plans continue and Jekyll Island becomes developed, where will our children go to make their memories, where will they be able to go and learn about ocean life in its natural habitat (i.e. school field trips) and see what a real island looks like before it's torn down? Before anything further is decided upon, I think it is in the best interest in the citizens of Georgia to be able to decide upon this in a democratic way. I would suggest that this proposal should be on the next state wide voting ballot. Make your decisions on what the people of state of Georgia have to say instead of what a few investors with a lot of money want.
Mary Mock, GA

Jekyll Island is a rare place our family has been visiting since 1973.  We have brought friends and family there year after year and they have come to love the island just as we have.  There is no place like it!
If we wanted more shops and trendiness, we could go to St. Simon's Island. If we wanted a resort, we could go to Sea Island or Hilton Head. If we wanted the party scene, we could go to Myrtle Beach.
We don't.  We want Jekyll!  At Jekyll, we are afforded the ability to slow down and unwind, making us better able to withstand the hectic pace of our daily lives.  We want Jekyll to remain as natural as possible while providing comfort for average citizens, not the wealthy 1%.  We want to be able to see birds and dolphins, and yes, alligators and snakes as we bike around the peaceful island.  We realize attention is needed to update the hotels and conference center, but renovate them without destroying this gorgeous location. In particular, continue to protect the south end of the island and let nature replenish itself in this paradise.
Steven and Eva Wardrup, Ball Ground, GA

The fact that a number of the Jekyll Island hotels have closed in recent years leads me to believe that new hotels are not necessary. The present shopping center seems adequate, but I would not object to its renovation or replacement.
I strongly oppose any loss of public land on the south end of the island. In particular, the soccer fields and the 4-H center are excellent facilities that I take advantage of whenever I have the privilege to be on the island.
I also strongly oppose eliminating any portion of the golf course or restricting its use at all.
I believe any "redevelopment" of Jekyll Island that goes beyond updating its facilities, especially at the expense of public parkland, would be the JIA neglecting its stewardship duties.
Casey Hill, Woodstock State, GA


  Raise funds by charging a parking fee for every day spent on the island.  Increase the parking fee to $5 per day.  Please insure that the average Georgian can stay on the island and enjoy its history and natural habitats.  Cost of hotels must remain truly affordable.  The 4H center must remain to provide learning for our GA children of all financial backgrounds.  There should be no more impact on the habitat of the island.  I am all for upgrading existing hotels and shops.  I am not in favor of any condos or private homes being built.  The wealthy already have most of the coast and islands in GA and surrounding states. WE, the average citizen of Georgia, need to have this State park left as a state park that is affordable and accessible. Wildlife also need habitat, so what land is not developed should remain undeveloped.
Michelle Cram, Athens, GA

I grew up spending every summer on the island while my father attended conferences as an employee of the federal government.  It was paradise for me and something I have never forgotten.  I have visited as an adult and was so glad to see that it was as unspoiled and beautiful as it was 30 years ago.  Our greatest crime, as citizens of this great state, is that we don't always see that building new and better is not progress.  History is important and the charm of a sleepy Southern coastal island means something. I have lived in Georgia my entire life and I am proud of her green trees and her beauty but sometimes I am ashamed when things like this come up.  Keep Jekyll as she has been all these years, a sanctuary for her visitors and her families.
Angela E. Forrest-Burge, Mansfield, GA

I grew up in south Georgia always coming to Jekyll with family, friends, pets, and for work/conventions. I come here as a proud Georgian with hopes of keeping Jekyll as “untouched” as possible.
Millie Lockley, Rome, GA

My family has been going to Jekyll Island for over 20 years and my husbands for over 30 years. We love going there because of how quiet it is. We feel like we have a private beach. We love to go out and see all the wildlife. It never gets old. The children look forward to going ever year. It is such a great place to relax. If all these changes were made it would not be the Jekyll Island that we love!!! We encourage you to think about all the families that visit Jekyll Island yearly. Think about why they visit there. And it won’t be because of condos and a "town square"!!
Thank you so much for your time!! Please make the right decision for the vacationers of Jekyll Island.
Sheri Rollins, Loganville, GA

No high density development; no “high-end” development; no shopping malls; and no more hotels or development! Leave Jekyll Island alone and preserve it as a resource for Georgia (as stated in the original legislation). People who want development have plenty of options -- including St. Simons. Do not spoil Jekyll’s wild, peaceful, natural character!
J. Harmon, Conyers, GA

My wife and I have been coming to Jekyll for fifteen years, bringing our kids to enjoy nature, the trails, and the unspoiled beauty, and our kids love it here. Please keep it as it is. No development.
Kenneth Ray, Adairsville, GA

Jekyll Island is one of Georgia's few coastal recreation areas that has not been overdeveloped. It offers a unique blend of serene coastline, unspoiled habitats and tourist activities that are ideal and accessible for all ages and demographic groups. While I wouldn't be opposed to a modest updating of some facilities and/or a few new businesses, I would encourage the Jekyll Island Authority to reflect upon the unique attributes of Jekyll and resist the temptation to become another exclusive resort community.
Highly-developed resort towns already exist in the area (e.g. St. Simon's). Please preserve the slower-paced charm of Jekyll for those of us who truly appreciate it!
Iris Tropp, Athens, GA

People pay the toll to go on to Jekyll Island because they love it the way it is. It was set this way to save the dunes and wildlife and further development would destroy what has been built. Once it's changed it will never be the way it is now, ever again. I don't want to see that happen. If you want commercial, go to St. Simons, or any other of hundreds of commercialized islands. If you want nature, fight to keep Jekyll as it is. I know some developer sees the chance to make big bucks and developers don't care what they destroy as long as they make money. But let us have this one place where you can slow down and relax. Let us keep our Jekyll.
Jane Odum, Jesup, GA
I visited Jekyll Island for a conference in March 2007.  The island is beautiful, and still has a natural air that so few locations on the east coast still possess.  I would hate to see the island turn into just another tourist trap, filled with tall hotels, and over-priced restaurants, and overcrowded beaches. 
While the desire for revenue is understandable, the value of the salt marshes as a wetland habitat is priceless.  The existing hotels do need improvement, but mostly all they need is updated plumbing.  The current convention center is lovely, and met all of the needs of the conference that I attended.
Jekyll Island is a National Park, belonging to the people, not just the wealthy, and is a treasure worth protecting.
Mary Nevins, Atlanta, GA

Keep Jekyll the people's park! If people want an overdeveloped, crowded and expensive beach vacation- let them go somewhere else! If people want a chance to visit expanses of undeveloped shoreline, to get away from the masses, to camp at the beach, let them come and share in the easy peacefulness of Jekyll.
Jane Cox, Decatur, GA

Affordability is something that can be reached by the "average" family, or guest. We stayed on Jekyll because we felt like not only was it affordable, but it was amazing.  If the prices go up, then our visits will be much shorter and we will feel Jekyll's value has decreased.  There is nothing wrong with the Buccaneer as it stands, and the prices are right in line with where we could afford to pay.  It looks nice, has a "homey" feel and we loved our room (and the price).
UNAFFORDABLE would be $175-$200 a night for a standard room.  We paid that rate for a Suite.  If a standard room now costs as much as a Suite used to cost, we may find another vacation spot!  We already thought the restaurant prices were a bit high but we were comforted by the great room we had. 
I am personally very saddened by the newsletter you sent out, as we loved our vacation this year and would love to go back in subsequent years.  Our family is growing and our pocketbooks are shrinking.  If the prices go up as you suggest, we won't be coming back.
Thank you for all you do,
Kristine Hoskins

We visited Jekyll Island in the 1980s and ‘90s and relocated here permanently ten years ago. Like many people, we were drawn to the island by its unique combination of natural beauty, storied history, restrained development, recreational opportunities, and affordability for people of average means.
Over the past decade, we watched Jekyll’s hotel accommodations lapse into disrepair. We welcomed the JIA’s announcement that it intended to redevelop those properties, but our optimism gradually turned to dismay when we saw signs that the Authority was attracted by the idea of drawing a more affluent clientele to the island by sanctioning the construction of more upscale hotels, with room rates well beyond the financial reach of many of Jekyll’s long-time visitors. With mention of turning the island’s revenue-generating facilities and attractions over to a private developer, and with references to further development within the “35% developable zone,” our concern for Jekyll remaining affordable for average folks only deepened.
Now, we find ourselves heading a movement -- the Initiative to Protect Jekyll Island -- to keep the island affordable, and therefore accessible, for ordinary folks; an endeavor that consumes nearly all of our time, taking away from us the life we intended to lead when we retired to Jekyll a decade ago. This may sound like a complaint, but, in fact, it’s just a measure of how deeply we care about preserving Jekyll’s natural beauty and traditional character. Activist we are not, but when it comes to Jekyll, we feel compelled to take whatever steps we can to safeguard what we, and thousands of others, see as a magical place.
We certainly are not opposed to development per se but simply believe that the island’s hotel accommodations and various amenities can be put in good order without making Jekyll less affordable for most people; without changing Jekyll’s long-standing character. This kind of revitalization seems to be what the vast majority of Jekyll’s visitors favor. They are the true owners of Jekyll Island State Park; shouldn’t their will count for something?
David and Mindy Egan, Jekyll Island, GA
Creating a town square with rebuilding of the hotels and convention center would be fine and would improve the enjoyment for people visiting the Jekyll Island.  The key is that 65% of the Island should remain free of development to protect wildlife and so that all citizens of Georgia and visitors can enjoy nature.  It also should be maintained that it can be kept affordable for the average income person. 
Jekyll Island has been a wonderful place that our family has gone to bike ride, go to the beach and learn and enjoy nature and I would hate to see that resource destroyed by greedy developers.  I hope our state government will protect this beautiful island for all citizens to enjoy.  More Sea Islands are not needed.
Anthony and Gail Cresci, Augusta, GA 
I support a town square but why develop another plot of land?  Developing that plot blocks the ocean view which is on of Jekyll's best assets.  Use the existing shopping center area or develop the aforementioned 45 acre plot then let the current shopping center area revert to grass/plant matter (undeveloped).
I do not support privatization in any way.  Once the millionaire era was over, Jekyll's charter was that for people of "average means."  Many people who visit the island can afford to stay on St. Simons and Sea Islands but do not because they are over developed.
Under no circumstances should one golf course be eliminated in the favor of residential condominium development.
Condominiums and time shares are unsightly and don't bring the type of clientele - people who feel "ownership" of the island to Jekyll.  Jekyll needs new hotels of various price ranges and an aggressive marketing campaign.  My family originally came to Jekyll because it marketed itself as a clean, quiet family place with pristine beaches.  Jekyll could also use activities. As of now, the only action past 8pm is Flash Foods.  The Island could use a place to see movies (the convention center), longer hours for the putt-putt golf site, an ice cream shop, a larger and cleaner convenience store, and an exercise facility for visitors.  Think about what people like to do then cater to it - a nice night club w/dancing in one of the hotels for young adults, and a children's day camp similar to what the JI Club Hotel offers in the summer.
JR Ferguson
  I am in firm belief of those who own their homes and the hotels to tear them down and rebuild ONLY on the original area of the foundation. Furthermore, build those closest to the water up on stilts and reaching no higher than a three story high, including the stilts.  No private companies should ever be allowed to take any part of Jekyll.  The greed of private companies would lead to an end of the eco-tourism and the reason why folks come to Jekyll Island.
Jekyll should remain a STATE PARK and therefore no more than 35% should ever be developed.  I don't want to see condos, hotels, homes and all line the beauty of the beach.  It is not ever suppose to be SSI, Hilton Head, the Outer Banks or even Tybee.  Just look at the shape Tybee is in to our north.  Overcrowded, most of the visitors no longer return, dirty beaches and no natural beauty remains.
If Jekyll wants to succeed and hold its own, it is going to take Jekyll Island residents, locals and tourist that come year after year that love it for how it is but want updates where building currently stand (including the old Ramada aka Georgia Coast Inn and the Holiday Inn properties).  Voices of many needs to find common ground and become one and fight to save Jekyll for forever not just the 40 years the extended leases allow.
Put together meetings.  Get people active.  Not just surveys and letters.  Stand as a community willing to do all it can.  SSI residents like me tried to fight a future development and even with our numbers and petitions in the courthouse, only Capt. Fendig stood by voting against it.  When it comes my time, I will sell my condo and NEVER return to St. Simons as a resident because it is so overcrowded and they can't stop themselves.  The beauty has died on this island.  Don't ever let that happen to Jekyll.
Katherine Morse, St. Simons Island, GA
Jekyll is a family beach.  I bring my family with me four times a year - (8 people) We crab, fish, walk, watch for turtles, swim, ride bikes, watch birds, play golf etc.  None of this could be done on any other beach.  There is no loud music, racing cars, drunks.  I grew up on Jacksonville Beach - it is not a pretty place anymore - You cannot be in the sun in the afternoon because of the tall condos and motels - what a shame.  I can afford Jekyll for the 25 days a year that I come.  I am growing future" beach bums" in my grandchildren.  Last summer my 12 year old looked at me and said, "Meme, when I grow up I am going to bring my children to Jekyll every summer."  Will it still be here for the AVERAGE INCOME person?  We do not need another St. Simons Island!!!!!!
Sandra Sparling
  Replacement of the decrepit hotels is obviously a good idea, and presumably the new ones would be somewhat upmarket from the old ones; but it would make the situation difficult for most visitors if the replacements were all "high-end, upscale" hotels. A balance with at least one seriously upmarket and the rest medium would be best.
David / Marlene Bright, Atlanta GA
     Jekyll Island is a jewel of an island and state park. It can be modernized and upgraded without destroying it as the Jekyll Island Authority is determined to do.  Do not sell out to the developers. We do not want to "St. Simonize Jekyll Island."
Jekyll Island is an escape from the modern world and a great tonic to the nervous system and to nature.  Development would destroy it and add to the climate degradation.
James L. C. Miller, Evans, GA
Jekyll is a jewel and we need to make sure it remains much as it is today.  There does need to be some updating of Convention Center and some shopping areas.  The Hotels/Motels need to remain affordable to the many and the golf courses/tennis courts definitely must remain public.  New affordable hotel/motels (in the existing spaces) are in order as well as have some restaurants included in the hotels.  The Island must remain 65% unbuilt upon and work with that as the ecotourism venue.  The bike paths are fabulous! I come to Jekyll to ride my bike monthly and my husband comes to play golf.  We enjoy the unspoiled nature of the Island and wish to preserve and protect it.           Sara Taylor, St. Simon’s Island, GA
Jekyll Island stands as a family vacation resort. Governor Melvin Thompson’s dream has been fulfilled and needs to continue for the future of our children, grandchildren and great grandchildren, etc.
There is no need for developers, who have a lust for power and personal gain, to come in and mess things up with towering motels and fabulous homes, thus destroying our wildlife preserve. Gandhi is known for his resolve of living simply, never seeking material rewards. Truly Jekyll exemplifies this by its serene atmosphere and natural environment.
My journey to Jekyll Island began in the 1970s at the invitation of a relative, L. W. Smith, a member of Motel Properties Inc. this company built the Buccaneer in 1961 and purchased the Wanderer, now Oceanside Inn and Suites, in 1970. It isn’t possible to number the times my family (from children to great grandchildren) has enjoyed coming to Jekyll since then. It truly became a second home to us. By home I mean a comfortable safe place free from heavy traffic. At one time I had a van with a license plate that read “Mema and the Ole Silver Beach wagon.” Well that beach wagon was always headed to Jekyll with grandchildren in it. We never tired of playing in the sand, riding our bicycles and surreys around the island or our treks through the Millionaire's Village.
Yes, Jekyll is history and I want to keep it that way. Renovate and repair if you must, but don’t change. We even like our shopping center just as it stands (also the golf courses). If you come to Jekyll you may just find us sitting on a bench at the shopping center and eating an ice cream.
One thing I would like returned to Jekyll Island is the theatre at the amphitheatre. We miss the plays so much. If we could have that again it would be wonderful.
Faye Fennell, East Dublin, GA

I am 32 years old and have been coming to Jekyll since I was 11 or 12. It is so great to be able to drive 5 or 6 hours and find such peace and quiet. Please do whatever you can to preserve this for our children. We have plenty of places to go to for the hustle and bustle of a Myrtle Beach or Panama City.
Do I think things should be updated -- yes, within limits. Update what Jekyll already has and make it good!
What Jekyll has to offer is wonderful, and I’m sure developers are '”chomping at the bit” to get their hands on it. How them piece of undeveloped land and their mouths water.
Tina Simmons, Baldwin, GA
  The island should be saved for all the people to visit like it used to be but the state has let too many motels on there now but that is what the politicians want as long as they make money.
I don’t like the way the island is now I wish it was the way it was back when I was a teenager but I know it will never happen.
It is so sad that the state has let the island get this far. The room for the common people is running out.
Ben J Flowers, Jesup, GA
    My entire family enjoys Jekyll Island as a place to see nature at its best. Any further development would have a negative effect on this. I do approve of some upgrades to the businesses that are currently there, but if I want to go to a crowded, bustling place,  then I drive over to Saint Simon's, and I instantly want to return to Jekyll for some solitude.
Lisa Smith, Statesboro, GA
    I hope the Authority will get the message that we, the longtime lovers and supporters of Jekyll Island, want to preserve it for the AVERAGE person in Georgia!! It does not need to be for the wealthy golfer or condo owner.
Heaven forbid that it turn into a Destin.
Children need to be able to come here and see what the natural environment is like. They need to be able to come to the 4-H Center, to play soccer, to develop a love for the natural environment. Developments of the "town-square" type or condos on the golf courses would detract from what makes Jekyll Island unique.
We already have over-built St. Simons, where I went as a child. We need not ruin another jewel of Georgia's coast.
I would not object to upgrading dilapidated hotels. But further development would be unwelcome.
Theresa M. Matt, Athens, GA
Invest in refurbishing, renovating and maintaining existing facilities. Leave the rest alone! Jekyll is perfect as it is - that is why we come there.
Chris Joseph, Athens, GA
I met a couple at Jekyll last time I was there.  They have a home on Amelia Island.  They come to Jekyll to see the beauty and natural wonder.  There is none of that left on Amelia according to what they told me.  There are more important considerations here than money.  This Island and those around it provide a place for sea birds, and turtle nest. We have a duty to be good stewards of what God has given us
Janie Hopwood, Tifton GA

I and my family like Jekyll as it is and see no need to do more than update what is there. If we wanted all the attractions, we would go to St. Simons. The wealthy get tired of things quickly (as did the millionaires who owned the island before) and they would get tired of Jekyll Island too. But by then it would be forever changed and we could never get back what we lost. We come back there every year, not only because it's affordable, but it is a peaceful, natural retreat from all the rush and stress of everyday life. There are hundreds of developed islands and resorts, but precious few like Jekyll. Leave it alone for future generations.
Jane Odum, Jesup, GA
I usually come to Jekyll a couple times per summer, and my family has been going there for an annual family vacation for years.  The swim team I used to be with has also been going to Summer Waves once each summer for years.  In middle school I stayed at the 4H Center on Jekyll for a school program on sea turtles, and I have had many other great experiences only Jekyll could offer.  I've seen fireworks over the island, been to an outdoor movie at the amphitheatre, been to probably every local seafood restaurant, seen the historic areas, wildlife center, and the marina.  This is the only place of its kind that I've ever been to. I will continue to come to Jekyll if it doesn't change, and if it does I will start going to Florida.
Kelley Cunningham, Statesboro, GA 
  Slicker is not better, nor is it distinctive. In fact, it is increasingly becoming more generic to create a slick tourist/resort environment.
Privatizing the revenue-generating facilities and creating predominantly upscale hotels will threaten Jekyll's uniqueness.
James E. Smith, GA
Having participated in bird banding at the south end of Jekyll for almost 20 years, I cherish those parts of the island that remain as little affected by humans as is possible.  If the "wild" parts of Jekyll should become developed to attract the more exclusive (read: “wealthy") clientele, the island would be lost to those of us of average means, those of us who appreciate the natural world, those of us who are sick and tired of traffic jams, snobbish shops, and conspicuous consumption features such as condominiums!
Try to do as little changing as possible.  It is, supposedly, a State Park and should be for everyone.
Doris Cohrs, Darien, GA 
I believe control of all entities should remain with the control and management of the Jekyll Authority. All Hotel /Motel long term leases should be with JIA. No private control of Historical section, golf courses, water park, campground, soccer area, marina etc.
I do believe that all hotels/motels, conference center and existing shopping area are in great need of upgrading. The new authorization of 40 year leases should provide the JIA with the ability to attract new and or upgraded facilities without privatization or self owned condos.
Robert C. Sheldon Jr., Marietta, GA
We just revisited Jekyll on June 4, 2007 after several months.  Sorry to see some motels gone, but the potential for better ones is there.  It was our understanding, though, that when the Holiday Inn was constructed, it was shown as an example of how a beachside motel should be built by the D.N.R.
The shopping center should be remodeled and upgraded, even adding a few shops.  But, please, 45 acres?  Too, too many.  There is not much to choose from in the way of restaurants.  The present ones should be upgraded, and let's not forget moderate prices for families and seniors on fixed incomes.
No condominiums, please!  We have enough on St. Simons to supply both islands.
Georgia is blessed with its rare barrier islands.  Tybee is ruined..a bridge and too many people for its size.  Sea Island and St. Simons are the same.  The only accessible, nearly "natural" island on our coast is Jekyll Island.  That's what people want.  They say so all the time.  Please listen to us!  It is a precious jewel with a few minor flaws.
Lysle and Elaine Young, St. Simons Island, GA

Now that the island is protected from further development, we would like to see Jekyll stay within the reach of the average Georgia family (i.e., teachers, policemen and women, firefighters, etc.).
Please do not let the land robber-barons have control.
Dr. Timothy and Karen Brown, Kennesaw, GA
  Jekyll is fine as it is with exception.  That exception is worn out hotels that need refurbishment or replacement.  If people want development and 5 star hotels they can go to St. Simons or Hilton Head.  The marvelous thing about Jekyll is its peace and quiet in a close to nature seaside setting.  It is very important that at least a few places be saved from the greed of the developers and their elected lackeys so that ordinary people may have a chance to enjoy the natural beauty of a barrier island.
Arthur C. Hughes, Marietta, GA

Jekyll Island is such a gift to the people of Georgia. To have the ambience ruined by mass development would be a tragedy. The JIA seems to prefer a more "upscale" clientele than the original intent of the donor. Sea Island already exists for that purpose. Keep Jekyll Island for the every man and preserve the ecological treasure that we now enjoy.
Debbie & Rick Bridges, Bishop, GA 
I'm not opposed to improving the civic center on the same site if it will bring more conventions to the island which will provide funds for Jekyll.  I also think some of the existing hotels could be upgraded, as I have stayed in some that were dated and moldy.  I do not want any construction or additions that would take away the splendid views of the ocean, the beaches or the dunes or interfere with the natural beauty and ecosystem of the island.
Deborah Swinford, Athens, GA

I would really hate to see big developers come in and take over.  This is one of the few places left that you can visit as a family and enjoy yourselves for a reasonable amount of money. Our children are grown now and want to start their own traditions of visiting with their families.  I would hate to think that they wouldn't be able to afford to show their kids one of the best places to vacation as a family.  Everything in this world isn't about money....sometimes you just gotta do the right thing!
Patrick and Rhonda Robinson, Covington, GA 
  I would like to see nicer hotels and shopping and restaurants on the island. No condos or private golf courses. This is such a beautiful place for the common people to go for a vacation. Please no big developers on the island!!!!
Pat Morrison, Powder Springs, GA
I love Jekyll Island.  I have been going there since the year I was born, 1963.  I try to make it more than once a year and sometimes I succeed.  I like it because I can actually afford to go there and take my kids with me.  It would be nice to see the existing facilities upgraded without further destruction of the environment which is what makes Jekyll the jewel it is.
Amy Barbe, Athens GA
Re-develop the existing properties.  Variety in eating establishments should include more healthy choices, including vegetarian choices. Upgrade the convention center at its current location. Provide affordable, high quality hotel rooms by renovating existing facilities. Develop eco-tourism on the island. Birders and other wildlife watchers have A LOT of disposable income.
Connie Head, Commerce, GA
Everything in this world is NOT about money and the snobs who have an abundance of it.  These people have already filled St. Simon's to capacity, and now wish to do the same to Jekyll.  Save this exquisite piece of Georgia to protect the environment and the local wildlife and enable educators to teach future generations about America's history and the treasures of the Atlantic Ocean.
Laurel Collins, Espyville, PA
  When I arrived on Jekyll Island I was amazed how developed the island already was. There is no need to develop it further.  If new and shiny is something that absolutely has to happen then I see no reason why the existing buildings cannot be renovated.  I understand that developers will not leave Jekyll alone as long as they think there is money to be made, but more often than not more is not better, it's just more.
Sara Rorie, Pine Mountain, GA

Atlanta is now running out of drinking water. While the severe drought is a major factor in this situation, many feel that the source of the problem may be laid at the feet of rampant development and growth. The infrastructure simply does not exist to support further development.  The same is true of Jekyll, except even more so, since environmental issues are at stake.  Atlanta is already trashed. Jekyll does not have to be. Developers do not care about the impact of their actions, only the income they receive from it.  They are not environmentalists, they are not planners, they are developers. More development is simply not the answer, for so many reasons.  Wiser development, yes. Improvement of existing facilities, yes, definitely.  Rich people should not need to pay $300 a night to enjoy Jekyll Island.  If they need to spend $300 a night to enjoy being near a beach, they can go to Sea Island.
Giving over any decision making for the island to private developers is a disaster waiting to happen. That is why an Authority exists. If the system runs as it is supposed to, the Authority should be representative of the people so that the people of the state have input into what happens to their park without having to resort to surveys, initiatives, watchdog groups, etc.  The Authority needs to be restructured so that it is made up of people who actually use and know Jekyll and who do not benefit economically from its exploitation.  Since the people of the state do not currently have sufficient (or any) input into the actions of the Authority, there should be more public hearings and a statewide referendum before any decisions are made. The voice of the people turned the legislature around in the current session. That should be evidence enough that the public is passionate about saving Jekyll Island. The public must be granted that opportunity.
Dory and George Ingram, Atlanta, GA

Jekyll is beautiful - its current character should be preserved. Please do not allow it to become such a pricey place that people of average means cannot enjoy it.  Folks with high incomes already have plenty of places in which to invest or spend their riches - average Georgians need Jekyll to remain affordable in order to enjoy its beauty, educational opportunities, and serenity.
Bette & Sandy (Charles) Baldwin, Tifton, GA
I have been visiting Jekyll since 1976 staying in the hotels until purchasing an RV 4 years ago. I now come to Jekyll every year from Dec. 15 until April 15 and stay at the Jekyll Campground. Jekyll is truly Georgia's Jewel. It is one of the few islands where you can drive along Beachview  Drive and enjoy the ocean view instead of high rise condos and million dollar homes. I agree there is a need for better hotel accommodations and more restaurants and a new convention center would be nice, but I don't see a need for upscale shopping.
Douglas Watkins, LaGrange, GA

I am very disturbed at all of the planned development for Jekyll Island, especially at the thought of more residences, hotels and golf courses.
It is understandable that there is a need for increased revenues for the area in order to maintain its natural beauty, however development is NOT the answer.

My husband and I are long-time fans of Jekyll Island, both for everything it is and probably more so, for everything it is not. It is not flashy.  It is not crowded.  It is not divisive, or exclusive.  It is welcoming, it is homey, it is accessible. It is one-of-a-kind.  The "XTREME Makeover" proposed for Jekyll Island will diminish what it is and irreversibly change what it isn't.  Other than lining the pockets of developers and real estate moguls, what is the good that is believed will come of the whole-sale, upscale redevelopment of Jekyll?  I've never seen that list.  I'd like to, if one exists.
Tim and Adrianne Holmes
This is a great natural place and should not be turned into a private developers' paradise.  They've done plenty of damage all over Georgia -- please keep something both natural and for everyone, not just the elite.  Thank you.
Susannah Bellew, Duluth, GA 
Don't let this become a haven for the rich as St Simons Island is fast becoming. The state of Georgia has a wonderful vacation spot here that is affordable for the average family. Keep it that way. It is a treasure!!
Patricia and Benjamin Prescott, St Simons Island,
As I indicated on the "tripadvisor" website, there is a means to renovate accommodations on Jekyll Island without violating the 65/35% law. An astounding example is the renovation of the Jekyll Estates Inn to the Beachview Club lodging. The landscaping is excellent as well as tastefully decorated rooms. The beautiful oak trees set the scene as a peaceful place for one to relax and unwind. Additionally, this lodging is only a few feet from the ocean!!
Those of us who find Jekyll Island a place to meditate and enjoy peaceful surroundings are extremely concerned about the future of Jekyll Island!!! We do not want to see it as another "concrete jungle" with the "hustle and bustle" conditions found on St. Simons Island, Hilton Head, etc. We shall continue to monitor in an effort to prevent money-hungry "developers" from desecrating our island. Certainly, there is a need to refurbish establishments such as the Buccaneer lodging, which has fallen into a state of disrepair. No one wants to reside in/visit a structure which is an eyesore/health hazard!! Beach erosion is certainly evident and is a definite problem!! However, renovations/restoration CAN be accomplished without "desecrating" this island!
Long live our beloved Jekyll Island!!! We shall continue to protect you as much as possible, so that our children and future generations of mankind can enjoy pristine and restful surroundings!!!  
Ellene Graves, Milledgeville, GA
  It would be a shame to demolish the environmental characteristics, historical charm, and family atmosphere of the island for the sake of increased revenue. Jekyll is one of the few fairly untouched beach front destinations that is affordable and enjoyable. The charm of the island, other than the historical aspect, is the feeling of yester-year. We love the slower pace and friendly atmosphere. Further development would smother that atmosphere and eventually kill the island. I applaud those of you who are fighting to preserve the integrity of Jekyll Island. Keep up the fight.
Ann McGee and Frankie McGee
Jekyll Island was set aside as a state park for the enjoyment of Georgia's citizens and was mandated by law to be affordable for people of average income. THIS IS THE BOTTOM LINE. Nothing should be changed or developed without this MANDATED portion of the law taken into account, first and foremost. If you want ritz, go to St. Simons. Leave Jekyll for the common family as intended in the beginning. History does matter.
Cindy Hinton, Thomson, GA
When I was a child we used to drive around Jekyll after dark looking for deer.  Our all time record was 108 counted on a single circle around the island, including three rare albino deer. The hotels used to conduct "turtle walks", and we often watched loggerheads nesting from a safe and well-chaperoned distance.  We learned to give the flocks of wild turkeys wide berth lest they chase our bikes. 
My father owned The Corsair, The Wanderer and the Carriage Inn, and as much as he wanted to expand and develop, the Jekyll Island Authority under the auspices of Judge Hartley ruled with an iron hand.  And Jekyll is a better place for having been protected from the type of development that my father would have liked.  Unfortunately, I was on Jekyll last week, and I saw the results of lax control.  We saw a total of four deer on an island that is supposed to be 65% wildlife refuge.  We saw no turkeys and no turtles, though we were thrilled to see the new turtle refuge center opening up!  We wondered time and time again where all the birds that used to flock to the island have gone.  We saw the almost empty water park, but spent a couple of hours in the busy UGA nature center that has moved to the site of the ill-fated Ski-Rixen. We greatly enjoyed wandering around the Millionaire's Village and seeing how well the various houses were being put to use.  But we were disappointed to see how many "private" homes were covering the island, and how many of them were listed as rental property in the realtor’s offices.  We were pleased to see the improved bike trails and the horseback rides (complete with "leave no trace" pollution controls!)  Best of all was watching all the little children wheeling around on bikes (many with training wheels) or touring in the "Red Bug" electric cars or simply just peering into the tidal pools at the various creatures.  This is what Jekyll Island was always intended to be.  It is not Disney World, it is not Sea Island, and it is not Daytona Beach.  It is not for everyone.  It would not be enhanced by more and bigger hotels.  It would be destroyed.  We accept the slow speed limits, the bugs, and the fact that you can't find anything to eat after dark in order to get the peace and quiet. Children need a place to learn to entertain themselves, to "do nothing" from dawn 'til dusk.  Leave Jekyll in peace.  Let it be!         
Patricia Petelle, Marietta, GA 

Big business and greedy people don't care about simple pleasures. The sight of unspoiled areas makes their pockets itch. These developments will do nothing for the island.
Kay Lowe, Gray, GA
  We are very concerned about:
1) Increasing the density of development on Jekyll.  That is the greatest threat to the natural environment. Even if the land area footprint of development is not increased, a density increase will have many direct and indirect impacts; including more vandalism and destruction of wildlife, negative encounters with gators, deer, and raccoons, excessive use of water resources, disturbance of nesting sites for birds and turtles to name a few.
2) The makeup of the Jekyll Island Authority Board. Even though law requires the island to remain 65% undeveloped, the JIA Board is made up primarily of developers. When the Board meets (on the two occasions I observed) there is no interest or concern (and no available expertise) for the natural environment there. When the JI Foundation was present, the Board Chairman was abusive to them and showed no appreciation of their efforts. With proper care and management, the natural area remaining on Jekyll is the key to financial success for the future.
3) Freshwater supply for the future. As development in Brunswick, along I-95, St, Simons and the other islands as well as on Jekyll continues, the loss of pressure in the fresh water aquifers is bound to drop and will allow intrusion of sea water if the situation is not carefully managed.  We have seen or heard nothing about how this proposed density increase will affect water supply. Years ago JIA moved to prohibit Jekyll residents from drilling their own wells because of water supply concerns.
I have written several letters/e-mails proposing the idea of a Biodiversity Center on Jekyll. I still believe that this could be the key to having a successful future for Jekyll Island. Even without a biodiversity center, JIA needs to establish a much higher level of knowledge and care of the natural areas and wildlife species remaining on Jekyll. A JIA Board that understands this is of paramount importance. 
Al and Sandra Tate, Atlanta, GA
Please do not allow anyone to destroy one of the places that holds the most good childhood memories for me and for my family. Leave a good thing alone!  Jekyll is one of the few truly beautiful, relatively undeveloped islands left and developers have NO care for anything but a quick buck...the gov’t has been able to protect it for all these years and it should remain so.  St. Simons is developed and that's fine, but we need to keep some places sacred and Jekyll is one of those places.  The idea that developers want to get their hands on it makes me ill.  I despise these money-hungry, greedy developers who think that nothing should be left as it is.  Hopefully a public outcry will make the difference and preserve a beautiful part of Georgia that cannot be replaced!
Jennifer Harkleroad, Newnan, GA
The underdevelopment of Jekyll Island is the reason we vacation here.  We know with more Hotels comes more visitors, and therefore more money for the local economy.  At the same time we would gladly pay more to visit to make up for the extra income.  We will not visit a beach where we cut our feet on beer bottles from overcrowding.  We come here for the family atmosphere, the wilderness, and the feel of a small town. 
Sonya Mashburn, Austell, Ga.   
  The recent push to "enhance" Jekyll is just another Republican scheme to line the already filled pockets of their friends/buddies/etc. We have no other place like Jekyll and it needs to stay that way. Shame on the Glenn Richardson types who want this to turn into another condo filled area!
Geraldine Welch, Newnan, GA 

We would like to see the existing hotels\motels upgraded. We want the island to belong to GA not private developers or more residents. Leave the beauty of Jekyll alone, it’s a nice and peaceful place to visit yearly. We are Georgia voters and tax payers.
Gregg & Christine Rainwater & Alvina Martin, Winder GA
The beauty of this natural area should be its own attraction. There are plenty of other fancy places to go for shopping and dining throughout coastal GA!
Kellie Divis
  We LOVE Jekyll.  So glad Sonny Perdue signed the bill to keep development away from the South End of Island, and hopefully this subject will not come up again for a long time. It is so very important to keep the island natural, not only for visits by the children of Georgia (and elsewhere), but also to protect the wildlife in the area...both on land and sea. 
If folks want more glitz and glamour, let them go over to Sea Island, St. Simons, Amelia Island or Hilton Head, but leave our island to be enjoyed and afforded by the everyone, not just the rich.  What is so great about Jekyll Island is the low-key, slow pace and chances to enjoy nature along with the wonderful history of the island.   We do not need to privatize either.  That will bring in more developers which we do not need.  We do want the hotels that are already demolished (and a couple of the others) to be rebuilt and others upgraded; a few more restaurants and an upgrade to the shopping center and convention center.  We would not even be opposed to raising the permit pass to get onto the island to raise more money.
Robyn Keiley, Atlanta, GA
I have lived in Glynn County almost all my life (since the age of three).  Jekyll has always been our preferred island because of the limited nature of development.  As a young child I enjoyed many an outing on Jekyll, including watching the turtles nest and then watching the hatchlings head off to sea.  It continues to be one of the better things in life.  Five generations of my family have had the opportunity to enjoy the beauty and serenity of Jekyll.  It is my express desire to show my 3-month old grandson, along with future grandchildren, the wonders of Jekyll Island.  It is about the only place left where we can get a real feel for the wonderment and awesomeness of our home.  Jekyll has been a vacation spot dating all the way back to the coastal Indians, before the white settlers ever approached these shores.  It will be a total let-down of future generations if we shirk our duties by not protecting this island wonderland.  As a society where we choose to draw the line on development of Jekyll Island will speak louder to future generations, and to the world as a whole, than any other single measure we can undertake.  It is imperative we maintain the natural beauty of Jekyll and keep it affordable for the AVERAGE person.
Denise Hipchen, Brunswick, GA
While I agree that the neglected hotels that have fallen into ruin need to be replaced with more modern, inviting, and, hopefully, profitable hotels, I believe that all redevelopment must be consistent with the character of the island and its ecology.  Jekyll's natural beauty is what makes it so special.  Any new development must respect and honor the things that make Jekyll "Georgia's Jewell."
Whit Perrin Wright, Jasper, GA
  We live in Jesup and LOVE to go to Jekyll Island because we like it JUST like it is.  The nature, beauty, uncrowded roads and beaches make it a wonderful place to visit.  We probably go to Jekyll more often during the school year when it isn't as crowded.  We bought a car pass a few years ago because we wanted to visit more often. 
Jekyll does need updating.  (We do know that is currently underway).  We have stayed at the Holiday Inn, the Buccaneer Resort, and the Jekyll Club Hotel.  It would be nice to have one of the torn-down hotels replaced with a Hampton Inn or a Courtyard by Marriott.  Something that is nice but not too pricey for families that want to visit.  We aren't opposed to having the convention center torn down and replaced and locating one hotel next to it I would suggest that you locate the hotel on the side of the convention center closer to Days Inn.  It would be great to keep that dark expanse of beach on the other side of the convention center. 
I would imagine that we are like most others completing the survey.  We want big money developers to LEAVE Jekyll alone. 
Jeff and Deborah Adams, Jesup, GA
The island is a Georgia treasure and should be preserved for future generations as a nature preserve not an upscale development such as Amelia Island - more in keeping with our wonderful Cumberland Island.
Bryan P. Warren, St. Marys, GA

Leave some of the beautiful Georgia coastline for everyone to enjoy no matter how much money they make!
Raunda Towery, Roswell, GA  
I come to the island every year in May for a Convention.  I do wish that the hotels on the island were kept up.  I miss the old Ramada. I would not mind seeing another hotel go in its place.  However, there does not need to be any condos or shopping centers built. When we come to Jekyll, we rent a house now, go into Brunswick and get supplies.  After the Brunswick trip we don’t leave the island for a while week.  There is nothing more peaceful and beautiful as Jekyll Island.
Connie Cromer, Marietta, GA 
  I have not seen the Request for Proposals, but the responses received from developers and the evaluation of those proposals is critical to the future of the Island.  The Authority has the opportunity to control development, promote affordable development, and protect the Island's ecological assets through the proper evaluation of proposals and selection of a development partner.  The evaluation process can also be easily manipulated, and should be closely monitored.  I continue to support your efforts.  Thanks for all you are doing.
Miriam Lancaster, Smyrna, GA
Jekyll is a place for families. It appeals to the middle income group and has provided for many years an enjoyable place for my family and friends to go. We play golf, tennis, and ride bikes. The traffic is minimal and the beach clientele is conducive to a family outing. For those that desire the higher-end, touristy aspect, there is St. Simons Island. Jekyll Island should have minimal upgrades, but nothing should be done that compromises the nature of what the island was intended to be.
K.C. Thornton, Waycross, GA  

We love Jekyll Island like a member of our family. My wife and I actually met and fell in love on the Island back in 1976, with her having grown up in Brunswick nearby and me growing up near Atlanta. While we recognize the need for some revitalization and restoration, we would never support any initiatives that would affect the Island’s delicate ecology negatively or restrict public access from where it is now.
Lewis and Betsy Baker, Lawrenceville, GA

I'm against any building on the other 35% that will block view or access to the beach/ocean.  I want the island to be affordable to visitors and do not want special areas for those who are more affluent.  I agree that some of the current hotels need upgrading and that the convention center needs renovating, but these things can be done on the existing sites.  I want the beaches to remain open to the public.  I encourage the use of Jekyll Island environmental education.
Angela Ivey, Vidalia GA  
I think the focus needs to be on preservation with re-development.  I cannot stress strongly enough that control of what happens on the Island needs to stay as it is and that the original mission and intentions of Jekyll Island remain the same.
Greg and Nina Hall, Winterville, GA
Look, I love Jekyll. It represents such an odd and interesting point in Georgia's history and gives the average person a glimpse into a different world.
The life is so laid back. You can ride bikes around the island without threat of being killed. It is such a relaxing place to
I would be for some development IF we could ensure that it would be done in a low impact, graceful way. But face it, Georgia developers only know one scale: big and ugly. Destroy everything and build something inflated and inappropriate. Not even the robber barons who build the Millionaires club would approve.
Mandate that all public and private building be LEED certified. And sustainable.
The public, whose funds have supported the infrastructure all these years, should continue to be allowed beach access.
Michelle French, Atlanta, GA
I camped on the island in the spring and had not been there for some time - I was SO surprised and delighted to see how little development had reached the island. I was fearful of high rises and donut and t-shirt shops and gated communities with no access.
What a treat to return to an island "for the people". I do believe that the convention center and surrounding area could be improved to attract business meetings, and shops could be enhanced, but it is SO wonderful to be able to bike the island without having buildings obstructing the views.
Expanding the campground would REALLY show a commitment to serving the "regular" folks that cannot or choose not to spend hundreds of dollars a day on accommodations.
  Let's fix up what's there, add some upscale accommodations and a couple of restaurants, build a new convention center (small meetings, not the GA World Congress Center!)  Let's keep the green space and don't screw up the golf experience with condos. I come to Jekyll to bird and enjoy the walking and beach.  I'm looking forward to Georgia doing its share of taking care of sea turtles with the new turtle center.
Tom Striker, Cherrylog, GA
Keep Jekyll as it is now except for upgrading some of the hotels, the convention center including an indoor swimming pool(heated and charge a fee), and upgrade the existing commercial shops on the place where now located with possibility of adding condos or rentals above these shops.  Such condos or rental units should be within the current rental or sale price of units existing now on Jekyll.
Bert and Kay Richmond, Athens, GA
  I think that Jekyll Island should remain a place that allows couples and families to enjoy the beaches and wild life without going broke paying for a place to stay. I feel comfortable going to Jekyll, I have never had to worry about my belongings going missing while walking on the beach, it is a very friendly and safe place to visit. If Jekyll Island turns into an upscale place where are all the people who can't afford really expensive hotels and places to stay going to go? I have been going to Jekyll for 20 years and I love it the way it is.  
Allyson Pettepher, Gordon, GA
Jekyll Island is a priceless natural resource that should be protected as wildlife habitat and barrier island -- beach, dunes and marshes. It should be accessible to all Georgians for passive recreation -- wildlife observation, walking on the beach, and other recreational activities with minimal impact on the natural landscape. Large hotel or condominium construction, expensive "resort" accommodations would be a tragedy for Jekyll Island, and would alter its character disastrously. I am particularly aware of the importance of Jekyll Island for bird life, but also for its increasingly rare beauty and wildness -- which have so far been relatively well preserved along with generous public accessibility. I am in favor of the strongest protection possible for the natural habitat and natural landscape of Jekyll Island. The greatest tragedy for Jekyll would be to make it -- like so many beautiful barrier islands -- available mostly for wealthier people, and in the process to "landscape" it into a relatively barren place of resorts and golf courses.
It should be accessible, yes -- not to those who can afford expensive vacations but to those who value and respect it for the natural treasure it is.
Sigrid Sanders, Watkinsville, GA
Jekyll is wonderful the way it is.  It's nice and quiet.  The shops could use a facelift, but they are quaint and sufficient for visitors on the island.  It's nice to see all the ranch houses with no "McMansions".  Part of the reason Jekyll is so relaxing is that there isn't much to do, because of that there isn't hordes of stressed out vacationers dragging their kids who haven't had their naps to and fro overpriced attractions.  The visitors are those who want to simply relax.  Please help us keep that.
Chris Jorel, Decatur, GA
Jekyll Island needs to be kept under state control and have some upgrade of facilities but not big development. Keep as much of the natural areas as possible, especially the south end of the island. This is a wonderful bird sanctuary and wild life protected area.
This island needs protection from large development which does not provide camping and lodging for those who cannot afford places like Sea Island and Hilton Head.
We have enjoyed visiting Jekyll and going often to the park on the south end to view shore birds and collecting shells. Many of our friends have used the camping grounds. A number of years ago I was walking the beach early one morning and saw a Right Whale and her calf cruising near shore.
For the fifteen years I taught Coastal Biology in summers at Emory University I used the south beach areas of Jekyll as a place to show students what a natural beach and dune area should look like. The north end of Jekyll and most of St. Simon’s beaches have been damaged by sand dune destruction. There are only a few islands left along the coast of Georgia where dunes have not been damaged or destroyed.
William & Cornelia Brillhart, Decatur, GA   
I love this island.  Growing up in rural South Georgia, my family would frequently travel to Jekyll and St. Simons for conventions through Farm Bureau.  I have many fond memories of this island as a guest and as a former employee of the Georgia 4-H Camping program.  As a counselor, I think the island should be saved on environmental standards alone.  Endangered loggerhead sea turtles make their nest on Jekyll every may, but if development is done to too much more of the island, I think it would seriously harm this endangered species.  Jekyll has meant so much to me and my fiancé that we are planning our wedding there for next may.  Her first visit to the island, she fell in love with the serenity of the island.  She had never seen such a calm, but beautiful place. I believe we should strongly object to the development of Jekyll Island.  I think the citizens of Georgia and visitors to the island should have the final say on whether or not this state park should be developed. I believe we should protect this jewel on our coast at all costs so our children's children can enjoy it as much as we have, and keep respecting the island's natural state.
Jeremiah Giles

We vote NO to additional development of the island.  Only replacement of worn out bldgs such as the Buccaneer, etc.  Keep the trees in place and rebuild as it is on the sites where the old motels were.
This lovely island is a place where FAMILIES come to spend down time together.  Having a high-end hotel beyond the reach of these families is beyond comprehension and smacks of self-gain on the part of the planners and developers.
Charlotte Clark and John Jones III, Stone Mountain GA 
Jekyll is one of the only Islands left that has non-commercial, relaxing, non-traffic easy access to the beaches and feels safe to let teenagers explore without fear of someone doing something to them. It is free of crime and not so many people. (We live in North Atlanta with so many problems and fears for our kids.) Jekyll is a place my family came to when I was a child, now I bring my children. We used to visit other places but they have become too commercialized and have too many people. We live on Lake Lanier and after ten years we don’t enjoy it because all the developers have commercialized it so badly. Please don’t let this happen here. Development needs control and in some places stopped. Jekyll is our special Golden Isle that shines above all others. Keep it shining for future generations.
Beth Fasnacht, Cumming, GA

The Island has become a very special place for us and now our grown children visit the island frequently - We would rather go to Jekyll than any other place - We are going to the Caribbean for a wedding this summer - but the trip I'm really looking forward to is our annual trip to Jekyll in Sept. Please DON'T CHANGE! 
Larry & An'gel Potter, Athens, GA
There definitely needs to be some improvement and revenue improvements on the island, but do not sacrifice the charter of the island to preserve the nature and availability to folks of reasonable means.
Will Fell, Statesboro GA
  Jekyll is a unique treasure among the Eastern Seaboard barrier islands.  One of its great appeals is the fact that it is, indeed, much the same as it was when I first visited in 1971.  That charm would be lost if a bunch of high-rise hotels and condos were built on the island, ruining the picturesque views and bringing way too many people in.
The other great appeal of Jekyll is its environmental importance. It is very important not only for sea turtles but also for migrating birds and other wildlife.  An influx of large numbers of people and buildings would be very detrimental to the balance of life on the island.  In fact, many birders make pilgrimages to Jekyll.  With the right marketing of Jekyll as a birding paradise, this will continue, but birders will not come if there are no birds! And there will be no birds with more buildings and people. I would GLADLY pay a larger parking fee to preserve the beauty of Jekyll.
Anne A. Davis, Macon, GA 
Jekyll should not be further developed. It is a gift to the people of Georgia. We usually drive to Jekyll for the day from our farm in Appling County, and the reason we come is to enjoy nature -- bird watching, sunning, swimming, picnicking, wildlife watching, people watching. Sometimes, too, we come for conventions. WE WOULD REFUSE TO VISIT JEKYLL IF IT GETS ANY MORE DEVELOPED. I think the convention center should be improved and expanded in its present location & the rest of Jekyll should be kept as natural as possible, which is the reason why people come to conventions there anyway.
Janisse Ray & Raven Burchard, Brattleboro, VT &  Baxley, GA
Jekyll Island is an invaluable natural, historical and recreational resource for the public.  Absolutely and under no circumstances should private development be given priority over public interests and access.  It is essential that Jekyll Island be preserved and protected to the greatest extent possible.
Phoebe Hunter
  The issue is not how accessible and affordable the island is for me, but for my grandkids and their kids.  We have enough places for people who can and want to pay for their exclusivity.  Please, let's protect this area from development to the maximum of our ability so we can all enjoy it in the years to come.
Wright & Dusty Gres, Baxley, GA
The attraction of Jekyll Island is because it is so different then all the others that are over populated and tourist traps. Throughout the years Jekyll has remained a place of beauty and education making it unique. Whether it be about history or wildlife, it is a wonderful place to take the family for a relaxing getaway, one which hard working normal Americans can afford. If they make the changes they are wanting to make, then Jekyll will have lost its charm, history, and beauty all for the sake of a buck, making it no different than any of the other islands throughout the USA and eliminating a vacation spot for so many of us. Please, don't destroy something by trying to change it when what we have is already perfect just the way it is.
Damian and Eve Gonzales, Kingsland, GA
I do believe that the island needs more hotel rooms and the existing hotels must renovate their facilities to modernize them.  However, I don't think Jekyll should become an exclusive resort and I think the rooms should be moderately priced to suit the budgets of middle class Georgians.  We've been coming for a convention for the last few years and the state of some of the hotels is dismal.  Having said that - I love the peace and quiet and undeveloped naturalness of Jekyll.  I am willing to lend my voice and vote to ensure that Jekyll remains that way.
Holly Moore, Suwanee, GA
It seems to me the solution for Jekyll is not all that complicated.  The reason this whole debate started was the antiquated condition of the Convention Center, Shopping Center and hotels, not to mention the limited resources the JIA has for upkeep of the other state owned facilities.  Folks who come to Jekyll are not impressed with the infrastructure, to be sure, but they are in awe of the beauty and the natural, unspoiled spaces the 65/35 rule ensures.  So, renovate the Shopping Center and Convention Center (demolish and rebuild if necessary), OK the construction of new hotels on the sites of the old ones, and add the daily improvement fee, with a portion to be designated for the JIA to use for ongoing upkeep and expansion of the facilities and offerings.  No condos, no new home sites and stay with the 65/35 philosophy.  If the current facilities were up to date more people would come, meaning more revenue and more exposure without compromising the mandate we cherish and appreciate.
R. Don Lewis, Jr., SSI, GA
Jekyll Island is Georgia's Crown Jewel and should be kept as much as possible in its natural state to protect its unique ecosystem and wildlife. Development should be limited so families of average means can continue to afford a seaside vacation. If the convention center is outdated, and may I suggest an alternative to putting in a "town center" with shops, theaters, bars, and gosh knows what: TEAR IT DOWN, rip up the pavement, and put in a public park with natural shrubbery, picnic tables, and perhaps an area for tent camping (so RV and tent campers need not share the same space at the north end of the island). People visit Jekyll because it is natural, unspoiled, and affordable.
We don't need to privatize our state park and turn it over to developers to build another Hilton Head or Myrtle Beach. As for "high end" vacationers, the Jekyll Island Club is sufficient. If folks of means don’t find that insufficient, let them go elsewhere: Sea Island beckons. Meanwhile, the existing modest hotels can be updated by the owners without destroying Jekyll's continuing to be a family-friendly destination for citizens of average means. 
Jeffrey D. Sokolow, Atlanta, GA 
Would like very much to see the island have a "face lift" because it is needed, but certainly do not want to see private developments take over and destroy it.  Hopefully, it can be affordable for the average family to enjoy the natural beauty and the historic atmosphere.  New and better quality motels are badly needed, but this should be done with the visitor in mind and not the greed of development.  Keep it family oriented....not just a place for the wealthy.  Average "folks" like nice rooms and good food too! We are so fortunate to have within our state the mountains and the seashore.  Don't destroy its beauty!
Peggy O'Connor, Calhoun, GA 
This is one of the few prime ocean front beaches that you can visit at a reasonable price. Put the high end hotel inland. Leave the beach hotels affordable for all.
Scot Miller
We would want to see more detailed plans on the town and convention centers - because we would hate to see buildings impinge on the little reconstituted dunes picnic area just south of Blackbeard’s.  That is an area reclaimed under George Chambliss' "reign" and could point to a better use of beach front areas on a barrier island park - a really GREEN builder might just be interested in a protective dune rebuilding project in other places along the beach front.  Of Course, we have never heard this even mentioned by the "powers that be". 
Len and Jean Poleszak, Jekyll Island, GA 
Jekyll Island should not be under the control of a board that represents powerful developers. The purpose of the JIA Board should be to protect the island's environment while providing access to average Georgians. Jekyll Island is, after all, a state park. I would like to call for a new JIA board, one that has the best interests of the island's environment and the State's citizens, as its guiding principles. Jekyll Island is loved by Georgians (and non-Georgians) because of its primarily natural character. This character should not be destroyed in the name of providing more access to the wealthy and lining the pockets of powerful developers. Let them go elsewhere, and leave Jekyll Island alone!
I am in favor of an island "improvement" fee that would provide revenue to support environmental protection while providing reasonable improvements, such as improvements to the infrastructure when needed. I am not in favor of more development. I believe that the existing footprint of development should not be expanded. DO NOT develop the coastline between Blackbeard's and the Day's Inn! We know enough about the fragility of the coast to recognize the folly in beachside development. ALL development, from this point on, should be "green," that is, environmentally sustainable.
Jekyll Island should be "developed" as an environmental education destination. In particular, I would like to see a center for education about global climate change and the coast on the island. This center would become a model for green construction and education. It could attract visitors from around the country and the world.
Frankly, I wasn't aware that Jekyll Island had a problem that needed to be solved, especially one that can only be solved by more development! How ludicrous!
In the survey, I said that I was not in favor of a new and improved conference center. That is really not the case. I am in favor of it, but only if the center is built in an environmentally-sustainable manner, and does not carry with it more development.
Let the people of Georgia, who "own" Jekyll Island, decide what is best.
Babs McDonald, Athens, GA
My father started the annual pilgrimage to Jekyll when I was about 5 years old.  We have continued that tradition with my children and now my grandchildren.  We love Jekyll just as it is.  It is for the average family, (we like staying beachfront), it should not be just for the rich.  It is a STATE owned park. We love the bicycle trail that goes from the Old Wanderer to Blackbeard’s.  That is our favorite ride.  Please do NOT develop that!! 
Ann C. Greer

My family has been visiting Jekyll Island since my Mom was a little girl.  My grandparents were part of the generation that came to Jekyll when it was established as we know it today.  We come back every year for a week vacation and rent a cottage right on the beach.  My sister got married at Faith Chapel in 2005 and this past May my whole family including my Mom, Dad, sisters and their families as well as my own husband and kids came and stayed together for a week.  Jekyll is our week together because most of us live away from each other.  My one sister came all the way from Virginia Beach. 
We choose Jekyll not only because of the memories we have there with our grandparents (who are now deceased), but also of the traditions we have started with our own kids.  We often comment on Jekyll's timeless qualities.  We can live simply and spend our time riding bikes, meandering on trails, quietly playing on the beach, etc...  When we want a "different" night, St. Simons isn't far away.  Jekyll is perfect just the way it is. My kids have even turned into little environmentalists educating other beach goers on the importance of throwing back their live sand dollars and whelks and covering up sand castle holes so the baby sea turtles don't get stuck.  One of their favorite things to do is the sea turtle walk.  This year they even enjoyed exploring the island through geocaching. 
We can never leave Jekyll without visiting the Sweet Shop, shopping at Whittles, having Sunday Brunch in the Grand Dining Room of the Jekyll Island Club Hotel, riding miles and miles on bikes, searching for sea turtles at night with red covers on our flash lights, visiting the putt-putt and playground, spending an afternoon at Summer Waves, buying an ornament from the Santa Shop and having our last vacation dinner at Sea Jay's overlooking the marina.  As you can tell, Jekyll is a special place for us.  At Jekyll we get to be a family.  It is our hope that Jekyll can stay that way.  The world is full of busy, over commercialized places.  I say we leave Jekyll alone and respect this one little timeless beauty.  Let the other beaches have their condos and fancy hotels.  Jekyll can remain a place of family memories and a place to teach your kids about life and enjoy just being together.  Thanks for your time.  We truly love Jekyll Island!
Amanda Sassaman Hood, Macon, GA 
Jekyll Island needs to be kept as a place for the average Georgia family can go.  I was greatly saddened to hear that there is a movement to put hotels on the island that would have a rate greater than the government per diem!  If it is too expensive for the government travel rate, then I think it would be safe to assume that the average Georgian would not be able to afford a stay at the facilities.  It was my understanding that this natural treasure was to be preserved for the use of the state's citizens.
Lynn Vos, Savannah, GA 
We feel the island is great the way it is now. Although the hotels and convention center could be updated, there is no need to rebuild them as high-end or upscale accommodations.  Condos are completely out of the question.  Once condos are built, then only the rich will be able to stay there. Why should certain areas of the island accommodate a particular clientele? A family with an average income should be able to come and stay where they want to and enjoy what the island has to offer. My family visits each year and should condos or fancy hotels be built, then we will no longer be able to afford to visit.
Another reason not to allow more development is the view and access to the ocean. Public access of the beach should not be reduced or limited because of future development.
No way should a private developer be given any control of the island's future revenue-generating assets.  All of the island's future development should also be voted by the people!
Mr. and Mrs. Terry L. Short, Jackson, GA  
  When I heard that Jekyll was having the potential of being changed from its charming self, I was devastated and kept asking why anyone would do this. Of course the only reason I came up with is money. Jekyll Island has been my favorite place on Earth since I am able to remember. It has always been a safe haven for me and my family. We have had so many family vacations almost every year on Jekyll. My family and I love it because it is not commercial and is not crowded. I love riding my bike everywhere, throughout the woods and by the beach. It is such a serene place. I could only hope it would never change, but if only to mend what is broken and not to build something instead of it. Since I have grown up I can only imagine being able to take my future children to a place I loved so much and be able to tell and show them all the great times I had. This can only be a reality if Jekyll is untouched by the money and the power that the rest of the world is under and stay with its natural beauty and serenity. There is nowhere else any where near that comes close to Jekyll Island. Please just take mine and others comments to heart, because they do come from the heart. 
Abby Greer, Forsyth, GA
If you truly want to follow the mandate of making Jekyll Island affordable for people of average income, the place to begin is making it truly affordable by building hotels that are affordable. 
I would allow construction of some affordable restaurants, and not limit it to the more expensive restaurants.  At my most recent visit to Jekyll Island, in June, 2007, I spent over $9.00 per person per meal.  When a family of four can normally eat a meal at Wendy’s or Burger King for around $10.00 total, spending almost four times that much is not affordable.
If you really want to make Jekyll Island affordable, the key is not condominiums, residences, and high end hotels.  I hope you will focus your energy on the mandate, and make Jekyll Island an affordable place, a place I would want to come to at least one or two times a year.
Gary Fields, Dublin, GA
I am disappointed in the way that the island has deteriorated.  It is looking pretty run down.  Something needs to be done about that, but it still needs to remain a state park and affordable for the middle class.  It needs to be a place Georgians can be proud of.
Thomas Bartley, Dalton, GA  
  We prefer the un-developed atmosphere and family setting that Jekyll has to offer, as opposed to the Gulf of Mexico, St. Augustine, etc. The less new buildings that are raised on Jekyll, the more unique the island will remain.  It's so different from Florida.  Coming to Jekyll is like taking a step backwards in time. Demolishing and re-building several of the older hotels might yield greater gains. There's no other place like Jekyll in the world.
Steve and Lauren Stoklosa, Leesburg, GA
I recently went to Jekyll for a county commissioner convention and fell in love with it. I had been there as a child but did not remember it. I do think there needs to be some renovation or revitalizations, but not to the extent the developers are looking. We have successfully developed parts of my county, Jackson, without taking away from our community.
My family enjoyed the peace and quiet without having fear of being run over or robbed.
Jody Thompson, Jackson County
I pray that the developers do not get their way here as they have everywhere else.  Please let their continue to be somewhere where ordinary people can afford to go to enjoy this lovely area.  I hate the manicured spaces on Hilton Head and the way ordinary people are relegated to small public beaches.  I love Jekyll and I don't want to see it so changed that I cannot afford to come back.
Gerta Eddins, Rex, GA 
  We have always felt that Jekyll is a fragile island that is one of the last places one can go to get away from the stress of modern life, including the relentless onslaught of the corporate "nothing-is-sacred" commercialism steamroller.
The thought that this natural refuge could fall to developers - private or otherwise - is frankly unbearably nauseating.
James Barnes and Anne Brunsgaard, Stone Mountain, GA
  Jekyll Island is a wonderful place and one of the few truly wild places left not just in Georgia, but just about anywhere.  It is also one of the few places that it is affordable for those of us who are working class and can't afford fancier touristy places like Panama City and others.  Please leave it the way it is.
Tracy Nichols, Albany GA

A Selection of Comments on the Jekyll Affordability Issue

Regarding affordable hotel room rates, assuming that these beds are each queen, or double, our limit would be $200 per day.
My father, Vincent Connerat was Director of Tourism at the time of purchase by the state of Georgia, under Governor Herman Tallmadge, as was, I believe, instrumental in suggesting to the Governor that this would be a wonderful present to the people of Georgia, which it certainly has proven to be.
There are many places on the coast that would better suit the “pocketbooks”, and probably, tastes, of the wealthy folks...let's keep Jekyll available for "everyone"!!  Right up the road is Sea Island, where I sometimes vacationed as a child growing up in Atlanta, and even as an adult...but never again. They have opted to go for the big bucks.  I could not, even if I preferred it to Jekyll, WHICH I CERTAINLY DO NOT, ever return to Sea Island because THAT resort has chosen to go strictly after the wealthy.  PLEASE DON'T ALLOW THAT TO HAPPEN TO JEKYLL - it is a national treasure, preserving wildlife and actually caring about nature!
Mary Anne Connerat Kendall, native of Georgia

“Affordability” means that a short trip to Jekyll, something like a three night stay, would cost no more than $500.00 for two people.   That is, $500.00 for lodging, meals, and island access fees.  We have thoroughly enjoyed such stays for many years.  Those that want big hotels, high prices, lots of shopping, and the noise of big crowds are welcome at St. Simons.
“Unaffordable” would mean anything over $125.00/day for the 2 bed room rate.
Those of us who love Jekyll as it is don’t want any further large developments.  We don’t go to Jekyll to see big hotels, big crowds, or fancy shops.  And those of us who are now retired and have pretty much fixed incomes would have a hard time justifying trips to Jekyll if the big developers get their way and the prices go way up.
Arthur C. Hughes, Marietta, GA

Regarding Jekyll affordability for a two-bed room, per night, $125-$150 would be unaffordable.  We are both retired and live on a definite fixed income.  We would be considered average citizens for our ages.
Thank you so much for your efforts to keep Jekyll Island affordable and natural.
M. Joan Rodriguez and Charlie Rodriguez

I don't have a problem with the addition of an upscale hotel, but the majority of the accommodations should remain affordable to the average individual. This means summer rates of no more than $150 night for a standard room. There is a definite need for most of the hotels to be re-developed. The 65/35 mandate should be easy to maintain as right now the plots for the Buccaneer, Oceanside Inn, Holiday Inn, Georgia Coast Inn as well as the area of the convention center are all available for development.
The island should not be handed over to a private firm whose #1 goal will be to produce revenue, rather than preservation of a state park - which is what it is after all.
Building a handful on condos on the golf course is also ok, but once again in limited numbers. No holes should be destroyed or made exclusive. The island should be for all, not just a privileged few.
The island should continue to be upgraded as a natural attraction. The Sea Turtle Center is a great start. More bike and walking trails would be good.
I like the idea of an 'improvement fee', it should be limited to $1 so as not to significantly increase the costs to island visitors as it will simply be passed along by the hotels. Maybe hotels that offer lower rates could be exempt from collecting it.
Jekyll Island is a beautiful place that stays retains much of its natural beauty. There needs to be a smart balance between updating the island and better promoting it and not allowing development to swamp it.
Brian Peterson, Marietta, GA

For our stays on Jekyll Island my wife and I would find the $125-$150 range very
problematic, anything beyond that would be clearly unaffordable to us. Put simply, the top of the $125-$150 range would shorten our stay and ($150-$175 and beyond would make Jekyll inaccessible to us.
For the remainder of our family (an additional six people), who come to the Island twice a year for approximately three weeks altogether, the same constraints would hold.
And if I could just "vent' for a moment about what I would say to the JI Authority. ..... "You have made Jekyll Island unique! If it is carrying its own weight financially, it is almost criminal to try to introduce major changes in its environment. It is serving a wonderful purpose for so many   people of average and less means.  Brush it up, sure, but please don't change its nature. There are so many places that cater to the affluent in our world. Please do not spoil this blessed place for the rest".
Robin and Marjorie Banks. Ontario, Canada 

I feel the hotel fees should be between $100 and $175.  When we are in Jekyll the month of April, the hotels seem almost empty.  Shouldn't that tell them something with their high prices already?  Wouldn't they want to have rooms filled at lower prices rather than empty?  Makes sense to me!!
Thanks for all your hard work and keeping us advised.
Jim and Marilyn Buckhout, Michigan residents who have been visiting Jekyll for almost 30 years.

$125-150 or less is what I consider affordable. Jekyll has got to be within the reach of the average family and retiree.  We will loose the opportunity to be a part of this precious get-a-way if these trends continue...
Thank you for all your hard work.
Barb Miner, Frequent visitor to our Jekyll Island

What do I feel constitutes 'affordability' in a Jekyll context? Moderate and moderately priced accommodations.  Sometimes I camp when I'm trying to save money.  I don't feel a need for 5 star accommodations, or 4 or 3 and anyone who needs that can go OLD SCHOOL at the Jekyll Island Club.  It's not like the "swells" don't have accommodations available for their refined patrician taste.
What would I consider to be 'unaffordable' for a two-bed, room rate per day on Jekyll Island?  $125-$150 is my cutting off place.

I believe affordability of rooms should be similar to current rates in Florida, around the $60-$90 range.
For the unaffordability, issue I believe the $100-$125 range is too much for the average family visiting the island.
Bill Cabell, Jekyll Island

As a former vacationer and now a Glynn Co resident, I feel that an affordable rate would be no more than $150.00 beach view. I consider myself an average Georgian, and I could not stay more than 2 nights at the $150.00 price.
Laura Renke

We believe affordability to be $125-$150 a night for two bed accommodations.  We also believe Jekyll Island State Park will only be for the wealthy if the rates go higher.  Now families come to the Island as a great vacation get away that is affordable and also to enjoy the quiet and natural setting that is so enjoyable to people who are trying to just relax and regain their sanity.  We just came there for a couple of days when Mom recently passed away to just walk the beach, eat in a nice affordable restaurant and just enjoy the serenity that is only available on Jekyll Island.  Don't lose touch with the real people just to get rich.  You may just regret being greedy!
Thanks, the Hunts of Winder, GA
Affordability - a place where middle class Georgians/others can afford to vacation with family/children for a week
Hotel rates - 2 bedroom room rates no higher than $125-150 in summer, lower at other times of the year.  Higher rates should include amenities like kitchenettes, sitting room, etc.
Judy Smith

The US Census Bureau lists median family incomes by state at this website - In 2005 the median (middle range) income for a 4-person family in Georgia was $60,676. The median income where we live was lower. Any definition of "affordability" should be based on what a family earning the median income would be able to pay for a weeks stay, without going into debt.
Affordable - must apply to all travelers . . . families of 4, campers, young couples, honeymooners, convention goers.  $100-$125 per night should be he maximum charged at most hotels on Jekyll..
         Jane A. Niehaus, C.R.S, S.H.S.

There are few places where people of "modest means" can go to the beach. 
Our state laws state that "affordability" be the guiding factor of development of Jekyll.  I can only imagine how developers are salivating to get their hands on this wonderful beach property.  Anything over $125.00 per night is out of the realm of "affordability" for most people.  If people want a playground for the wealthy, then they can go to Sea Island and stay at the "Cloister".
Sharon Blackwood

I would consider affordable to be $100.00-$150.00 max per night.
I was very happy to have this sent to me and would like to lend my support - My family and I spent many of our vacations on Jekyll when we were growing up and now my sister and I both bring our own families. As a child of a middle class - hard working family - this was one of the only places that we could come and rent a place that was not over crowded but affordable. My father was a self -employed individual with moderate means but a huge desire to be able to provide his family with a quality and special vacation.
The one thing that we loved then and now is that it is has retained nature - it is not busy and overcrowded like Hilton Head and other similar islands in the surrounding areas. Many of the islands in the surrounding areas have been overdeveloped leaving the natural aspects of the island destroyed.
What I hear coming out of this - instead of making what we have better and placing more into marketing what we have - let’s just add more for the instant financial outcome. First - make sure that what you build can attract enough business. Why not keep the quality of the island and improve the quality of the destinations if needed for affordable - moderate incomes. A true family destination which highlights the quiet beaches (no cars etc), nature, etc.; it would be a shame to lose such a jewel to individuals only focused on the instant, immediate financial outcome and not the result years down the road. My family and I come there for the quiet, serene atmosphere and safety that it provides us without the hustle and bustle of other places.
Emily Stevens, Ph.D., LPC

My family and I have been coming to St. Simons and Jekyll for more
than 75 years.  I feel very invested in keeping Jekyll affordable for middle income Georgians and preserving its natural beauty.  I feel more than $125 a day is too much to pay for a 2 bed room.
Please keep me apprised of all developments and let me know what more
I can do to help.
Susan Murphy, Winterville, GA and Meridian, GA

For me a 2-bedroom rate would be unaffordable over $125-$150 per night.
I have a friend who has a 2 bedroom, 2 bath nice condominium across from the beach in Seagrove, Fl that I can rent for around $100- $125 per night depending on the time of year.   And it will sleep six people comfortably. While it is not plush, it is very nice, comfortable and in a complex of only two- story units with 2 pools, tennis courts and walking trails. As much as I love Jekyll Island, why would I rent a place on Jekyll for $250 when I can rent something somewhere else that accommodates more people for less?
I prefer Jekyll; I love the island, the forests, the marshes, the driftwood beach and the fact that when I ride around the island, I actually see the natural beauty of an island and not stucco and concrete.  I take my family to Jekyll in August when the Georgia schools are back in session, many of the families have left, and I feel like I have the beaches and island to myself.   I like Jekyll because it's affordable and I can rent a bike for $8.00 for 4 hours.  My sons usually play golf and rates seem very reasonable, you won't go in dept to play a round of golf.   The changes to Jekyll should not be such that they exclude the average Georgian from visiting.  I've been a single mom most of my life, and Jekyll was always my choice first, because I love the island, and second it was always
Sounds like the Jekyll Island Authority wants to cater to a few instead of meeting the needs of many.  Upgrade, yes.  Destroy and out price, no.
Deborah Swinford

I believe that affordability in at Jekyll Island should be based on the average visitor's vacation budget or a fair rate that doesn't break the bank and allows visitors to visit more than once.

Normally when I visit, my family and I stay at a hotel that offers average rooms ($120 - $150) and above average rooms ($175 - $300). This gives a good choice. I do believe that more than $200 for a two-bed room rate per day is pushing the boundaries for most average income families, especially if you want them to return year after year. Otherwise, it becomes a once in a lifetime vacation spot.
Ann McGee

During our most recent stay we stayed at the Oceanfront in a two bedroom villa.  We did have a group rate which was $160 a night.  Needless to say that is a very good price for a villa in a hotel on the ocean.  I would consider paying no more than $100 - $125 a night for just a two bed room and only if the hotel was new with nice amenities.  If Jekyll continues to lose rooms with lower rates, Jekyll will continue to lose more conventions. 
Holly Moore

As a public school teacher, affordable to me means between $100-$125 a night for a room.  For a very special occasion, I would love to go upscale, but I would then go to the Jekyll Island Club with its historical romantic environment.  Is the Jekyll Club filling up most nights anyway?
MaryLynn Huie

I think that the expense of a vacation to the Georgia coast should stay in the 100-150 range for a 2 bedroom accommodation. Many young families do need a break from the busy routine and with the cost of gasoline and other expenses it is harder to afford this luxury.
Eula W. Elder

Thank you for all you're doing in keeping us so well informed. We'll follow up on our opinions on affordability.  We enjoy the month of March each winter at Jekyll. Given the unpredictability of the weather in March we feel that the rate we pay at the villas is a fair tradeoff to be in such an unspoiled place, weather or no.  We do have a number
of friends who have moved further South because of the weather and I'm wondering if you could even attract folks willing to spend mega $$$$$$. I believe that Sea Island is having problems because their rates have gone through the roof. Golfers come down in March for Outings, spend huge amounts on accommodations and get rained out.  The next year, they go someplace else.
  Cynthia Robinson

  First of all thanks for your response and for all you are trying to do to keep Jekyll Island what it was intended to be: a state park!!
When I was at Jekyll last week I stayed at the Days Inn with my mother and aunt. They are both retired and I am a public school teacher (so my salary is controlled by the government and I must say after 23 years of teaching it has just now gotten to be a salary such that I don't worry if I'm going to make it until the end of the month if you know what I mean!!
Having said that I can tell you that I probably wouldn't have afforded the approx. $225 a night at the Days Inn by myself, although I did consider it a good deal since our rooms were oceanside.
I can only answer the question of what is the "average Georgian" based on the people who live here in Northwest Georgia and most of those people work in the carpet industry. Say for a family of four to spend a few days on Jekyll Island I imagine that family would have to save for some time in order to spend what I spent for a few nights at the Days Inn.
So in a round about way I am attempting to answer the affordability question by saying that I believe affordability would be no more than $225 a night for an oceanside room at the Days Inn!!
In all honesty I wish Jekyll was a true state park in every sense of the word with the lodging etc. being operated by the Park Service-which I believe is the Dept. of Natural Resources? But I know that will never happen.
I don't believe there should be "high end" resorts build on Jekyll. I don’t' believe there should be a world class golf course or anything like that, just an updating and refurbishing of the current hotels that are there...Mom and Pop hotels and chain hotels that are geared toward "middle class" (whatever that may be!!)
Please let me know if there is anything else I can do up here in the mountains!!
Trust me the mountains aren't what they used to be either!! I live in Calhoun which is 75 miles from Atlanta and you would think by all the "development" that Atlanta was at the back door!!
Deborah Autry, Calhoun, GA

What do I feel constitutes affordability‚ in a Jekyll context?  Food, recreation, and lodging that a family earning the state average family income can afford. Keep prices tied to this figure. I’d rather it be tied to minimum wage, but these families can’t even afford to take a day off work.
What do I consider to be unaffordable‚ for a two-bed, room rate per day on Jekyll Island?   Most hotels should have $100-$125 rates; there could be 1 or 2 with the $125-$150 range. Anything else is unaffordable for the average Georgian.
I would hope that room rates on Jekyll would continue to remain affordable to the average American family (vs. the 'resort-affluent'). A two-bed room becomes 'unaffordable' when the price exceeds $125-$150.
Thank you for considering my perspective. I have visited Jekyll and thoroughly enjoyed the history and beauty. At the time I was staying in the Jekyll campground.
Marty Ledenham

I think $100-150 would be an affordable rate for a room with two beds for the summer season.  Anything beyond that is getting to be too expensive for regular folks.  If people want to spend a lot more to stay on Jekyll, they can.  The Jekyll Club Hotel offers a wide selection of more expensive rooms.  Villas by the Sea also offers rooms that are nice and a little pricier than the hotels.  JIA needs to help develop hotels that regular folks can afford.  Jekyll is a unique island and we need to keep it that way. 
Jeff and Deborah Adams

I am delighted to be involved in the future of my beloved Jekyll Island!!! I am concerned, not only for the tourists, but also those who have made "financial sacrifices" to live there year-round.
Certainly, what may comprise "affordability" for one person/family may very likely be completely different for another person/family. To me, the cost of a basic room that accommodates 2 people with the only amenities being ironing board/iron, hairdryer, TV/radio and coffeemaker should not exceed $125 per night. Of course, the location/landscaping of the accommodations are a vital factor that may "sway" visitors to pay a higher amount of money. Case in point : Our most recent stay was at the Beachview Club (formally Jekyll Estates). The excellent renovation/redesign of this lodging is outstanding. To me, personally, this is now the lodging of choice; in fact, it is ranked #1 according to trip advisor. I must further state that, to me, this lodging excels because of the personnel who are very friendly and helpful. I must admit, that for 4 nights, in a room that contains 2 double beds plus a TV/radio, coffeemaker, hairdryer, mini- refrigerator, ironing board and iron, dishes (cups, plates, etc.) and small toiletries of lotion, shampoo, dishwashing liquid was, with tax included, approximately $180 per night and quite costly !! This is the most I have EVER spent on accommodations, and I had to budget stringently to be able to pay this amount!!! For me, I feel the intense desire to support the personnel, not only at the Beachview Club, but also personnel who are employed at the "shopping center," the Historic District, the wharf, and other places on this island. Generally speaking, a cost of $200+ per night would probably limit/eliminate most individuals and is, to my way of thinking, unsatisfactory!!! Let Jekyll Island REMAIN affordable for the average person/family!!!
I DO NOT agree with those who desire to eliminate the 4-H Club Camp and to totally change the south end of the Island. Furthermore, we must be mindful of the fragility of sand dunes, turtle nests, and other situations lest they disappear!!!
I have been visiting Jekyll Island since I was a child, back in the 1950s and 60s. Even as a child, I marveled at the fact that this Island provided affordable accommodations for a middle-class family. The best part, which is true today (but not without a fight) is that there can be NO MORE than 35% development. The raccoons, rabbits, deer and other creatures seem to feel relatively safe in this excellent environment!!! The money-hungry "developers" have attempted, on a continuous basis, to erect building after building, to establish a "concrete jungle" as exists at Hilton Head, St. Simons Island (and that is another sad circumstance!!!). So, long live our Island with renovations to be made as needed, but not desecration of this "piece of heaven" to a noisy, hustle and bustle setting 
Keep me posted as events occur!
Ellene Graves

I think anything over $125/day would be unaffordable for the average person. It is almost impossible for the average family to be able to afford any vacation site anymore because of exactly what they want to do to this island-gouge the consumer!
I will write more about my feelings but wanted to express my opinion on this part.
Ana Short

I think a good definition, in this case, of affordability would be "A weeks pay for a week's stay" . . . or thereabout. If a guy makes $50 grand a year he ought to be able to afford a grand a week for a nice vacation. That's roughly $150 a night.
Question two, $250 and above is not affordable.
If someone makes so much more he can go to St. Simons, Sea Island or Hilton Head Island, or he too may stay at Jekyll but without the $500 a night frills.
Jim Ravenel, CRF, President
Income Property Financing
Roswell, GA

No, I do not think that the prices you quoted are affordable.  What is the average price for a hotel room in GA?  It just so happens that this week-end I was on the road, from a small sampling, Wingate Inn $94 and Hampton Inns seem to run about $84 a night.  Add to this 14% taxes.  I stayed at the Ritz Carlton, Lake Oconee recently, admittedly it was group rates for a special event, it was $195, plus taxes.  I do not consider the Ritz Carlton affordable.
Another point.  Just as the price of construction always seems to be more than first thought, I think that the rooms will be more too.
Here is my major concern – the height.  Will the new buildings be so tall as to shade the beach in the afternoons?  If so, how will this disturb the beach ecosystem?  Not to mention my pleasure since I will not be staying there but only walking in from public access points.  Will they be so tall they need lighting on top to make planes aware?  Will they be able to enforce “blackout conditions” during sea turtle hatching season.
Are there any provisions being made for tent camping?  This seems to be the only way that families of average means will be able to afford to stay on the island.
Thanks for all you are doing,
Janet Sheldon, Moultrie, GA

I don’t know how to answer question one, “What constitutes affordability in a Jekyll context?” I’ve gone to the Holiday Inn – then the Buccaneer – for twelve or more years in March. I’ve been there to attend a Convention. The rate has always been well below $100.00 plus taxes and that is the same as all conventions I attend, about four a year. I do know that I love Jekyll Island but fear that I may never go there again. The convention organizer will have to find somewhere on the coast to hold our annual two conventions. I will miss it.
Question two: I consider a fair rate for a two bedded room per night to be $100.00-$125.00 off season. On season would be $125.00 - $150.00. I can afford more but not a lot of people who go to the March / November convention can. I do hope that some sanity will prevail. I live in Bermuda and madness has taken over in developing tourist properties – and my little Island is being spoiled!
Lorraine Butterfield

Accommodations at various new Hotel/Motel complexes should include peak season rates in the $100 to $150 per single rooms and $150 to $225 two room accommodations as affordable rates.  Some suites and other higher price accommodations should be available for about 25% of available accommodations. Affordability to middle income families is necessary at Jekyll, in my opinion.
RC Sheldon

Affordable is $75 per night. Unaffordable: $125 and above. I doubt I would ever spend this to visit Jekyll. For the money, even Grand Canyon has rooms and cabins from $75-$205 Yellowstone National Park, Old Faithful Inn from $91-159 (budget cabins from $62), Mammoth Hot Springs $72-110.
My answer to the affordability question would be B, $125-150 per night per room. Realistically, that is probably tops for many people and I think any more would be unfair. Still hoping Jekyll Island remains available to most Georgians.
Craig Bowman

Affordability is a good value at a good price that falls within the means of the average wage earner in Georgia. Note the key words are "in Georgia". An average income computation would require that all incomes be considered, from the very poor to the very rich. In as much as I predict that the vast majority of Georgians would fall somewhere in the middle, this would be fair to me.
What would I consider to be ‘unaffordable’ for a two-bed, room rate per day on Jekyll Island? Understanding that proprietors and venders must charge a fair price based on their overhead, I should hope that decent accommodations could be built with peak season prices in the range of $125-$150 per double occupancy room in mind. Off season prices should be in the $100-$125 range to encourage visits. That implies that I feel prices above these ranges would be excessive and discriminatory. And this is not a word that I toss around casually. Even the Disney Resorts can be had in these price ranges.
There are already "playgrounds of the Rich and Famous" available all over the world. Jekyll is the stated exception, by Georgia law.
It is disappointing to me that the JIA, which should have the common man's interests at heart, are obviously succumbing to the almighty dollar. Shame on them, and you can give them my name and number if they'd like to hear it from me personally!
Thanks, Egans!! God Bless you and our cause!
Lewis and Betsy Baker, Lawrenceville, GA

From the tone of your note about affordability, it seems that the developers want to recoup their expenses as quickly as possible.  But more important, it seems that the leaders and planners won't say the word -- Exclusive.
Like the rest of the coast, some people think it should all be for the Deserved Elites.  And they do by simply pricing everything out of the Average Family's reach.
I have no idea how you, or any organization, will stop this.  You can't fight big money.  And the people will deny any fact you present about a low affordability.  They will finally determine an average daily rate will have to be $250-plus, or more.
All I can say is, Jekyll was fun while it lasted.
Ray Autrey

I feel that the fact that Jekyll is a state park must not be lost in redevelopment and redirection of J.I.'s future. I feel strongly that J.I. is a people’s island. I feel that the JIA and the state government must address and recognize that Jekyll should be a place for the Georgian and others of average income can afford. What does this mean? Well I do not think it takes a rocket scientist to figure that out. It only takes looking at tax returns to find out the average income of Georgia's citizens is. Then what can these citizens afford for a stay at the beach. I have a rate guide for the 2006 Days Inn an Oceanside room
goes from $130-150 a day during the season. I feel b), $125-$150 per night, would be my answer.
I did forward this information to a couple of friends and friends of Jekyll. Thanks for all your hard work,
Sam Davis

Regarding the underserved population on Jekyll, if they are referring to wealthy vacationers, they can find luxury accommodations at the Jekyll Island Club Hotel.  Most every room is over $200/night and many are over $300/night in season.
For me, I rarely pay over $125 for a hotel room and when I do it is mostly for work reasons.  I would say that "unaffordable" to the average person would be a room over $125/night.
Chris J.

I think a) $100-$125 would be affordable.  Why can’t there be some expensive hotels for people with money that can afford the best and a motel 6 for people like me and my family that want to go to the beach and be able to enjoy it because I know I am not breaking my budget. 
Lori Hines, Tifton, GA

Unaffordable for us would be $125 and up. For many families, a), $100-$125, would be the only option, and that would be a stretch.
They do seem to want Jekyll to be exclusive and not something for regular people.
Thanks for all of your hard work with this.
Susannah Hendrix Bellew

  As a couple living on social security income affordability is of constant concern to us. Since our income is limited, we are unable to make the yearly trips to Jekyll that we formerly enjoyed. We are thrilled to be able to go every other year. We usually rent a house or an apartment to help cut costs of eating our meals out. Occasionally we have stayed in a hotel. Rates that are listed in this email would prohibit our ever being able to stay in a hotel. I honestly cannot see the need for an additional 300 rooms being added to the Buccaneer. Why ruin the view to the ocean with a structure like that? Why can't the well to do exist in a hotel that is moderately priced. Are they that much "better" than the rest of us. Haven't those of us of "average means" been faithful in our support both financially and in promoting the beauty and serenity of the island for years. I am a proponent of "if it ain't broke, don't fix it"!

The following is a history and prices we paid for our stays on Jekyll Island:
2002 (Our first visit), we stayed at the Jekyll Inn and paid 88.75/night (including   
all taxes); 2003, we stayed again at the Jekyll Inn and paid 83.31/night (including all taxes); 2004, we missed this year for Rita had some surgery; 2005, we stayed at the Beachview Club and paid 87.69/night (including all taxes); 2006, we stayed at the Jekyll Oceanfront and paid 118.72/night, including all taxes.  We also stayed at the Days Inn in 2006 and paid 118.72 (Including all taxes); 2007 we stayed at the Days Inn and paid 88.71 (Including all taxes) this room did not face the Ocean. All of our visits to the Island were in April and all hotels were on the Ocean.
Our affordability range would be approximately what we have been paying - between $90 to $120 per night including taxes. These rates sometimes were through the visitors’ center for the hotels were offering special pricing for they were not filled.  How do they think they are going to fill them by more than doubling the rates?
We are retired and (obviously) on a fixed income.  The developer’s idea of keeping the "average people" from staying on the shore and suggesting they drive from the interior of the Island to enjoy the Ocean is the arrogant attitude so prevalent in business these days.
We live in the suburban Rochester, NY area and up when local government has this type of attitude, we always say "follow the money" or, in other words, who is going to get rich from the proposition being considered. The people usually getting rich are the developers and the local politicians. 
If there is anything else we can do please E-Mail us,
Jim and Rita McGurn

“What do you feel constitutes ‘affordability’ in a Jekyll context?” -according to the Merriam-Webster’s definition of "afford" is:  a: to manage to bear without serious detriment  b: to be able to bear the cost of. If those money hungry ignoramuses are contemplating charging an arm and a leg for a room per night down there, then NO, that DOESN'T meet the definition of "affordability".  The average American/Georgian wasn't born with a silver spoon in their mouth and cannot afford to provide a fun family vacation for $250 a night.  That is ridiculous.  I'm sorry that all these idiots appear to be oblivious to the fact that they are ruining a perfectly good sacred environment just b/c they want to earn a buck or two.  I doubt they all grew up living the life of luxury from day one and have worked very hard to have their millions they have now, BUT not all of us have come upon that monetary success in our lives.  I consider myself very successful not b/c I make a lot of money, but b/c I have enough to live comfortably and enough to take weekend vacations to Jekyll Island on a blue collar budget.  $250 a night is NOT affordable and would be considered "bearing a serious detriment" to most of the current Jekyll Island supporters/visitors. 
What would I consider to be ‘unaffordable’ for a two-bed, room rate per day on Jekyll Island? Anything $150 or greater would be "unaffordable.  Leave Jekyll like it is and go build your own island.  Dubai did it, are we not competent enough to do the same?

At my age and with driving restrictions, it is unlikely that I will be able to enjoy that lovely spot again.  My concern is that it will end up like Gulf Shores, Alabama, and other such places.  I loved Gulf shores, but when they rebuilt after a hurricane, I lost interest in it.
There is something majestic about the beauty of the ocean and nature unobstructed by man-made condos, etc.  When man gets a hold on what God created, greed gets in the way of sensible preservation.   The only people to benefit are the shareholders and those among us who only see beauty or value, for that matter, in expensive activities.
For many families -- ordinary, decent hard-working people with families-- rates for a room such as you describe that are beyond $100-125 per room [your choice (a)] would be a hardship, especially if they had several children.  There needs to be an availability of simple, clean places to stay with access to the beauty of the ocean for families.  I remember staying in such a place with an ocean view when I was there for a meeting.  I loved it far more than fancier hotels I have stayed in other cities over the years.  
Mary K. Knight

I agree, the idea that Jekyll Island should have higher motel rates to accommodate all Georgians and all visitors is an oxymoron. With emphasis on” Moron”.
As with most politicians and big developers today, they think they know what is best for the rest of us. 
Keep up the good work, and keep us all informed.
Robert & Marilyn Simpson

Okay so I am just one of the little people, not the rich people. Unless Jekyll stays below $125.00 then I would much prefer to spend the monies at St. Simons.  Jekyll since a small child has always been a fun beach place due to the fact that is not overcrowded or expensive. It is a rarity in today’s world. Why do away with that when green space is all we hear these days. The Jekyll Island Authority and all others involved are listening to the money pots not the others. They should be banned from service on these boards. Georgians do not want what they want.
Pat Tyson

Since I've always considered Jekyll Island a destination for the average Georgian, as the original charter intended it to be, I think it is reasonable to keep hotel rates consistent with that philosophy.  As a retired teacher, if I'm traveling with a friend with whom I can share expenses, I can afford about $125-$150 a night, and even that's a bit of a stretch.  Unaffordable and pricing me out of a Jekyll vacation would be room rates that exceed $150.00 a night.
Since wealthy vacationers have other nearby seaside options such as Hilton Head in South Carolina and St. Simons Island in Georgia as well as the hotel on the bay side of Jekyll, it is unnecessary for them to destroy the south end of Jekyll as well.  Those of us in lower income brackets have a right to enjoy a beach vacation.
The avaricious developers and their wealthy clients who want to exploit Jekyll Island seem to think they have exclusive title to every inch of beauty in this country and then want to deny access to the rest of the population.   Allowing them to move forward with their plans will result in a tangle of gated communities, and the beach and marsh will be visible only to those new homeowners.
Thanks for what you are doing to save the people's island! Let me know if there's anything I can do to help.
Brenda Constan

I cringe when I hear that the prices for the new hotels will be $250/night. I feared that might be the case.  I would never be able to stay there for a week, which is how long I usually stay on the island when I visit. As a single traveler, I think I would have
difficulty paying more than $150/night. After airfare, a week at the Days Inn @$100-125/night (which has been affordable so far), car rental, and restaurants, etc., it easily adds up to nearly $1500. I'd have to rethink my vacation plans if lodging rates increased too much.
I realize that most oceanfront hotels at other "resorts" are much more expensive than those I've stayed in on Jekyll. Maybe I'm spoiled. But I guess I'm not willing to pay $250 a night for a room I spend very little time in. 90% if my day is spent OUTSIDE, enjoying the beauty of the island. A motel with rooms that are clean and safe, with the basic amenities--fridge, microwave, TV--and a swimming pool is all I'm looking for, at an affordable and reasonable price. Hopefully, "affordable and reasonable" will prevail, and I will be able to continue making my yearly pilgrimage to Jekyll Island.
Thank you for the opportunity to share my thoughts.

What constitutes affordability?  The current $3 parking fee (and then no more fees for parking lots or bathhouses, etc), affordable dining and lodging options for families (see below) and keeping pricing reasonable for bike rental, Mini-Golf, Summer Waves, historic tours and such---which right now, they are reasonable.  Jekyll is not, and doesn't need to be, Hilton Head.  That island is certainly an option for folks who want to spend more.   I think that anything over $150 per night for 2 beds, a small fridge and microwave is too much.  The hotels at issue will probably have lots of expensive amenities----but are they really the ones that folks who Jekyll attracts need?  I enjoy the lack of computer and exercise equipment....just not something I'd like to pay for.  One of my concerns is the lack of affordable (and plentiful!) dining options.  It's really hard to take a family---like my 1 and 3 year old grandsons---out for dinner on Jekyll, especially on a weekend.  First, because appealing and affordable dining options for them don't exist (except at Zach's Eats and Treats) but secondly and more importantly because lines are so long that waiting with them is basically impossible.  I'm NOT looking for fast food franchises, but more of a Denny's or Shoney's or even Applebee’s type of place. A few years ago, my family of four came down for the July 4th celebration.  We ate at one of the very few food vendors---who (without any prices posted!) charged $12.50 per head for a hotdog, small bag of chips and a canned soda.  That is as much or more than at the huge ballparks---and their food is better, and quantities are bigger.  Thankfully we had $50 on us, since the restaurants were packed and the IGA closed for the night, but it left us with sour feelings.  ENOUGH OF THAT, I SAY!
Terri Bailey, Tucker, GA

Affordability...means something people of average means have the ability to pay. To me, affordability in a hotel room is when I pay somewhere between $60 & $80. I prefer something cheaper but it is hard to find cheaper. And if you look hard enough you can find a room with a refrigerator and microwave for that amount too.
          I wouldn't even consider renting anything in the $100-$125 per night range unless it was a very, very special vacation. Paying this much for a room is pretty much unaffordable to me to begin with.
Vicki Williams, Marietta, GA

Affordability during the peak season, in our opinion is $200-225 okay for average to nice hotels and more for upper- scale hotels.  Unaffordable for average hotels is above $250.00 and above 350.00 for nicer hotels.
An example is we just stayed at the Oceanside Inn. The pool is dilapidated and the rooms are not top of the line. However, we don't come for the room!  My husband is 38 and stayed there as a child. If it were demolished and re-built, we could understand and expect a price increase.  Last weekend we stayed there for $180 per night.
I think we are a good example of a lower middle class family. We have a brother who lives in Brunswick but we prefer to stay at the beach and on the Ocean.  Fewer hotels means people will pay more!
Steve and Lauren Stoklosa, Leesburg, GA

My husband is a police officer and I am a substitute teacher.  We have two children and have been coming to Jekyll for 10 years.  Affordability to us means being able to go on vacation for a week for $1000 - $2000.  This includes lodging, food, entertainment, and gas.  I realize that this is a large range, but some years we can afford more.  For instance, last summer we rented a 2 bedroom duplex for $525 a week.  This summer, my mother helped on our lodging so we were able to stay in a home on the beach after splitting the cost for $850 each.  Typically, we eat in most of the time and go out maybe once for dinner and once for lunch.  Our favorite is Sea Jays and we eat there when we go out.  Entertainment on the island is important to us.  Tidelands nature center, mini golf and summer waves have been favorites over the years.  Now the Sea Turtle Center is amongst our favorite.  BUT, all are affordable!  We bring our bikes and just love the trails and love to fish and crab at the pier.  Both of these activities are free (except for bait).  Best of all on Jekyll is the wildlife and nature that we enjoy.
What would we consider to be ‘unaffordable’ for a two-bed, room rate per day on Jekyll Island?  $125-$150.
Thank you for your work on this.  Jekyll is very special to my family and I will be writing to the JIA board and continue to write to my congressmen!
Denise Ryan, Dallas, GA
A  2  bed  room  rate  for  someone  who  cannot  check  in  until  4  p.m.  and  has  to  check  out  by  11  a.m.  should  not  be  more  than  $125  in  season....out  of  season  I  believe  $100  is  reasonable....or  with  specials  for  slow  times....If  the  room  has  a  small  kitchenette...small  refrig,  2  burners,  microwave  and  small  sink,  then  perhaps  a  little  more  could  be  charged....anything  around  $175  to  $200  for  around  19  hours  is  too  much....not  many  families  can  put  out  this  amount  of  money  for  a  1  day  stay....several  bags  of  groceries  could  be  bought  instead. Sincerely, Linda  Blashfield,  Auburn  AL
Unaffordable:  anything over $125-$150, and I’d expect two beds and a kitchenette at that rate. 
Lou Brackett, Assistant Professor, Clayton State University

What constitutes affordability is certainly a wide open question.  While I'm not sure how log a family of 2 to 4 stays on the island my estimate would be  about 1 week on average.   Well healed quests may wish to focus on St. Simons - Jekyll is for those who enjoy the simpler style of accommodations which lends itself to less traffic and congestion.  We then can 'frequent' the local restaurants and other amenities without the concern of how much we have - dollar wise to fit our wallet.  With the aging of our population and generally on a fixed income, thought should be given to the visitors of a more moderate means.
What to me is "unaffordable" for hotel accommodations is anything over $125 per night max. My wife and I have been visiting Jekyll for the past 4-5 years at the campground. We look forward to our February-March stay; it’s an ideal combination of cost-nature and history. Yes, I know the cost per night is less than a hotel, but the simplicity and lack of congestion is sure a draw.  If I had to drive from our home in Michigan and stay in a hotel for a winter escape, it would sure be for a shorter time and maybe not at all.  My guess is the 'average' Georgian would appreciate a more moderate venue rather than another high priced place for the well-to-do.
Thanks, Don Cannistraro

We have vacationed at Jekyll for years.  We go there for the wildlife, the unique natural surroundings, the lack of hustle, the friendly people, and especially because we pay $120 per day.  If Trammel Crow has their way, we will stay home, or go elsewhere, and Jekyll will belong to the privileged rich, not the average Georgian.
Why is Jekyll Island like a river?  Because any fool can build a dam, but only God can make a river.
If they destroy what God made, it's gone forever.
Affordable?  What you have now is affordable.
Gary Bock

"What do you feel constitutes 'affordability' in a Jekyll context?"  Family
friendly accommodations with the standard amenities that don't tax the income of
average individuals, with average incomes.  Not all of us have trust funds "What
would you consider to be 'unaffordable' for a two-bed, room rate per day on Jekyll
Island? I think $175-$200 is too much for the average GA family because there
are still meals and entertainment and other incidentals one must consider.
LaTonya M. Paschal Stockbridge, GA

I go to Jekyll once or twice a year in what I consider the off-season, late August to early September and/or sometime in December.  My sole purpose in going is to "bird".  I usually stay for three nights, so $100 a night is about the limit of my affordability and it is getting more and more difficult now to find a room at that rate.  With taxes, the bill for three nights is over $300, then there is a tip for the chambermaid and I have a few meals while I'm there.
Carroll Richard, Hampton SC  
In our case, affordability means having a room rate that doesn't exceed
$150.00 day, no matter what season, but it also includes affordable places to eat.  With the demise of Denny's and the Huddle House, that leaves almost no place to eat that I would consider affordable.  I have gone to the GMEA convention, which moved from Jekyll to Savannah a number of years ago, and while Savannah certainly offers more to see, it is always in January, which is "off season", and the room rates at everything but the huge hotels is always less than $150.00.  I would hate to see it in a way, but perhaps a deal with the devil (McDonalds) would help.  Even Disney had to do that.  As far as convention business goes, some sort of shuttle service would help that, along with more
food venues of an affordable sort.
As you can tell, I could rattle on forever about this.  The main thing to remember is that Jekyll Island belongs to the people of Georgia, it is a state park.
Frank Kilgard, Jr.

In response to your question about Jekyll Island and affordability for hotel accommodations, there is already a hotel on the island that accommodates the higher end of the market, and that is the Jekyll Island Club Hotel.  Their room rates in season are easily in the $200.00 +/- per night range without adding state, local and hotel taxes, so that end of the spectrum is covered in my opinion.  I think they are doing a pretty good job of keeping the hotel occupancy numbers where they want them.  With that in mind, it seems the other hotels could offer a substantial portion of their rooms in the $150.00 +/- range and still have some deluxe accommodations that are priced higher.  Like most hotels, a range of accommodation types and prices cover more of the market, and therefore the hotel has a better chance of staying occupied more of the time.
Don Lewis

I think "affordability" means that working class (middle and lower middle income) Georgians are able to make use to the facilities at Jekyll at a rate that does not consume more than a month's income. Use the Georgia median income as a guide to an average monthly income.
I would think that a nightly rate of over $200 would be unaffordable for many middle and lower middle income families.
Jim Gaudin

We believe all the stated amounts would be unaffordable for the accommodations on the island. Maybe $100-$125 would not be too bad, but would limit our stay.  Most definitely the higher prices would be out of our reach and we would have to mark Jekyll Island off of our most favorite places to stay list.
Thanks for keeping us updated.
James & Melba Leggett
We just spent a week on Jekyll.  This was our second trip to the island. We are very concerned that we will not be able to afford another trip there. The rate of our hotel room went up 33% in two years. If this trend continues, Jekyll will no longer be affordable for our family.  We have to factor in meals (Jekyll is very limited in this). So “affordable” to our family is about $1,500 for a week’s stay. We did go over that this time and have started looking into rentals for next time If there is a next time because of rising costs. We would consider $175 and above for a two-bed, room rate per day on Jekyll Island to be “unaffordable” $150 pushed our budget this time when you consider a week-long trip --to travel that far (1,100 miles) for any less time is not affordable either.
Terri and Michael Hehn

  I think by affordability it means that it would be affordable for everyone, not just the upper class who makes up a very small percentage of Georgia's population.  The vast majority of Georgia's population is working-class with average incomes of 40-50 K a year who also have bills to pay and lots of financial needs they must take into consideration when planning a vacation.  By affordability, I think it means that the prices should be fair to the average Georgian who can't afford 150-250 dollars a night for a hotel room.
What would I consider to be 'unaffordable' for a two-bed, room rate per day on Jekyll Island? $175 on up. -- Tracy Nichols

I am so excited to become a voice to STOP the developers from "raping" the pristine land of Jekyll Island!  The question of affordability seems to be lost with the Jekyll Authority and big deal developers!  If they would once consider the average family of 3 children and a parent making $10.00 an hour they would see that $250 a night would only afford their affluent friends to enjoy Jekyll. We do NOT need huge hotels built but rather affordable motels.  Affordable to me means....$75 to $100 per night.  The $3 parking fee is ample for each car coming onto the island.  This is a "State Park"!!!! 
I would like to see a vote on development of Jekyll for the people of Georgia to decide the future of the island.  I would also like to see one of our State Representatives and Senators push to make this a National Park.  This would stop the development in its tracks!!!!!!
       Peggy Brown, Macon, GA

I feel that $125.00 to $150 for a "standard class" hotel during peak season would be the most any middle class family would pay.  Personally even though my wife and I have deemed Jekyll Island our favorite place to visit, we would be hard pressed to pay $125.00 per night.
Typically we stay at the Days Inn and in the winter months average paying between $55 and $70 a night.  This is off season though.
I think you are doing amazing work and please keep it up.  This is a treasure generations can't afford to loose.
Thank you, Shane & Shelia Radford

“What do you feel constitutes ‘affordability’ in a Jekyll context?” -- Hotel/motel rates comparable to other Georgia State Park areas
“What would you consider to be ‘unaffordable’ for a two-bed, room rate
per day on Jekyll Island? -- No more than $100.00 a day
Nancy S. Jafar
The concept that people who make lower incomes don't deserve the ability to find oceanfront accommodations at an affordable prize and should only be able to stay at a more inland hotel is elitist and arrogant.  This is a state park set aside to be affordable for all citizens.  What part about that intention of use is confusing?  This is not progress, this is regression!
Jonathan Dye, Cochran, GA

Thanks for letting us know what's going on!  Jekyll is one of so few areas left along the coast that is not horribly developed and overrun with tourists on a constant basis, yet able to accommodate a large number when there are meetings, etc.
As to your question about affordability, I am now 50 years old and all my children are grown.  I remember visiting Jekyll when I was very young, but we were unable to stay overnight.  When my own children were small, and even with a husband employed by Eastern Air Lines, we were unable to afford true "vacations."  We'd do a weekend somewhere several times per year.  The oldest motel/hotel on Jekyll was the destination one was also the cheapest.
Now that I'm older, I can afford $100-150 most of the time.  On rare occasions, I've paid more in New York or other urban areas, but I rebel at paying more for a small room on the water.  Worse still, two of my three children are not able to afford the most reasonable rooms on Jekyll.  They are "typical," in that they represent educated young people who love to travel and look for state parks, etc.  I brought my youngest daughter (in from California) to the island last weekend.  She'd been with me to a convention about eight years ago and loved it!
I think that affordability is of utmost importance; the fact that this is an island with a state park and that the government is involved makes it all the more important to allow the majority of Georgians to enjoy it.  And no, when the rates go above $125, the average family can't stay for more than a couple of nights.  As it stands today, the rooms are still somewhat overpriced for what is offered in the way of service and style (especially the Buccaneer, which is dilapidated!  Still trying to charge full price, though!).
The Jekyll Island Hotel offers luxury for that "other" class to whom the Board seems to want to cater.  I say give the majority of Georgians the ability to visit......not to mention that all this redevelopment will have a HUGE effect, environmentally.  Or, does this not even count when considering?!
Thanks again for your efforts!
Deborah Belyeu 

I feel that affordability means that average income tourist should be able to visit without putting a financial burden on themselves. I think a fair price should be $125 to $150 during peak season. The average person is not going to be able to afford $250 per night plus eating out, traveling expenses, and etc. The most important thing is that Jekyll Island needs to not be disturbed. The environment does not need to suffer just because someone feels they can make a bigger profit.
Pat Cannon

Don't really know how to determine what constitutes 'affordability'. Do we use the annual income of an average family or some other criteria? Do we expect to upgrade the current hotel situation with just franchise residence facilities? I think we have to expect to have upscale hotel accommodations to provide acceptable facilities to those who may visit the Island, for whatever reason. If we expect to encourage the use of the Convention Center to the level it once was and bring revenue to the Island there must be reasonable upgrades and rates that are competitive with the area.
The $250 rate may be acceptable to some and should be available on the 'high end' of the scale. A rate range of $100-125 should also be available for those who wish to relinquish certain amenities for the lesser rate, but still have comfortable and more than just acceptable accommodations, which are and have been for some time, minimally available.
For a family of working class people, who have as much right to access the island as the "upper" middle class, I think 50.00 - 75.00 per day rooms are fair. Evening meals in the range of 10.00 - 20.00. If the more affluent want to visit they should be comfortable sleeping and dining with those less well off. If not, there are many other over developed islands along the coast.Kevin Ionno
Single rooms peak season under $100 per night / off season   $ 65  per night. They should price hotel rooms comparable to State Park rates.  Anything greater than that is in violation of the legislation that the JIA was created under.
Dan White, Atlanta, GA

My suggestion for peak time would be $150.00 - $175.00.   With travel expense and meals for a family of four, I feel this expense could fall in line with the average visitor to the Island.
Money grabbing developers will ruin something that has provided so much happiness to many people over the years. I'm happy to know there are people willing to take up the cause of preserving Jekyll Island.
Nancy Hopkins

I think anything over $150 a night--peak-season or off-season would be pushing unaffordability for an average Georgian.   I think the JIA's Board of Directors should consider what the average Georgian earns.  They need to go to the web-site that gives an average income for Georgia counties.  It really surprised me how low the average incomes were in a lot of the counties.  I think this is what people who are in authority with this project should be in tune with.  They must look around them and think outside of the box.  Travel in their minds away from the coast and think of what Georgia is.  It is mostly rural areas where homes like the ones on Jekyll Island would sell for under $200,000.   I believe an average Georgian earns from $25,000 to $50,000 a year.  The  average Georgian  could never afford to own a home on Jekyll Island so to be able to visit Jekyll Island the rooms need to be affordable.
I want Jekyll Island to be a place that parents and schools can bring the children of the state of Georgia.  I want the children to learn about the history of our coastal region.  I want children that have never seen an ocean or a beach to experience its beauty.   I want them to learn about the sea turtles, wildlife, and other species of creators native to Jekyll Island.   I want them to love Jekyll Island and feel like they have a little piece of paradise that belongs to them because our state cares enough to spend the average Georgian's hard earned tax dollars on something that really matters.  I want them to realize that a price can not be placed on what Jekyll Island has to offer us in its natural state.    I want them to want to protect Jekyll Island so that many generations to come can discover that there is still a place in this world that hasn't been destroyed for the sake of greed.
Susan Evans--Ocilla Georgia

As a newly retired individual and relatively recent visitor to Jekyll Island, I strongly object to the ideas being put forth regarding future room costs on the island.  I would not be able to afford the $100 - $150 a day cost being proposed.  I hate to think that in the near future the island would be off limits to me and many like me, from a cost stand point.  
My experiences with the live beach and the idea that Jekyll Island is a place you can bring family and friends, who would otherwise not have the opportunity to see how the beach changes with each tide, see live sand dollars, whelks, etc. and turtles going to the ocean for the first time, could be lost to thousands of future visitors to the Island.  I am privileged to have had three visits to Jekyll Island during the past 3 years and I have shared my excitement with many of my colleagues, some of who have taken the same opportunity to visit Jekyll Island with their families.  I understand the need for good business that is healthy financially.  But, I don't understand the need for a few developers who appear to be more greedy than concerned for the citizens Georgia, the rest of the US and, indeed all who come to share in the natural beauty of the island.  I had been planning to spend winters on Jekyll Island but now that seems unlikely because of the proposed increase in room rates. Please rethink what is best for more than the wealthy.
Sharron Gilbert

I consider affordability to be anything an average person can afford obviously.  That includes those from lower income scale to lower middle income scale.  Right now Jekyll has places all those can stay from camping for lower, hotels for lower middle and houses for middle (that sound stupid but I don't know how else to describe it).  My family has been coming to Jekyll for 20 years and to this day has not been priced out of our reach.  I am retired now and my husband will be soon.  We still consider Jekyll our retreat to peace and nature.  I am without a doubt frightened of what could happen to prices and our ability to afford Jekyll if developers are let in, especially once we are both retired. Currently we rent a house every other year and invite family members to join us without asking them to chip anything in.  We pay for the entire house.  If we can't afford the house, we can't invite the family members.  We invite those who otherwise couldn't afford to come and we invite those who have invited us to other locations without asking us to pay.  Staying in a house allows us to cook our own meals which also makes the trip affordable.  One last thing about Jekyll that needs to stay affordable is the golf.  With the passport we were able to play three times last week when we were there.  If we went over to St Simons we wouldn't have been able to afford once!
Anything over $130 per day would not be affordable.
Sincerely, Sue Gay

Let's look again to mom & pop style motels the model of which is in Panama City, Fla.  These motels are still operating on the western end of the beach and have not been developed by condos and national chain motels.  
Anything double a double room over $80 per night is not affordable to the market which has been the Jekyll Island authority’s mandate since the island was first developed in the mid 1950's.  The item not mentioned in this discussion which keeps Jekyll from being a premier vacation site is that the water is always dirty from the flow of the Savannah River.  A great place to go to the beach, but not a great ocean to stay in, because it is dirty from the Savannah River. The Savannah River issue is the bargaining chip needed to keep the big time developers out.
I consider affordability on Jekyll for a basic 2 bed or queen or king bed on the oceanfront w/view no more than 150/night during peak season. I know that this can be had and as for 2bdrm villa no more than 279/night during peak season. Your average person whether they are a native of Georgia or as some of the guests I have met from Florida, North Carolina and even as far as Michigan have told my family & I how much they enjoy the comfort of Jekyll Island and the fact that they can afford to a longer vacation due to the modest rates but high quality accommodations.
Carol Cox

Of course, I would much prefer to pay the $100-125 rate; however, anything up to $150 rate would be affordable.  More than that would be unaffordable for us.  We can go to St Augustine FL and stay on the beach for around that price, and the beach and water there are much cleaner.
James Reynolds

I think $100 - $150 for a regular room (2 double beds) is affordable and more so for ocean front properties. $200+ per night is pushing the limit of affordability. 
Terilynn B.Knezek, FACS Port for South East Program Manager, Atlanta, GA

I feel that affordability means that the average American family can afford to spend a vacation on the island.  When you factor in the cost of attending local attractions, food, gas, and hotel accommodations, most people can only afford to spend 100-175 per night.  I feel that anything above that is just too expensive. If there are people who want more upscale accommodations, let them stay at the JI Club hotel.
The JIA seems to have lost sight of the importance of preserving Jekyll for all, not just the wealthy.  I am a single mother of two.  My family spent every summer on Jekyll when I was growing up.  I am happy to be able to provide that same experience for my children.
Jekyll is unique among the barrier islands of Georgia and South Carolina.  It is unspoiled.   If that changes, it becomes just another tourist spot, like Tybee, or Hilton Head. 
Kim Pierce, Statesboro, GA

We have been staying at Jekyll for nearly 10 years now, since we first moved to Georgia.  One of the main reasons we continue to come, is the fact that we can afford to stay for an entire week, usually by renting one of the houses or duplexes available on the island. 
We love to visit, and would love to spend additional long weekends on Jekyll.  We used to do so, staying at the Holiday Inn.  It began to decline, and of course is now gone.  If there was an attractive, affordable hotel available, we would be able to return every few months.  For us, that hotel needs to be $100 per night or less.  Something along the lines of a Hampton Inn, Holiday Inn Express, etc.
We appreciate the fact that Jekyll is a simple, peaceful place to enjoy the ocean.  Without the noise and distraction of lots of clubs, theme parks, etc.  Surely people looking for that type vacation have more than enough places from which to choose.  Please save our island from becoming "just another Hilton Head", or God forbid, Panama City Beach.
Rich and Sharon Selzer, Snellville, GA

I'm writing regarding keeping Jekyll Island affordable for the average income visitors. I have been coming from Canada to vacation on Jekyll since I was 10 years old and still come with my husband, friends and grown children. My husband and I would like to be able to spend a good part of the winter on the island when we retire in 4 years. From what I'm reading and hearing, the new hotels being built will only be affordable for the wealthy at approx $ 200- 250/night. For seniors and people in their 60's who have just retired that is too high. I hope that these surveys and e-mails that you receive will be taken seriously and Jekyll stays affordable to the average visitors.
Linda Sutherland, Program Support Specialist School of Business

Affordability?   After coming to Jekyll Island for forty years, 2 times this year with another trip planned this fall, I have watched affordability become almost non affordable. The prices have gone up faster than the quality of accommodations. I realize this is an impossible dream, but if the rates would remain close to the present rates and the hotels would be updated to meet the now affordable rates this would capture the needs of all visitors. There is presently a wide range of rates and accommodations, let’s keep it that way! The plan to redevelop and revitalize the hotels to capture an "adequate share of coastal visits" would shut out those of us who can now afford to visit Jekyll and reverse "not serving the needs of some Georgians" AND out of state visitors. Raising rates to $250.00 per day would certainly limit the visitors of average income.  Affordability? I believe we are at the level of affordability for the general public. 

Affordability means that a very average Georgia family with two kids might be able to afford at least a weekend hotel stay at Jekyll without breaking the budget.
Anything much over $100/night for a clean room with the usual amenities is probably going to be "unaffordable" for a family of four or more making $40K a year or less.  This is not to say that I think ALL rooms offered on the island should be of the Motel 6 variety, but if every new hotel developed is in the $150+/night range, most average people will be priced out of this market.
Diane Shearer

I would consider a room rate of $60-$90 to be affordable to those in a
low/moderate to moderate income.  I hope we never see the day when only the
upper middle class-rich will be staying on the island!!
Hopefully, the big developers, etc. will be kept at bay (pun intended!!??).
Joe Webster, Rutherfordton, NC

I consider Jekyll affordability to be “a one week vacation for a family of 4 staying in a Jekyll Island hotel (not a villa or condo) to be approximately $1800. Any less would be just about impossible with current prices. This dollar amount would include 7 nights’ lodging, all meals in restaurants (rather than cooking in an efficiency or full kitchen rental) and recreation/entertainment.
My husband and I just spent June 24-29 at The Beachview Club. We had a king efficiency unit with AARP discount for a total cost of $844 for those 5 nights lodging. We went on the historic district tram tour, went to GA Sea Turtle Center, and ate all meals @ island restaurants except for one night when we ate in Brunswick. Our total expense for the basic necessities of lodging, meals and island parking fee of $15, was about $1100. We did buy snacks & sandwiches, chips drinks, etc. for lunches in our room. However, we got these groceries at the Brunswick Wal-Mart rather than paying the higher prices at the JI grocery store. So my $1800 estimate for an average family of four is including meals for 2 additional family meals and extra lodging expense due to the higher cost of a rental unit with 2 beds rather than 1 and for staying 7 nights rather than just 5.
As for my definition of affordability on the cost of a hotel room, I would say $175-$200, if I were paying for a room with 2 double beds. Of course, at my age, my mindset is to think along the lines of AARP discount, so room rates which I consider are always 10% less than the price they would be for people who are too young to get AARP discounts.
Linda and Jay Smith, Jackson, TN  

We come to Jekyll for the month of March and stay at Villas.  Out rate, including taxes and housekeeping is well under $100 per day. As much as we love coming to Jekyll, at a base rate of $100 per day, we would likely go elsewhere.  Thanks for the work you all are doing.
Robert and Nona Vierkant, Danbury WI

I think $175.00-200.00 per day is affordable. Even at that rate my husband and I can only stay for a few days at a time. We can rent a house on the island for a week for less than we can a hotel room for a week, but we like the Oceanside Inn the way it is!!!! That is the only place we would stay!!!!
I believe a 2-bed hotel room rate above $150 a night would be unaffordable for most "average" citizens, and would certainly limit the number of days they could stay on Jekyll Island.As I said on your survey, Jekyll Island should stay as an affordable place for people with "average" incomes to visit.  There are plenty of other places being built every day for those with higher incomes.The "affordability mandate" built into Georgia law is very important and should not be overlooked.
Christine Parker, Simpsonville, SC

I am a teacher in KY. Last spring I discovered Jekyll Island. I was pleasantly surprised to find a hotel I could actually afford. The cost was $100 per night. I was only staying 3 nights so I could swing it. As a rule I only have between $500 and $700 for my vacation budget. If I can't find a hotel for around $75/night I am very limited in what I get to do with my money. If the cost of a motel/hotel on Jekyll goes to $250/night there is no way I can stay and enjoy the Island's atmosphere and charm. While I realize that the Island is a real estate golden egg, I feel there are a whole lot more people's interests at stake here than those wanting to get rich off the development of Jekyll. The average and below average income family has just as much interest and right to be able to enjoy the coast line and ocean along Georgia's eastern border as those upper income families who flock to planned communities along the shore lines of America. We just don't have the money. Jekyll is the one place we can go.  Please keep the Island financially accessible to those of us who are lower income. We really have no other place to go.
Debbie Payne, Knox Co. KY

I would image the average Georgian would afford pretty much what the average Wisconsinite could afford. I won't pay over $160 a night for a hotel, beachfront
or not.  And for a seven night stay in one of the cottages that I share with other family members, I won't pay over $700 for the week, or $2800 for the cottage total.  If prices would go beyond that, Jekyll would no longer be affordable for my family. 
We have been coming to JI for the better part of 25 years.  I have estimated as a family, between food, lodging, transportation, entertainment, golf, souvenirs, etc. we spend collectively around $8,000 to $10,000 for the week.  That's roughly $200,000 to
$250,000 that went directly to the local economy.  The people next door to us this year were from Ohio and this was their 14th year. And every year we met another family who just like us, makes it their annual family vacation, not just one year but many years
I really think everyone is missing out on what bring us back year after year after year after countless years.  It's quiet, not overrun with what developers think our beach vacation should be about (PS. It's not about upscale shopping, or a condo with a perfect
view, or para sailing and renting jet ski's, it's plain and simply the beach, without the rocks, please.)  And it's affordable!!!!!!  If JI becomes too developed, we won't and I imagine many others, Georgians and other Americans and many Canadians
alike, will not come back and JI will have lost that residual year after year after year income and what God gave it naturally. 
Ellen Welden Crisci. Milwaukee, WI

As a retired American citizen, if Jekyll Island changes to accommodate the wealthy, I will never be able to return.  I live on a budget to plan for my stay on Jekyll for a couple of winter Months.  Please do not take this wonderful time of the year away from us who live on modest incomes.

Hello, I am a recent, first-time visitor to Jekyll Island and just wanted to respond to the issue of affordability on the island.
First, I found the island wonderfully affordable.  We rented an ocean front beach house with three other families and paid about $500 for the week's lodging.  I found the gift shops very affordable, with a variety of items for every price range.  The mini-golf and bicycle rental were affordable also.  The restaurants on the island were probably slightly above what I would pay at home to eat out, but that's probably because we were ordering sea food.
I would consider hotel room rates over $150 per night to be "unaffordable".  My entire family really enjoyed our trip to Jekyll Island, the wonderful restoration of the "millionaire" district, the new sea turtle center, the lovely beaches and natural areas.  We hope to come again and again, but not if they start price-gouging and over developing the place.
Mary Jo Crisci, Waukesha, Wisconsin

My husband and I are retired teachers who live in upstate New York. We have been going to Jekyll with area friends for years now to play tennis and bike on the island and bird watching. We go to Jekyll in March and share a condo with friends. By doing this we average about $70.00 per day. What clearly is unaffordable is anything above $150 per day.
Sally and David Vrooman, Canton, NY

In May, My wife and I stayed at the Days Inn. We had a great time. The best part of our vacation was that Jekyll Island is quiet, even on the beach. We were able to hear waves and birds, as opposed to "boom boxes" and screaming kids. If the proposed development takes place, Jekyll Island will soon become a clone of Tybee Island. As far as an affordable room rate goes, I don't mind paying $100-135 during peak seasons and $60-80 dollars in the off seasons.                                                                                       Jeff and Leslie Marsh, East Ridge, TN
Affordability for the "average" person should be related to some % of the average annual income of the state's residents.  I cannot imagine being the average family of 4 making $40k/yr and having to pay high-end prices for a vacation, thus taking a significant % of annual income.  At $250/day for a room, a week's vacation would be $1500, before food and other entertainment.   That is not reasonable for the majority of people out there.  We feel there are enough high-end places that people with money to burn can go.  Does this not constitute income discrimination?
We feel that a room rate of greater than $125-$150 at peak season is pushing the upper limit of affordability for the average person. 
P & W Stamper, Chattanooga, TN

Additional Views from Out-of-State Visitors
  One only has to visit St Simons Island to fully understand the need to keep Jekyll Island as is, however I do see the need to improve on what is already there. But I do not see the need to create a portion of the island to become another St Simons. Why don't you appoint people to the JIA Board from the area most affected to the JIA instead of the political appointees from St Simons and Macon? This idea of creating a 45 acre development isn't all bad, just scale it down somewhat, add a couple of restaurants and dress up the existing mall area, replace the hotels you tore down with bigger ones to add to the availability of rooms and competition (price), just keep in mind that there other people in this world besides the rich and famous. (IT’S A STATE PARK) not a boondoggle for the wealthy developers in Atlanta.
David Buckhout, Three Rivers, MI
We hope and pray that Jekyll Island will remain as a resource for the general public to enjoy and not restricted to wealthy and/or property owning people who are seeking to change the character of Jekyll Island.
We live in the Finger Lakes area and it is sad to realize that public access to the lakes is very limited by private ownership of lakeside property. Jekyll Island is a treasure for the public to enjoy.
Chris and Gail Snelling, Pittsford, NY
I am in favor or doing some additional work on the town square concept, but I feel that extending it to Blackbeard’s Restaurant would be too large of a development. I would me more in line with a development of 15 to 20 acres at the very maximum and even that would probably be too much.  I would favor development in the area where the Huddle House Restaurant used to be and where the gas station is at the present time, also behind the current shopping center.  I also feel if a new convention center is built it should be built on its current site. I was on the island when the swimming pool was in the convention center, and that didn't last long.
The matter of golf courses and making one of them private with condos around it I say no.  There are private golf courses on St. Simons Island, and if people feel that they are in need or entitled to a private course let them go there.  Making a golf course private to condo members only is an elitist concept and not in line with the island initial purpose and mission. If people feel that they are too good to golf with the likes of us, then let them go elsewhere.
As far as letting private developers manage things, I say absolutely not.  When private developers get a foot hold on the island you can kiss the way things have been since the state acquired the island goodbye.  They are thinking making money and not about making the island a place for all to enjoy.  It would be like it was when the millionaires owned the island and it was a private club.
David and Nellie Buckhout, Three Rivers, MI
The shopping center should be remodeled and upgraded, even adding a few shops.  But, please, 45acres?  Too, too many.  There is not much to choose from in the way of restaurants.  The present ones should be upgraded, and let's not forget moderate prices for families and seniors on fixed incomes.
No condominiums, please!  We have enough on St. Simons to supply both islands.
Georgia is blessed with its rare barrier islands.  Tybee is ruined.  Sea Island and St. Simons are the same.  The only accessible, nearly "natural" island on our coast is Jekyll Island.  That's what people want.  They say so all the time.  Please listen to us!  It is a precious jewel with a few minor flaws.
Lisle and Elaine Young
       Again I appeal to you to be very careful in changing Jekyll will lose the wonderful appeal the island has....We come with friends every year.  My family has spent time on Jekyll island as recent as 2007....It DOES need upgrading, it does need more restaurants and shops, but not so upscale as to chase away visitors....Big developers coming onto the island with condominiums and powerhouse ideas will ruin the island! We love Jekyll Island!
   Jim and Joy Bragg, Minnetonka, MN
   My initial reaction to any mention of changes on Jekyll is to think "just leave it alone!!”  However, I realize, unfortunately, that is not going to be the chosen solution if additional revenue required to maintain the Island has to come from somewhere and the proposed "improvement fee" doesn't fly.  It is the BEST idea I've seen so far, though.   The main issue is being able to stop changes from turning Jekyll into another island like its neighbors.  The developers ran out of room there for their million + dollar projects so now they've got their eye on the only piece of unspoiled real estate left.  When is enough enough?  Enough profit, enough modernization, enough pandering to the rich and well-connected?  Jekyll does not need to be "transformed" to survive.  We love it just the way it is! And $90/month in "island improvement fees" would be a small price to pay to be able to continue returning and enjoying it.  Heck, I'd probably even put a "tip" on top of it! 
Beth King, Bloomfield twp, MI
  I have been coming to Jekyll Island almost every year since 1985 with my family as part of our Easter vacation.  What we appreciate about the island is its quaint, simple, quiet, and safe nature.  While the convention center and plaza could use a face lift, adding condos and upscale stores and restaurants would change the island's overall atmosphere.  I would be very disappointed to see Jekyll undergo such radical changes.  Upscale islands, such as Hilton Head, already exist...there is no need to turn Jekyll into that.
Beth Ann Butcheri, North Tonawanda, NY
I think that the Convention Center, shopping center and hotels definitely need to be updated. Tear downs and rebuilds in the same locations would be best, and hotels should be moderately priced. When I first started coming to the island I stayed at the Jekyll Estates Motel, an affordable motel with a great location. Unfortunately, it was allowed to get run-down, and was eventually purchased, demolished and replaced with an upscale motel which is way out of my price range. I have also stayed at the Comfort Inn/Oceanside Motel. After a 10 year absence from the island, I returned in 2003, staying at the Oceanside. I was disappointed to see that it too had deteriorated. I then moved on to the Days Inn, where I now stay every year. It is clean, has a great location and is affordable (although they seem to have taken advantage of the fact that the 3 other hotels on the southern end have been demolished, and have increased their rates).  I hope the new motels replacing the Buccaneer, Holiday Inn and Georgia Coast Inn will not go the same route.
And I fear that the Days Inn is next on the chopping block. If new hotels are built, and prices are high, single people like me, and families with average incomes will have to go elsewhere for an affordable vacation. I would really miss the rest and relaxation that Jekyll gives me each spring.
As for the Town Square, I'd hate to see the entire area between the Days Inn and the Convention Center developed, further blocking the fantastic open ocean view. Remodel/rebuild the Convention center, perhaps including a hotel, but put the Town Square in the area where the where the shops, gas station and Huddle House were. Those areas could be built UP, without blocking the view of the ocean from the street and bike path. Please, please, please maintain the natural beauty and open ocean view that makes Jekyll Island a respite from the busy, overdeveloped atmosphere of other island retreats, including neighboring St. Simons.
Clare Davich, Fort Wayne IN
The charm of Jekyll Island is its lack of development and hometown feel. I'm sorry but developers do not have the best interests of the island in their plans. Their ONLY interests are the profits to be made from tourists. They may try to placate the State of Georgia by sharing a little of that money but they have no interest in the island itself past what money they can make. I came to the coast of Georgia to vast St. Simons Island this spring and left within an hour because of the development and tourist trade I found there. I could have gotten the same thing in Myrtle Beach with a lot less drive time. By God's grace I found Jekyll Island and spent the better part of a week there. It was the best vacation I've even taken. It was everything I could have ask for; a historic area with a story and preserved and restored sites, an open beach with room to enjoy the shore, nature areas with wildlife and foliage, great food at privately owned restaurants and (thank God) no fast food, easily accessible to Savannah and other interesting locations in the state. While I realize all that money is a tempting thing please let it pass in the interest of keeping Jekyll Island more or less untouched by what some consider advances of progress.
Debbie Payne, KY
  I do not know where the JIA is coming from anymore.  I can remember a time when they would not allow anything to be built on the Island (example my uncle wanted to build a hotel there back in the 60's only if he could own the land the answer was no).  One can only hope that Jekyll Island doesn't get turned into a mess like most of the South on the East Coast.  Through all the years my kids have had other changes to go to Miami, Fla. etc. but said no they wanted to go back to Jekyll Island where home is.  Maybe JIA is wanting a different clientele.
Myra Sheehan, Winston-Salem, NC
  Compared to the rest of the east coast, Georgia has done a very good job of protecting its barrier islands.  Only Tybee and St. Simons are overdeveloped.  Most of the other islands are completely protected and accessible to the public only with some difficulty.  Jekyll Island is so unique in that it has been carefully protected and conserved, yet is easily available to people of average means.  Please keep it that way.  Please continue to conserve this beautiful bird sanctuary, turtle nesting area, unspoiled beaches, fascinating historic district, and potential ecotourism site.
For the past seven years we have spent a good portion of each winter in the beautiful Golden Isles and have grown to love the area.  We usually stay on St. Simons, and take the easy and delightful drive to Jekyll to spend the day many times during our stay.  You do not need more condos or high end accommodations.  There are plenty on St. Simons and on the mainland.  We have become alarmed at the rampant development on St. Simons, and have the sincere hope that the same fate does not befall Jekyll.  Please count us as supporters of your effort and let us know what we can do to help.
Carl and Debra Runge, Williston, VT
  This should be viewed as a national treasure!!  Don't allow developers to change it into a resort like every other money-minded island resort on the East coast.  This is Georgia's chance to establish forever a unique site for generations to come.  Don't let big money keep Georgia from doing what's in the best interest of nature, the environment, and people for many years to come.   Do the right thing!
Mary Anne Kendall, Efland, NC
   My family has regularly vacationed on Jekyll for forty years.  It is certainly not the closest beach to our home in North Carolina.  We come to Jekyll for its wonderful balance.
Now, those who are empowered to provide for the common good of the island and its visitors, are threatening to forever destroy the very essence of the island.  If Jekyll is compromised by development for the benefit of a few, at the expense of the many, we will not bother coming back.  We believe many other island visitors feel the same way.      
There is nothing wrong with Jekyll that updated amenities and wise marketing cannot solve.  Jekyll can then maintain its identity, increase revenues, and produce a win-win situation for everyone.           
Robert and Dee Gaddy, Knightdale, NC 
  This is our only vacation destination!  We have been coming to Jekyll for over 20 years and now bring our grandchildren.  Please do not spoil the quiet beauty of this Island.  Of all of the places we have been and visited it is where we return year after year.  There are already enough places that have been destroyed by big business and commercialism.  The main attraction of Jekyll is the fact that it does stay the same.  We will be visiting this year in late August and will be bringing 1st time visitors with us.  We are so eager to show them this beautiful place that we love and find sanctuary in.  Our long term dream has always been to spend at least 3 or 4 months of the year on Jekyll.  We are horrified at the thought of the changes that have been "planned".  Please protect this Island and do not let its specialness be destroyed the way St. Simon has been sold off.  Update the hotels and convention center and raise the "parking fee" if necessary but please leave the natural beauty of the Island intact.  Can someone be brave enough to step forward and do the right thing and not sell out to money?  Please listen to the pleas of those of us who carry a piece of Jekyll in our hearts. 
Tony & Lu Ann Monize, Kokomo, IN
I grew up going to Jekyll Island every weekend all summer long.  We only lived an hour away, so day trips to the island have always been a part of my life.  Even now, I drive down to watch the sun rise, have breakfast and drive home again.  Only now, I drive four hours to get there.
There are high end developments all along the southern coast. There is only one Jekyll Island.   The natural beauty and history of Jekyll Island should be preserved.
Barbara Camp, Columbia, SC
  This is the second survey I have completed because I feel strongly that Jekyll Island should not change. We vacationed for a week this past April at the Jekyll Island Club Hotel and we spent over $5,000.00 for this trip. We chose Jekyll because of the natural beauty and history. We chose Jekyll because it is not an overdeveloped Myrtle Beach. Update the convention center, upon the same site, with a small hotel and no more development will be necessary. Jekyll is unique, and further development will turn it into just another over commercialized island, of which there are too many. Focus on eco-tourism and green development instead and tourists will come.
Anita Marky

           I would like to see the island remain accessible to people of average income and to the locals as a beach resort.  Sea Island and St. Simons Island are already overdeveloped and overpriced for most families.  Let those who use and enjoy Jekyll as it is pay a small fee to increase revenue without making it unavailable to average users and another development nightmare.
Margaret King, Almont, MI 
  Keep Jekyll accessible and affordable for everyone, there is already enough high end exclusive development in the area. The island is one of the few natural areas left on the coast that has not been over developed it should be left that way.
Paul, Ginger and Jordan Patterson, Gurley, AL
  Our yearly vacation to Jekyll Island is something that we genuinely look forward to every year.  The main appeal of Jekyll is the simplicity of lifestyle and the desire to go back to less hectic times.  Jekyll is so unique in that respect and it would be a crime to see it fall in to the present day mindset of overdevelopment.  Bigger is not always better and that is especially true in this case of proposed development of the island that generations have come to know and love.  I do agree that the shopping center and convention center need to be updated with possible development between the Day’s Inn and the pavilion but to develop other areas still protected by the 65/35 law would be an outright crime.  Jekyll Island is supposed to be a place for the average family to be able to enjoy and to alter the island in a drastic way should be something that lovers of Jekyll need to stand up and fight against.  This needs to be nipped in the bud immediately before the greedy entrepreneurs have a chance to take over.
Gene Johnson, Asheville, NC

Jekyll Island is such a rarity in this fast paced world. It is truly an island paradise. The first time we stopped was for a night on our way to Florida. We ended staying 4 nights and then looking for places like it on our way around the whole of Florida. Each year since we stopped on our way down and on our way back from our search and for the last 2 years we do not bother looking for somewhere else as Jekyll Island is a true paradise here on earth and should be protected as such. I have told all the people I know about this wonderful place and many of my friends go there now and love it as we do. If there is anything we could do to help protect this from the ruin of this place please do not hesitate to write to us.
Carol and Andre Cornut, Noyan, Quebec, Canada
  I was a tourist doing summer vacation, a week a year and renting, for ten years.  We missed a couple years in early 2000s while kids in college.  Then we bought in 2005 at 6 Bliss Lane.  We bought because we believed Jekyll WOULD NOT CHANGE, THAT THE STATE WOULD PROTECT THE PARK, FOR ALL GEORGIANS (even though we know lots of others love it too).  We love the peacefulness, the history, the LOW DENSITY, the beaches, the LOW DENSITY, the wildlife, the natural setting, you get it.
PLEASE DON'T LET JEKYLL CATER TO ONLY THE RICH, OR TO BE CROWDED LIKE ST SIMON, OR EXCLUSIVE LIKE SEA ISLAND.  We plan to spend lots more time there starting in 2008, and we are there several times a year now.  We have huge gatherings 1-2 times a year and rent hotel rooms for the relatives.  LET THE PARADISE SURVIVE.  THE GENERATIONS TO COME WILL THANK YOU.  I will too.
Mary and Dennis Fetch, from beautiful, but now overcrowded, RUDE, EXPENSIVE, traffic-filled, tax excessive Fort Lauderdale, FL
We enjoyed our first of many to come vacations on Jekyll Island this year.  I loved the unspoiled, undeveloped feel of the island, the beautiful beach, and unhurried atmosphere.  That can easily be ruined by additional development, condominiums, etc.  Perhaps a few more shops or restaurants to serve the hotels already there would be OK but any large scale development would hurt the natural feel of the island.  We loved our visit and will plan to come back, but only if the island stays mostly undeveloped.  We love nature, and that is what drew us here in the first place.  I have told countless friends looking for vacation spots to look into this island for its beauty.  Don't ruin it!
Kristine Hoskins, West Columbia, SC
  We like Jekyll the way it is.  The original intent for use of the island should be preserved.  Minimal development to increase revenue in order to maintain services is fine but do not make the island an exclusive destination for only those who can afford it.
James S. & Kenita P. Gibson, Marion, NC 
.Jekyll is a natural jewel that was specifically set aside to be enjoyed by all, not just the wealthy. Responsibly enhancing some of the retail and recreational amenities along the front 45 is a good idea, as it will help bring more visitors and revenue WITHOUT the congestion and spoilage that would be brought about by condos and other additional residences. Don't mess with Jekyll - all you have to do is take a look at the rest of the east coast to see how crapped up it will become if we let dollar signs speak the loudest.
One last thought... Any public official who uses their office for personal gain should be forced to pay restitution and be sent to prison for life. There is nothing worse than a corrupt public official. Hold our elected and appointed leaders accountable!!
Mike Jones, Harrison AR 
The first time I saw Jekyll Island was in the summer of 1964.  It was like a dream -- quiet, peaceful, beautiful, and clean.  As a result I chose Jekyll as the dream place for my honeymoon, if and when.  I married in 1967 and honeymooned on Jekyll as planned.  Since that date, my family has come to Jekyll once or twice a year -- every year. We have also encouraged many others to come to Jekyll and have been impressed that it has not changed drastically through the years.
If Jekyll Island is to become just another place filled with condos and expensive hotels, and places just for the elite, it will cease to be an attractive place for the many people who have come to Jekyll over the years.  A place like that can be found in any state along any coast.  Jekyll would lose its attractiveness, its beauty, its tranquil atmosphere, and its ability to draw its clients of the past. 
We encourage you to not drastically change one of the few special and unusual places in this United States.  Our family would hate to end this relationship which has been like a happy marriage.  Please don't take away the reasons we come to Jekyll and spend a great deal of money year after year. 
James M. (Jim) Waggoner, Raleigh, NC 
We look forward every year returning to Jekyll to enjoy the Dunes 9-hole golf course as it suits our purpose financially.  We would like to see a monthly rate for the 18-hole courses as we like to play 18 holes with friends we have met over the years we have been visiting Jekyll.  We enjoy the very few restaurants Jekyll has to offer, but maybe there is room for a few more restaurants for visitors to select from without going into Brunswick for a dining experience.  We would much rather support the Island establishments and not have to go to Brunswick.
Doris and Rutledge Curtiss, New Milford, CT 
We love the island for its affordability and serenity. It has been our family vacation destination for 14 years. We are sad to think that someday this may end and we would have to find another place that we would enjoy so much. It was heartbreaking to hear on our most recent visit this past April about the proposed changes to the island.
Marge and John Watterworth, Oregon, OH 
Jekyll is a rare vacation place today--not terribly commercial and many of us like it this way.  If I want all the tawdry tourist traps there are plenty of places to find them.  While improvements and updates need to be made--a whole redo is not necessary.  The really wealthy have plenty of shoreline and beachfront--save some for the rest of us. 
Paul and Kathleen Haremza, East Aurora, NY
Places as beautiful and rare as Jekyll Island are increasingly rare, hence even more beautiful (by comparison to areas which have been substantially developed) and valuable. Jekyll Island is also increasingly more valuable because of its relatively untouched status and all the more tempting to those who would seek to tap its unrealized commercial potential. That's the American way. However, it's also the American way to respect, preserve and perpetuate shrines of our geographic and cultural heritage which are irreplaceable, hence priceless. Their true value can never really be sized up on a balance sheet. To permit and maintain the current level of "soft development" on old Jekyll Island, coexisting with its own natural and wild ways, is not merely sentimental attachment to simpler, slower times. It's an ongoing act of spiritual courage.
John and Hannah Hunter, Davis, CA
  Hi my name is Mikayla. I am 10 years old and I have been going to Jekyll Island since 1997. Personally I think Jekyll is a place to go to relax and learn about Jekyll's history. I do not want Jekyll to become a place like Myrtle Beach where it is crowded and you can hardly move and relax. I want Jekyll to stay the way it is and if you change how it is now my family might not be able to visit anymore. Please do not change Jekyll!
Your Friend, Mikayla Blankenship, Weaverville, NC
We love Jekyll Island for the pure fact that it isn't as commercialized as every other place we have been to.  We aren't interested in a Hilton Head environment.  We love the ability to bicycle around the island without worrying about excess traffic, while enjoying the beauty of the natural environment.  It is a refuge from the outside world! While certainly we see room for upgrading the mall area and convention center, we're not looking to see anything that gets in the way of the natural landscape.  Jekyll's character lies in its natural beauty and historical attraction, not in high rise hotels, excess condominiums and excess traffic and people. A jewel is appraised on its natural beauty and flawlessness and Jekyll is already that jewel. Let us enjoy it for what it is, not what outsiders think it can be if they make it bigger and better!! 
Marybeth & Dan Wilson, Lockport, NY
I have been vacationing on Jekyll Island since I was 5 years old. I am 38 now and I take my son to Jekyll every year.  The island holds a special place in my heart and now in my sons.  It is nice to go somewhere that is not over priced and not over crowded.  My son LOVES this island as much as I do.  It would be a shame if it was turned over to private investors that are only interested in making a buck.  We love this island, and we do not want to see it developed.  The under development of the island is what gives it, its charm.
Beth Buckhout, Holbrook, AZ

         We do need an improved shopping center complex. We aren't sure that we need it to be on a 45 acre site from Days Inn to Blackbeard's! It could become one massive shopping complex and we don't want that for the island. Why can't the present complex be improved and renovated?
Robert and Ardis Johnston, West Branch MI 
    There are so few places left in this world that are unspoiled by the hand of man. I think it is wonderful to have a place to go and really relax. Sometimes we stay the night and sometimes we just spend a few hours. We have introduced many members of our family to Jekyll Island.
There are many places along the coast that can have further development. All the amenities that people need can be built on the mainland. When you pay for access, you are allowed to come and go. I see this as another ploy to turn Jekyll Island into an exclusive resort that few can afford and will soon be overrun by snobs and foreigners.
Nancy Radford, Meadow Bridge, WV
  When we visit our family in Brunswick, we always take a trip to the beach -- and we go to Jekyll, not St Simons, because of the peace and quiet and the quaint atmosphere. My husband and I are troubled to hear that the state is thinking of putting into motion development plans that will change that. Fix up the shops, sure. Add a few more restaurants, maybe. But the turtle center is there now, and eco-minded folks (like me!) are sure to start coming in! Enhance the natural offerings of the island and you'll sustain more repeat visitors and that wonderful quiet that keeps us coming back.
Chrissy Pearson, Holly Springs, NC 
  I am very concerned about Beach Access.  The beach in front of the proposed town square is the best beach for island visitors.  Building of shops and restaurants carries the risk of eliminating free public parking for the beach. 
Has the authority identified what kind of people that they want to attract to Jekyll Island?  Do you want teenagers, or families, or upper middle class families, or "the rich and famous"?  The type of person that you hope to attract to the island will determine the type of development that is appropriate.  Middle class families playing on the beach will want casual restaurants that they can easily afford, while better off clientele will want more upscale venues.  Young singles will want bars with live music.  Without knowing your market, there is no way to succeed in redevelopment of the island. 
George Grilley, Moline, IL
  My family and I have been going here before I was born and consider Jekyll Island to be our second home.  In regards to the "town square" I think 1 or 2 new restaurants and 3 or 4 new shops would do the island well. 2-3 low rise condominiums would also compliment the island, keeping in mind the ocean view from the bike path and the road.
Robert Murdoch, Kitchener, Ontario, Canada

We have been coming to Jekyll Island for over fifteen years and have seen the hotel accommodations deteriorate and the restaurants practically disappear. At the same time many improvements to the infrastructure of the island have occurred—thanks to the JIA. We come for the unspoiled beauty of Jekyll—the lovely beach, affordable golf and the opportunity to be part of nature. We (as do many others) do not want five star hotels, exclusive golf, high end shopping or fine dining. Mandate the hotels to provide clean, comfortable accommodations continue to improve the golf courses, spruce up the shopping center and bring in a family restaurant. Finally, promote “Georgia’s Jewel” for what it is now. People will come!
Ron and Carolyn Collins, Toronto, Ontario

We read the article in The Brunswick News on Tuesday and it seems the development of Jekyll Island is already underway. We mostly agree with the statements regarding “affordability” and the over-populating associated with these changes. We fell in love with this island two years ago when we arrived on a whim. We headed back this year worried that it wouldn’t be the same, but it was! We have spent another wonderful week enjoying the relaxing feeling of beach life. We worry the changes will make this similar to St. Simons—a place we like to visit for a day—but it is not like Jekyll—and that’s the way we like it. We understand some development might be needed to keep the island running but how much is too much? And when will it become too exclusive for my family to afford to come here?
Michael and Terri Hehn
  The state of Georgia showed great concern for its citizens when it was legislated that Jekyll Island be affordable to the average person. I hope the caretakers of this beautiful island continue to show the same concern and care for the average person by maintaining this important mandate!
Michael Evanick, Binghamton, NY
  Some of the bike paths need to be repaired and the bathhouses at the campground need to be upgrade to the scale of Florida's accommodations.  There are no bathhouses for a day visit for the public or picnic grounds that would allow for a family to swim at the beach, shower, eat and return home.
I am a science teacher and my son and I have been camping on Jekyll for the past three year.  We love the low-key setting, the bike paths, and the historic district. 
This year we went to the opening of the turtle center and I spoke with the chairman of the Jekyll Island Authority.  I told him that the island was just right, not developed out like South Carolina and that there was no need to change anything. He said that he (and the authority) was going to do the right thing, but . . . .
M. L. Miller, Columbia, SC  
We have been coming to Jekyll Island since 1988.  The first several years we stayed at the Campground in our RV - usually 2 to 3 weeks.  After that we have rented a house each year for the month of April and plan to return in April, 2008.  We love many things about Jekyll Island -- its tranquility, its golf courses, its beautiful beaches, the friendliness of its people, its intimate characteristics that are so rare anywhere else and of course its outstanding weather. 
We recognize that some improvements/expansion have to occur for the Island to remain on a firm financial footing (and, indeed, are overdue) and in that we do support the ideas of replacing the Convention Center with a newer, larger version that will bring more attractions, conventions, etc., along with more hotels, motels restaurants and stores to the central area. 
Bill and Sally Heidrich, North Creek, NY
We have a group of golfers that have been visiting Jekyll for approximately 30 years, usually once in the spring and again in the fall. One of our members liked the island so much that he moved there. We leave quite a bit of money on each visit, counting motel fees, golf fees and food along with miscellaneous items.  I am sure that we are not the only group that enjoys the hospitality of Jekyll Island just as it is.
Agreed, some of the motels could use some remodeling.  Even so, this is a unique place.  An atmosphere that is hard to find anymore.
If many of the mentioned alterations do come about I am relatively sure that our group will find somewhere closer to home so that we won’t have the long drive.  It is currently well worth the drive even at the high gasoline prices.
Donald Floyd, Tennessee

I feel very strongly that Jekyll's current asset is their approach to maintaining the historic and natural qualities it has. We come to Jekyll several times a year to enjoy the lack of commercialism. We love enjoying the wildlife, history and calm atmosphere. Since having children and bringing family and friends, they all love the unique characteristics of Jekyll. If we wanted to have more activities, shops, etc. we would have gone to Myrtle or St. Simon beaches. If one will look at St. Simon's, they will notice a huge increase in development over the last several years. I feel this has changed St. Simon's personality. As a matter of fact, during our last visit to Jekyll we drove to St. Simon's to visit the lighthouse. We were appalled by the development and how it has changed so very much.
Jane and Rick Hampton, Johnson City, TN
It is imperative that Jekyll Island remain as originally established, open to the average citizen.  Once high end developers and upscale visitors become entrenched on the island it will be lost not only to the general public but also to the environment.  Being one of the few Atlantic coastal areas remaining in its natural state, yet enjoyed by visitors, it must be protected.  No way can huge hotel/condo developments along the oceanfront add to the beauty or the ecology of the island.  Yes, Jekyll Island needs to be updated and improved but it needs to be kept within its original framework.
It is disappointing to hear that JIA wants to "sell out" the island and that the group appears to being taken in by greed. The developers might say one thing to them now but, in the end, their money speaks much louder. Once these private investors come in and followed by their moneyed visitors, your island control is very quickly taken away from you. And then your island is lost forever!
Please don't let that happen.  You have our support.
If you wish to learn about "upscale" summer visitors visit:
Charles and Janet Dayton, East Hampton, NY 
We have stayed at many resort areas and Jekyll is unique. Its quiet roads and beaches, bike paths, freedom of congestion draw us back each year. Georgia needs to recognize the uniqueness of this island and not squander it in the name of progress. Keep the idea of affordability in the front of your minds. Can the average Georgian pay $200 dollars a day to stay on the island at the time they most need it. If some of the accommodations rise in cost, the rest will follow. Keep Jekyll open to all. I would see the room rate ranged from 100 dollars to 150 dollars.
Bruce & Judy Gregory, Medway, MA

My family and I are from Ohio. We drive 12+ hours to Jekyll Island because of the 65% undeveloped land! We are tired of places like Myrtle Beach and wanted a place just like the current JI. Why can't you live the island alone? Everything doesn't have to be developed. There are still families who like to spend family time biking, playing putt-putt, and exploring the beautiful island. We don't need development; we have that in Mason.
From a family in Ohio we are asking you to leave your beautiful island the way it is. With open eyes, spend a weekend on the island and see the beauty.
Melinda McCabe, Mason, OH
Jekyll needs to be preserved for our children.  The idea of a daily surcharge in order to provide revenue is perfect.  I would gladly pay additional for the joy of the timeless beauty of the Island.
Dennis Rafferty, Uniontown, OH
Just ended a wonderful vacation with last three days of it on Jekyll Island.  Loved it!  We believe any changes should be environmentally sound.  Adding more condos and people would not be.  We do not need present views of the ocean obscured by shopping centers, condos or hotels.  Keep something for people to enjoy by just looking at and soaking up the beauty and diversity of part of God's creation. Let us continue to relax in the slow pace of Jekyll Island.  May it remain the treasure it is.
Richard and Bobbye O'Quinn, Liberty, TX

Jekyll is a jewel because of nature, not development. It also is a public park owned by Georgia, and therefore should be operated to the benefit of ALL Georgians.
Thus any development should be as little disruptive of nature as possible, and be accessible for all Georgians.
In achieving the above, financial self-sustainability is desirable.  Making a profit at the expense of nature or the public is not. Self-sustainability can be achieved in many modest ways, such as a slight increase in the parking (entry) fee.  Low-rise beachfront motel revitalization will pay for itself in occupancy during high season and convention attendance during off-season.
Lewis Gulick,  Arlington, VA 22201

My wife and I have been coming to Jekyll since 2001 when we spent our honeymoon there. We find the peace and serenity of the island is to found nowhere else, the beaches and the oceans are not overpopulated, and Serenity can be found all over the island. Our goal is to spend 2 to 3 months on the island when retirement does come, if it becomes another St Simon 2 hours would be enough. As the Golden Islander says "Legend has it, Once your feet touch the Sands of Jekyll Island you will always come back," this is so true. This is a piece of "HEAVEN" don't let them turn it into a $ sign HELL.
We look forward to our next visit which will be Sept 15 - 22 at the Villas by the Sea, we have grown to think of Jekyll as a second home which for now we visit once a year and thanks to the folks at Jekyll Realty gets easier every year.
If there is anything we can do from here please let us know.
James & LouAnn Stoen, Albert Lea, MN 56007

Jekyll Island is perfect just the way it is. Any improvements might include better shopping, especially groceries, and some better restaurants.  Blackbeard's was great for a few years but last year was a big disappointment to us.  The quality of the cooking had deteriorated badly, but I guess that can happen anywhere.  I don't really understand how badly money is needed to keep the island running at its present level.  I would support a daily fee if necessary, but as we come for 90 days was unable to suggest much more than a daily dollar as rental rates keep rising. Shorter stays could maybe pay more.  People coming by car for the day might pay considerably more for an island pass as we do at most parks.
Malcolm & Sheila Hanson,   Mallorytown. On. K0E 1R0  Canada

My husband has been to the island many times in the past and his family continues to visit every year.  Last year my in-laws took my family to the island for our Christmas present and I was so impressed with the island.  You do not feel like you are in the States (I love the States, don’t get me wrong), but it gave you the warm, relaxed feeling many people want for a vacation place.  Please we have many places in the States that are over developed.  Why change something that is so peaceful and different for the rest of society?  I would love to continue to go back to Jekyll, if it remains the way it is.
Wendy and Kurtis Swinehart,  Kalamazoo, MI  49009

When we lived in Georgia (Marietta, LaGrange, Cedartown) we visited Jekyll several times each year. We had always hoped to retire on Jekyll, but, now that is improbable with all the transition in play.  Construction will be a nightmare.  Some, like the convention center and replacing the Holiday Inn and Buccaneer which needed HELP, are dollars well spent.  More high end hotels defeat the very beauty of Jekyll.  A quiet, layed back oasis not to be found anywhere else in the world.  It is truly unique.  Maybe we will be able to retire on Jekyll, but it is a dream at this point.  Affordable hotel rates don't have to mean a dump.  But, if you want a high dollar room, go to Hilton Head, The Cloister, Fernandina, or anywhere else!!!  There awaits you big dollar rooms and little atmosphere.
David and Susan Williams, Lufkin, TX  75904

The quiet beauty of Jekyll should not be ruined by developers who will only be interested in profit and will not respect what Jekyll has been, is and was intended to remain as, a beautiful State park with recreation, education and its beaches affordably accessable to all Georgians and other visitors. The JIA personnel involved in deciding the future development of Jekyll do not necessarily have the same feeling for the island as those who live on or visit the island. Development of the island and increasing its revenue could be their primary interest. They may well look upon such "improvement" as a resume enhancement. I believe that those who love Jekyll want some improvements, new moderately priced hotels, better restaurants, improved or newly constructed convention center on its present site with an associated hotel and an updated shopping area where the present one is. Let's start with goals that will not destroy the Jekyll Island we love.
Marshall B Kronholm, Canterbury, CT 06331

Further development of Jekyll Island will eliminate vacations by the middle class and destroy one of the countries most  beautiful natural resources.  Our (the US) coastlines are becoming increasingly "upgraded" by the wealthy and are no longer affordable for the working (middle) class citizens.
I sincerely hope someone in government will listen to those of us who would like to see that our beautiful country does not become a place for only the wealthy to enjoy.
Jill Fontana, North Canton, OH 44720

I started going to Jekyll on vacation with my parents before I was out of grade school.  I'm 32 now and still go to Jekyll for vacation with my parents, although now we bring our children.  We go once or twice a year, my parents still go on their own more.  We love Jekyll the way it is.  One of the best things about Jekyll is the relaxed atmosphere.  Its calming and beautiful.  There are tons of things to do with the kids (the beach, bike riding, boat rides, the water park, the conservation areas, etc) and they love it.  We are not rich.  We could not afford Jekyll if it was more expensive.  If Jekyll is more built up it will lose some of its pristine naturalistic charm.  We don't want that.  If we wanted to vacation at a more commercial location, we would. There are plenty of choices for that.  Please don't develop Jekyll more!!
Tiffany and Beau Drew, Archer, FL 32618

My wife and I have been visiting Jekyll since 1992. We usually stay at least one week each summer and make 5-6 day trips there each year. It is my favorite vacation spot on Earth.  It's close enough to get to quickly from Jacksonville, but because the environment is unlike anything else within a day's drive on the Atlantic Coast, we would gladly drive even further than we do now to get to Jekyll. It is so relaxing, uncrowded, unspoiled and beautiful. It's a great place to relax and unwind. I hope the people of Georgia know what a treasure they have.
The improvements made over the years have been subtle, but nice, like paving more of the historic district walkways and the island bike trails. The recent opening, which we attended, of the Island's Sea Turtle Center, pointed to two things which Jekyll is unique for, and should shape any discussion of developemnt on the island.
First, the island has a unique and well preserved history. The remodeling of one of the historic structures for the Sea Turtle Center was a wonderful way preserve a part of the island's architectural history.
Second, because the island is relatively unspoiled, it offers much opportunity for ecotourism. Imagine no sea turtle nesting sites if the beach wwere developed with high rise condos--like all too much of Florida and they way Tybee Island is progressing.
My fear is that whenever there is something good going on, otherwise well-intentioned people can't leave well enough alone. The urge to make things better is too strong. And others want to exploit a beautiful situation, usually for financial gain, but they claim it's to make a good thing more accessible to more people.
If this is allowed to happen on Jekyll, the very reason why people like it will be destroyed. If Jekyll is further developed, my family will quit coming --why bother? it won't be unique anymore,a nd it will certainly be more crowded. Sadly we would be left with fond memories of the slice of paradise that Jekyll once was.
Erik and Dell Kaldor,  Jacksonville, FL 32207

This was our 14th consecutive year vacationing on Jekyll, first unmarried, now married 18 years and two children later. Four to 6 families at one time have vacationed together as tradition and only to Jekyll Island, for reasons to us that are obvious. We have rented a different house each year and have NEVER been disappointed.  We have traveled 18 plus hours by car for 12 of those years and the last 2 years we flew, to get there sooner and start enjoying the island! We have children who WANT to vacation with their parents because we go to Jekyll!
This year, because of the possibility of the changes to Jekyll, I asked my kids if maybe next year we should go to Disney. That was completely REFUSED!! However, if our island paradise turns "commercial" there will be nothing standing in the way of Disney! As I said in a previous email, if we wanted hotels and shops and restaurants that line the beaches, we would take the Hilton Head exit or go to Myrtle Beach!
We have repeatedly been drawn back to Jekyll for what it CURRENTLY offers. We can sit on the beach while our children play many yards in front of us and we can still see them. We enjoy the beautiful NATURAL scenery, the LACK of hotels (that usually line the beaches),we love the people we meet, both visiting as well as ones we have met that live on the island.  PLEASE, do not DEVELOP THIS BEAUTIFUL PLACE, as this would end many past generations of visitors, but even more importantly the FUTURE visitors. 
Joseph and Laura Banach and family, Franklin WI  53132

My family came to love jekyll island from our first visit on.  being from michigan, I can only dream of jekyll island and i do. often.  We even have the Jekyll island license plate on our vehicle.  anyone who asks of it, we tell them.  Our grown children display the jekyll island decal on their back windows.  This year, for the first time, we were able to rent a house big enough for our kids, their spouses, and 9 grandchildren. you got it. 17 of us in one house, but it was affordable$$$.  And that is the key -- affordable. 3 months later, my grandchildren are still talking about the beaches and sand dollars, being able to ride their bikes, and playing miniature golf.  This memory will be with them forever, but we intend to reinforce it for as long as possible. I have a collection of pictures of us "growing up" at jekyll island.  And funny how the tree is displayed on your opening of the website. I have a beautiful picture of that very tree with 3 grandkids perched upon it.
I will end with saying that i don't think that it is fair that someone is trying to change all of the rules.  I have always thought that jekyll island is a state park, or at least part of it.
Cathy Marshall, RICHLAND, MICH 49083

The reason why we keep coming back to Jekyll is because is it an affordable vacation for family (especially a family of 6).  We have been returning yearly to Jekyll Island since 1987 and continue to enjoy it JUST THE WAY IT IS!!!!  DO NOT CHANGE THINGS....IT'S PERFECT!  It's the only place in the US that is perfect for families!
Julie Harnish, Dansville, NY 14437

My family has been visiting Jekyll and St. Simons for over forty years.  It's one of the few places that people can visit and not be overwhelmed with condos and other tall buildings that block the ocean view.  You can actually ride a bicycle there and enjoy the island without fearing for your life because of traffic. I was born in Georgia, lived there for 25 years and most of my extended family still lives there. We meet in one of the houses on Jekyll at least once a year to enjoy an affordable and relaxing getaway. I love Jekyll and don't want to see it being developed by people who see the island only as a possibility for commercial gain.
Sarah Philips, Jacksonville, FL  32217

My family has been coming to this beautiful island every couple of years since the 70's.  With all the competition for vacation plans, Jekyll has remained the only constant.  The reason is because the island is NOT commercial.  It truly is a remarkable place to bring your family. The history is rich, and the island maintains its charm.  An average income family like mine can come their and enjoy what the richest Americans on earth (at the time 20's etc.) possessed as their private playgrounds. In other words it's nice to feel like a Vanderbilt on my beer budget.
Shawn Harnish, Dansville, NY 14437

My family has been coming to this beautiful island every couple of years since the 70's.  With all the competition for vacation plans, Jekyll has remained the only constant.  The reason is because the island is NOT commercial (if we wanted Myrtle Beach we would go there) .  It truly is a remarkable place to bring your family. The history is rich, and the island maintains its charm.  An average income family like mine can come their and enjoy what the richest Americans on earth (at the time- 20's etc.) possessed as their private playgrounds. In other words it's nice to feel like a Vanderbilt on my beer budget. 
Shawn Harnish, Dansville, NY 14437

I'm not so sure about the Town Square thing. They get pretty awful if there's no oversight or list of rules. Doesn't the row of shops in the millionaires' village fit that bill? Perhaps THAT's where some improvements should or could be made.
I'm very wary of a state-wide referendum. Too many lemmings voting these days- and you have to be DAMNED sure  which Pied Piper they're following to the cliff, er, voting booth.
Jekyll's a STATE park and its facilities should be open and accessible to all. Hotel and condo guests can certainly play   golf with the regular Joes! (and Janets)
Andrew J. Poleszak, Andover, MA  01810

Jekyll Island needs to remain the quiet, uncrowded, beautiful place that it is now, we believe, for 2 main reasons.  One, it is one of the few coastal areas that the middle class can enjoy just as the upper class does now along most of the coastline of the U.S.  By allowing businesses interested in making big profits to determine the future of Jekyll Island would  be stealing the island from the public who now basically owns it, people without the money and capability to influence  politicians.  And most importantly, the environmental impact of allowing development of the island would be devastating. 
Haven't we learned our lesson yet about the roll islands like this play in the overall health and safely of all Americans?
Robert and Carole St. John,  New Albany, IN  47150

I love Jekyll Island and want it to remain "as is," without being subjected to upscale development.  The beauty of Jekyll is that it is open and accessible to the public.  Upscale privatization and development will only destroy the commitment to make Jekyll accessible to the public. I plan to return many times, but would not if it becomes a place where the public is not welcome or can't afford to come. 
On "ecotourism" - I ONLY support this if it doesn't result in privatization/upscale public develpement of the island, but focuses only on affordable stays for people who are interested in the natural history and cultural history of the island. 
Katherine Whitlock, Missoula, MT 59801

A group of 16-20 have been coming to Jekyll Island for 25+ years to play golf.  We stay on the island, eat at the restaurants on the island and shop for gifts there.  We stay for 7 days and spend anywhere from $20,000 to $30,000 each time we visit.  For the last several years we have been making a spring trip in addition to our fall trip so the expenditure figures will almost double.  Even though it is a long trip from Tennessee we enjoy the natural beauty of the island and the modest prices on the island.  If the proposed changes become reality, our group will most surely be forced to look for a trip closer to home and more within our price range. 
Surely there are many more groups and families who vacation on this wonderful island and enjoy its beaches, scenery and golf courses who would also be forced to seek alternative vacation arrangements should the proposed changes take place. 
Pat Hughes, Milton, Tn. 37118

This is a special place that should be kept open and accessible to all.  The impact of our first visit has never dimmed and we cherish any time spent there.
Elisssa and Frank Maguire, Boise, ID 83719

To change the island at all would be crazy!! This laid back place of beauty is almost no where to be found in this day of total indescriminate developement you see all over the south !  Just look at that mess on st. simons island!  Leave the place alone and save something for your children.
We would not come back if large changes were made!!
Dave and Cheryl Martin, Ontonagon, MI 49953

We purchased a house on Jekyll in 1984 and moved there in 1987. Jekyll was our primary residence for 19 years. Due to our advancing years we needed to live near one of our children so we sold our Jekyll house and moved to Florida in 2006. Although we no longer live there Jekyll will always be our home and we pray that this current board of the JIA will not destroy it.  Jekyll may not be secure until there is a Democrat sitting in the Governor's chair.
Larry & Beverly Taylor, Ormond Beach, FL 32174

We are six month residents of the island. Since we do not stay at hotels it is difficult to quote a rate. When we did stay at the Jekyll Inn our rate was based on a six month stay.  It seems to me that whatever rate is asked by a hotel ($50-$100-$150 per night) should be up to them. If they ask $150 per night and get no takers, they will be forced to drop the rate to whatever the market will pay. We are, after all, a market driven economy. We do not need more government regulations!
Development should be allowed within the limits already set, but no further. The JIA should better manage what they already have (i.e. golf course ,historic district, etc.).
The Convention Center is a lost cause. To make it make sense, more and better hotel space is needed. Without this it will never pay for itself and with everyone in the area trying to build one, spending more is crazy. Put that property to better use. Get some revenue from it instead of using it for government use and no income.
Edward & Carol Hann, Toms River, N.J. 08755

Keep Jekyll Island affordable to the middle class citizen and folks with children. Don't spoil one of the most enjoyable places I have ever been.  It is serene,  quiet, unspoiled, where  you can sit in solitude and enjoy just being where you are.
George and Helen Hale, Parkersburg WV 26104

We have been visiting Jekyll regularly for about the past 10 years, and love it the way it is. Part of the charm of the island is the fact that it is not commercialized and built up. If we wanted that, we would go to St. Simon's. We have 5 children who love the island and the freedom they have always had there to run around in a small, safe, crime-free environment. I feel that if Jekyll were built up you would see many more problems inherent in a more densely populated area, ie. more traffic, speeding, vandalism, littering, etc. I am not averse to seeing a few more shops and restaurants come to the island, though I would not want to see strip malls and fast food chains. I think it's nice for the locals to have a few options for shopping and dining. However, on the whole our family is very pleased to go to Jekyll for a relaxing, quiet vacation in the sun. There are plenty of other places people can go if they crave more excitement. Leave Jekyll alone!!
Tim and Laurie Virkus, Painted Post, NY  14870

This is another attempt to make it look like there is fairness involved here, when we all know that big money will win, everytime. EVERYTIME! I've never seen it fail in 66 years.
Mr. & Ms. Robert M. Parsons, Edenton, NC 27932

JI needs to be protected from developers, not sold out to the highest bidder.  While some of the old mansions could  use restoration, the rest of the island must remain as is.  I look forward to hearing about this matter and not to being told of decisions after the fact. 
Russ Stratton, Hattiesburg, MS 39402

For the last several years, I have owned one half of a duplex at 3A Hayes Ave.  My son-in-law and daughter own the other half.  We love Jekyll just as it is, and do not want it to be developed for a number of GOOD reasons.  1. The turtles and other environmental factors.  The new turtle "hospital" which has recently been located on Jekyll island, will be rendered practically useless if Jekyll is developed.   The turtles will simply stop coming to Jekyll to lay their eggs as they have for countless generations.  2. There are so few places where the non-well-to-do can go to enjoy the beach and the facilities which Jekyll offers.  3. The Soccer field and other facilities are in constant use by children in seven counties, not just Glynn County, and for inner-city children who have no other ocean access, it is vital. 4. It's the last place I know of where there are no stoplights, and where it is safe for children (not to mention the very elderly), to play with out worrying about speeding traffic and other hazards common to city/resort life.
Carol Handy, Hesperia, Mi. 49421 (summer)  Winter J.I.

          Sally Klein is the person who alerted me to sign up here. I have not yet ever visited Jekyll Island, though I've been to the Sea Islands and love it and respect what you are doing very much and am willing to be active including be asked for money.
         For those of us who are going to expand your database to the desired 5000, please coach us in how to respond to your survey above by telling us how _you_ feel about the questions.  I would just as soon have the benefit of your wisdom by supporting the existing consensus position but don't know enough about the background to some of the questions to give the "right" answer though I'd prefer to give the right one. I am usually someone who thinks for herself but in this case, thinking for myself means thinking along with you, so I'd like to know what your organization's leadership thinks.
          I have also been involved with other such struggles, by the way, so have some experience, for example with the Zora Festival, which is going strong but began as a political way to draw attention to a very important tiny town in Florida and preserve it from a through highway serving and connecting wealthy parts of Central Florida. I was one of the founders and initiators of the Festival.  The arts and intelligent, eco-sensitive entertainment draw people and increase loyalty is one thing I'd say.
           Beth Raps, Berkeley Springs, WV 25411-0117

I have been coming to Jekyll since I was born and love the island. I think that a balance needs to be found...the island needs some renovations in the hotels, restaraunts, and the convention center in order to bring more business like large meetings and conventions to the island. However, the island has a certain charm that keeps people coming back year after year and the building of things like large scale hotels and condominiums would ruin that charm.
Bonnie Brackett, Elon, NC 27244

We are previous homeowners on Jekyll. We loved it there for the bike trails, the unspoiled beaches and lack of traffic and the low key lifestyle. We did not come for glitz but to enjoy nature and away from the impact of developers. We worked tirelessly for the Island doing tours in the historic district', working for the fire department, taking offices in the Friends, art assoc, and Garden Club and Presbyterian Church. We helped restore part of the historic district, gave nature walks, to name a few of the many things we enjoyed doing for Jekyll. To turn it into another highly developed commercial enterprise would be a travesty.  Our grandchildren names are on the bricks of the playground built by the efforts of the citizens, not some developer This island is truly an island for the people of GA not for the rich and famous. The can go to Sea Island for their pampered vacations but leave Jekyll for the average citizen who appreciates what it is.
Nancy and Charles Snyder, Aurora NY  13026

We started to come to the island in 2005. We now visit it every year. We live in tourist area in Michigan, but find the island a ideal getaway. The first year my husband and I came down, last year we brought two of our married children and spouses. We plan on coming down yearly. We just hope big development does not destroy the natural beautiful. It is the most relaxing place we have visited. Our family also loves the island. We don’t play golf, we do fish and walk the beach. Put up condos and destroy the beautiful scenery would be a crime....there is too much development going on everywhere. Look at the other islands you cant hardly go down the streets and you cant find the ocean if you tried. Keep the trail, keep the bikes, attract the middle age crowd, walk the beach, swim, fish, crab, ride a horse, camp, enjoy the peace a quiet. Don’t let it become another amusement park or over populated condo project.....I support some improvements but progress is not always measured in condos and motels.
Cheryl Martin, Ontonagon, MI

I have been vacationing on the island since I was 10 years old. My parents did buy in Florida when they retired, but I missed Jekyll and brought my husband and children here to vacation again. Soon some of our friends would join us every year for a week in March. We would drive 18 hours from Canada and look forward to our holiday on the island every year for just 1 special week. My husband and I are coming down for a week in November as well now.
This year we have already booked at the Ocean Inn Suites for our annual get-together with our friends in March due to the shortage of hotels. We hope to spend part of our winters down here when we retire, in which case we are looking at buying or renting at Villas by the Sea. Our worry is that it will not still be affordable to spend the winter here. We understand that changes need to happen to attract more people to the hotels, but would not like to see the island become commercialized like St. Simons. People can go off the island to shop in big malls. My favorite past time is to walk the beach and bicycle around the island and enjoy the nature.
I can see a new convention centre being built and hotels to replace the ones that are torn down. The island could use some more restaurants (not fast food) and a few more island type shops (clothes, gifts). I would hate to see so much traffic that a stop light would have to put in. I always say to people there's no stop lights on the island. I don't mind paying the fee to get on the island and for the length of stay, this would certainly help the revenue coming in. I'm looking forward to visiting the new Sea Turtle Hospital this year.
If condos are to be built, then possible one height restricted, and on one golf course. I would not like to see them on the Ocean side. That is what is so special about walking the beach there are no condos!!
We feel Jekyll is a very special place with a lot of History behind it and definitely would like to see it preserved. Thank you for this opportunity to express our feelings. We keep up to date by reading the Golden Islander which is mailed to us all throughout the year.
Linda and Brett Sutherland, Brampton, On  L6W 4H5, Canada

We love coming to Jekyll Island for weekend get-aways. We have visited at various times of the year. Please keep Jekyll Island environmentally friendly and not over-developed. Please also keep it affordable for the average person/family.
Jean Collins, Middleburg, FL 32068

We come to Jekyll because we love the it the way it is. We live much closer to other islands and beaches, but prefer Jekyll so we make the six hour drive 6 to 8 times per year. We have two young children (8 and 9) they have grown up coming to Jekyll, with all its natural beauty and wildlife. They have learned to take care of and appreciate the environment here. We brag to others about this island, of how you can set on the beach and see nothing but dunes, sea oats and palm trees, of how it's not spoiled by hotels, mobs of people and commercialism. We think it would be a travesty to see all of this end due to the almighty dollar.
Gregory L Adams, Clover SC 29710

Jekyll Island is by far the best vacation spot we have ever visited.  What makes it so special is the family oriented atmosphere, and the lack of congested traffic.  I have sung the praises of Jekyll Island to everyone I meet that will listen.  If the island were to go any more commercial, I would not want to visit there anymore, nor would I encourage others to.
On our recent trip to Jekyll in July 2007, we visited St. Simons Island and I couldn't wait to get out of there and back to Jekyll because of all the traffic, the shopping centers, and the crowds that completely obscured any beauty the island once held.  St. Simons looks like any other overdeveloped city in America.  Why pay to visit a place that looks just like the mall in your own hometown?
Jekyll Island is perfect just the way it is.  It is one of the last unspoiled treasures of the U.S.  Once you ruin it, it's lost.
Leah Denham, Boaz, AL  35957

We travel extensively and think it's a shame that there seems to be endless building and development going on everywhere you look.  We love that Jekyll Island remains largely unchanged from visit to visit.  It is a wonderful place full of natural beauty, friendly people, and plenty of family friendly activities.  As the old saying goes, "if it's not broken, don't  fix it"!  Jekyll Island is like a breath of fresh air and a welcome break from all of the cookie-cutter condos and "exclusive" communities that are a dime a dozen all along the East Coast.  What Jekyll Island has to offer is truly special and we hope it will be preserved for families to enjoy for generations to come.
The Jenss Family (Rainer, Carol, Tyler & Stefan Jenss), Nyack, NY  10960

Because we have always loved Jekyll so much we just recently bought a house on Jekyll after being visitors for 30 years.  We rent it out when we are not using it.  We would sure hate to see Jekyll change.  A few comments to qualify a few of my answers above:  Regarding the Convention enter, I said no above but I wouldn't mind seeing it change or improved some, however I'd hate to see it greatly expanded.  Regarding the upscale hotels - I don't think one or two more would be bad but I don't think the majority of them should be that way.  We wouldn't have stayed on Jekyll all those years had prices been much higher.  Regarding the island improvement fee, a small fee of $1 might be ok, but I recently read that the $3 parking fee is going to be charged for every day even if you don't leave the island - I don't think this is good.  It was never that way in all the years we visited the island and I don't think it makes for a welcoming feeling.  Perhaps the improvement fee could be used instead of charging the parking fee every day.  The "parking" fee always seemed strange to me since you were already paying for a hotel in which you parked.  They should call it a State Park Entrance fee or something other than parking.  Thanks for requesting input.  Keep up the good work!
Denise Seliskar,  St., Lewes, DE 19958

Jekyll Island is perfect the way it is.  It is affordable and a wonderful place to bring your children.  My grandparents spent every winter, for 20 years there, because of it's beauty, charm, and it's golf courses.  They would be very sad to see it change.
Erin Humphrey, Mount Vernon, Ohio 43050

Replace the hotels which have been removed with maybe a Hampton Inn or Marriott Courtyard. These are very nice hotels and reasonably priced for the average person to come and enjoy Jekyll Island.  The beauty of Jekyll Island is its tranquility.  Expanding this to a St. Simon or Hilton Head would be a great disservice to many of the people that travel to you island on a regular basis.
The rich have St. Simon and Hilton, please keep Jekyll Island as it is for the average everyday working people of this country.
Putting condos in the "new town square" would be disastrous.  The ocean access and views should not be obstructed.
Nancy J. Hopkins, Springfield, OH

We believe that the JIA would lose much income by privatizing programs such as the campground. Would be hard to find better management that that provided by Ronnie Douglas currently. We have our winter reservations made for the next three years.
Allan & Jeanette Twombly, Quakertown, PA 

We fell in love with Jekyll Island when we visited.  Please don't let over-development and "upscale" pricing ruin it.
Mary Jo Crisci, Waukesha, WI  

My Mother was born and raised in Georgia, but moved to Ohio when she married my Dad.  Therefore, we spent 2 weeks in Georgia every summer from the time I was a baby.  We usually spent about half of that time at Jekyll - either day trips, or staying at hotels.  We started coming back with our extended families about 10 years ago, and rent a house on the island.  My husband and I were married on the beach at the South Picnic area 3 years ago.  We like the fact that Jekyll does not even have a traffic light, and the bike paths that are on the entire island.  It's a great place for a family vacation.
We'd like to see some development in a few ways, but without the island losing those qualities that we've grown to love.  The hotels obviously are a bit run down, and building the new hotels will definitely help.  The problem with the existing hotels is that the beach is non-existent during high tide, and in some areas, there is not beach at any time.  Even when we rent a house, we will not go any farther than King due to this fact.  The south end of the island seems to have the nicest beaches, but it is not easily accessible, and the lodging is not available.  We'd REALLY like to see Jekyll add some GOOD restaurants.  Eating out is difficult on Jekyll - we usually have to head to St. Simon's for a really good dinner. 
Lori Atkin, Canton, OH 
Jekyll Island is such a treasure that nothing should be done which would deteriorate the environment and natural resources of the island. Rich people who want luxury and amenities can go to Hilton Head. Average people have no where to go besides Jekyll Island.
It is not necessarily a bad thing that visitorship is down. As long as the State generates enough revenue to continue to maintain and operate the infrastructure on the island, there is no need to increase the visitorship. Bigger is not necessarily better.
The attraction of Jekyll Island is not the amenities on the island; it is the lack of amenities and the extensive undeveloped beaches and marshlands.
The State of Georgia should keep control of the facilities and operate them solely as a means to get enough revenue for the continued maintenance of all the facilities. I do not want to see the island developed such that profits go into the pockets of politicians and their rich developer friends. And if enough revenue isn't generated from leases then the parking fee should be raised. One would expect to pay at least $20 a day on a weekend to gain access to ocean front facilities like Jekyll has to offer.
Marilyn Fetzer, CT

The reason we have continued to visit this island for 20 plus years is because it is not commercialized. We love the laid back and family-friendly atmosphere. During the past few years our children (the three oldest) have grown up and returned with our grandchildren.
If we wanted “high end” and “upscale accommodations and lots of shopping we would go to Hilton Head or Kiawah Island, etc. We love the love the wild deer, the bike paths, and the uncrowded beaches. And, yes, we are grateful that we don’t have to spend a fortune to be together here as a family! Sure would hate for someone’s desire to make another dollar to change it all.
Glenda Crowe, Johnson City, TN

Besides our occasional summer visits to the island, in 1983 we started spending Thanksgiving week also. Soon that week was not enough so we spent 4 weeks. My family from Maryland heard us sing Jekyll’s praises so often they started to rent several houses for Thanksgiving as well. We have many fond memories of the island. I also have one sad memory. My husband died suddenly while we were there in 2002. We are continuing the Thanksgiving tradition and have reserved 5 houses for this year. I certainly hope the island can stay just the way it is. I am against any growth.
June H. Herring, Fellsmere, Fl

Jekyll Island is a beautiful place! We have been bringing our children on vacation here for over 15 years. We have brought other family members as well. The reason we keep coming back is because of the charm of the island and its lack of development. Some of the motels could use improvements but otherwise leave it alone! Jekyll is the treasure of the Atlantic coast.
Shirlee Fowler, Stow, Ohio

Whatever it takes keep this island pristine. Stop the building. When private developers come in the island will be destroyed. Their goal will be money not a place for families to enjoy. Keeping the rates low will help those who wish to enjoy a quiet vacation. The education is invaluable. This is one of the few places that the crowds don’t get in your way.
Jack and Linda Boyd, Jr., Murrells Inlet, SC

My husband I and our 3 kids just had the most enjoyable vacation on Jekyll. We stayed at the JI Club Hotel for 5 days, did many great things, and spent less than 2000.00.  While I was there I met a woman at the pool, and we had a great conversation. She explained to me what was going on in regards to development of the island, which I found quite sad.  We have never been to a beach that had such untouched natural beauty.  That's what makes it unique.  How sad that it's heading for the same old same old that's already a dime a dozen at any numerous other beaches. If that happens, we more than likely won't be back.  We fell in love with it for what it is now.  The island is tiny; it doesn't need another upscale hotel.  Like so many others have stated, why not just go to Hilton Head or any other of the numerous high end beaches.  JI is about beauty, nature and history.  Perfect just the way it is! 
Pamela and Frederick Bickford,  Concord, NC 28025

We are going to start coming twice a year because we enjoy it so much. As long as there are affordable accommodations and we can bring our dogs, we will be back every year. We just spent the past week at Jekyll and we hated to leave.  One night coming down Capt Wily Rd we saw 10 deer near the golf course at the edge of the woods.  What a beautiful sight. That would certainly be destroyed if residential development is allowed.
Mary & Samuel Kitchin, Clearwater, Fl 33760

We really LOVE Jekyll Island the way it is. There is nowhere else that we have found that we feel more comfortable letting our kids play on the beach and not having to follow them like puppies!! We come down in August because of the less-crowded beaches, calming and relaxing nature of the island. If all of these changes go through, the island will be no different than Hilton Head or Myrtle Beach and through speaking with a number of people during our vacation there in the past week, we have found that a lot of people feel the same way as we do. Updates on some of the homes, hotels etc., would be fine, but to add all of these other fancy condos, hotels, etc., would not make Jekyll Island stand out on its own. It would be no different than the others and the way it is now is what makes Jekyll Island a "little bit of heaven on earth" in our eyes.
Mark & Michele Megela, Vernon, PA 15012

I think since Jekyll Island is supposed to be a park that motel rooms should not be priced out of the middle class income.  Most of the motels (Day's Inn is an exception)  charge any where from $139 to over $200 A day.  These motels are run down and not really kept up but they persist in these outrageous prices for what they offer.  Also Jekyll Inn charges an exorbitant amount and you even can't get on the beach from their Inn. 
I love Jekyll and it is my favorite place to go for a "get-away." Please try to keep charges so that the middle class can enjoy this beautiful island.
Genevieve Blevins, Middleburg, FL  32068

We love Jekyll Island the way it is now.  To start adding big hotels, shops & restaurants would take away from the Island.  We prefer Jekyll because it is not crowded.  We do not like a beach that is so commercialized and over crowded like Myrtle Beach.  We feel that everything should be done to keep the Island looking beautiful just the way it is.  Some buildings may need some remodeling, but they don't need to be torn down.  I would hate to see Jekyll Island become a very expensive place to stay.  If that happens, we would have to find us another vacation spot.
Lynn & Rick Haughwout, Fountain Inn, SC  29644

My husband and I love coming to your beautiful island. Lewis Gulick allows us to stay at his vacation home. We enjoy the slow pace of the island and the fact that it is so affordable for us that are on a fixed income. We definitely support you in keeping Jekyll Island free from further development.
Judy and David Kingsley, Kalamazoo, Mi.  49009

If you want to see what happens when you let land developers get their foot in the door, take a look at St. Simons. Junk shops, traffic jams, etc. That island is ruined. Why can't we have just 1 small strip of land on the coast that is still in its natural setting? I say greed. I fell in love with Jekyll the first time I went there about 10 yrs ago and have been back every yr since, because of the natural beaches, no traffic, just a beautiful place where you can truly get away from everything. Look up the lyrics to Jimmy Buffett's song "Prince of Tides"...kinda hits home in this case doesn't it?
Some comments on the survey questions: I have no problem with rebuilding the hotels or convention center as long as they are built in exactly the same spot and are about the same size. *I would be more than happy to pay an additional $10 per night to help JIA with their funding, and even raising the parking fee from $3 to $5. Giving control of the historic district to a private developer is absolutely insane. The powers that be need to take a close look at what a 'jewel' they really have now, and what they won't have if development occurs. I could support maybe a couple new restaurants, but that's about all. In other words, I'm willing to pay extra to keep Jekyll as close to the way it is now as possible. I'm sure many, many would agree with that.
D. Wilson, Soddy Daisy, TN 37379

I started coming to Jekyll Island in 2005.  I think I have found Nature's Paradise.  I truly love the Island just as it is.  I love the Beach, Biking, Walking, Nature Trails, Golf Courses, Historic District, just everything.  Can we not have one island left in the United States untouched by developers.  I am an average American retired citizen who lives on a very tight budget and cannot afford overpriced condos or apartments.  The one thing I do budget and save for is my time on Jekyll Island.  Only the wealthy will be able to afford to come to Jekyll if it is turned into an overcrowded, expensive retreat for the rich.
Carol Engluned, Janesville, WI 53546

Jekyll is the only place that does not change and most people who come to the island would like it to stay that way.  We do not need another St. Simons Island.  That island was ruined.  Do we need big money to do it to this island also.  We have been spending the last 8 winters on the island and if prices go up we will not be able to come.  Our income does not go up.  We come because the island stays the same.
Mary Martin, W8615 Duck Creek Lane

Jekyll is a gem because it does not feel like every other cookie-cutter resort or run-down beach town. We already have a Myrtle Beach, a Coco Beach, a Panama City.  Keep Jekyll unique and people will keep coming - turn it over to developers and it will look like every other overdeveloped beach town - and no one will drive to the middle of nowhere Georgia for a generic beach town when they can go to the aforementioned established resorts.
Tamara Young, Athens, OH 45701

The privitization of such outstanding public resources as Jekyll would cause all real Republicans (such as A. Lincoln and T. Rosevelt) to turn over in their graves.  With them, I believe that such resources as Jekyll should be open and available to the public as all of our great Western Parks are (which are also under attack by similar groups).  Privatizing these resources for a few rich people to make even more money by leveraging public resources is a terrible idea.  The Georgia legislature should turn down this idea flat, and insure that a Board is chosen which will represent the public interest.
David C. Kingsley, Kalamazoo, MI, 49009

Jekyll has the best golf available anywhere we have ever been.  The choices between the 3 18 hole courses and the 9 hole course provide options for every situation.  People think that the 9 hole course is just a "toy" course but it is absolutely a fine challenging golf course.  It would be a real tragedy to turn it into residential or commercial property.  We have been coming to Jekyll for over 40 years strictly because it is not developed and we can usually find a deserted stretch of beach to enjoy without tremendous crowds.  We have watched the changes that have so far not detracted from the natural environment and would hate to see commercialization that would turn it into another Hilton Head or Myrtle Beach.  We come to Georgia because the beaches in our state are far too commercialized.
Deborah and Dave Morrison, Greenwood, SC  29649

Jekyll Island is one of the few unspoiled areas along the east coast, which is the reason that so many travelers love to include on their itinerary.  It's a great place to educate the next generation about conservation and preservation of natural resources.  It has a rich history and with creative planning could be self-sustaining financially without involving private developers who would strip it of its uniqueness and develop it for personal profit. 
Georgia is so fortunate to have this island for the good of all of its residents. I trust the voters will make it clear to their state government that they wish to retain this piece of history as communal property for all to enjoy.
Carol Egan, Maine, NY

My family, along with two other families, have made Jekyll our summer vacation spot. In the past we have traveled to a different place every year, but after our first stay on Jekyll we made reservations to come back the week after we returned home. We love how quiet it is, we love the fact that it is mainly underdeveloped, and it has just enough to do. It's affordable, beautiful and clean! I have been telling every one I know about this wonderful place. PLEASE DONT LET ANYONE RUIN THAT! IT PERFECT! LEAVE IT ALONE!!!!!! It is home to the beautiful sea turtles. We enjoy walking the south end of the island looking for the turtles and their nests.  The sea turtle museum was a wonderful addition to the island. We even invested in flash lights and red plastic wrap to walk the beach with. It was sad to see that the drift wood beach area had been covered by large rocks. Thank you for your time and if there is any thing I can do to help save the island from development, please, let me know.
Ash Windham, Francis Rd. Knoxville TN 37909


Too much of the coastal property of the Atlantic seaboard has been developed into play grounds for the rich. People of average means deserve to enjoy the islands beauty as well.  It is wonderful to come to a place and walk the beach in it's natural state. We need to stop and appreciate this wonderful earth as is and stop trying to improve on it. There are enough restaurants, hotels and gift shoppes in the area to accommodate any needs, in any price range. I feel like the main land is close enough to handle any excess. Put your condos and such on the main land.
Arthur and Nancy Radford, Meadow Bridge  WV  25976

Additional traffic on the island will destroy the natural beauty.  Roads are not geared for this traffic either.  This is one of the few affordable places left in the USA.  it was very exciting for us to feel as if we could do something to help preserve a part of the island we love so much as well as it meant alot to us to have our names placed in a part of history.
Please do not sell out........Please save our family and many, many other families a place to build memories. I know that together we can all financially support the island. We plan to be married at the OceanView hotel next year and look forward to bringing our children and grandchildren there for many years to come. We know Jekyll Island will be a tradition in our family for generations to come!!!!!
Ray Earnest /Jean Brown, Groveland, Florida 34736

I understand that some work needs to be done on the island and, that the hotels are in bad shape.  My husband and I visited in May 2007 and were disappointed with the condition of our hotel. It didn't used to be that way. We were married at Faith Chapel in 1995 and had not visited since out first anniversary in 1996.  My parents took me and my three siblings to Jekyll many times as a kid.
It was so wonderful to see the natural growth on the dunes and the vegetation in bloom. There are very few placed where one can see this. We must preserve the natural beauty of the Island.  Certainly some improvements need to be made and should be. It would not be a bad thing for business to grow on JI, as long as it is somewhat managed. However, it would be tragic for it to turn into one more over developed place that rivals so many others. Good grief, we have to stop stripping this country of all of its natural beauty in the name of overdevelopment. PLEASE!
Marcia Ferguson, Broadview Heights, Ohio  44147

Jekyll Island is a unique site.  It is one of the few protected barrier islands that is accessible.  It is the only accessible barrier island that is not all trashed up with gated communities and big box stores. Jekyll Island has a quiet, unassuming, welcoming aspect that will not survive high priced development. 
My husband and I were traveling down the east coast from Maine and were despairing of finding any place that was not exactly the same collection of big box chains and "exclusive clubs".  We were looking for something with character and a "realness" to it.  Jekyll Island was the one place we found. 
Please take care of it as best you can.  There will not be another. 
Randy and Margaret Kleinrock, Springvale, Maine 04083

The crown jewel of the eastern seaboard is on the verge of being raped by the powers that be and their political contributors. They want to turn a "state Park" into another Hilton Head.  The park was originally bought from the ultra rich for the average Georgian and his family to enjoy, now they are trying to give it back. The governor may have done some good things for the state but if this goes through he will be remembered as the one that sold Jekyll Island down the river . Shame, shame on you governor.
Glenn and Betty Rice, Hayesville , N.C. 28904

I love this island!   wish developers would stay away! My husband and I have already noticed that days inn has jacked up their rates for next year.  For example we paid $91.50 for a room on the island side in early may of this year. Next year they are going up to $100.00!  that's too much.  Plus the fact that the island is pristine. I have seen sand like I have seen on jekyll island anywhere on the east coast. I have been to several beaches on the east coast.  please Georgia stand up for jekyll island!
Leslie Marsh, Chattanooga, TN

My wife and I have enjoyed the quiet elegance and natural beauty of Jekyll for many years.  It is a very special place to visit and enjoy the wonderful natural environment, play some golf and generally immerse ourselves in another side of Georgia.
It is affordable and relaxing, allowing us to treat our older children to this unique environment.  Soon, they will be bringing their children here to experience the same gentle life style.
We hope that they will have the opportunity to bring their children here.  Some of the plans for change are concerning.  Condominiums, upscale restaurants and shops, higher-end hotel and motel complexes do not bode well for the average visitor and tourist to this very special place.
Before undertaking such a large-scale change why not clean up what you have in place on the island at the moment.  Up-grade the existing hotels and motels, provide improvement for the restaurants already in place, with improved service, selection and ambiance.
Upgrade the golf courses, not just the physical lay-outs but in terms of service and options. Market the Island more aggressively, particularly the natural beauty and wonderful experiences that can be had on Jekyll.  Enhance the opportunities for visitors by offering more encounters, organized encounters with nature. 
I could go on, but I will conclude by re-iterating that my wife and I love this very special piece of Georgia and we encourage you to consider an upgrade and enhancement of the existing advantages of Jekyll before tearing apart something that can never be put back together.
Bryce Leggatt and Barbara Seldon, Burlington, ONTARIO, Canada

We love Jekyll Island.  I can honestly say that it is our favorite place to visit in the WHOLE world.  There is just no place like it!  We love to walk on the beach and are always amazed that there are places to walk where we don't see anyone else, even during the summer months.  The fact that Jekyll Island is not your usual beach resort is a real draw for us.  We like the quiet atmosphere and the ability to get around everywhere we need to go by bike.  It's a beautiful place, and it's clear that much thought went into the original layout of the island.  Please don't change Jekyll Island too much.  It's disheartening to hear that consideration is being given to developing more of the island.
Tim and Linda Sigmon, Charlottesville, VA  22911

The people and organizations who are the decision makers must do what they know is right for the citizens of Georgia and all other visitors. Keep the island moving along under the original concept and restrictions and DO NOT let a few private developers and individuals make more millions at the expense of the citizens. They, the citizens are the ones who are to benefit from the use of the island.
Harry and Emily Fees, York, Pa. 17408

March, 2006 was our first visit to Jekyll Island.  We chose the island instead of our usual month in Florida, because Florida was getting too built up and busy.  We have decided to come back to Jekyll Island because of the slower, quieter pace.  To have more condominiums, etc. built would spoil the atmosphere that we loved about the island.  We love being able to go out and walk without traffic whizzing by, and my husband loves being able to play on the three golf courses.  Please, please do not change the makeup of the island.  If people want the upscale life, let them go to St. Simon's! 
Dana & Elizabeth McCurdy, Bath, ME 04530

Living in Florida we have seen every privately owned hotel as well as Commercial hotels be torn down due to sell out to "High Rise Developers" and what was once a "family vacation spot" now is a development of High Rise Condominiums (Clearwater, Florida is a perfect example, so much for the beauty of Tampa Bay or Honeymoon Island).
       When we discovered Jekyll Island almost 3 years ago it was like finding a piece of heaven on earth. The seclusion and the beauty of the island was certainly a breath of fresh air. The beach is beautiful and well maintained, the hotels are affordably priced (and most are well maintained or are making improvements), the bicycle trails through the historic district and marsh lands are extraordinary and the historic district in itself is absolutely gorgeous.
I feel it would destroy all that the Island represents to allow "High Rise Developers" to come in and tear down what holds such beauty and memories for a lot of families. We recently purchased a brick at the new Turtle Museum/Hospital and it was very exciting for us to feel as if we could do something to help preserve a part of the island we love so much as well as it meant a lot to us to have our names placed in a part of history.
Please do not sell out........Please save our family and many, many other families a place to build memories. I know that together we can all financially support the island. We plan to be married at the OceanView hotel next year and look forward to bringing our children and grandchildren there for many years to come. We know Jekyll Island will be a tradition in our family for generations to come!!!!!
Ray Earnest /Jean Brown, Groveland, Florida 34736

The people and organizations who are the decision makers must do what they know is right for the citizens of Georgia and all other visitors. Keep the island moving along under the original concept and restrictions and DO NOT let a few private developers and individuals make more millions at the expense of the citizens. They, the citizens are the ones who are to benefit from the use of the island.
Harry and Emily Fees, York, Pa. 17408

I was born in Brunswick.  Although living elsewhere since leaving Brunswick as a child, I plan to return to Brunswick and retire to watch the tide come and go while sitting on the sand on Jekyll.  All of my family, extended, enjoy Jekyll.  We have rented a home or stayed in various hotels on Jekyll for years i.e. Jekyll Estates, the Ramada, and so forth.  Plus family own a duplex on Jekyll.  It needs to stay as is with obvious small incremental changes that occur throughout the passing of time.  Jekyll has always seemed a family oriented place.  Do not let the charm of Jekyll be lost through development for people other than the common people.  I have many memories of wonderful moments spent on Jekyll and I hope to soon be there to create more.  Thank you to those of the IPJI for your time and heartfelt efforts in protecting Jekyll.
Suzanne Brockway, Richland, Mi 49083

Jekyll Island is an unspoiled jewel, currently accessible to a broad range of people regardless of income level. Its historic and natural resources are unlike any other island on the entire Atlantic coast. Insensitive development will destroy these unique features and block access to a large portion of the public--those of moderate or low income. Please keep Jekyll unspoiled and available to everyone!
Pamela Meister, Greenville SC 29609

Jekyll Island is unique in not having a commercial attraction. It is safe for families and a draw to us because it stays non-hampered by new development. We have many friends who have invested in homes or are thinking of investing because of its zoning policies of not expanding further. To do so would ruin the basic character of the Island.
Stuart & Lucia Schweizer, Pine City, NY 14871

My family and I have just discovered Jekyll Island and one of our FAVORITE things about it is the wildlife and all of the undeveloped natural land to enjoy as we ride our bikes. We just enjoyed a week there from July 21-28, our fourth vacation at Jekyll. One night we saw a beautiful hawk that had just caught a rabbit and another night we counted 8 dear on our way back to the hotel. Where else can you enjoy such beautiful beaches AND uninhibited wildlife? We have been trying to get others in our family to come down and see what we are so inthralled by. They just don't understand that beaches don't have to be surrounded by hundreds of high-rise condos, millions of miles of traffic and endless fast-food restaurants. All of the hub-bub we left Destin, FL. because of. We watched our favorite places in Destin be over run by highrises, more and more places to shop and an endless parade of other things that did nothing but block out the view of the ocean and beaches. We had been going to Destin for 15 years. I can not begin to tell you what a wonder and joy it has been for us to find Jekyll Island. We LOVE, LOVE, LOVE it just as it is!!!
I can understand needing maybe one other hotel for folks to stay. But, I hope it is not taller than two stories and keeps with the tradition of being built so many feet back from the dunes and beach.
Terry and Betsy Swope, Soddy Daisy, TN 37379

My wife and I have been coming to Jekyll for our annual winter stay of 4-6 weeks due to its pristine beauty, its lack of congestion, its facilities and reasonable prices.  We
sometimes feel that it's our own private paradise as we stroll its wonderful beaches, not
seeing another person or signs of development.  Yes, many of the hotels need up-dating and some new development could improve the island, however, the quiet, peaceful and affordable qualities should be maintained.  Remember, this island is a State Park, not someone's private domain.  Profit & greed should not be the intention of the JIA. My wife and I hope that we can continue to enjoy the beauty of Jekyll Island for many more years.
Richard Tallmadge, North Fond du Lac, WI 54937

My family first discovered Jekyll in 1970 from a Georgia friend.  We were looking for a unique special place.  Needless to say we were not disappointed.  From the 70's through the 90's our family and many other friends from Ohio made Jekyll our yearly vacation spot.  Since then it still becomes a must week for my wife and I to truly relax. 
It's been exciting to watch Jekyll develop (Historic district, tennis courts, water park) yet maintain that special feeling it has always had.  Like many who have written to the Golden Islander we too hope that sensibility will win out and Jekyll will remain Jekyll.  Yes, it is time to update and we look forward to newer motels being developed but we too remain strong in our desire that Jekyll will not go the way of so many other coastal areas.
Tim Welker, Bolivar, Ohio 44612