Highlights of the Jekyll Island State Park Authority (JISPA) Board Meeting of 22 January 2013, in the Jekyll Island Convention Center

Please note: As of January 2013 Steve Newell will no longer be providing extensive minutes of the board meetings due to his retirement from JICA. Instead, IPJI will provide brief board highlights.
Check website and "Media Coverage" regularly for current updates.

Chairman Richard Royal opened the session with an announcement that Bob Kreuger will replace Steve Croy as Vice Chairman and Al Ike will replace Mr. Royal as Chair of the
Historic Preservation/ Conservation Committee

Committee Meetings:

Historic Preservation/ Conservation Committee:

•Dr. John Marr, the new General Manager of the Georgia Sea Turtle Center (GSTC), introduced the Sea Turtle Center’s Education Specialist, Krisitn Lee, and asked her to tell the board about a long distance learning initiative between the GSTC and Gwinnett County Oakland Meadow School. To view a video of the program which was shown at the board meeting, click here.

•Jekyll Island State Park Authority Master Plan Update: John Hunter told the board that the Master Plan Committee expects that in the next four to six weeks 65/35 Committee will complete its work and forward its recommendations to the Steering Committee.

•Hunter made the board aware of events that will be held on Jekyll Island for Black History Month. To see a description of the events, click here .

•Ben Carswell, JISPA Director of Conservation, announced that the Jekyll Island Green Screen, presented by Athens’ EcoFocus Film Festival, will be free and open to the public. The event featuring the acclaimed film, Chasing Ice, will be held at the Jekyll Island Convention Center on February 16, 2013. To learn more about this event, click here.

Finance Committee

•The JISPA continues to operate on a tight budget.
•Hotel room nights were down, Average Daily Rate increased.

Personnel Committee
•No Report

Legislative Committee
•No Report

Marketing Committee
•Eric Garvey reported that the Marketing Department’s efforts in social media outlets have given Jekyll Island a great deal of exposure. He feels that social media is the key to marketing right now. Garvey illustrated how social media marketing has been effective.

Committee of the Whole:

•Westin Ground Lease: An additional 1.1 acres was allocated to the Westin property to increase parking space, leaving 1.95 acres between the Westin’s southern boundary and the yet to be developed 1.34 acre Great Dunes South Park, which will be in the area of the old beach deck adjacent to the Days Inn.

•Jekyll Landmark Associates (owners of the Jekyll Island Club Hotel, the Hampton Inn and Suites and developers of the Westin) proposes using the property for a 39-unit, three story, suites hotel that will be operated as an extension of the Jekyll Island Club Hotel. To read a press article about the hotel, click here.

•Retail Center: Construction documents are 90% complete. Construction is expected to begin in April or May of 2013, with a completion date of March 2014.

•Hyatt Place Hotel: The proposed mid-scale beach village hotel developers received their financing commitment on January 11, 2013. Designs in drawings are expected in April 2013, with an anticipated opening of February 2014.

•Westin Hotel: Final financial closing is expected to be February 18, 2013. Construction design and specs are in the final stages. Anticipated opening date is August 2014.

•The Oceanfront Resort: Center State Bank holds the lease on this property and indicated to the board that they have an interested buyer from California who has not yet come to Jekyll Island to see the property.

•Airport Clearing: The JIA staff and Conservation Director are working with the FAA to regarding federal requirements for runway clearing of branches and trees. The hope is, that with stakeholder and JIA input, a minimum number of tress will be revolved in accord with FAA regulations.

•New Years on Jekyll Island:  Jekyll Island has seen an increase in tourism during the time between Christmas and New Year’s Day as a destination for family gatherings. Visitors to the island during the New Year ‘weekend’ has exceeded Fourth of July campground visitation for the past several years. The JISPA Marketing team is exploring ways to advertise the island as a family vacation destination at this time of year.