Jekyll Island revitalisation provides a boost to tourism

Jekyll Island revitalisation provides a boost to tourism

Since opening slightly more than a year ago, the Jekyll Island Convention Center has consistently reported positive growth in the number of events, trade shows and conventions held at the center each month.

This positive pattern of progress was repeated last month, with 18 events held in May 2013. These 18 events represented 52 event days, as multiple events were booked on single days.

Of the events held in the month of May, three were corporate meetings using the facility; additionally, the center accommodated three graduation ceremonies. All totaled, these events brought more than 22,700 individuals into the facility in May.

Total revenue generated by events in May was the highest for any previous month, and Jekyll Island’s hotel revenue was up 8 percent over the previous year. News of the venue’s busy May comes as the center marks its one-year anniversary. During the first year, 158 events were held at the facility, with more than 126,000 total attendees.

For the coming year, the center has already issued 85 contracts for events, with 61 fully committed.

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Jekyll Island Meetings and Convention Sales saw a spike in interest from event planners since the May 20, 2013, groundbreaking of the new 200-room, full-service Westin Jekyll Island. In just three weeks, 19 meeting planners requested contract proposals, for a potential economic impact of more than $3 million.
Signs of continued progress are visible throughout the island. One key project was revealed June 17, with the ribbon cutting on the island’s new 1.4 miles of bike path, giving the island a continual loop of 21.4 miles of bike paths.

In coming months, other bike path projects will get underway, including creating a bike path leading to the island along the Downing Musgrove Causeway; beginning work on the Jekyll Island Beach Village retail project; converting the Oceanside Inn to a new Holiday Inn Resort; and the redevelopment of the new Jekyll Island Youth Conference Center.

“As progress and revitalization continue, the balance between conservation and revitalization remains at the forefront of all of our efforts,” said Jones Hooks, Executive Director of the Jekyll Island Authority. “It is our goal to breathe new life into Jekyll Island, while also maintaining the unique spirit which has made Jekyll Island a treasure for the state of Georgia.”