New hotel will help reinvigorate island

The Westin Jekyll Island hotel was approved by the Jekyll Island Authority (JIA) in November, in an attempt to revive tourism on the barrier island. Groundbreaking for the 200-room facility occurred in May. It will serve the adjacent and newly opened Jekyll Island Convention Center.

Here are some previously published comments from JIA staff and board members addressing the importance of the new $40 million project, which will be supported in part by the island’s tourist development fund.

— “It’s hard to overstate how important this is. The new convention center opened in May to rave reviews, but it’s critical that we have the new hotel just adjacent to it to really make it all work.” — Eric Garvey, Jekyll Island Authority spokesman, in an Associated Press story in November.

— “The beachfront Westin will play a significant role in attracting businesses and leisure guests from across the country to Jekyll Island and the coast of Georgia.” — Bob Krueger, chairman of the Jekyll Island Authority, said in a statement in November.

— “The Westin Jekyll Island is pivotal to the entire Beach Village development. It’s the perfect complement to the wonderful new convention center and the island’s relaxed and gracious ambiance. We are extremely proud to help write yet another new and exciting chapter in Jekyll Island’s rich and fabled history.” — Dave Curtis, managing partner of Jekyll Oceanfront Hotel LLC, upon groundbreaking for the Westin Hotel in May.

— “With the groundbreaking of the new Westin, we are seeing one more step toward completing our end goals of island revitalization. This is a thrilling day for all of us, and we have much to be excited about as we look to Jekyll’s future.” — Richard Royal, chairman Jekyll Island Authority, upon groundbreaking. (Royal replaced Krueger as chairman in December.)

— “The Westin Jekyll Island will be a catalyst that enables Jekyll Island revitalization to achieve its full potential. Westin Hotels and Resorts are marketed as havens of wellness and rejuvenation, which is exactly the right brand for Jekyll Island. Now that Westin construction is underway, the Jekyll Island Authority is much closer to realizing our goals of increased visitation and financial prosperity. This stunning new lodging facility will be a significant draw for Georgia’s Golden Isles.” — Jones Hooks, executive director of the Jekyll Island Authority, on jekyllisland.com in May.

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