Jekyll Island hotel planning 39 beachfront suites

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  • Owners of Jekyll Island’s main resort hotel said Monday they want to add 39 beachfront suites near the island’s new convention center.

    The expansion would give the Jekyll Island Club Hotel rooms on the beach a mile away from the main 157-room hotel, built around the 1888 clubhouse that was once a getaway for America’s wealthiest industrialists. The hotel’s owners pitched their plans during a meeting of the state park’s governing board.

    “We’re very excited about the proposal,” said Eric Garvey, spokesman for the Jekyll Island Authority, which must approve the expansion before construction could begin. “We want to move forward with this project fairly quickly.”

    The hotel suites would occupy three buildings built on 1 ½ acres that are part of a $50 million redevelopment aimed at luring more tourist and large meetings to Jekyll Island. The centerpiece is a new 128,000-square-foot convention center that opens next month. Two convention hotels are also planned and should open between spring of 2013 and early 2014.

    Jekyll Landmark Associates, which owns the Jekyll Island Club Hotel, is also building the larger of the two convention hotels, a 200-room Westin. Garvey said the developers are scheduled to present more detailed plans to the authority’s board next month.

    If the authority approves a design quickly, Garvey said, construction on the beachside suites could start in August and be finished by March.

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