Will Sea Island gem lose its luster if resort is sold?

News that the posh Sea Island resort has gone bust and is seeking buyers leaves me feeling wistful for the days I spent on the Georgia coast in my childhood – even though I have never actually vacationed on Sea Island.

I have traversed the small Sea Island Road many times in the past 38 years, but I have never stayed there overnight.  All of my life, at least some part of my family has lived on neighboring St. Simons Island. As a result, it never made sense to consider paying to spend the night just few miles away – either at the famed Cloister or in one of the beautiful, multi-million dollar “cottages”.

Sea Island was still a lovely draw, however. Life seemed to slow down and take on a peaceful tone the moment we drove or bicycled past the old Cloister and those first cottages. (St. Simons was more peaceful back then too, but it has always been more commercial and more populated than Sea Island.)

Development came like gangbusters to St. Simons in the years after I graduated college. The small houses and small businesses on the St. Simons of my youth now sit alongside multi-million dollar mansions and a growing number of national chain stores and restaurants. But we could still head over to Sea Island for a while to get a reminder of a slower, smaller – if not infinitely more upscale – way of life on the beautiful Georgia coast.

Of course, development and change also came to the “old” Sea Island. There are no Starbucks or Outback Steakhouses on Sea Island (and you still have to cross back to SSI to hit the Harris Teeter for groceries), but Sea Island’s houses began multiplying greatly in number and square footage.  The G8 Summit in 2004 brought international dignitaries and even more prestige to the already prestigious resort. When the history-filled Cloister was torn down, a new $200 million Cloister rose out of the remnants of old Sea Island in 2006. Around that time, the Sea Island Company also erected a security gate, which restricts access to the island for the casual visitor.

Now that Georgia’s famous resort is in troubled financial waters, I wonder how it will affect the community of owners and vacationers who hold so many fond memories of the grand old place.

Even with all of my family a few miles away on St. Simons, I had always harbored the dream that my husband and I would one day leave the kids with their grandparents for the weekend and enjoy a luxurious stay at the Cloister. I don’t know what the future holds for the Cloister or Sea Island, but I do hope that dream isn’t gone for good.

Do you vacation on Sea Island – at the Cloister or in a cottage? What draws you there? How do you think the Sea Island Company’s financial woes will impact the resort?  If the resort is sold and big changes are made to the island, will you still return for vacation? What Sea Island attributes are most important to you?

Do you have any classic memories of past vacations on Sea Island or at the Cloister?  Will the coastal gem that we know as Sea Island lose its luster if the resort is sold?

84 comments Add your comment

Part Time Sea Island Resident

March 10th, 2010
4:18 pm

I have spent my entire life enjoying Sea Island as a visitor and the many friends we have made there. We have loved it so much that my wife and I bought a vacation home there in 1975. We have known all three generations of the family that owns the resort. While the first and second generation of this family had an acute understanding of the needs of its customers, it is clear the third did not. Many changes were made to the operations and facilities in an effort to make it more “posh”, but less accomodating. In doing so new management did not fully appreciate the marvelous qualities Georgians possess – that of not being snobs. This move towards exclusivity (whatever that means) has only alienated us Sea Islanders from most of the year-round people who live in the area. This is sad. I think it is very possible that the new owners of the Sea Island resort will realize how important it is to better integrate ourselves into the community (as we once were), restoring some of thewonderful tradtions now gone, while removing some of the obstacles that have become prohibitively expensive to maintain. Let’s hope things get better!

former visitor

March 10th, 2010
5:02 pm

I have many fond memories of the Cloister of yesteryear. Haven’t bothered to go back once it was “improved” as it seemed management was interested in a different clientele. Notice they advertise heavily in the NYT – maybe it’s the monied New Yorkers they’re trying to entice instead of the regulars folks who made it the wonderful place it used to be.

greg sorrow

March 10th, 2010
5:45 pm

I grew up in Brunswick, just a few miles from Sea Island and St Simons and even spent one summer pushing a lawnmower for the Sea Island Company. It was interesting spending that much time up close to the “rich and famous”. One day, Mrs. Sanders, wife of our long ago governor, brought us something to drink and talked to us. The American Cancer Society relay for life had events on Sea Island and aided in raising thousands of dollars to fight cancer as my mother used to work for the cancer society. Old money people were always friendly while new money people were snobbish, usually. Hopefully the island will retain its charm and beauty.

Chicago Visitor

March 10th, 2010
6:16 pm

I have vacationed at Sea Island for years, first as a youngster and then as an adult looking for that wonderful slow pace and hospitality of Sea Island. I was there last week and although I enjoyed the golf courses – this special place has not been the same since before the G-8 summit. The third generation did a great deservice to the history of the resort by not being better stewards of this special place – instead greed and arrogance took over. They only looked at the upside and never contemplated a downside case to their models. Shame on those banks as well for indulging Bill’s folly that put the resort in jeopardy. I hope they find someone that will restore Sea Island to it’s roots.

SE GA Resident

March 10th, 2010
6:22 pm

As a resident of St. Simons Island for fourteen years, I find it sad that Sea Island Company is having hard times, but I promise the beauty of this area is still intact. I don’t know where you are finding the national chain stores, but I don’t think it’s on SSI or Sea Island. Yes, they are in Brunswick, but we are happy they are, for it allows more convenient shopping. We do have some chain restaurants, but they are needed to feed the tourists and locals. The family-owned restaurants are still around.
Please stop trying to paint such a bleak picture and scare off visitors to this beautiful island.

UNaffiliated Voter

March 10th, 2010
8:03 pm

I would imagine that our Presidunce could take it over successfully…can you say bailout?

Island Girl

March 10th, 2010
8:57 pm

Count me in as one who grew up in Glynn County – Brunswick/St. Simons. As a teen I spent a summer working for the Sea Island Company. Other than a source of part time employment and a nice place to take a Sunday drive to look at the “cottages” Sea Island didn’t play much of a role in our lives. (Oh yeah, I almost forgot about the Sea Island Dances I attended as a teen during the disco era!)

Calvin Coolidge

March 10th, 2010
9:28 pm

The place used to have class. It’s been awhile since it went way over the top. Pathetic!

SSI resident

March 10th, 2010
10:10 pm

When we moved to SSI from the Atlanta area in the late 1980s, Sea Island still had the “Old Charm” which was an easy going pace. Both of our sons worked for Sea Island during the summers and they also attended the weekend dances for the teens. Both sons learned to dance and also learned manners of how to escort young ladies. They were welcomed by Sea Isalnd Mgt. so there would be enough young males there dance with the young girls.

One son worked in the fine dining restaurant and waited on politician’s families (Carl Sanders) and celebrities (John Travolta). The other son worked in the old Beach club as a cook and waiter. They had some great times during those years.

We also had a membership card (free) where we could actually get on the island and eat dinner which we never actually did. We also got all of the flowers for our son’s dates at the flower shop. We also could ride our bikes out there any time we wanted.

Too bad it went exclusive and catered to the billionaires. When they finished the renovation to the Cloister and built the security gate, that was the end to the “old Sea Island.” There are not many people that could afford over $1,000 a night for a room. So, they built a beautiful resort but who could afford to go there except billionaires.

Too bad they ruined the old for the new. They ruined the charm by making a resort too exclusive.

Craig

March 10th, 2010
11:33 pm

Part time Sea Island Resident has nailed it. As I understand it, this fantastic company (Historically) had no debt to speak of until current management/generation undertook it’s “exclusive” vision which clearly abandoned it’s roots. And how the heck did it’s lenders think it was a sound financial plan to have something like 3 times (or more) per key/ room cost over an average Four Seasons or Ritz Carlton? The recession has claimed many real estate victims: Sea Island, enabled by lenders with stars in their eyes, seems to be a victim of it’s own design. Having said that, I sincerely hope that this wonderful Georgia institution survives with the assistance of a deserving investment group.

RADLY

March 11th, 2010
6:10 am

Riches do not protect those who would be irresponsible. Forest said it best…”stupid is…as stupid does.”

georgiadawg70

March 11th, 2010
6:33 am

My family and I began staying at the Cloister three decades ago. I considered my little peice of heaven when we were there. We were not their biggest customers but I think we were good customers. We probably stayed there three times every five years like many other Georgia families. When they tore down the old buildings and started chaarging a thousand dollars a night they threw out all of us like old garbage for the rich A-Rab and European money. I hop Bill Jones burns in hell.

Willis

March 11th, 2010
8:08 am

I lived on St Simons in an area close to Sea Island and Frederica Roads. I did not like it when Glynn County gave much of Sea Island Road to the Sea Island Company which promptly built a barricade just before the bridge that so many people used to fish, crab, throw a shrimp net and just view the marshes. In exchange, Sea Island Company contributed to a new pier on the west side of St Simons, but it was just not the same.

Sea Island residents could keep their privacy and safety concerns, but that causeway and bridge should be returned to the people.

Maybe the new owners will tear down that barricade and allow people (who helped build the bridge with their tax dollars) use of the bridge again. Maybe the new owners or Glynn County would build sidewalks/bikeways alongside Sea Island Road out to the bridge so others could enjoy the view across the marshes.

Bubba

March 11th, 2010
8:23 am

My bride and I had a blissful honeymoon at Sea Island in the days of the old Cloister. While our kids were growing up we were more likely to vacation at a Pawleys Island area beach house or camp at Cumberland Island. Recently we had a brief visit to Sea Island Lodge for a meeting. It’s nice, but not the same as the classy old Cloister.

My theory is that Sea Island started down the road to perdition when they put TV sets in the rooms.

Stone Barrington

March 11th, 2010
8:38 am

Bubba, that’s an exceptional observation on the TV’s there…love it.

Grace DeVita

March 11th, 2010
8:40 am

Sea Island, the Cloisters is my favorite place in the world! The stately southern charm is irresistible. They can’t change the place….

Native Atlantan

March 11th, 2010
9:29 am

I grew up vacationing every Summer on Sea Island (for past 38 years). It was the perfect destination for Atlanta families, and I could always count on seeing friends and making new ones. Now, however, it is just like going to a Four Seasons or Ritz. It’s nice, but impersonal. Most visitors are not local, and you certainly don’t make friends like in the past. There is no reason to return. They’ve outpriced most Atlanta families, and it’s overly-exclusive attitude appeals only to new money. Too bad.

Mobes

March 11th, 2010
9:44 am

Over hyped and over priced. Sea Island has always been a pleasant resort to gather with family for a relaxing short vacation. As for the beach and location…5 stars it is not … and never has been. Why bother with other’s folly. Sea Island will go forward under new owners with a more realistic perspective of value. Yes, Sea Island is being deflated in prices and self imagine. All for the better.

MT

March 11th, 2010
9:51 am

I am likewise from Glynn County and worked at Sea Island Co for 3 summers during school.

As a bartender at the old Beach Club, I served and talked to a wide range of guests, from the members I knew to the guests from Atlanta and Europe. The new Cloister was widely viewed as too impersonal and expensive, since if you were considering getting 2 rooms there, you might as well consider renting out a cottage from the rental pool. This is emblematic of Bill Jones’ lack of listening to his guests and members, and more about his ego. One thing that particularly surprised me is that when planning and designs were being drafted on the new Beach Club, the staff was widely overlooked for suggestions and ideas on how to make the new Beach Club even better than the old one. While the new Club might have more pools, it lost the relaxed, casual of the old Beach Club.

I could not tell you the number of quality managers whose backgrounds were from Hilton, Ritz, etc. that were run off from the Beach Club due to frustrations with how the operation was run. There were several instances where BJ3 would personally override a popular guest item when he simply didn’t like how it was perceived.

Jeffrey

March 11th, 2010
10:10 am

My wife and I vacation every year on St. Simon’s. A few years ago we decided to treat ourselves to lunch at the Cloister on Sea Island, only to be told it was not open to the public. We have been lucky enough to travel other places and have enjoyed dining at the Breakers in Palm Beach and even the luxurious Cap du Eden Roc on the Mediterranean at Cap d’ Antibes in France. We were disappointed that we could not lunch at the Cloister, but now think that may be their problem. It’s hard for me to have any sympathy for their financial situation, when they could have made good money off of us in the past and possibly the future. We will still go to St. Simon’s as we always do, and we will always consider Sea Island off limits to riff raff, like us.

Almost a native

March 11th, 2010
10:14 am

My husband and I moved our family to St. Simons in the 80’s to enjoy a more relaxed way of life. When friends and relatives would come to visit, a drive across the Sea Island causeway was always part of the entertainment. A slow trip down the drive to see the cottages and dream of “someday” after our ship comes in, or winning the lottery, which cottage would we want to buy? Even enjoyed a night at the old Cloister hotel, courtesy of a client, and several meals at the Clositer and Beach Club. The gate put an end to the drives down the main drive to dream about “someday.” It is such a shame that greed and the desire to be among only the very, very rich and famous has now come to where it is today. Billy Jones, I’m sure will never suffer hard times personally, but he has put an end to all of the extended family that relied on Sea Island as their primary source of income. Can you imagine how welcome he is at the Family Thanksgiving Dinner… about as welcome as ants at a picnic!

Russ555

March 11th, 2010
10:19 am

We still vacation at St. Simons. Used to like Hilton Head but it got to big and crowded. St. Simons is more comfortable now. It’s now our favorite place for a weekend at the beach.

Russ555

March 11th, 2010
10:28 am

Almost a native – I have a friend who was a member of the extended family and retired a few years ago at the age of 35. Have not heard for him in years. Have to wonder.

C J Rose

March 11th, 2010
10:30 am

As a small B & B owner for 15 years in Brunswick, I had the opportunity of meeting travelers from all places. Some of them even stayed with me when there was a function they had to attend on Sea Island. They stayed with me because of the rising prices. Others who had visited Sea Island years earlier wanted to splurge for an anniversary or birthday by going for dinner. Imagine their surprize when they were told they could not have dinner unless they were members or guests. They felt as though they were being treated as bad children. So many tinmes my gueats would try to take a ride to Sea Island only to b turned away at the gate. My husband and I used to enjoy quiet Sunday afternoons after our guests left by having a late lunch at the Retreat Club House (now caled the Corn Barn). It,too, was closed to non-membrs. How many times can you turn people away and expect them to come back. From what I have observed of the area, those businesses that don’t consider the locals, don’t make it. Even Sea Island members stopped going to the members only restaurants and started frequenting the fine restaurants on St. Simons because the food and the atmoshere were better.The Jekyll Island Cub became the place of choice for elegant weddings and well as weddings and special events by superb caterers like Straton Hall. Perhaps we can look at the bright side. We in Brunswick & the Golden Isles are survivors of sorts. As we tighten our belts, Sea Island is loosing their shirts. The end of an era -perhaps. The beginning of a new way for all of us – I think so.

Former Demere Rd Resident

March 11th, 2010
10:37 am

So many residential and commercial developmental changes have taken place back home since I moved to Atlanta. Some good decisions, but mostly bad. I grew up down the street from the south-end fire station, which was housed near the King & Prince. My aunt took me with her during the summer to help housekeep for the wealthy part-timers. Back during the early 70’s as kids of color, we were shunned from socializing with children of guests. We only wanted to play with them at the beach, run in the sun side by side, and teach them how to keep fiddler crabs living long enough to fish with the next day.

I can’t relate to the stories of knowing management or other guests as intimately. We were only as valuable as the service we provided. I remember being pulled into the kitchen many times when the guests would enter the home, including their children. We were told to stay out of the way and folks like us were not to be seen unless requested.

But my reference point of the new management was impacted when so many of my family members and childhood friends were layed off during the transition. I was in college in Savannah at that time. Loss of jobs for residents of Demere Rd, Harrington, Jew Town, and Proctor Lane meant fewer resources to take care of families at home. This spelled devastation for many I knew and a nervous scrambling to look for work “in town.” Many of us would always cringe at the thought of having to cross the bridge daily for work. Having to attend school there after SSI Elem. was sad enough.

But old or new management, I recall countless stories of family members and friends who over generations, suffered so many physical and respiratory injuries and illnesses from tolling endlessly to keep many of your cottages spotless, yards kept, and properties safe. Their stories are under the radar.

crudmudgeon

March 11th, 2010
10:48 am

Having grown up in Brunswick when Sea Island was still ‘open’ to the people of Glynn County I remember as a child all too well the Sunday afternoon drives to see the ‘millionaire’s’ homes on the island. I had friends whose family belonged to the Beach Club and as children we were often dropped off in the morning to hang around there all day to swim and have our lunch on the parents tab. A number of years ago Sea Island ended memberships for locals except for those lucky enough to have property on the island. So all the good will that years and years of local patronage had produced was gone overnight. (closing the causeway to locals was the nail in the coffin) My remaining friends who’ve lived in Glynn County forever who used to be proud of Sea Island now refuse to send visiting friends there to stay at the Cloister. And having lived in Atlanta for years myself I recently asked some of my Glynn County friends living here if they refer their acquaintances to Sea Island to stay and to the person all of them say they don’t. So a whole book of business that used to flow to the island is no longer there.

I think the ultimate irony would be for a large foreign company(how about Tata, Inc.?)to buy the place, turn it in to a giant Days Inn staffed with members of the Patel family so that the place would begin to actually service the ‘average’ Georgian much like Jekyll Island should. My only question would be; would all the snooty Republican Fortune 500 Execs abandon the island overnight? Sweet revenge?

And if the beach is owned by the citizens of Georgia how is the average guy supposed to access it if the causeway is closed?

Realtor

March 11th, 2010
10:55 am

The best result would be the Company broken up into smaller manageable (and thus less risky) ventures. This is already happening with the deeding of the Frederica Township property, and the Cannons Point property to Wells Fargo (WF). Cannons Point is in process of sale by WF. The Frederica Golf Course & Club will probably be sold off seperately from the Residential lots. The Stables Tract is still owned by WF, but leased to a professional operator that has opened it to public use. Additionally, the Cabin’s Bluff Resort & Conference Center was traded to the Mead family for an undisclosed property; obviously the Mead’s will continue to operate the Cabin’s Bluff property. If this pattern is followed with the remaining assets, the Lodge, the Island Club Clubhouse, The Retreat and Plantation golf courses, the Cloister Hotel, Ocean Forest Golf Club, and the remaining developed & undeveloped residential properties will all be sold off in bankruptcy at 30 cents on the dollar to the loan amounts, to seperate corporate owners, and operated as public resorts. The first thing to go will be the gate at the Sea Island Road. When all this happens – and it most certainly will – the Property(s) will once again be profitable and a draw. Unfortunately, all the Sea Island Club Memebers will lose their private club, and of course their “refundable” application fee deposits (most over $100,000.) will be unrecoverable under the inevitable bankruptcy. The key is, this can and will be a very profitable set of public resort properties to own & operate, and will prompt an swift economic recovery for the Golden Isles. In my opinion, now is a good time to buy real estate down here – while the prices are low, bargains can be found, and in time to benefit from a recovering economy.

Mairzy

March 11th, 2010
10:58 am

Bubba, I too was there during the years of no TV in your room. What a difference. I still go at least one or twice a year, but no longer stay at the Cloister (rather rent a cottage).

I feel that the new beach club and many activities on the island have been targeted towards children versus adults. This is a huge mistake. Under no circumstances do I want my grandchildren catered to, to this proportion.

Another big mistake was building the numerous beach condos, seen as soon as you enter the island. Looks like a Florida developer trying to make money…no old world feeling there. But calm, peace, and tranquility can be found further down Sea Island Dr. as you reach the cottages.

Another mistake was made when Sea Island took away permanent City Ledger Club Memberships. (One had to be sponsored by fulltime members and approved.) The exclusivity of Sea Island has been replaced by greed, ego, and the desire for big new money.

HB

March 11th, 2010
11:44 am

The decline started about 10 years ago. The powers that be failed to recognize that the charm of Sea Island was not primarily its buildings or its beach. It was the homey atmosphere that drew in the rich and famous long-time patrons — the long-term staff they developed relationships with, the dining rooms open to nonmembers where locals would come for special occasions (the prices kept it exclusive enough), and the quiet, noncorporate atmosphere. People like the Bushes and John Travolta could go anywhere they pleased. If they had wanted an exclusive, “world-class” resort, there were always plenty to choose from. A crew of Enron-era, B-school guys came in determined to strip Sea Island’s charm in an effort to become like other newer resorts they viewed as successful. The new lodge went up and during the off-season, the dining rooms have always been nearly empty — at the old Island Club, nonmember paying diners would drop in during the slow times. How is it good business sense to cut revenue sources and nightly operate empty restaurants for the sake of a new, more exclusive branding plan? The highly successful real estate office that operated on SSI and was filled with the best agents poached from other area companies in the mid-90s was also cut because it didn’t “reflect the brand”. They put a lower cap on available memberships to make Sea Island more exclusive — again, cutting revenue. And while cutting off all those revenue sources, they were building, building, building.

So will it lose its luster if sold? Nope. The luster is already gone. It hasn’t felt like a homey, family-owned resort for years.

Do you have it?

March 11th, 2010
11:49 am

Remember one thing if nothing else. If you use the word class or classy you most likely don’t have any.

Old Southern Upbringing

March 11th, 2010
12:09 pm

Amen to the words class & classy. You must be related to my grandmother (born in 1895)…she always used the term, of good character, and taught me to do likewise.

ED

March 11th, 2010
12:10 pm

Wow, just wow. Why do all of you want go to Sea Island? To rub shoulders with the rich or to enjoy the coastal experience? Do you think you’ve missed out on life just because you don’t live in a million dollar “cottage” or can’t eat dinner at the Cloister? This is the kind of attitude that helped build that place. I love the St Simon’s/Jekyll, coastal Georgia area. I’ve always looked over at Sea Island and felt that those people were too busy trying to impress each other to enjoy the beauty that surrounds them. Surely the more money you spend for a room on Sea Island, the better experience.
The Sea Island Club should be allowed to go under. If public money (and it is) is being used to maintain the roads/bridges/fire/police/etc then the beaches should be open for all. I for one however, will not visit.

mo

March 11th, 2010
12:26 pm

wow, i find it interesting that people expect their childhood home or retreat to remain untouched while the rest of the world should bear the burden of all their starbucks and outback steakhouse desires. Everytime i hear people talk about Sea Island its like an exclusive club that only a few wealthy “in the know” should enjoy….im glad the overpriced development is going under…how about opening it to the “classy” masses…snobs.

Former Sea Island Employee

March 11th, 2010
1:02 pm

I was so excited to find a position at Sea Island in 1996. At that time it was a wonderful place to work. Living on St Simons Island with a great job so close by was a dream. However, that dream fell apart with the money and fame hungry third generation of the family. They have made it inaccessible to those of us who would love to work, eat and spend time there. What a crying shame!

Rob Vinson

March 11th, 2010
1:13 pm

I have never stayed at the Cloister or the Lodge, but have driven through a few times over the years. Now, when i have a chance to go to the GA Coast, i head to Little St. Simons Island, which is not far from Sea Island. 10,000 plus acres, 7 miles of private beach, 30 guests on the island max. at a time and 30 staff members. It’s a wonderful place. Plenty of animals and nature and they have it right because they know how to treat people. Check it out if you can!

truth is stranger than fiction

March 11th, 2010
1:48 pm

Sea Island has been destroyed by greed,arrogance and debt. former CEO’s mc crary and everett are the ones to blame. they lead mr. jones III down the path to destruction and reaped the benefit of large incomes and benefits. they both are locals from Georgia and they flushed the values of the Jones family. when history reviews the truth it will be stranger than fiction.

Edward

March 11th, 2010
1:50 pm

I was engaged at the Cloister, married at the Cloister, honeymooned at the Cloister, and spent my anniversary at the Cloister. I felt that I had bought a slice of time that could never be taken away from my wife and me. I hope that I was not wrong in that assumption…..

Coastal Dawg

March 11th, 2010
2:11 pm

Realtor,
Your comments prove you have no clue about the process or what is currently happening with Wells Fargo or Goldman Sach’s efforts to dispose of the assets. Not even close.

ATL Banker

March 11th, 2010
3:03 pm

Sea Island turned away the GA Bankers association, which is where they held meetings and conventions for years. They said, “Go away bankers, we don’t need your business anymore, we’re focusing on Billionaires.” Now, they would love to have us come bail them out, unfortunatly that’s not going to happen. Good bye to the Cloister, I’m sure some foreigner will come buy it for 20 cents on the dollar.

truth is stranger than fiction

March 11th, 2010
3:35 pm

Coastal, you are correct in that the “realtor” has a dog in this fight. most, and i mean 95%, of the realtors in the SSI area are starving. many have lost everything they had in this downturn and they deserved what they got. living high on the hog, ski trips twice a year, new york three times a year, the carribean in winter, travel abroad, MB’S, lexus, jags and all on credit. now the bills have come due and they are filing chapter 11. let the good times roll!(the sea island company motto)

The Cynical White Boy

March 11th, 2010
4:29 pm

The Rise and Fall of Sea Island reminds me of the “New” Coke debacle.

The “new” Coke CEO wanted to “make his mark” and he changed the Coke formula. Heh heh heh.

The “new” Jones at the helm wanted to “make his mark”. Well, he sure will be remembered, that’s for darn sure.

Devildog

March 11th, 2010
5:05 pm

Considering I’m not rich or famous, I couldn’t care less if Sea Island loses its charm. Bulldoze it and throw up public housing from beach to beach.

Cumberland Isl. Rules

March 11th, 2010
5:09 pm

I know some of you like to be treated as if you actually are more important than others, but all you’re doing is paying way too much to enjoy the beautiful scenery. Grab your camping gear and head down to Cumberland Island. Still beautiful and no snobs.

Meemee

March 11th, 2010
5:34 pm

I too honeymooned at the Cloister and vacationed there for many years afterward. We enjoyed Nathalie Dupree’s Cooking School and we loved the family environment at the “old school.” So many people enjoyed the old world charm of the buildings and I know all of that went away with the bulldozer. I still reside part time on St Simons and enjoy what’s left of the slow pace there. There may be a couple of “chain” places on the island, but those who know, know where to go. Greed is such an ugly creature.

Dan

March 11th, 2010
6:01 pm

Quote from the movie “Mame”:
“Exclusive….
Exclusive of whom?”

Fred

March 11th, 2010
6:17 pm

The sea island of everyone’s childhood was gone years ago. The island lost it’s family values once Mr. Jones passed. We owned two homes on the island and sold them over the last decade because of what’s happened to the island. This is actually great news for the island and a new owner is the only way it can be saved. Drop the memberships! Open it up to the families again! Take out the guard posts and book the Tams and Drifters every Saturday Night. Maybe they should hire me to run the island.

B Ha

March 11th, 2010
7:01 pm

in the late 80’s we used to take our children to the cloister for a few precious days each summer. it was a magical place for families and while pricey was a good value considering meals were included in the room rate. as the current management started “movin on up” they priced the family business out of their market and as i understand it courted a more corporate meeting clientele that centered around golf. when it was announced they would demolish the main building my family was heartsick. we stopped by one day to take a last stroll through the lobby and public areas. all with a lump in our throats. i do hope that the cloister can return to the gem that it was.

North Ga Dawg

March 11th, 2010
7:05 pm

This is just a fine example of how the greed of some ruins things for all. I enjoy visiting the coast, but the select few that are trying to take everything over have got to go. It’s us “regular folks” that keep things going and appreciate the charm & beauty of the Golden Isles. Hope someone with sense can come to the rescue.

Another REALTOR

March 11th, 2010
7:46 pm

Speaking of “reators,” I’ve never understood how Sea Island Company could, for all practical purposes, keep “non-Sea Island Company” agents from selling Sea Island properties. I have to give them the name of my client so they can see if my client is in their database? If my client is in their database, then I can’t earn a commission if I sell a “cottage” they have listed? How absurd is that? And guess what? If I was stupid enough to give them the name of my client . . . it goes straight in their database. The hoity toity attitudes, from Bill Jones on down, is what got them in trouble. Good enough for them!

And truth is stranger than fiction – please don’t put all SSI realtors in your sinking boat. I have every penny I ever made selling real estate sitting in the bank – and it’s not Synovus.

Realtor

March 11th, 2010
8:10 pm

True, I do have a dog, a client, in this hunt. IIf he lfollows my advice he will make a killing in this resort market over the next decade. As to my predictions; son, I forecast this all for my clients 3 years ago, and every single thing I told them has happened, on schedule and precisely as predicted: right down to naming Goldman Sachs. Print it out and watch over the next 3 months. You can check off the correct predictions as they happen; a game everyone can play.