Jekyll Island authorities say they don't need legislative approval to enact a big change in the state-run park. Officials want to limit how many acres developers can build on there. Right now, state law says 65% of land on the island must remain natural.
Culinary students are taking over a money-losing state-owned restaurant on Jekyll Island. College of Coastal Georgia will be sending culinary students to operate Fins on the Beach. A Jekyll Island Authority official says the concept will take the profit pressure off the state.
Georgia could generate about $1 billion a year by legalizing three casinos. That's the conclusion of a report the Georgia lottery quietly gave Governor Nathan Deal last week. The lottery's board paid for the study. It looked at how much Georgia stood to gain by licensing casinos in Atlanta, Savannah and Jekyll Island.
A private company slated to open two new hotels on Jekyll Island next year can't find financing for the project. The hotels are supposed to open at the same time as a new state-financed convention center. Without the hotels, the state-run island could have trouble attracting convention business. Island officials have told developers, they want to see progress by June.
A proposal to expand casino-like video lottery terminals to help fund the HOPE Scholarship program appears to be dead. When Governor Nathan Deal unveiled his own plan to fix HOPE this week, he rejected expanding gambling. And that pleased officials on Jekyll Island, where Republican State Representative Ron Stephens of Savannah proposed putting terminals.
Jekyll Island officials are still figuring out how to implement a proposed natural conservation plan. The state-run island's governing body is in the midst of drafting a first-of-its-kind document. It will guide managers in protecting each of the island's about two dozen natural communities, like the beach. They had planned to release a draft in December.
The public will get a look this week at how the Jekyll Island Authority plans to maintain a park atmosphere on the state-run barrier island. Island officials on Wednesday will unveil a plan that details how they plan to manage and conserve the island for wildlife. By law, the island is supposed to be kept at 65% undeveloped.
Great Dunes Park is part of the major renovation of aging island facilities that's still more than a year away from being fully complete. A Jekyll Island Authority spokesman says, the park is a showcase for the rest of the project, which won't be complete for another year and a half.