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 have released their plan for conserving natural areas on the state-run island. The preliminary draft unveiled this week now goes to a 30-day public comment period. Jekyll officials say, the plan's purpose is to detail exactly how natural areas will be preserved and how developed areas can be best managed to benefit wildlife.
State officials marked the official start of construction on the centerpiece of Jekyll Island's multi-year revitalization project. The Jekyll Island Convention center will cost the state about $50 million. But officials say, that investment will help bring more tourists to the state-run island.
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.