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Jekyll Island . Conover Hunt, Deputy Director FMFADA July 16, 2009. Barrier Island and State Park. Nor. Statistics. State Park operated by Jekyll Island Authority since 1950. Original 99 years extended by 40 to 2089 JI is ten times larger than FM: 5800 acres

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jekyll island

Jekyll Island

Conover Hunt, Deputy Director FMFADA

July 16, 2009

  • State Park operated by Jekyll Island Authority since 1950. Original 99 years extended by 40 to 2089
  • JI is ten times larger than FM: 5800 acres
  • Cannot develop more than 35% of gross MHW land
  • Staff of 274 operates on $16 million/year
  • Self-sustaining since 1983; No endowment (small reserve fund)
more statistics
More Statistics….
  • Mission: protect and preserve natural and cultural resources generating revenues from supporting activities
  • Operates independently of State Parks Dept.
  • Board has 9: one=Sec. of Natural Resources

2 Advisors, both political

  • No staff housing—a problem
tourism destination site
Tourism Destination Site
  • Staff-directed operations generate
    • High level of customer service/satisfaction
    • Direct control over quality of concession-type operations
  • Hotels— $3 million
  • 3 Golf courses—$2.3 million
  • Convention Center/Restaurants--$2.6 million
  • Campground--$900K
  • Museum and Turtle Center--$676K, rising
  • Miniature Golf and Bike Rents--$300K

Millionaires' Resort, 1880s

Private club for Rockefellers,

Pulitzers, Morgans

Seasonal residences with full time year round staff

nhl historic district 240 acres
NHL Historic District- 240 acres
  • History Museum, free
  • Guided jitney tours $
  • Walking tours
  • Retail in small buildings
  • Turtle Center $
  • Limited historic house tours $
  • Adding more programs

View of museum

Programs offered

jekyll island club hotel
Jekyll Island Club Hotel
  • Leased from JIA
  • JIA gets income from on site concessions
  • Full service resort
  • May assume operations of unused cottages as B&Bs
  • Centerpiece of NHL District
some cottages on tour
Some “Cottages” on Tour

Collection of large mansions underutilized

NHL area large with high landscape upkeep

Thinking of adaptive reuse

natural resources key
Natural Resources=Key
  • 65% must be kept natural
  • Resources:
    • Trees, dunes, beaches,
    • ocean, flora and fauna, coastal and deep sea fishing, crabbing

Beach on Atlantic side

Wide variety of assets

nature activities
Nature Activities

Bike Trails

Nature Hiking Trails

Swimming, Surfing


Camping and RV Park

Picnic Areas

Pier Fishing and Deep Sea Charters

Small Cruise Line Port

Annual Events—Wild Shrimp Festival

campground 280 spaces
Campground, 280+ spaces

Simple facilities, popular

Repeat campers get signs

studies in 1996 2004
Studies in 1996-2004:
  • Visitors need more diverse experiences
    • More educational activities
      • Sea Turtle Center, 2007
      • Expanded historic programs in and outside NHL
      • Eco tour activities
      • Use flora and fauna to teach—wildlife book
    • More variety in recreational programs
      • Canoe-Kayak rentals
      • Electric cart rentals
      • Balloon Rides?
    • Market Jekyll as a “Package” of experiences
new programs since 1996
New Programs Since 1996
  • Enhance educational experiences:
    • Walking tours/signs
    • Sea Turtle Center
    • Eco education
    • Historic Interpretation outside NHL area
  • Canoe/Kayak Rentals
  • Upgrade one golf course
special events
Special Events
  • Weddings
  • Seafood Festival
  • Beach Music Festival
  • Turtle Festival
  • Christmas Tours
  • Family Weekends
  • Golf Tournaments
  • Packages

Blair Chapel in NHL

New Programs in works

financing natural cultural educational programs
Financing Natural/Cultural /Educational Programs
  • Income from all JIA operations support mission
    • Overall operations must support social mission
    • Nature and culture not profit centers per se
  • Foundation fund raising
    • Natural, cultural and educational projects
  • Special Events—pay to play
  • Parking fees—Public shares stewardship role
fee supports heritage preservation tourism
Fee Supports Heritage Preservation /Tourism

Historic Cottage

Walking Tour Signage

fee supports natural conservation
Fee Supports Natural Conservation


ADA Beach access ramp

fee supports education
Fee Supports Education

Beach signage

High public acceptance

Gives visitors a sense of ownership

JIA cooperates with state in signage

positive lessons
Positive Lessons
  • Diversity of income sources=critical
  • Set Design Standards early
  • Keep up with market trends
  • Customer Service creates returns
  • Destination sites offer variety
  • Nature and History are GREAT assets