THE CHALLENGE

Located off the coast of Georgia, between Savannah and Jacksonville, Jekyll Island boasts over eight miles of white sandy beaches.  This unique, tranquil destination presented several challenges for new development.  First, as a Georgia state park, Jekyll Island maintains a strict conservation clause -- only 35% of the island can be developed and existing plants and wildlife must be protected.  Second, in a market of mainly independent hotels and inns, it would be the first new hotel built on the island in 34 years and identifying the right brand and programming would be critical for success.  A final hurdle was Jekyll's limited recognition as an island vacation destination; long gone was the celebrity and allure of the Vanderbilt and Rockefeller's winter playground on Jekyll Island.

THE SOLUTION

New Castle ("NCH") along with trusted partner, the Leon N. Weiner & Associates ("LNWA") co-developed and designed the hotel within a limited footprint to protect the treasured, Southern oak trees that weave throughout the property.  We branded the four-story hotel a Hampton Inn & Suites, offering a unique onsite bar - one of the first within the Hampton system.  Teaming up with LNWA, which successfully restored the Jekyll Island Club hotel to its historic grandeur, and local tourism authorities, NCH invested in awareness efforts to rebrand Jekyll Island as a premier island destination.

THE RESULTS

With NCH's management, the Hampton Inn & Suites Jekyll Island exceeded revenue and profit projections.  The innovative bar concept generated $400,000 + annually in food & beverage revenues.  In 2018, the partnership sold the hotel, and investors in all classes received a return on their capital above expectations.  The success of this property and our island rebranding efforts led to further joint venture developments on Jekyll Island, including the 200-key Westin Oceanfront Resort in 2015 and the dual-brand Courtyard and Residence Inn by Marriott currently under development (opening 2021).   For more information or to speak to our development team, please contact Julian Buffam at + 1(203) 447-7010 or via email at julianbuffam@newcastlehotels.com.