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New Jekyll Island Convention Center, to be Completed on Schedule and Under
Budget, to Provide Powerful Economic Boost for Georgia and its Golden Isles

Historic Levels for Bookings Projected for 2013 and Beyond

JEKYLL ISLAND, Ga., Feb. 21, 2012 -- The highly anticipated grand opening of the Jekyll Island Convention Center this May promises to significantly increase business travel to the state's coast and provide a substantial boost to Georgia's economy.

"Jekyll Island's revitalization efforts are creating jobs for hundreds of Georgians and will continue to lure visitors to the Georgia coast," said Governor Nathan Deal. "The beachfront convention center offers services and amenities that rival top destinations worldwide. Its completion positions the state for continued and significant tourism impacts, which is an essential sector of the state's economy."

The new Jekyll Island Convention Center, to be completed on schedule and under budget, has already received a vote of confidence from a large number of events committed to utilize the facility. As of March 2012, more than 200 meetings and events have been booked through 2016, representing more than $40 million in economic impact for the Golden Isles. Historic levels of meetings and conventions are projected to be achieved in 2013 and beyond.

The positive impact on tourism is already being seen in an uptick in revenues by hotels in the area, as businesses across the Southeast become more aware of all that Jekyll Island offers. This trend is expected to continue and even accelerate.

"Tourism is a vital part of the Georgia economy, and we expect a boost with the opening of Jekyll Island's new convention center," said Kevin Langston, Deputy Commissioner for Tourism, Georgia Department of Economic Development. "From 2009 to 2010, visitor spending contributed $2.4 billion in state and local tax revenue. Having the only beachfront convention center in the Southeast positions Georgia for continued economic growth for years to come. Georgia was the fourth fastest-growing destination for international travelers in 2010. Jekyll's revitalization and new infrastructure will only help bolster that number."

"Many anticipate the new Jekyll Island Convention Center will be a shining star for the state of Georgia," said Jones Hooks, Executive Director, Jekyll Island Authority. "This facility, augmented by the spectacular Great Dunes Park, the planned Westin Hotel and Hyatt Place, and the unrivaled charm of the Historic District, sets Jekyll Island apart to become one of the premier meeting destinations, not only in the state and in the Southeast, but in the county."

"Jekyll's proactive revitalization, initiated four years ago, is leading the region out of the tourism recession and has sparked a rediscovery of Jekyll Island and the historic Georgia coast," continued Hooks. "Not since the days when JP Morgan, William Rockefeller, and other notables put Jekyll on the map has the area received so much favorable attention, and we're just delighted."

Jekyll Island already hosts many exciting events that bring attention and revenues to Georgia's coast. Its annual Shrimp & Grits Festival has received national acclaim in just a few short years, and the internationally recognized Georgia Sea Turtle Center on Jekyll Island will celebrate its fifth anniversary in 2012. In addition, the convention center and new hotels on Jekyll Island will offer a synergistic economic impact and benefits for additional tourism initiatives in the Southeast, such as the PGA's McGladrey Classic and Savannah's Rock-n-Roll Marathon.

"The new convention center and the overall revitalization of Jekyll Island are sure to have a significant impact on the economy in Georgia and beyond," said Hooks. "The excitement and anticipation here on Jekyll Island are huge."

Contact:
 

Mary Eva Tredway
+1-404-317-0731
mtredway@thebutingroup.com


 

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Also See: Westin Will Join Jekyll Island's New Hotel Mix; Construction of 200-room Hotel to Begin by Summer 2012 / December 2011

Waiting Game Continues for Replacement of the Razed Buccaneer Beach Resort on Jekyll Island Until General Economic Conditions Improve / February 2011

Jekyll Island Authority Approves $75 million of Private Development for Two New Hotels; Jekyll Ocean Oaks & Phelps Development Each Chosen for New Build of Hotel Projects / June 2010

Sixty Developers, Hoteliers and Contractors Take a New Look at Jekyll Island's Immediate Redevelopment Goal - a 300-room Full-Service Hotel by Early 2012 / January 2010

Jekyll Island Authority's Redevelopment Plan Moving Forward Minus Linger Longer; Development of New Convention Center and Adjoining Hotel Top Priority / December 2009
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