|By Warren L. Wise, The Post and Courier,
Charleston, S.C.McClatchy-Tribune Regional News
June 20, 2012--Kiawah Island Golf Resort is looking to expand its lodging options by proposing to build a hotel on the site of its former inn and cottages next to the crown jewel of its five golf courses.
If approved, the 150-room hotel would be on the island's west side, on the site of the former Kiawah Island Inn.
Also, a small but undisclosed number of four-bedroom rental cottages would go on Kiawah's east side next to the Ocean Course, where the 2012 PGA Championship will be played in August.
The resort has asked three architectural firms to present style concepts and site plans for both sites, said Roger Warren, president.
The boutique hotel would include pools, retail space, meeting space, restaurants and a new clubhouse for the Cougar Point Golf Course.
The rental cottages "would be designed to enhance the experience of golf groups who come to Kiawah Island to be totally immersed in the golf experience," Warren said.
Both concepts must be presented to the resort's ownership board for review.
"Based on the estimated costs of the project and the projected health of the resort vacation market, they will determine if the economic environment warrants moving forward with the construction," Warren said in statement Tuesday.
The proposed projects will be in keeping with the quality that the current owners have been committed to and have demonstrated over the past two decades, resort officials said.
Since acquiring the resort in 1993, the owners have invested in and upgraded most of the resort facilities and amenities.
Some of the improvements include: The Sanctuary, a 255-room oceanfront hotel and spa, built in 2004; a clubhouse at The Ocean Course that opened in 2007; two water park-style pools built this year; three new golf clubhouses at Osprey Point, Turtle Point and Oak Point; and improvements to the Roy Barth Tennis Center at East Beach.
The resort is majority owned by Virginia billionaire Bill Goodwin.
The golfing world will descend on Kiawah Aug. 9-12 when the Ocean Course plays host to the third of professional golf's four annual "major" tournaments. It is the first major ever to be played in South Carolina.
Reach Warren L. Wise at 937-5524 or twitter.com/warrenlancewise.
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