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Hotels anticipate busy summer (The Brunswick News, Ga.)

By Martin Rand Iii, The Brunswick News, Ga.McClatchy-Tribune Regional News

May 13--With the travel industry predicting a greater number of Americans will take vacations this summer, it stands to reason that communities like Brunswick and the Golden Isles -- a tourist destination -- will benefit.

A hotel on Jekyll Island is already sensing a potentially busy summer.

Traveling people need a place to stay, which is why the Jekyll Club Hotel has seen an uptick in summer bookings this year compared to 2012, said general manager Kevin Runner.

"Gas is cheaper this year," Runner said. "People are determined to take a trip because they didn't take one last year."

Jeykll Club Hotel has seen an 8 percent increase in bookings for the month of June compared to last year.

With this increase and more possible summer bookings ahead, early indicators are that it's going to be a good summer, Runner says.

However, some hotels have not seen early signs like advanced bookings and are not so quick to predict a better summer.

The King and Prince Beach & Golf Resort and Hodnett Cooper Beach Club Hotel are running about the same numbers they ran last year, their managers said.

But that's no reason to worry, says Michael Johnson, vice president of resort operations at King and Prince Beach & Golf Resort, which is on the beach on St. Simons Island.

Johnson says they are on pace to do the same numbers as they did last year.

"If it was behind the pace, I'd be concerned," Johnson said.

When it comes to bookings, June and July are usually the biggest months for King and Prince, according to Johnson. He expects more bookings to occur then.

Chris Michaels feels the same as Johnson. Even though the number booking rentals for summer is "slightly softer," Michaels says it's still early yet.

"People are just waiting longer to book," said Michaels, general manager of Hodnett Cooper Beach Hotel. "Last year was extremely good. I'm sure we'll have a lot more late bookings."

-- Reporter Martin Rand III covers local news. Contact him at, on Facebook, or at 265-8320, ext. 324.


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