News for the Hospitality Executive
Hotelier Lee Rawcliffe Acquires the Sands Resorts Chain
of Oceanfront Resorts
in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, Including Ocean Dunes Resort & Villas,
Sand Dunes Resort Hotel, Ocean Forest Villas and Ocean Forest Plaza
|MYRTLE BEACH, S.C., Feb. 4, 2008 - Hotelier Lee Rawcliffe,
who is the current owner of Sands Ocean Club and Sands Beach Club, in Myrtle
Beach, S.C., has acquired the remainder of the Sands Resorts chain of oceanfront
resorts, including Ocean Dunes Resort & Villas, Sand Dunes Resort Hotel,
Ocean Forest Villas and Ocean Forest Plaza.
During its 35-year history, Sands Resorts established itself as Myrtle Beach's largest brand accommodations provider. Sands pioneered the affordable golf package, is home to the popular oceanfront Ocean Annie's Beach Bar, and established many amenities including its Kid's Club and water park. However, during the past decade, Sands and other established resorts have received new competition from an aggressive building boom and city-funded convention facilities.
"A shaky economy and changing leisure interests present a dynamic challenge to the company and the resort industry as a whole," said Rawcliffe. "In response, we've announced renovations and improvements to properties, including new food and beverage venues, renovated high-tech convention facilities, and more amusements and activities for kids." The company is also completely revamping its Web site to include the state's only on-line booking of airfare, rental cars, lodging and full vacation packages.
In response to an increased demand for activities geared toward women,
Rawcliffe has constructed Atlantis Spa at Sands Ocean Club and plans to
enlarge the facility and perhaps expand it to other Sands Resorts. "So-called
'Girl's Weekends' are gaining in popularity," says Rawcliffe. "They are
becoming a big a part of the leisure market as women look for ways to relax
All Sands Resorts now offer free wireless Internet, free Internet kiosks, and free local telephone service. Over the next few months they will be installing 42-inch flat screen TVs in all guest rooms and condominiums. On- site activities, professionally supervised children's programs, and courtesy transportation will continue to be improved and promoted together with high- tech conveniences.
"Our guests are looking for one-click vacation packages, better value, and better service," Rawcliffe explains. "The days of renovating every decade or so are over. Our properties are under renovation every day and staff retraining is a continuing effort."
The company is retaining many of its veteran managers and key department heads together with an enlarged staff of guest service providers.
"There's a new generation of leisure traveler out there and we must be a new generation of resort operators."
|Also See:||Ocean Forest Hotel Was Demolished 30 Years Ago, It Set the Stage for Myrtle Beach Evolution as a Destination / September 2004|
|Frans Mustert, Who Helped Grow Sands Resorts for 26 years, Resigns as President / May 2002|