Groups Experience the Grand History of Jekyll Island

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Jekyll Island, Georgia, Westin Jekyll Island
The Rockefeller “Cottage” on Jekyll Island

Not only is Jekyll Island one of the most beautiful barrier islands in the country, it is rich in history. In 1886, it was purchased to become an exclusive winter retreat for America’s most elite families, known as the Jekyll Island Club. Groups always include a historic tour with visits to the many magnificent “cottages” built by renowned families such as the Rockefellers, Vanderbilts and Pulitzers. The opulent cluhouse opened in 1888 and is now the Jekyll Island Club Hotel. Today, much of the island is a state park, with more than two-thirds of its land protected from development.

It’s in this setting that the 200-room beachfront Westin Jekyll Island has just opened, the cornerstone of a master project that includes an oceanfront promenade, village green, restaurants, boutiques, Great Dunes Park and the 128,000-sf Jekyll Island Convention Center (for groups of up to 6,500). The resort’s arrival is sure to transform the island into a magnet for conventions, combining just the right ingredients: beach, historic sites and a thoughtfully designed meeting facility.

There are three choices for 18 holes of golf, including the nearby Jekyll Island Golf Club, where golfers are immersed in nature due to the total absence of development. Or planners can arrange round robin tournaments at the Jekyll Island Tennis Club, with 13 clay courts. Other activities include biking on the island’s many paths, fishing charters or just relaxing on 8 miles of pristine beach.

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Barbara Scofidio
Barbara Scofidio is editor of Prevue and heads up the Visionary Summits, our exclusive conference series targeting senior-level meeting and incentive planners. In 25 years of covering the industry, her articles have spanned topics ranging from social media to strategic meetings management. She is currently the media liaison for FICP's Education Committee and was the first member of the media ever to be invited to sit on a committee by GBTA, where she spent three years on the Groups and Meetings Committee. She has also been an active member of Site, chairing its Crystal Awards committee and acting as a judge. A familiar face at industry events, Barbara often leads panel discussions or speaks on topics close to her heart, such as green meetings or how the industry can help combat human trafficking. Barbara is based outside Boston, in Groton, Mass.

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