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Jekyll Island board approves new deal for hotel

Associated Press Modified: November 19, 2012 at 3:15 pm •  Published: November 19, 2012
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ATLANTA (AP) — Jekyll Island's governing board on Monday approved a series of agreements with a developer to get a 200-room beachfront Westin Hotel project back on track, a spokesman for the island authority said.

The hotel is part of a broader plan to revitalize the tourist destination. The Jekyll Island Beach Village project also includes an adjacent convention center that just opened and plans for a second hotel, new shops, restaurants and public parks along the beach.

"It's hard to overstate how important this is," Jekyll Island Authority spokesman Eric Garvey said of the $41 million Westin project.

"The new convention center opened in May to rave reviews, but it's critical that we have the new hotel just adjacent to it to really make it all work," he said.

Construction of the Westin was to have started in September, but developers were unable to secure needed financing.

The agreements approved Monday by the board, meeting on Jekyll Island, allow the project to move forward, Garvey said.

"The timeline becomes more definite now that these agreements have been passed," he said.

Under the deal approved Monday, the Westin hotel must be under construction by April 30, 2013. It must be opened by Aug. 31, 2014.

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