An Open Letter to The Jekyll Island Authority

I’ve been coming to Jekyll Island for 19 years and somehow this year the island hit me as distant, cold and the whole place seemed sad and under siege. I can’t explain it but I can tell you what I saw.

What we noticed that was different on Jekyll Island this year.

There was no gasoline available to buy. There was no notice that the only gasoline retailer was closed until I was on the causeway headed to the bridge. An announcement on the web site would have been effective. Maybe an email via the newsletter could have been more effective.

There is a lot of new construction on the waterfront.

There is no place to get a nice fast, inexpensive breakfast on the island. The Huddle house was closed several years back and nothing filled the gap.

Fees have gone up and will go up next year as seen in my 2011 reservation. $49 a night for a spigot, electric plug, cable TV and sewer pipe is almost $1500 a month. This should be profitable if demand remains the same. All being the same I may look closer to home.

I noticed that there were no endless busloads of church kids anymore.

Merchant attitudes were bad. Up at the strip center they were bitter about having to close down without an offer to lease at the new retail center. The attitude showed.

Mobile phone service continues to be the worst of any place I visit including remote areas of the Caribbean. Phone service is no longer a luxury or novelty. Phone service is expected and Jekyll Island doesn’t have it.

There is a new store down at the pier at Clam Creek. Nice and needed even though I have never seen anyone catch an editable fish off that pier.

This time of year is a cornucopia of plenty. It would be nice to see some vendors on the island selling vegetables, food, prepared or unprepared seafood, something to infuse some life and happiness in this place.

Some things you cannot do at Jekyll Island: confidently swim in the ocean, snorkel, or scuba. Natural ocean water sports are deemphasized here. Shark fishing is popular.

You cannot find a consistently good restaurant with consistently good service with the exception of the main dining hall at the Jekyll Island Club Hotel.

This place needs desperately to move beyond the picture postcard stage of development and needs some real life breathed into it. I hope dear Jekyll that you are in an awkward stage of development and you will out grow this. Please let this place be more than a tired old stuffy museum.


Rock Chef said...

It's sad when you see this happening to a place that you love - I hope they pull things around for you.

Ken said...

The islands are calling to you!

terri said...

How sad! I know how much you look forward to this trip every year. I hope there is enough enjoyment to counteract some of the disappointments.

Ken said...

Maybe if they could introduce, oh, I don't know, momma grizzlies, Jekyll Island could make a roaring come back. hehehe

Unknown said...

Are there places to camp on SSI?