Archive for February, 2011

Kristi Sanders Visits St. Simons Island

Thursday, February 17th, 2011

Kristi Sanders, writer for Plan Your Meetings, recently took a trip to St. Simons Island.  She stayed at The King and Prince and toured the area.  She saw historic places, ate at local restaurants, and enjoyed local attractions.  Her article about her trip is below.

St. Simons Island: Wild, historic seaside beauty

By Kristi Casey Sanders

Published: February 10, 2011

Want unusual transportation?

Play off the island’s historic allure by chartering a Lighthouse Trolley for a guided tour or to shuttle attendees from point A to point B. The open-air trolley looks historic, but provides a smooth ride and might be piloted by naturalist, sometimes politician and local character, Cap Fendig, whose family has resided on St. Simons since the 1800s. Fendig’s company also offers fishing and dolphin tours and beach walks.

Want edutainment?

Take attendees on a sunset shrimping cruise aboard The Lady Jane. Captain Credle and his son Cliff take small groups out to see how Wild Georgia Shrimp are harvested. Along the way, guests will learn about other forms of indigenous marine wildlife and enjoy a shrimp boil.

Want to meet somewhere with history?

The 197-room King and Prince Beach and Golf Resort originally opened in 1935, survived two fires, was rebuilt and reopened in 1941, just in time to be commandeered by the U.S. Navy for use as a WWII radar operator training station. The Delegal Room began its life as an open-air “casino” (read: gathering place) that was the center of the island’s social life. Lined with stained glass windows depicting scenes from the island’s history, the now-enclosed space offers a stunning view of the ocean and accommodates up to 200 for banquets and 250 for receptions. The Solarium (capacity: 60 banquet-style) was the original hotel’s lobby lounge; it features distinctive crown moldings, woodwork, antique furnishings and a wrap-around view of the water. Other historic meeting spaces with ocean views include the 20-person Butler boardroom and the 1,050-sq. ft. Retreat Room. The resort also has a divisible ballroom, oceanfront event lawn, 48 two- and three-bedroom villas and eight private homes that can host events. The A.W. Jones Heritage Center and adjacent St. Simons Island Lighthouse Museum are available for receptions, meetings and corporate events. Venues include an oceanfront event lawn, a historic gazebo, a 1,400-sq. ft. multipurpose room and a boardroom.

Want to meet by the marsh?

Located a short drive from the beach is the 175-room Sea Palms Resort & Conference Center, which offers one- to four-bedroom suites and meeting space with views of lagoons, the salt marsh and lush golf courses. Meeting space includes a 6,500-sq. ft. climate-controlled pavilion (capacity: 600 banquet) and a conference center with 11 meeting rooms (capacity: 400 theater; 320 banquet). Other amenities include a private beach club, three swimming pools and resort activities.

Want golf?

Sea Palms has two golf courses on property: an 18-hole, par-71 Tall Pines/Great Oaks course and a par-34, nine-hole executive Sea Palms West course. The 18-hole, par-72 King and Prince Golf Course is so integrated into the wild marsh landscape, tee boxes give way to hazards of wild grass, holes are linked by elevated cart bridges, and gators lurk in the historic forests and ponds between the fairways.

Want group dining?

The Village Inn & Pub on St. Simons is a 1930s-era beach cottage that’s been expanded to include an authentic English pub and guest rooms. The cozy pub is known for its wild orchid martinis and features a stone fireplace surrounded by leather lounge chairs and a sun porch. Live entertainment is a staple at SaltWater Cowboy, a steak and seafood restaurant located within walking distance of the King and Prince. If it’s Brunswick stew or barbecue your group hankers after, Southern Soul Barbeque offers full-service catering and can bring its hardwood-fired smoker to prepare meals on-site.

Want group activities?

St. Simons has some fascinating historic sites in addition to its famous lighthouse, which is still used and maintained by the U.S. Coast Guard. The Maritime Center at the Historic Coast Guard Station has rooms filled with interactive maritime exhibits and a short film that gives guests a crash course on the island’s history. The Christ Church congregation dates back to the 1700s. The island’s church of that name was built in the 1800s and is known for its stained glass windows and cemetery filled with the island’s earliest settlers. In 1742, Spanish and British forces met in battle to decide the fate of St. Simons Island. The English soldiers of Fort Frederica were victorious. Today, the remains of their military stronghold are Fort Frederica National Monument’s main attraction.


Wednesday, February 16th, 2011

The year of 2010 has meant lots of recognition for St. Simons Island. It has now been featured in a United Kingdom publication. St. Simons has been recognized by Condé Nast Traveler as one of the Top 10 Islands in North America and one of the Top 50 Islands in the World!

Condé Nast Traveler: 2010 Reader’s Choice Awards

Top Islands

The world’s top 50 islands hide a big secret: There are actually more than 3,300 of them, stretching from the South Pacific to the North Atlantic. Consider Bermuda, the top-rated islands in the Western Hemisphere—yes, islands. Comprised of 138 isles, it is, like many winners, an archipelago. There are 3 Caymans, 41 Tuamotus, 115 Seychelles, and a whopping 1,185 Dalmatians. The No. 1 winner (for the 14th time), Maui is the only island to score above 90 this year. Closer to home, several North American islands make their top 10 debut: Victoria, Florida’s Longboat Key, and St. Simons.

1. Kiawah, 83
2. Longboat Key, Fla., 80.3
3. Vancouver Island, 79.4
4. Nantucket, 78.2
5. Amelia Island, 77.4
6. Mount Desert Island, Me., 76
7. Prince Edward Island, 75.6
8. Hilton Head, 74.8
9. St. Simons Island, Ga., 74.6
10. Sanibel, Fla. 74.4

World War II Veterans Return to The King and Prince

Wednesday, February 9th, 2011

On Monday January 17th, the King and Prince Hotel was honored to have two gentlemen back as guests who both had not been here in decades.  One was Captain Carl Boyd from Falls Church, Virginia who retired as a Captain from the Navy after 33 years of honorable service.  Also accompanying Captain Boyd was Sgt. Charles Fiveash from Aiken, South Carolina.  Sgt. Fiveash grew up in Brunswick and has many fond memories of this area and the King and Prince Hotel even before World War II.   The King and Prince’s Vice President of Resort Operations, Michael Johnson and  Rooms Division Manager, Bob Speight sat down in their office with old photographs, original blueprints and memorabilia from the hotel that goes back to the 1930’s to have a walk down memory lane with Captain Boyd and Sgt. Fiveash.

St Simons Island History
World War II Vets at The King and Prince

Question:  Mr. Fiveash, what do you remember about the King and Prince in the late 30’s and early 40’s?

I remember the King and Prince being such a sporty place.  To me and all my friends it was “top of the line”.  Everybody wanted to go to the King and Prince. We had a lot of the “big bands” stopping through on Saturday nights on their way up north.  We saw the Glenn Miller orchestra and Sammy Kaye just to name a few.  It was a wonderful time and everybody enjoyed dressing up then.  The King and Prince always had an audience.

Question: Captain Boyd, please tell us about your time here at the hotel during WWII.

As you know, the Navy occupied the whole hotel during the war.  I was here for about nine months.  Mckinnon Field was used to store our aircraft and actual fighter planes were stationed there also.  I know that Brunswick’s shipyard was used for building the famous Liberty Ships which the Navy ended up making hundreds and hundreds of them.

Question:  How long did it take at the Brunswick Shipyard to make a Liberty Ship?

Usually it would take about 3 weeks from start to finish to construct a Liberty Ship.

Question:  Captain Boyd, what was your job here during World War II?

I was part of a class that was stationed here to learn how to vector our aircraft to engage enemy aircraft.  Out of the class of about 70 only four were from the fleet and I was one of those four.  I was assigned to a destroyer/mine layer that was based in Charleston.

Air Traffic Control per se and radar technology were new back then and we were taught at the King and Prince how to guide our aircraft to intercept the enemy planes.

Question:  How did the Navy get their enlisted men to the King and Prince?

We caught a train into downtown Brunswick where there was a train station then and just caught a cab over to the King and Prince.  The causeway that connected the mainland to the island had several drawbridges if my memory serves me correctly.

Question:   With coming back for this trip, did you think the King and Prince had changed a lot with its original building?

Of course the layout has basically stayed the same.  I remember a much smaller parking lot in the front.  {Captain Boyd} The officers had rooms that overlooked the ocean and the enlisted men faced the parking lot.  {Mr. Fiveash} I know the seawall was here before the war.  I do remember the terrazzo dance floor as you show me these pictures…………I even recognize a lot of their faces but cannot place their names.  There was no swimming pool but it was a place where everybody wanted to go.  It was a popular place among the locals.

Question: Mr. Fiveash, you were raised here.  Do the names Frank Horn or Morgan Wynn ring a bell with you?

My father owned a trucking company and I remember making many deliveries with the name of Frank Horn on the boxes.  I knew him but I do not recall the name of Morgan Wynn.

Question:  Mr. Fiveash, how did you get your job working in the shipyard?

I grew up in downtown Brunswick and I was around the docks all my life.  I knew a lot about boats and ships at an early age so once I started talking to the workers in the shipyard and they found out just what I knew, they hired me on the spot!


Tuesday, February 8th, 2011

Krista Franks writes about her 3 day visit to St. Simons Island and her stay at The King and Prince Resort.  Her article appeared in the January 2011 Souther Distinction Magazine.  She described every detail from her trip including the restaurants she ate at, tour of the King and Prince Golf Course, learning history at the Maritime Center at the Historic Coastguard Center and taking a ride aboard the Lady Jane Shrimp Boat.  Click below to read her article and learn what adventures can be had when visiting the beautiful St. Simons Island.

Southern Distinction JAN 2011