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With this month’s issue of Hilton Head Monthly being focused on luxury, I thought it might be interesting to investigate how the “average Joe” or “average Josephine” on Hilton Head Island might afford luxury even if they were a tad short of cash!

The Sea Pines Resort has provided both locals and visitors alike with a backdrop for beachside family memories since the ‘50s.


Now, almost 60 years later, the Sea Pines Resort has unveiled the Sea Pines Beach Club, a new and redefined beachfront setting for families and beachgoers to enjoy for generations to come.

“The Sea Pines Beach Club is truly spectacular and we couldn’t be more pleased with the finished product and the positive feedback we have received so far,” said Steve Birdwell, president of the Sea Pines Resort. “From casual drinks at the beach bar to first-class weddings in the Atlantic Room, the Sea Pines Beach Club takes advantage of the view from every area and provides enjoyment for all.”

It’s Wednesday night at Captain Woody’s in the Bluffton Promenade. As trivia night kicks off, there’s not a seat to be found in the upstairs bar.


This is a scene that owners Russell and Shannon Anderson and general manager Lauren Jordan banked on when few else did.

Five years ago, the Promenade was a great idea that seemed destined to fall victim to the national economic collapse.

BrewmastersAs the South embraces craft beer, these three pioneers are changing the way you chug.

Beer. The single greatest liquid known to man.

For too long, beer was just beer. It came out of a tap or in a can. It was roughly yellowish in color and somewhat grainy in flavor. Foamy and forgettable, it made you burp and made baseball almost watchable. Almost.

But then a few enterprising brewmasters came along, changed the game, and the craft beer boom changed the way we drink. Suddenly the pale tasteless bilge water we thought of as “beer” exploded into a mouth-watering variety of pale ales, stouts, bocks and Hefeweizens. From the stinging bitterness of an IPA to the mellow fullness of a rich stout, beer is now simply a catch-all term for a kaleidoscopic array of potent brews.

donkirkmanExecutive director of the Hilton Head Island Economic Development Corporation shares his plans

If it takes big bucks to generate big business, then Hilton Head is on the right track. Back in June, Hilton Head Town Council approved a hefty $450,000 budget for the Hilton Head Island Economic Development Corp.’s 2014-2015 fiscal year. A chunk of that went to hiring its new executive director, Don Kirkman, who started in August. We caught up with Kirkman to give us a glimpse of his plans for this coming year, and the potential he sees for economic growth on the island.

When Janet Yellen, the chair of the Federal Reserve, speaks, markets listen and market participants try to gauge how our economy will be impacted.

Yellen can instigate economic behavior both nationally and right here in Bluffton and on Hilton Head Island, so let’s examine her remarks at the Aug. 22 fed meetings in Jackson Hole, Wyo.

The Fed, and specifically the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC), takes seriously the dual mandate given to them by Congress.

Charles-FrasermeatThe Lowcountry has come to symbolize relaxed luxury to the rest of the country, but 55 years ago, Hilton Head Island was an insignificant, nearly impossible-to-reach outpost known mostly for war history many wanted to forget.

The shift in perception has come from a half-century-long series of carefully crafted marketing strategies from the moment Charles Fraser set forth to make Hilton Head Island a destination for tourists and retirees.

“It has been nothing but a marketing story from day one,” said island marketing guru Tom Gardo, one of many who worked with Fraser to promote what was then Sea Pines Plantation to the world.

Working in a sweltering, fast-paced Hilton Head restaurant kitchen, 13 hours a day, six days a week, isn’t what most of us would consider a dream job. The demands are grueling and the pay is nominal.

But for Juan, the work is steady and it allows him to support his growing family here, as well as his parents and siblings back home.


Juan, an immigrant from Mexico, settled in the Lowcountry 10 years ago. He’s quiet, smart and well-mannered. Despite his lack of free time, he met and married a beautiful girl. They started a family and moved to Jasper County, where rent is more affordable on a minimum-wage salary, even though Juan’s commute to Hilton Head takes longer.

Peter Kristian came to Hilton Head Island 15 years ago for a job. Soon, the general manager of Hilton Head Plantation realized that beyond its natural beauty, the island was setting national trends in community development.


Now, he’s looking forward to showcasing that forward thinking to his fellow members of the Community Associations Institute (CAI), an international organization dedicated to building better communities.

The group will hold its annual Large Scale Managers Workshop with the Sonesta Resort Hilton Head Island serving as the home base for the sold-out conference from Sept. 17-20.

The grand opening of Hilton Head Island's Whole Foods Market takes place on Wednesday, July 30. Bread-breaking will be at 8:45 a.m. with mayor Drew Laughlin.