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Hilton Head Island’s future

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I want you to imagine that one day Hilton Head Island is the most desirable place along the East Coast.

Text of Hilton Head Island’s future

  • That one day Hilton Head Island

    is a refuge from the commonplace . . .peaceful, harmonious, verdant, beautiful.

    The most desirable place along the East Coast.

  • It is a unique, island wonder that stands in stark contrast to an ever more

    hectic, violent, greedy and noisy world.

  • It is a place that is not trying to follow trends, but is setting an example of what the

    collaborative, creative energy of citizens, private sector and government can achieve.

  • It is a community where entrepreneurs, artists, doctors, dreamers, doers, teachers, kids and retirees proudly call home.

    It is a resort destination where visitors wish they would never have to leave

    and instead, decide to stay.

  • This vision is the place the founding fathers created

    50 years ago.

    They achieved their dream

    of turning a barrier Island into a sanctuary where people lived in

    balance with nature.

  • But, todays reality is far less glorious and wonder-filled.

  • Easy profits, ignorance, lack of empathy, greed and sheer lethargy have diminished

    our stature and obscured what made us special.

    The Island is showing signs of being less than a refuge from the commonplace.

  • What do we do to reverse this trend?If it is our goal to become the most desirable beach

    community for visitors and residents alike, we need to first adhere to our core values.

  • 1. We protect the natural beauty, environmental resources and unique sense of place of our Sea Island.

    2. We embrace living in harmony with nature.

    3. We sustain our communitys prosperity by broadening and deepening our economy.

    4. We strive for excellence in everything we plan, build and do.

    5. We cherish our history, the arts, cultural diversity and the pursuit of meaningful experiences.

    6. We are a hospitable, open and friendly community.

    7. We provide a serene, safe and healthy living environment for all.

    8. We work together and volunteer for the greater good of the community.

    Hilton Head Islands Core Values:

  • Secondly we need to unite the community. Only if the citizens, the private sector and the government

    are actively working together can we

    Reinvigorate our economy and cr

    eate jobs for young island families

    Revitalize our buildings and create

    memorable gathering places

    Re-establish our preeminence in e

    nvironmental stewardship

  • But, the most important of these is reinvigorating the economy because our quality

    of life depends on a healthy economy.

  • Our quality of life may be measured in real estate values, the condition and variety of amenities, restaurant choices, services and public facilities and infrastructure. We are a small community with big community choices.

    Our quality of life depends on a constant flow of dollars onto the island from visitors,

    incoming retirees and new businesses.

  • Doing nothing is not an option if we want to remain competitive and if we want

    to retain the reasons we moved here in the first place.

  • Hilton Head has two primary assets: Nature and the people who inhabit it.

  • Our natural strength will allow us to support and nurture

    Quality-minded tourism industry

    Vibrant retirement community

    Knowledge-based businesses

    and institutions

  • As a result of an estimated 2,000 hours of work the Mayors Vision Task Force has come up with the following 5 key strategic themes:

  • 1. Environmental and Community Planning Leadership: Hilton Head Island is known for its leadership in environmental preservation and resource conservation practices in all aspects of the community.

    2. Resort, Residential and Retirement Sanctuary, a Refuge from the Commonplace: Hilton Head Island is known as the number one family-oriented resort destination, residential and retirement sanctuary on the east coast.

    3. Proactive Governance: Hilton Head Islands governance culture is proactive, business friendly and customer focused.

    4. Sensitive Economic Diversification: Hilton Head Islands prosperity is being sustained through constant broadening and deepening of its economy and in ways that are consistent with its core values.

    5. Revitalization: Hilton Head Islands revitalization of buildings and infrastructure has been institutionalized and is ongoing.


  • As a first step we recommend to take action on the following 11 first steps:

  • 1. Enhance the long-term position of the Heritage Classic Golf Tournament with short term public support to help bridge the gap while promoting and supporting PGA efforts to seek long term private sponsor. This is a high priority due to the tournaments estimated $80 million impact and visibility to the community.

    2. Create an Island Master Plan to identify priority revitalization and investment zones and areas suitable for village center redevelopment. This master plan will clearly communicate public commitments, incentives, priorities and revitalization options available to property owners, business owners and investors who may then choose to redevelop.

    3. Institute Town ordinances, policies and procedures that stimulate private sector investment. In the simplest terms, steps should be taken to encourage and facilitate private sector investment consistent with island Core Values.

    4. Create a Redevelopment Authority or Community Development Corporation to devise and promote revitalization programs identified by the Island Master Plan mentioned above. This autonomous or semiautonomous body will be created to facilitate effective and timely revitalization of key areas. Although several areas on the Island could benefit from these efforts, reinvestment in the Coligny Area should be prioritized, due to its potential for greatest leverage, its popularity and epicenter qualities.

  • 5. Establish an Island Economic Development Leadership Commission to promote, advocate and facilitate development of new business opportunities. At the outset this may be a task force with the goal of recommending to the Town and County the most effective structure for stimulating economic diversification. In the long term, this effort may include the addition of a permanent Town staff position to collaborate with county, state and regional economic development agencies.

    6. Establish a private sector sponsored venture capital fund called The Hilton Head Island Angel Fund to kick-start business ventures. The island is fortunate to have the potential of having its own Angel Fund and the experience and knowledge to run it. This effort would send a strong message to prospective businesses and entrepreneurs and set the island apart from other communities.

    7. Appoint a Sustainability Advisory Committee to identify, explore and promote environmental and sustainability options, policies and practices. The Advisory Committee will consist of representatives from the public and private sectors. The purpose of the committee would be to strengthen the Islands environmental leadership position, enhance long term economic and environmental sustainability and attract green businesses and green oriented travelers. 10

    8. Enhance access to technology and improve technology infrastructure. Access to technology has become an essential basic infrastructure requirement of the Islands resort, residential and business community. All three economic drivers depend on and will benefit from improved access to technology infrastructure.

  • 9. Increase funding for and coordinate the messages of resort and retirement marketing. The intent is to reinforce the island message while stimulating demand for real estate, accommodations and services. With increased occupancy and stronger balance sheets, private sector reinvestment is more likely.

    10. Establish a Hilton Head Island Institute for the study of community health, wellness, lifestyle, ecology, planning and design where experience, theories and knowledge are shared and leveraged for the benefit of this and other communities. An institute, dedicated to enhancing communities, would, by association, elevate Hilton Head Islands reputation as an extraordinary and desirable place to live and visit. But, more importantly, it would institutionalize the islands leadership in community planning and keep Quality of Life in the forefront of island thinking.

    11. Become the preferred hospitality destination for youth and adult learning by developing great historical and cultural sites and by building a center for the performing arts and intellectual and cultural activities. These endeavors underscore the communitys commitment to its core values and will be most appealing to residents and guests who share those same values.

  • We are asking for your support to make the dream happen;

    only together can we do it!

  • But, right now, for today, ask yourself this question:

    Which mayoralty candidate has and which council candidates have the vision

    and leadership to promote a strong, healthy economy and thereby,

    protect our quality of life?

  • And then, seek out the candidates and ask them the following questions:

    What is the most effective role of Town government to stimulate private sector

    investment? How would you (the candidate) make this happen? How would you lead the community in sustaining its legacy of

    environmental stewardship?

  • The answers to these questions will define Hilton Head Islands future.

  • The election is that important. Get out the vote for progress.

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