From The Blog

Resort Improvements Planned for East and West Beach

In an effort to keep KICA members up-to-date on the Kiawah Island Golf Resort’s plans for its property at East and West Beach, including Night Heron Park, Digest spoke with Bryan Hunter, public relations director for the resort. He says that improvements at Night Heron and at the tennis center at East Beach should be completed this year. Night Heron will have a new nature center, new fitness center, and an expanded pavilion and classroom space. The Roy Barth Tennis Center will gain courts and locker rooms.

New at Night Heron

The new nature center will have double the current amount of program space, allowing for more educational programs and exhibits about Kiawah and the Lowcountry’s natural environment. A new larger pool area pavilion will facilitate an expansion of Kamp Kiawah and support family and children’s programming and special events. New classroom space will provide shelter for rainy days or breaks from the hot sun. The new fitness center at Night Heron will have two spaces:3,000 square feet for aerobic and weight equipment, and a studio for classes of about 30 people.

Roy Barth Tennis Center

The East Beach tennis center is now named the Roy Barth Tennis Center in honor of Roy Barth, who recently retired as director of tennis after serving the resort for 41 years. Roy began the Kiawah tennis program in 1976 and built it, said Bryan Hunter, “from the ground up.” Roy’s son Jonathan, the resort’s head tennis pro for 19 years, has succeeded Roy as director of tennis. Roy is now the director of tennis emeritus and will continue to teach and have limited responsibilities. The new tennis facility will be double the current size, with a fully automated practice alley and 10 new HarTru HydroCourts (artificial clay constantly hydrated from underneath so that the surface stays smooth). The existing 12 courts will be resurfaced and the pro shop will be expanded to include full locker rooms and shower facilities. The resort hopes to open the tennis center in the summer, when the tennis facilities at West Beach close.

West Beach

Plans for West Beach are less immediate, but well underway. They include the new Cougar Point Golf Course clubhouse(pictured on previous page) to be constructed first; imminent razing and then redevelopment of the now-closed Straw Market; and a state-of-the-art conference center and new hotel. The new clubhouse is being designed by Robert A. M. Stern, designer of the Ocean Course clubhouse, and will feature a classical revival style. The conference center will boast a large ballroom, numerous breakout rooms, and cutting edge technology. Look for a formal announcement by the resort about its plans for West Beach, and details in Digest, in the coming months.

Once the construction at West Beach is complete, the resort expects to demolish the existing East Beach conference center. That land will be vacant pending future development. Bryan assures us that the popular East Beach Market will remain open “for the foreseeable future.”