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The Loop

Sea Island Sale: Down To Four Bidders

July 23, 2010

The Jones family, and most recently, Bill Jones III, deserve all the credit for making Sea Island what it is today. Unfortunately it looks like the run of Jones ownership (dating back to 1926) is about to come to a very sad end. The sale of Sea Island is imminent. Earlier this week the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported the sale of the storied resort is down to four bidders.

I originally heard Herb Kohler would be the buyer. In St. Andrews last week Kohler told one of our editors that he looked at it, but passed. Now it seems it's down to: Anschutz Entertainment Group (L.A. Kings), Starwood Capital (Starwood Hotels & Resorts, St. Regis, Westin, W and Sheratons), Huizenga Holdings (Wayne just sold the Floridian and he used to own the Miami Dolphins and the Marlins) and The Gary Player Group ("I tell you, Matt, I do 1,000 push ups every day").

I don't know that I'm rooting for one over the other. Starwood knows high-end resorts and service, so I guess they might be the best fit. Huizenga loves golf and would bring a friendly and successful face back to a place that hasn't had a lot to smile about lately. Regardless, one lucky bidder, or multiple bidders (according to the AJC, they might all get a piece), will greatly benefit from the Jones-family dedication to the customer and all that Bill Jones III did, and spent (roughly $500 million), to improve one of my favorite places to stay and play golf.

Have a great weekend.

--Matty G.