Reopening Seawatch and Royal Dunes Resorts


By Esther Grisham

In a previous TBMA Blog RCI discusses the re-opening of resorts on Hilton Head Island, with a focus on the perspective of the resort management company.  Today, RCI discusses re-opening of resorts thru the lens of two HOA board presidents, and their perspective on how the COVID19 crisis has impacted their resorts.

Tom Martin, President of Island Club– Seawatch, provided his insight to the Covid19 crisis.  Island Club– Seawatch has been an RCI Gold Crown resort for over 20 years, and a popular choice for RCI guests for its location on the beach and spacious 2 and 3 BR units.  Of course, added measures have been taken to ensure additional health and safety.  Sanitizer dispensers have been placed throughout the common areas, spray sanitizer is used for common areas, and additional time is taken to complete a unit cleaning.

The beaches on Hilton Head never closed and Seawatch did the same with their resort amenities, allowing the pool, fitness center, tennis courts and basketball court to remain open.  “People are behaving and social distancing on their own,” says Tom Martin, President of Island Club – Seawatch.  “Our owners have been very understanding throughout this ordeal.  We’re deeded time, and some owners either elected or could not travel and our occupancy was down,” continues Mr. Martin.  Seawatch also took advantage of the lower occupancy caused from the quarantine to do additional maintenance including the installation of a new elevator.  This kept resort staff busy and prevented furloughs.

Eric Gowins, President of Royal Dunes, an RCI Gold Crown resort as well, has a similar message.  “Most of our owners are understanding, so collections have not fallen off.  We kept the doors open, despite a drop in occupancy for a couple of months.”  Royal Dunes has spacious 3 BR units, located within walking distance of the beach in the Port Royal community of Hilton Head.  They took this time to do a deep clean of the units.  “We’re ready for guests and look forward to getting back to full occupancy,” says Mr. Gowins.

Resorts on Hilton Head Island took advantage of this down time to spruce up the properties.  Owners and guests alike are ready to vacation after being “shut in” for months.  Hilton Head Island is open for business!

Esther Grisham is a Director in Business Development at RCI.