Hilton Head Island Airport recently celebrated the announcement that Delta was returning to the island after an absence of nearly nine years. This new service will give local residents easy access to Delta’s global network with daily flights to Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport starting on May 23 and seasonal Saturday service to New York’s LaGuardia Airport starting June 8.
In a press release from Delta, Hilton Head Island Mayor John McCann said, “This is a great day for the Hilton Head Island Airport. Our community asks weekly for service on Delta Air Lines and will welcome the airline with open arms. The new flights will allow visitors from all over the world access, via two Delta hubs, to all that Hilton Head Island and the Lowcountry have to offer.”
It's doubly exciting as it marks Delta’s return to Hilton Head Island after an extended absence. When the airline shut down service in 2010, it did so with an eye toward resuming it in 2011, which never happened. So we’re excited to welcome Delta back to Hilton Head Island and give Delta passengers the rundown on what they missed over the last nine years.
The Mall at Shelter Cove is Now Shelter Cove Town Centre
Those who last visited our island on a Delta flight may remember the Mall at Shelter Cove, a sprawling indoor shopping mall that once boasted three anchor stores, a full food court, arcade and multiple shops. Thanks to sweeping economic changes of the late aughts, plus the decline in general of indoor malls, the island fixture was eventually demolished.
In its place stands a gorgeous mixed-use destination plaza called Shelter Cove Town Centre. Boasting an array of restaurants from fast-casual to sophisticated seafood, endless shopping, a mammoth Kroger and a delightful walkable master plan, Shelter Cove Town Centre has proven immensely popular as a community hub. Add to the allure the beautiful waterfront walkways and playgrounds of Shelter Cove Community Park and you have one-stop shopping for retail therapy and island beauty.
Sea Pines Enjoyed a $50 Million Makeover
Nearly everything within The Sea Pines Resort was given a refresh during an expansive $50 million renovation project spearheaded by Riverstone Group Properties, the resort’s owners. One of the crown jewels of this new-look Sea Pines Resort is the all-new Sea Pines Beach Club, which offers two restaurants as well as a sprawling top floor deck overlooking the water. Just across the street, the old Plantation Clubhouse was torn down to make way for an elegant multi-million dollar new clubhouse with state-of-the-art amenities and new restaurants.
But the crown jewel of this project was the complete renovation of the 26,000-square-foot Harbour Town Clubhouse, made even more impressive by the fact it was completed entirely between the 46th and 47th iterations of the Heritage. Speaking of which…
It’s the RBC Heritage Presented by Boeing Now
When Delta passengers last flew onto Hilton Head Island, they may have come here to attend what was then the Verizon Heritage. The telecommunications firm had sponsored the tournament since 2006, and its departure left the tournament without a title sponsor for the first time in 20 years. Fortunately, state and community leaders were able to band together and the tournament was held as simply “The Heritage” in 2010. Why not, that’s what everyone calls it anyway, right?
It took Gov. Nikki Haley, U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham, and other state leaders actively campaigning for the tournament to secure a new sponsor, the Royal Bank of Canada. With them and Boeing on board, the tournament has hit even greater heights over the last seven years.
USCB Has Returned As Well
Delta isn’t the only member of the Boomerang Club to leave Hilton Head Island and come back. The University of South Carolina Beaufort recently opened a gorgeous new facility on Office Park Road, on the same spot where a USCB satellite campus once stood until 2003.
This new $24.5 million campus houses the university’s hospitality management degree program and is designed to be a working event and conference center. It features state-of-the-art classrooms, a beverage lab and a demonstration kitchen, which will feature guest demos by area chefs. In addition, it also houses the Lowcountry and Resort Islands Tourism Institute and the Center for Event Management and Hospitality Training, allowing students to study in the middle of a world-class tourism destination.
Coligny’s New Beach Park
Speaking of the south end, Delta passengers will set their jaws to their fully dropped positions when they see what’s been done with Coligny Beach Park since they last arrived. Starting with the immensely popular splash pad, new walkways were installed inlaid with images of palmetto fronds, sea grass and native wildlife, running between rows and rows of tables beneath sprawling gazebos, lounge chairs for basking in the sun and porch swing-style seating for people watching.
The island’s most popular park received this new look a few years ago, but it’s just the beginning of major changes to the Coligny district that will include a new park and more attractions. And now, Delta passengers have an easy way to get here when it all opens.