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Real Estate - Commercial

Sea Trail Shows Off Renovated Convention Center

By Jenny Callison, posted Mar 20, 2024
Sea Trail Convention Center opened to the public Tuesday with the BrunscoBiz Forum & Expo (Photo by Jenny Callison)
Officials at a growing Sunset Beach destination celebrated an important milestone Tuesday.
 
Representatives of Sea Trail Golf Resort gathered inside the community’s newly renovated Sea Trail Convention Center for a ribbon cutting as the facility’s grand opening and first public event – the BrunscoBiz Forum & Expo – got underway. The parking lot was jammed as members of the area’s business community came to network and view the transformed convention center.
 
In addition to the wide hallways occupied Tuesday by expo exhibitors, the new facility boasts a ballroom, banquet room options, meeting rooms and conference rooms. A new eatery, 55 Bistro Bar (pictured at right), and pizza purveyor Sunset Slice have opened inside the convention center.
 
Event sales coordinator Rebecca Pittman said she has already booked several events in April, including a high school prom and several business gatherings.
 
“I’m hearing from groups who have booked the convention center in the past and who are interested in scheduling events here again,” she said, adding that a wedding party that has booked space in November wants to take advantage of the resort’s lodging, golf and event package.
 
That’s in line with Sea Trail co-owner Robert Hill’s “stay and play” concept for the development, which he wants to turn into a major coastal Carolinas destination. Since November, when he received the final go-ahead on his plans from the town of Sunset Beach, work has moved quickly on several fronts.
 
Also in November, Sea Trail Investments LLC announced it had completed the acquisition from previous Sea Trail owner Chinaway of all the golf and commercial property Hill’s organization had not previously purchased. The owners of Sea Trail Investments – Hill, Donald Bean and Parker Smith – announced at that time a new partnership with investor Sandesh Sharda to form Sea Trail Golf Resort LLC.
 
Golf course upgrades are now scheduled to begin in mid-May, according to information provided at the grand opening Tuesday. Golf course architect Tim Cate will spearhead the project, which will expand and improve greens, replace bunkers and waste bunkers, replace cart paths and upgrade course bathrooms.
 
Meanwhile, Sea Trail is renovating the Jones-Byrd Clubhouse, next door to the convention center.
 
When finished, the revamped Jones-Byrd Clubhouse will house Sunset Prime, the resort’s “new culinary highlight,” according to Sea Trail publicity. The restaurant will feature an interior bar with views of the golf course as well as an outdoor bar and dining space. The pro shop, now temporarily housed in the new convention center, will return to enhanced quarters in the Jones-Byrd Clubhouse.
 
Another key aspect of Sea Trail development: the addition of residential units, is well underway. All 27 Sawmill units, designed for short-term rentals, are complete, said company spokesperson Julie Chortanoff.
 
“They have great proximity to the heart of the community,” she said, adding that the remaining land slated for residential units will be developed with a mix of single-family, multi-family and short-term rental units.
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