If a newly opened sporting goods store in Florida bears more than a passing resemblance to one in Hilton Head's Palmetto Dunes Oceanfront Resort, there's a good reason. The owners are copying a successful business model and bringing it down the coast.
South Walton Outfitters, which opened last weekend near the Santa Rosa Beach on Florida's panhandle, is owned by Greenwood-based Greenwood Communities and Resorts.
The company also owns Hilton Head Outfitters in Palmetto Dunes and was eager to apply that store's concept elsewhere, according to Bret Martin, Greenwood's vice president of resort operations.
"We've been looking for markets where we can expand this model and felt South Walton was the perfect location," he said.
Same as the Hilton Head shop, customers in South Walton can rent watercraft for use in nearby Choctawatchee Bay and the Gulf of Mexico.
Both businesses also offer surf lessons, bike rentals, fishing equipment and other beach supplies.
South Walton, between Pensacola and Panama City, was an especially attractive place to expand to, Palmetto Dunes marketing director Karen Kozemchak said.
"There was an opportunity to provide a service for people with an active mindset," she said, adding that both communities have a vibrant mix of tourists and locals.
Elsewhere in South Carolina, Greenwood Communities and Resorts owns and manages The Ponds residential community in Summerville and is a development partner in The Reserve at Lake Keowee in Sunset.