Beach House hotel, Tiki Hut on Hilton Head sold to Conn. group

cconley@islandpacket.comMarch 19, 2013 

In this photo taken in March 2012, the Marker 59 lounge is pictured at the renovated and rebranded The Beach House, a Holiday Inn Resort on South Forest Beach Drive.

FILE — File Buy Photo

A Hilton Head Island hotel known for its Tiki Hut bar and its proximity to Coligny Beach has been sold.

Northview Hotel Group has bought The Beach House, a Holiday Inn Resort, from Integrated Capital. The sale price was not released.

The hotel, which is about 40 years old, underwent $5 million in renovations last year, but its new owners plan another round of improvements, according to Simon Hallgarten, a partner in the hotel group.

"The previous owners did a great job and carried out a large amount of the plans we were proposing, but they left a few strategic areas that still need some work, which is what we are going to be focused on," he said.

Upgrading the area around the pool is a top priority.

New bathrooms and more seating at the Tiki Hut, upgrading the lobby and other parts of the 202-room hotel also are planned. The company wants to add several outdoor fire pits and improve the parking lot.

Some upgrades to the pool area have begun and will be finished by summer. The more intensive work is scheduled to begin next fall.

Hallgarten said the company has been interested in The Beach House for a while, and nearly bought it in 2011 when it was on the market.

"We like beachfront properties. ... There is just not much oceanfront property that is being created anymore. It is somewhat irreplaceable," he said, adding that its proximity to shopping and entertainment at Coligny Square also makes it attractive.

Charlie Clark, spokeswoman for the Hilton Head Island-Bluffton Chamber of Commerce, said the sale and planned renovations are part of a "renaissance of reinvestment" under way at the island's landmark hotels.

"All of the island's major properties, including the new owners of The Beach House, have done their homework and understand that redevelopment brings a return on investment," she said.

Northview Hotel Group, a privately held company based in Westport, Conn., owns and operates 10 properties around the U.S., including resorts in Oregon, North Carolina and Florida. This is its first property in South Carolina.

Jeff Elseser, who has worked for Northview for five years, most recently at a property in the Florida Keys, has been hired as The Beach House's new general manager.

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