Latitude Margaritaville Hilton Head’s sales center opening set a first-day attendance record, according to developers, who were surprised by the result.
“We actually beat our first-day attendance in (Hardeeville) over Daytona Beach,” said Bill Bullock, senior vice president at Minto Communities, who added that about 100 more people ventured to the Lowcountry site Saturday compared to October’s Latitude Margaritaville Daytona Beach, Fla., opening.
“We couldn’t be happier,” he continued.
In total, about 850 people visited the Hardeeville sales center last weekend, including more than 600 on Saturday’s opening.
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Customers can continue to reserve lots until March 10, when final contracts will be signed before construction begins. Deposits are refundable until a contract is signed.
Model homes will be built by summer, but Parrotheads can get a sneak peek of what the units will look like if they’re willing to travel to the Florida site beginning Saturday, when Margaritaville Daytona Beach’s models debut. While the exteriors will have some stylistic difference, the floor plans are the same, Bullock said.
Latitude Margaritaville Hilton Head is intended for residents 55 and older, but Bullock said that, by law, up to 20 percent of the community can be under that age. Still, at least one resident in the home must be 55, and children under 18 are not allowed to permanently reside in the development — but the grandkids, of course, can visit, Bullock said.
In addition to the Jimmy Buffett-inspired homes, the community will also likely feature a hotel, and planned publicly accessible retail shops are designed to attract motorists traveling nearby Interstate 95.
On Saturday, within the first 45 minutes of the sales center’s opening, six people had reserved lots with deposits.
Cindy Bennett, from Fort Mill, S.C., was the first: “I’m very excited to get started,” she said. “I just want to spend this time of my life relaxing and enjoying myself. I just feel relieved. ... I was a little nervous when I got here, but now I am just feeling excited and like I made the right choice.”
But other potential buyers were not as excited.
Jenny Caldwell, from Augusta, Ga., was the second person to reserve a lot, but she is going to look at other options in the area before signing the final contract.
“I feel like the experience and ambiance were great,” she said, “but I just felt like the choices for the initial design of the house were cheap, and they should have had more upgrades compared to Sun City and some of the other communities in the area.”
Staff photographer Delayna Early contributed to this story.