Harbour Town is known, in part, for its active marina, but following Hurricane Matthew, the popular tourist attraction has remained boatless.
While shops, restaurants and the lighthouse continue to draw visitors, 100 boat slips have disappeared. But about 21 docks bordering shops and restaurants in the marina reopened to slip owners on Tuesday, said Steve Birdwell, Sea Pines president.
Birdwell said the staff has been working diligently to reopen the marina, and he expect all docks to be replaced by April 1.
The docks will open up just in time for the resort’s premier event — The RBC Heritage golf tournament — set for April 10-16. Five of the boat slips overlook the 18th hole for the event, Birdwell said.
“Harbour Town is one of our main attractions, and our visitors enjoy all the activities down there every day,” he said. “It is important to us and our visitors to get all those open and in operation. It has been a monumental effort to get these docks open.”
More docks, including commercial and private slips, will open in upcoming months, with the expectation that all will be in place by April 1, said Rob Bender, Sea Pines’ director of recreation and marine operations.
Electric and water utilities also will be rolled out to the docks after they are installed, Bender said. He said all of the docks likely won’t have utilities by the time they open in April.
“There will be a rolling opening that will last through the summer,” he said.
Birdwell said the electrical equipment needed at the docks is complicated to install.
Harbour Town’s pier will be reopened in May, Birdwell said. He said the resort is waiting on permit approval to rebuild it.